FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, currently President Emeritus and Harvard University professor, makes remarks during a seminar on "The New Normal in Asia: Will Growth Inevitably Slow?" at the IMF and World Bank's 2015 Annual Spring Meetings, in Washington, April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Theiler/File Photo
October 9, 2019
(Reuters) – Australia’s Afterpay Touch Group said on Wednesday that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will join its advisory board there, as it seeks to expand its buy-now-pay-later platform in the fast-growing U.S. market.
Companies like Afterpay let shoppers buy products and pay in installments without having to go through the scrutiny of applying for a credit card or a loan.
The business has been growing fast in the United States, and is especially popular with young people.
Millennials are expected to overtake baby boomers as the largest adult population in the United States this year, according to the Pew Research Center.
Afterpay, considered a pioneer in the buy-now-pay-later space, has been banking on growth in the largely nascent U.S. market. In August, it said it was adding 50% more new customers a day there than its daily average in the 2019 financial year.
Joining Summers on the board will be former Reebok CEO Uli Becker, and former U.S. online retailer ModCloth CEO Matthew Kaness.
Summers was Treasury Secretary from 1999 to 2001, and also served as chief economist for the World Bank.
Back in Australia, Afterpay is dealing with heightened regulatory scrutiny after the financial crime watchdog ordered an external audit of it over suspected breaches of anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet & Kim Coghill)