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Affirm expands BNPL partnership with Walmart

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Dec 19, 2023
Illustration of a person holding a shopping bag made out of a calendar. 

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Affirm is expanding its partnership with Walmart to offer its buy now, pay later option at the retailer's self-checkout kiosks.

Why it matters: The BNPL option, which will be available at thousands of Walmart stores, could offer a major boost to Affirm and its holiday season adoption by consumers.

How it works: Shoppers can apply for a line of credit from Affirm to buy items in Walmart stores.

  • Affirm underwrites the proposed transaction and, if it's approved, will present several financing options tailored to the customer.
  • After a plan is selected, customers will receive a barcode to scan at the Walmart self-service kiosk to pay.

Context: Affirm has been a Walmart partner since 2019, when the retailer began offering pay-over-time services on walmart.com.

  • The BNPL provider has similar arrangements for in-store payments at retailers including Casper, Gucci, Michaels, Staples and Dick's Sporting Goods.

State of play: Walmart is by far the largest of those partnerships, with BNPL available in more than 4,500 stores.

  • According to Affirm SVP of revenue Pat Suh, Walmart and Affirm will promote the payment option through a joint marketing campaign that includes in-store signage and email marketing to their customers.

Between the lines: The campaign is going live at the tail end of the holiday season, but Affirm could see some benefit from last-minute shoppers' opting for BNPL instead of using debit or credit cards.

  • Buy now, pay later adoption has seen a big boost this holiday season, with use increasing 42.5% year over year on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe.

The intrigue: Making BNPL available in-store is also a part of Affirm's push to persuade consumers to adopt BNPL for everyday purchases.

  • In addition to its in-store initiatives, the company has invested heavily in deploying its Affirm card to capture more everyday spending.
  • "It's about enhancing that strategy around ubiquity and providing these kinds of simple, transparent financing options to the consumer," Suh says.

Of note: Affirm shares soared more than 13% Tuesday morning.

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