It tastes like manna from heaven – eat now pay later is the latest app to hit the restaurant market to lure more people to dine and pay for the meal in four instalments – interest-free and fee-free.

Sounds like Afterpay for food? You’re right.

But there is a catch. If you miss a payment, you will be slugged with a $10 late payment fee, capped at a maximum $40 for every transaction.

“We are not a credit card,” says payo co-founder Taf Chiwanza. “We are an app which allows diners to pay their bill with a QR code and pay back the cost of the meal over four fortnightly, interest-free instalments.

“The payo app’s search functionality acts like a is Trip Advisor of restaurants. You can search for a restaurant by cuisine, location, special offers or reviews. Once you have selected the restaurant or bar, you can make a reservation, dine as normal and pay using the QR code.

“As a diner you will have to pay 25 per cent of the total bill upfront and the remaining amount in fortnightly instalments. So if your bill is $200, you will have to pay $50 upfront and the remaining $150 in $50 fortnightly instalments – interest-free and fee-free.”

Taf Chiwanza, CEO of payo, Buy Now Pay Later app

So the restaurant is paid in full by payo and the customer’s repayment instalments are paid to payo.

He said that restaurants have been through very rough times as the hospitality industry has borne the brunt of the pandemic and lockdowns.

“By unlocking payo’s Buy Now Pay Later app, we hope to drive more people to dine out and indulge in revenge spending once restrictions are eased. It’s a win-win for customers and restaurants alike,” Chiwanza told Really Simple Money.

Launched in Brisbane in March with a line up of 200 restaurants, bars and pubs as participating venues, payo was about to make its entrée into the Melbourne and Sydney dining scene when it was stalled by COVID lockdowns. The payo app will launch in Sydney next week.

Chiwanza said that the start-up company has already signed up 150 restaurants in Melbourne such as Morris Jones and Bomba Bar as well as another 100 restaurants in Sydney including Butter, Tokki, Ormeggio and Khoi.

“We hope to have 1,000 restaurants and other hospitality outlets by the end of the year and are already signing up restaurants in Perth. We launched on the Gold Coast last month.”

Payo makes its money starting from a 3 per cent commission paid by the participating restaurant for every transaction.

The former Zomato country manager, Chiwanza hails from Zimbabwe before migrating to Australian after completing his studies at Griffiths University in Queensland.

After working for start-ups such as Ento and MyGuestlist, he decided at 37 years of age, to team up with Sean Donnelly formerly of Zomato and Scott Lai of IJ Capital to work on the start up for the hospitality industry last year. Payo now has a team of 20 working for the tech start-up.

“We want to have a successful business with more than 500,000 customer/users in the next 12 months,” said Chiwanza who enjoys eating out at restaurants – naturally.


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