Payment software firm acquired by retail bank

Secure Trust Bank PLC (STB) has agreed to acquire Doncaster-based AppToPay Ltd, owner of a proprietary technology platform to support its planned entry into the digital Buy Now Pay Later (digital BNPL) market.

Solihull-headquartered STB, through its V12 Retail Finance business, is already a provider of point-of-sale retail finance, with a network of more than 1,400 retailers and more than 840,000 consumers, and currently specialises in providing larger, longer-duration loans.

The bank says its acquisition of AppToPay positions it to enter the highly complementary, fast-growing digital BNPL market focused on smaller sized, shorter-duration loans.

STB plans to integrate the AppToPay platform with its existing technology capabilities to offer a regulated digital BNPL product.

This will enable the bank to introduce this new digital BNPL offering across its existing retailer network alongside its current retail finance products through a new brand, AppToPay, with a launch planned for half one 2022.

A spokesman for the bank added: “Although AppToPay is being acquired for a small amount it represents a significant step forward in STB’s strategy to seek attractive returns in niche segments and scale its core businesses, both organically and through value-accretive M&A.  

“AppToPay is expected to scale over time and will become an important incremental offering for the V12 Retail Finance platform in the medium term.”

David McCreadie, chief executive officer of Secure Trust Bank, said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of AppToPay.

“V12 Retail Finance has already built a strong, established position in point-of-sale retail finance, thanks to its strong relationships and embedded technology with many of the UK’s leading retailers and extensive market knowledge.

“This transaction is a natural next step for us, opening up attractive new opportunities for our existing customers and providing us with access to a new, fast-growing specialist lending market.

“The credit market is undergoing a structural transformation; digital BNPL has already been welcomed by a large number of consumers in the UK and is fast becoming established as a mainstream alternative payment option due to its ease of use and interest free pricing.

“We have no doubt this market will continue to grow rapidly, and that STB is very well-placed to capitalise on the opportunity.”

Completion of the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected around quarter one 2022.