Southeast Asia’s Internet Giants Bet on ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

Some of Southeast Asia’s largest internet companies are trying to boost their revenues with an old-fashioned business: lending.

Buy now, pay later services have picked up pace in Southeast Asia as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Grab Holdings Sea Ltd. and GoTo Group are all offering their customers short-term loans to help them pay for a variety of products and services, including taxis, food delivery and beauty products. The most recent rollout of services in the region came in July, when GoTo launched a pay-later service called GoPayLater Cicil—which means “taking installments” in Indonesian.