1. Startups

Paylater Startup Founded by T Fuad "Pace" Liquidated

Pace is experiencing liability problems, the company's application for dissolution was submitted after the business ceased in August 2023

Startups fintechpaylater Pace is filing for liquidation proceedings, having filed for voluntary wind-up on August 2023 because there is a problem with its liabilities.

This news was first reported by Vulcan Post quoting from a document uploaded to the Singapore local authorities on September 8, 2023.

The document states, Extraordinary General Meeting was held on August 29, 2023 and it was concluded that the company could not continue its business due to its liabilities.

“[..] thus the Company ends voluntarily [..] and hereby appoints a joint and several liquidators for the purposes of resolving the company's affairs,” wrote the company.

There has been no official statement made by Pace to the media regarding this news. Its social media accounts and App Store have been bombarded with comments from users who are confused about the unavailability of redemption services in the app. Pace Site also no longer accessible.

Pace was founded in Singapore by Indonesian-born entrepreneurs Turochas 'T' Fuad in 2021. The startup allows consumers to split their purchase bill into three interest-free payments over 60 days, through an omnichannel experience that helps consumers shop sustainably.

The move aims to create financial inclusion for consumers, while helping them control and shop as they wish and help merchants meet increasing consumer demand and improve sales efficiency. This company does not yet operate in Indonesia, the latest news is that they are present in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand with more than 3 thousand sales points.

Pace has raised series A funding for $40 million from a number of investors, such as UOB Venture Management, Marubeni Ventures, Atinum Partners, AppWorks, and a series of family offices from Japan and Indonesia. Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia, Alpha JWC Ventures, and Genesis Alternative Ventures also participated.

A year after its founding, the company acquired its competitor Rely as part of its expansion. A month later, it launched Pace Card which aims to create a simpler and more secure online payment experience.

Code of Ethics Rules in Singapore

At the same time as news of Pace's liquidation, the BNPL working group encouraged existing players to immediately comply with the updated code of conduct starting November 1, 2023 and be accredited by March 31, 2024. New players must also go through the same process before offering BNPL services to the public.

The working group was formed by the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and industry players, under the guidance of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The BNPL Code of Conduct was first announced late last year to guide players and ensure that users do not take on too much debt. It said market players must meet and engage with two new standards.

First, connect with a private bureau that has been set up by global IT company Experian to facilitate the process of sharing credit information. This will allow BNPL players to consider consumer balances across BNPL providers when conducting further credit assessments.

Furthermore, BNPL players are required to undergo audits by independent assessors to ensure they comply with the code of ethics. After that, the SFA will assess their qualifications for accreditation. Only those who pass the accreditation, BNPL players are allowed to display the accredited mark on their official sites from April 1, 2024. The mark is only valid for three years and must be re-accredited afterwards.

There is an oversight committee that has been established to supervise and monitor compliance with the code of ethics.

Since the rules were implemented, eight BNPL players have participated, namely Atome, Grab, ShopBack, Ablr, Latitude Pay, Pace, Split and SeaMoney. There are now six BNPL players remaining operating with this code, except Pace and Split. All six appointed PwC as independent consultants for their first assessments.

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In the first iteration of the BNPL code of conduct that came into effect on November 1, 2022, players must adhere to five standards. Among other things, BNPL players can offer their services only to customers who are at least 18 years old, and allow customers to collect outstanding payments of no more than $2.000 at any one time.

BNPL providers have also committed to making their fees and charges clear and transparent to customers, and ensuring that advertising of products and services complies with the Consumer Protection Act.

Quote from The Edge Singapore, Executive Director (Prudential Policy Department) MAS Andrew Tan said the industry had worked hard over the past year to implement the standards and safeguards in the BNPL Code, particularly to establish credit information sharing processes.

“We look forward to the successful accreditation of BNPL companies and obtaining the trust mark in April 2024. This will help consumers recognize companies that have fully implemented the Code. "Effective implementation of the BNPL Code will improve consumer outcomes for BNPL users and mitigate the risk of debt accumulation," said Tan.

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