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Openpay offers new flexible payment options for Aussie pet owners

COVID puppy boom sees Aussie pet owners spending double on vet care when given access to flexible payment options  

2020 has been a trying year that has seen both financial hardship and pet ownership on the rise, but new data from Openpay (ASX: OPY) reveals pet owners have been using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) to ensure they don’t have to choose between their finances and their pets.

Latest estimates put job losses since the start of the pandemic at around 835,000, meanwhile the RSPCA has received around 26,000 applications for adoptions during the same period. 

Waiting lists for favourites such as Oodles also now number into the hundreds, suggesting tens of thousands of Australians have new family members to take care of at a time when our financial health is more precarious than ever.

It’s no surprise then that vet practices offering pet owners the option to pay through BNPL are seeing a much higher average spend through these services compared to other forms of payment. 

The data*, based on April-June 2020 spending, shows while the average spend at a vet practice sits at $197, using flexible BNPL payment plans sees this rise to $386 (95% increase) and extending to $1,308 for plans being paid off over 6 months (561% increase).

These figures demonstrate how BNPL can be a lifeline when it comes to looking after our pets, especially as 66% of us consider pet health an essential purchase according to Openpay’s recent consumer survey "How They’ll Spend It"

The survey also revealed that over the past 6 months the proportion of people using BNPL to cover pet-related expenses has risen from 23% to 33%.

Aspen's and Kevin's Story 

"Aspen still looks like a puppy but he’s ten years old" shared Kevin Munroe, Aspen's owner based in Melbourne. "He’s spent the majority of his life in very good health, and would have a pretty clean record if not for the fact that he’s a prolific chewer!

The most frustrating trip to the vet for a chew-related crime was when he managed to get a little bit too stuck into a denta ball toy. It went missing, and after about a week he just wasn’t himself. 

After a trip to the vet and an X-ray, they could see a clear image of what looked like a ten cent piece. They put him under to retrieve it, an unexpected $2,100 to be sure...

For a few days, he was fine - but then the same symptoms set in. They X-rayed him again to see the exact same shape, despite the first hard rubber disc being in a plastic sleeve nearby. It turns out he’d eaten both ‘ends’ of the denta ball! 

When they spotted one during the first trip inside, they thought it was an easy win and grabbed the first thing they saw. After the second retrieval, he was good for a couple of years. 

Until he ate rocks... "

Aspen's owner Kevin held no pet insurance cover but was able to meet the unexpected full cost of the first operation - the vet taking responsibility for the second one.

Nick Grant, Head of Health at Openpay - who had black Labrador Cooper join his family in September - commented on the data: “While 2020 has been a trying year for humans, it’s been a great year for pets. As early as May, rescues across the country had beaten annual adoption records and the waiting list for Aussie favourites - namely Cavoodles, Groodles and Labradoodles – has run into the hundreds.

What people often don’t foresee is the cost of taking care of those pets. With this in mind it’s encouraging to see people using flexible payment plans to ensure they aren’t choosing between their financial health and the health of their pets.

Our advice to pet owners is make sure you do your research to ensure you find payment plans that offer maximum flexibility with no hidden fees, enabling you to worry about your four-legged friend rather than your finances.”

* The data is based on average ATVs seen by a veterinary provider in Australia during April-June 2020

Photo Credit (all): Kevin Munroe

About Openpay

Openpay (ASX: OPY) is the interest-free Buy Now Pay Later provider that offers consumers a smarter way to manage their cashflow, with longer and more flexible payment terms - and no interest or hidden fees. Openpay partners with over 2000 merchants to help people pay for what they want when they need it, whether that’s getting their car serviced, renovating their home, buying their kids’ school shoes, treating a much loved pet or visiting the dentist. Openpay operates in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and has over 150 employees across its Melbourne and London offices.

For more information, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 14th October 2020

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