SA fintech startup Payflex has been acquired by an Australian public company with plans to expand into Africa.


Payflex, a South African buy-now-pay-later fintech startup, has been acquired by Zip, an ASX-listed company, as part of the latter’s global expansion plans into Africa.

Payflex, which was founded in 2018, allows customers to shop now and pay later, interest-free. It launched in 2019 with and is now available at over 1,000 online merchants.

Zip, on the other hand, is a market leader in digital retail finance and payments. Retail, home, health, automotive, and travel industries use the company’s point-of-sale credit and digital payment services.

Zip plans to grow its South African business and expand into other African markets with large underbanked, digitally savvy populations that will benefit from innovative payment solutions. Zip currently operates in 12 markets across five continents. In light of this, it has announced its intention to acquire Payflex in its entirety.

“The growth of Payflex over the past few years has demonstrated the demand for buy now, pay later in South Africa. Zip’s acquisition will boost the speed and scale of Payflex’s expansion and allow merchants and shoppers to benefit from Zip’s world-class products, platform and global reach. It is also a significant vote of confidence in the all-South African Payflex team, which will remain unchanged and focused on growing the business,” said Paul Behrmann, founder and CEO of Payflex.

The last year had been “truly transformational” for Zip, according to Larry Diamond, managing director and CEO, as the company continued to deliver despite the most extreme global economic conditions.

“We started the year with a clear strategy for global expansion, and we have seen record growth, ending the year with US$5.8 billion in total transaction volume, and more than 7.3 million customers and 51,000 merchants around the world,” he said.

“The shift away from the unfriendly world of credit cards that was the genesis of Zip’s Australian business, and its proven to be a global phenomenon. Millennial and Gen Z customers are consistently demonstrating their appetite for the simpler, fairer payment options that Zip is providing. This global play supporting customers and global retailers alike provides a real point of difference as we strive to become the first payment choice and a trusted and innovative, global payments brand.”