Though the Great Recession remains in the rearview mirror for many Americans, the aftermath of the worst economic crash in recent memory has left its indelible mark on the world of consumer finance and lending. Affirm, a company started in 2012 by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is among the most notable finance-oriented companies to bring a credit alternative to consumers wary of shouldering long-term debt and staggering APRs.
A raft of retail partners including Botkier, Casper, Karmaloop, Cole Haan, Wayfair, Expedia, ThredUp, BlueFly, Cotopaxi and The RealReal have signed up with Affirm to give shoppers the convenience of financing their purchases with transparent, fixed interest rates over set periods of time; the longer the loan period, the more interest the consumer typically pays.
After finding success as a point-of-sale lender, however, Affirm is now speaking more directly to consumers with an updated logo and exclusive, personalized offers based on their interests and buying histories.
“In the five years since we launched, our partnerships with retailers have given us incredible insight into where, how, when and why consumers buy,” said Levchin, who serves as Affirm’s chief executive. “We now have an opportunity to use those insights to introduce consumers to the retailers where they can get the best deal available to them with Affirm. The next evolution of our brand speaks to the confidence consumers have when they buy with us.”
Consumers using the Affirm app can use the retail discovery tool to find shops that participate with the company and find and bookmark personalized offers as they review all of the deals at their disposal.
Affirm unveiled these changes just as consumers are gearing up for holiday shopping—and with it, the attendant temptation to overspend on gifts, décor, apparel and more. The company conducted research on consumer challenges around festive spending and discovered that 70 percent took on credit card debt thanks to last year’s holiday season, a financial quagmire that’s increased their caution toward any seasonal shopping this November-December.
“Consumers tell us what they love most about Affirm is the ability to buy the things they need responsibly, in a way that gives them the ability to free up cash by spreading out costs over time,” Affirm chief product officer Jack Chou, said. “The holidays are a time when we know consumers are wary about overspending and we’re excited to give them really great offers that will also help them avoid post-holiday financial regret.”