Affirm buy now, pay later loans coming later this year

Affirm buy now, pay later loans coming later this year

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Apple device users will soon be able to tap into buy now, pay later loans from Affirm for purchases, the companies said Tuesday.

Affirm will surface as an option for U.S. Apple Pay users on iPhones and iPads later this year, the San Francisco-based fintech company said in a filing. Apple confirmed the news in its own update.

“This provides users with additional payment choices, and offers the ease, convenience and security of Apple Pay alongside the features users love in Affirm – flexibility, transparency and no late or hidden fees,” Affirm said in an email statement.

The move is a boost to Affirm and the buy now, pay later sector in general. When Apple introduced its own BNPL product last year, investors were concerned that the tech giant would crowd out stand-alone providers like Affirm. But the fact that Apple decided to also allow Affirm products in its ecosystem shows that the fintech company has something unique to offer.

For instance, while Apple’s BNPL loan lets users repay purchases in four installments over six weeks, Affirm has an array of longer-term offerings that can be repaid over a year or more. The companies didn’t provide details on the terms of the new loans.

“The bottom-line — in our view — is that Affirm’s strong brand and sophisticated underwriting technology have a moat that Apple likely could not replicate on its own,” Mizuho Securities analyst Dan Dolev said in a research note.

Citi, Synchrony

Apple also said that installment loans via credit and debit cards would be available on Apple Pay in the U.S. with Citigroup, Synchrony and Fiserv-related issuers. Traditional credit card players have begun offering BNPL-style installment loans after their popularity surged during the Covid pandemic

Synchrony said in an email that it was planning personalized installment loans with promotions based on the transaction size and merchant involved, with the possible use of promotional interest rates and loan durations.

“This announcement with Apple marks an opportunity for Synchrony to scale our flexible payment options and offer our merchants the ability to expand their presence in a growing mobile payments ecosystem,” Mike Bopp, Synchrony’s chief growth officer, said in an email.

Thanks to the ubiquity of the iPhone, Apple Pay has more than 500 million users around the world and a leading market share in the U.S. for its mobile payment and digital wallet platform.

Shares of Affirm rose 11% Tuesday, while Apple’s stock was up 7.3%.

Affirm’s stock rose despite the fact that the company indicated it would take time for the partnership to significantly boost its revenue.

“Affirm does not expect this partnership to have a material impact on revenue or gross merchandise volume in fiscal year 2025,” the company said in its filing.

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