Affirm CEO: Our new buy now, pay later card is really the ‘anti-credit card’


Affirm CEO Max Levchin on Friday touted the firm’s new bodily debt card providing, telling CNBC he believes it is going to provide consumers advantages much like these of a credit score card however with extra upfront readability.

“It should not be called a credit card, for sure, in part because it’s sort of the anti-credit card. I don’t mean to be provocative,” Levchin mentioned on “Closing Bell,” criticizing what he sees as an absence of transparency round credit score card curiosity funds and late charges.

“Literally every single one of these things is the exact opposite for Affirm’s card,” Levchin added. “You know exactly what you’re going to pay. You know exactly what the schedule for payment is and there will be no late fees under any circumstances, so I think it’s sort of the exact opposite in many ways. It does serve the same purpose: You get to pay for things right now or over time.”

Affirm announced its debit card providing Thursday, and the firm mentioned it anticipates making the card extensively obtainable later in 2021. Affirm, which Levchin based in 2012, gives what’s referred to as “buy now, pay later” providers. It companions with a variety of retailers, reminiscent of Peloton, and affords prospects point-of-sale loans that may be paid off in fastened month-to-month installments. Interest charges on the loans can range between 0% and 30%, however Affirm doesn’t cost compounding curiosity.

Affirm has usually been related to on-line purchases. But Levchin informed CNBC the firm’s debit card providing is a recognition of assorted client preferences and the position offline buying continues to play.

“I do know that our user base, primarily millennials and Gen Zers, love their debit cards. They love to transact with them offline, and the purpose of this product was to bring ‘buy now, pay later’ functionality that they’ve really loved online — and really offline as well with us, but have never had in a card — to where they are.”

“The debit card form factor is a metaphor for everyday spend. That’s where we’re trying to get to,” added Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal and former chairman of Yelp’s board.

According to a press release, customers of the Affirm Card will have the ability to pay for a purchase order in full from their checking account. Or, the launch states, they will select to pay in installments through the use of what the firm calls its “unique post-purchase feature.” Affirm says on its web site that customers will have the ability to handle the purchases by its cellular app.

Affirm went public in mid-January, gaining 98% on its first day to shut at $97.24. The inventory ended Friday’s session beneath that stage, at $93.06, placing the firm’s market cap at roughly $24 billion. Shares traded as excessive as $146.90 apiece earlier in February.

Before Affirm’s first commerce in January, Levchin informed CNBC that its “goal is to be a viable alternative to credit cards.”

Affirm, which ranked No. 23 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 record, was a beneficiary of the stay-at-home economic system as extra individuals shopped on-line and turned to its providers. As the financial reopening broadens out and consumers begin spending in several methods, Levchin mentioned, he believes Affirm’s debit card positions it properly to capitalize.

“There’s going to be a lot of interesting challenges as the country reopens, but the dominant thread there is going to be reopening will create a lot more opportunity for this product, which we have proven is what our customer wants and needs,” Levchin mentioned.



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