Buy Now Pay Later the story of Afterpay business book

The fascinating behind the scenes story of the brash Aussie technology start-up that changed the way a whole generation around the world does their shopping. Millennials love it. Amateur investors made millions out of it, and its founders became billionaires. But professional investors steered clear, regarding it as over-valued.

In a few short years, the Australian startup Afterpay has put a rocket under consumer finance and birthed a global industry. It pioneered the four-payments model that allows customers to bypass credit cards for online shopping and budgeting, with the cost borne by the retailer. Just five years after it was founded, Afterpay had changed the way a generation went shopping, how brands from big banks to fashion labels win customers, and how institutions value companies. 

Buy Now, Pay Later recounts the dramatic behind-the-scenes story of the founding and rise of Afterpay. It reveals the network of business and personal relationships that enabled the company to finance its speedy growth and the manoeuvring that enabled it to escape regulation for years, as well as the near-death experiences and rising concern that it is getting young people hooked on debt. 

Drawing on years of on-the-ground reporting and interviews with key figures involved in their rollercoaster ride, this is the Afterpay story told in full for the first time.

Duffy’s thoughts on Buy Now Pay Later

I have to confess, I didn’t finish this read.

The beginning of Buy Now Pay Later was really interesting. I learnt the history and origins of some of Australia’s biggest retail brands. However, once the Afterpay story began, I was put off with the privilege and fawning of Founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar. This is far from a ‘local boys done good’ story, privileged upbringings and abundance of opportunity were the key factors that brought about one of Australia’s successful business stories.

Maybe, for me, the timing was off to be reading of such success and excess when we are still in lockdown and people around me are losing their jobs, homes and suffering from stress. I just got a slightly icky feeling as co-authors Jonathan Shapiro and James Eyers scattered the pages with pats on the back for a bunch of businessmen.

Buy Now Pay Later is a telling of one of Australia’s biggest success stories. I just wish this version had a more balanced view and a touch of humility along the way.

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