Afterpay defends itself over underage alcohol buying claims, as ‘buy now, pay later’ platforms face scrutiny

‘Buy now, pay later’ platform Afterpay has been in the spotlight this week over claims minors can use its services despite not having any savings, prompting the company to insist it already has significant checks and balances in place.

On Wednesday proxy advisory firm Ownership Matters released a report to clients and obtained by press outlining a number of Afterpay case studies, including one about a teenager who was able to order $300 worth of alcohol by billing it through an Afterpay account, reports Fairfax.

The 16-year-old child of an Ownership Matters staff member was reportedly able to order seven bottles of champagne worth more than $300 online, despite only having $80 in their savings account.

In another case, a false account was able to be set up to be used by “Miguel Laucha” — Spanish for ‘Mickey Mouse’. The account was reportedly set up using using a prepaid anonymous mobile sim card and VISA card, and was able to spend $260 on wine and other products.

In response to the report, Afterpay, which booked $60 million in revenue last financial year, told its ASX shareholders it is acting to “curtail any alleged underage use of its platform”.

The company also defended itself by outlining its safety protocols, and said retailers had to follow strict regulations to prevent the selling of alcohol to minors.

Afterpay has seen a meteoric rise after using early social media campaigns to encourage customers to lobby their favourite stores to sign up to the system, which allows shoppers to order stock direct from the store and then pay for this in instalments. Read more

Emma Koehn - Smart Company - 6 Apr 2018

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