Arcadia’s interim chief digital officer Andy Harding has been appointed as UK managing director of buy now, pay later firm Openpay.

Andy harding index

Andy Harding

Harding, who took the role as interim digital boss at the struggling fashion giant at the beginning of the year, will head the expansion of the Australian fintech firm in the UK, its first international market.

Harding, who has previously held chief customer officer roles at Mothercare and House of Fraser, as well as digital roles at Ryman and Carphone Warehouse, said Openpay’s proposition is particularly suited to retailers with physical store estates.

He added that the business has several “exciting partnerships” to announce with UK retailers in the coming months.

Openpay works with a range of businesses in Australia across automotive, healthcare and travel, as well as retailers including Bunnings Warehouse and French Connection.

Its technology allows shoppers to buy products on credit online and in-store by completing a 10-second application form at the point of purchase, either online or at the till.

However, Harding explained that unlike other firms such as Klarna, Openpay takes up to a third of payment for a purchase from customers upfront as a means of assuaging “much higher return rates” made by customers who are able to pay entirely on credit at the point of purchase.