TikTok has struck a deal with Malaysian buy-now-pay-later service Atome as the company invests in its growing presence in the Southeast Asian market.

The social media platfrom’s ecommerce marketplace, TikTok Shop, will allow users to pay using Atome’s staggered payment service in which customers have the options to make payments over three or six months.

Atome, short for “available to me”, offers flexible payment solutions for a range of retail products.

Atome is a division of Advance Intelligence Group, an independent tech startup based in Singapore, which has backing from investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund and Warburg Pincus.

The deal is part of TikTok’s expansion into South East Asia and away from the US. The platform has seen portions of its user base in the US, its biggest market, disappear after Montana became the first US state to ban the app over user data security concerns. 

Jonathan Low, e-commerce lead of strategy and special projects at TikTok Shop, said that the partnerships should “enable merchants and small businesses to offer their customers a convenient and flexible payment option,” CNBC reported.

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By GlobalData

William Yang, head of commercial at Atome, added that the company is “excited to help drive ecommerce growth and support brands of all sizes”.

TikTok has invested heavily in the e-commerce Southeast Asian market as it competes with Sea’s Shopee and Alibaba’s Lazada.

In June 2023, the company announced it will invest $12m (94.5m yuan) in 120,000 small enterprises over three years, helping businesses transition to online retail as part of its “commitment to SouthEast Asia,”

In a recent company report, Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s CEO, said “we’re honored to be a home for more than 325 million people in Southeast Asia (SEA) who come to TikTok every month.”

Speaking of the Southeast Asian userbase, Chew stated the social media giant had empowered businesses to shift from traditionally offline marketing channels to meet new customers online.

“From Indonesian music artists building their careers to Vietnamese villagers across 63 provinces proudly promoting their local specialities through TikTok Shop, our desire to build on these success stories is stronger than ever,” Chew said.