Affirm Introduces Apple Pay Virtual Card Capabilities for Loans
FinTech startup Affirm is bringing their online loan platform to brick and mortar stores. The company, which provides loans and other financing offers, announced that it will now allow customers to use the virtual credit cards it generates in stores via Apple Pay. As a result borrowers can use their loan funds anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted.
Since starting in 2012, Affirm’s mission has been to “provide fair and honest financial products.” As Bloomberg reports, part of what makes the lender unique is that it doesn’t make decisions solely based on traditional FICO credit scores but instead looks at an array of data. However Affirm boasts an easy five-field application that yields a near instantaneous credit decision.
In a statement announcing the new Apple Pay integration, chief retail officer Rob Pfeifer said, “People’s shopping habits are evolving very quickly, beyond simply moving online-to-offline or offline-to-online when engaging with merchants. 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.”
Retailers who wish to accept Affirm loans as payment have two options: utilizing Affirm InStore API for their point of sale system or simply using the virtual card system with Apple Pay. In either case Affirm pays the merchant in full at the time of the transaction. That said stores that have integrated with Affirm InStore report seeing positive results. For example Apple retailer Simply Mac says they’ve experienced a 63% increase in financing applications, a 34% increase in approvals, and 20% increase in average order values since introducing Affirm to their stores. Additionally they report that Affirm makes up 81% of their online sales.
With their new Apple Pay option, Affirm is essentially positioning themselves as an alternative to credit cards at a time when many Millennials have become skittish about plastic. Whereas credit cards might not be as upfront about their interest rates and other charges, Affirm says it prides itself on being transparent about their fees. They explain, “Unlike payment options that have compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll owe — with no hidden fees and no surprises.” As a result Affirm’s Apple Pay integration could be a big deal for FinTech, retailers, and consumers alike.