Affirm Announces In-Store Financing Options With Virtual Card Integration in Apple Pay

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Affirm is a financial startup that allows users to pay for expensive items from select retailers in monthly installment plans, after they are first approved for a loan on the company's website or in the app. Today the company announced that users will now be able to secure credit in seconds and then checkout in retail stores thanks to integration of the Affirm virtual card into Apple Pay.

To apply for Affirm financing, customers complete a "simple, five-field" application that provides them with a real-time credit decision (rates are between 10-30 percent APR based on personal credit). After approval, customers use the Affirm app to enter the amount they want to spend by selecting a payment plan on the item (3, 6, 12, 18, or 24 months), and Affirm loads up the cost of the full purchase onto the virtual card, paying the merchant for the item and taking on "all fraud risk for the purchase."


With the addition of Apple Pay, Affirm's virtual card can be used anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted.
"People's shopping habits are evolving very quickly, beyond simply moving online-to-offline or offline-to-online when engaging with merchants," said Rob Pfeifer, Chief Retail Officer at Affirm. "Consumers are on their phones, online, and in-store throughout a shopping experience. Affirm provides a solution for this omnichannel experience in the form of transparent and honest finance."
For merchants, Affirm says it provides two options to support the service: integration with the Affirm InStore API with their own point-of-sale system, or support Affirm's expanded virtual card experience. The company explained that regardless of what method merchants choose, the customer's retail checkout process is "virtually identical" to Affirm online and in the iOS app.

Affirm founder and CEO Max Levchin told Bloomberg that the company hopes it will continue to expand and that more stores will "embrace" Affirm because of its ability to offer retailers "insights into customer purchasing habits."
Levchin hopes more stores will embrace Affirm's approach by offering them insights into customer purchasing habits. With Affirm In-Store, retailers are able to track if someone applies for a loan in the shop but finishes the transaction elsewhere. This is designed to let the retailer better understand the impact of sales staff.

"I'm optimistic there will be a day when shoppers instinctively reach for their phone and the Affirm app, rather than their credit card,'' Levchin said.
In its press release, Affirm detailed how Apple reseller Simply Mac switched from paper-based applications for loans on its private label credit card, to Affirm InStore's new process. Tiffany Polmateer, Simply Mac's director of purchasing and operations, said that since supporting Affirm it has seen a 20 percent increase in average order values, 63 percent more customer financing applications, and 34 percent more approvals per store.

Affirm is available to download on the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Affirm Announces In-Store Financing Options With Virtual Card Integration in Apple Pay
 

Nimrad

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2010
309
909
Not quite as sketch as Rent-a-Center type model but still. I suppose some people have really terrible credit and a secured loan with 30% APR is all they can manage.
If your credit is that bad you shouldn't be allowed to loan money in the first place if you ask me.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,867
3,837
Yes, but... there's a difference between "path to recovery" and "path to getting yourself into deeper trouble"... and a fine line between them.
Yeah, and people can make their own mistakes and find that line for themselves. Maybe not on this forum for expensive Apple products, but there are a LOT of people in economic trouble in America. Treat them with compassion and understanding, because a lot of them are one bad bill away from bankruptcy. That's unfortunately why this kind of lending market exists in the first place.
 
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thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
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Yes, but... there's a difference between "path to recovery" and "path to getting yourself into deeper trouble"... and a fine line between them.
True. And that's a difficult balance to strike. We have usury and bankruptcy laws. I think they're far from perfect but we attempt to walk that line between reasonable risk for creditors to encourage lending to all and the ability to dismiss onerous debt if it accrues. I see a legitimate role for pay day lending and other high risk lenders in society. I think there needs to be reward available to encourage lending to a segment of society that otherwise would be ignored by potential creditors but I also think borrowers need the ability to dismiss debts if the debt itself threatens to take them out of mainstream society. Those are competing priorities that are very difficult achieve in equilibrium.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,874
6,552
I'm a rolling stone.
Loans should be outlawed, there should be something else in place like an interest free government loan for people who need it.
I think paying a lot for a mortgage is also stupid.
Never had one single loan, maybe I am just lucky....
 

tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
2,192
490
San Diego, CA
Hopefully Simply Mac fixed their terminals. I was at their Portland, OR location a couple of months ago and Apple Pay kept declining. According to the staff, "it doesn't work if your card has a chip".

Though I guess if they've gone the API route for Affirm that might not matter as much.
 

vmistery

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2010
746
488
UK
That APR though! You can often get 0% deals either via companies like PayPal or on credit cards for at least a year here in the UK, is it different in the US? To me this also looks like it’s more targeting non essential purchases rather than things like a car or getting your house fixed in an emergency which make it look expensive and unnecessary.
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True. And that's a difficult balance to strike. We have usury and bankruptcy laws. I think they're far from perfect but we attempt to walk that line between reasonable risk for creditors to encourage lending to all and the ability to dismiss onerous debt if it accrues. I see a legitimate role for pay day lending and other high risk lenders in society. I think there needs to be reward available to encourage lending to a segment of society that otherwise would be ignored by potential creditors but I also think borrowers need the ability to dismiss debts if the debt itself threatens to take them out of mainstream society. Those are competing priorities that are very difficult achieve in equilibrium.
In the UK we have credit unions which support people with bad credit whilst helping them save, usually at much lower rates than payday lenders. They also often provide financial education, some are better than others but I think we should be encouraging people more towards them than payday lenders.
 

bunnicula

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2008
3,796
773
I know this thread is old, but Affirm actually isn’t terrible. I’d say that it’s better than credit cards, in a way. You don’t get forever to pay stuff back and if you pay it back early, your interest payments are credited back for the faster repayment period.

Which is better than a payday loan. Those are horrible.

I think it’s attractive to younger people because they don’t want to run up debt on credit cards, but sometimes want to buy something (for whatever reason) that they can afford in several installments, but not all at once.

I tried it out on something I paid off after it I received it and made sure I was happy with it (a custom piece of jewelry) and it was really affordable. Affirm and credit card were the only options and I had never used the artist before.
 
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