The advertising is seductive: "Buy now, pay later." Some people live beyond their means.

Usually a man between the ages of 25 and 34 who is employed, rented and in a relationship.

Any money he didn't have at the time of purchase was spent on consumer electronics – smartphones or televisions – clothing and, of course, travel.

Archibald Preuschat

Editor in Business

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That's how well Nickie Povel knows her clients.

She heads marketing and communications at Swedish start-up Anyfin , which expanded to Germany a year and a half ago to help victims of shopping debt restructuring.

The start-up was founded by three men who all worked on the side of the seducers for a number of years, namely at the Swedish payment processor Klarna: Mikael Hussain, Sven Perkmann and Filip Polhem.

Purchase on account, known in the financial industry jargon as "buy now - pay later" (buy now - pay later), is not only very popular in Scandinavia, but also in Germany.

According to Statista, 38 percent of Germans do not pay for their online purchases immediately.

This is also due to the fact that “buy now – pay later” also counts purchases on account, which mail order companies had introduced and made popular long before the online shopping era.

According to Statista, 23 percent pay for their purchase after a few weeks.

However, another 15 percent do not pay after a relatively short period of time, but in installments: interest-free, but also in installments, the interest rate of which can be well into double digits and also overshadows the conditions of the overdraft facility.

Individual interest rate

Povel sees a potential of 27.6 million customers for the fintech in Germany, which is by no means exhausted.

The marketing manager put the number of customers in Germany at "over 25,000" a year and a half after the start.

Anyfin is not alone in its business model of refinancing loans at lower interest rates.

Comparison portals such as Verivox and Check24 also have such services and work together with several banks.

Anyfin takes a different approach.

It calculates the debtor's creditworthiness individually.

In addition to external data, such as from the Schufa, criteria are the level of income and work situation, but also the previous payment behavior.

Anyone who has ever been unable to service their loan must also expect a higher interest rate than reliable borrowers when rescheduling.

Anyfin can calculate an interest rate of just 6 percent or 10 percent.

However, Povel emphasizes that the customer always saves.

"If we can't undercut the previous interest rate, then we won't make an offer either." The calculation doesn't always work out for Anyfin either, and there are loan defaults.

Povel does not want to reveal how high the proportion is, only this much: one is satisfied with the quota.

A German banking license, which Anyfin was still aiming for in the summer of 2021, is no longer an issue, she says.

The start-up works exclusively with the Swedish Erik Penser Bank.

The margin from lending will be shared.

And that increased after the turnaround in interest rates.

Rising interest rates and galloping inflation are a double-edged sword for the start-up, as they also cause consumer restraint - Anyfin carries out half of the debt restructuring in the area of ​​installment loans.

"People are also more concerned with their liabilities," Povel argues.

At least the investors around the venture capitalist Northzone believe in the business model, a few days ago they pumped another 30 million euros into the fintech, which is not a matter of course these days.