Miami mayor welcomes buy now, pay later fintech Zilch to Brickell

Zilch launches U.S. expansion out of Miami

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez celebrated the move of a fintech start up from London to Miami's Brickell neighborhood.

MIAMI – Mayor Francis Suarez welcomed a growing fintech company with headquarters in London to its U.S. headquarters in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.

Zilch, a buy now, pay later app, has about 30 employees and plans to create about 200 more jobs. To announce the U.S. launch, Suarez stood near Philip Belamant during a news conference on Tuesday at City Hall.

Belamant, Zilch’s founder and chief executive officer, said launched in the U.K. in 2020. The billionaire expects it to be popular with shoppers in the U.S.

“They can get deals and discounts when they pay,” Belamant said in his South African accent.

Zilch will be competing with Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm. The app allows users to shop wherever Mastercard is accepted. Users split payments into four installments over six weeks without fees or late charges. They also earn a 2% instant cashback reward.

“We are in an environment where everything is getting more expensive,” Suarez said about the need for the service amid soaring inflation.

Philip Belamant announced the U.S. launch on Tuesday at Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

With over two million customers in the United Kingdom and adding more than 250,000 new users monthly, the company grew fast.

Zilch reported raising $400 million in debt and equity from Goldman Sachs and others — giving it a valuation of over $2 billion at its last Series C funding round.

Zilch partnered with Experian to help users build their credit scores and is planning to have a cryptocurrency rewards program. The jobs in Brickell haven’t been listed yet. They are now searching for a senior credit manager.


Suarez, a pro-tech Republican, has faced criticism over his dream of turning Miami into the crypto capital of the world.

“Cryptocurrency is the technology of the future. To me, there is no doubt about that,” Suarez said. “When you invest ... you are taking a risk.”

Earlier this year, Suarez celebrated when MiamiCoin, a cryptocurrency, allowed the city to receive $5.25 million at no cost to taxpayers. Suarez aimed to use the funds to deal with the shortage of affordable housing.

Quartz reported there were fears the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission could define the MiamiCoin as an unregistered security, therefore resulting in a securities fraud case.

MiamiCoin is part of CityCoins, a Delaware-based company promoting a “civic-minded” project. Stacks, an open-source network of decentralized apps and smart contracts built on Bitcoin, was behind the financial experiment.

“People who don’t understand Bitcoin either worship it as a religion or go after it with pitchforks,” Patrick Stanley, of CityCoins, wrote on Twitter.

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About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.