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Affirm’s Expansion of BNPL Services to Walmart Self-Checkouts

Introduction

Affirm Holdings, a leading provider of “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services, has recently expanded its partnership with Walmart. This collaboration now includes the integration of Affirm’s payment options into Walmart’s self-checkout kiosks across more than 4,500 stores in the United States. This strategic move reflects the growing significance of flexible payment solutions in retail and aligns with consumer preferences for varied payment methods.

The Growth of BNPL Services

  • Definition and Popularity: BNPL services allow customers to pay for their purchases in installments. This payment option has gained significant popularity, offering an alternative to traditional credit.
  • Rising Usage Statistics: The usage of BNPL services has been soaring. For instance, the number of customers opting for BNPL surged to 42.5% on Cyber Monday from the previous year, with shopping worth $940 million processed through this mode​​.

Affirm and Walmart: A Strengthening Partnership

  • Initial Collaboration: Affirm’s partnership with Walmart began in 2019, enabling customers to use BNPL options at over 4,000 Walmart Supercenters and on Walmart.com​​.
  • Expansion to Self-Checkouts: The latest expansion brings Affirm’s services to Walmart’s self-checkout kiosks, widening the scope of their collaboration​​.
  • Consumer Demand: Affirm’s research indicates that over half of Americans desire BNPL options at checkout, with 76% of consumers likely to delay or avoid purchases without such options​​.
Affirm logo

Affirm’s Market Performance and Other Partnerships

  • Stock Performance: Affirm’s shares have seen significant growth, increasing by approximately 350% within the year​​.
  • Other Major Collaborations: Besides Walmart, Affirm has also partnered with Amazon.com, offering BNPL options during Black Friday​​.
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BNPL’s Global Reach and Economic Context

  • Expansion in Wealthier Nations: BNPL is not limited to the U.S. market; it is growing in wealthier parts of the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE​​.
  • Income and BNPL Usage: Higher-income households tend to use BNPL more frequently. In households earning over $100,000 annually, 17% are currently using BNPL​​.

Walmart’s Own BNPL Ambitions

  • Walmart’s FinTech Venture: Walmart plans to introduce its BNPL service through a company it backs, potentially in 2023​​.
  • Impact on Affirm Partnership: It’s unclear how this new venture will affect Walmart’s existing partnership with Affirm​​.

Conclusion

The expansion of Affirm’s BNPL services to Walmart’s self-checkouts marks a significant milestone in the evolution of retail payment options. It reflects a broader trend towards flexible, consumer-oriented payment solutions, catering to the diverse financial needs and preferences of shoppers. As BNPL services continue to gain traction globally, they are reshaping the landscape of consumer finance and retail commerce.

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