Walmart has partnered with payments company Affirm to offer shoppers the option of paying for their purchases in installments at almost 4,000 Supercenters nationwide, according to an Affirm press release.
The retail giant also plans to begin offering Affirm as a payment option on Walmart.com in the coming weeks, according to the announcement. In-store and online, the pay-over-time option will be offered on items ranging in value from $150 to $2,000, excluding some merchandise such as groceries, alcohol, tobacco and pharmacy items.
After shoppers are approved for an Affirm payment plan, they can choose from installment repayment terms of three, six or 12 months, and are shown the exact repayment amount they’ll owe each month, with interest displayed in dollars. There are no late fees.
Affirm already is available as a payment option through Walmart-owned brands Hayneedle and Allswell. Walmart and Affirm were first reported to be working together more than a year and a half ago, when Walmart was said to be piloting Affirm’s technology. The partnership was seen as a sign that the brick-and-mortar retailer was beginning to evaluate technologies to make it easier for shoppers to reach purchasing decisions for items they might otherwise have passed up.
Affirm launched in 2012 by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, who still leads the company as CEO. However, other companies more recently have joined the fray. In just the last several months, Square has launched a similar concept for its own merchants, and Indochino offers installment options through Klarna, and Rebecca Minkoff tapped Afterpay for its service offering.
The payments sector is very crowded and competitive, with the likes of PayPal and Square seen as alternatives to the traditional processing firms, but also a newer crop of mobile payments providers are increasingly in the mix. All of these parties are always looking for ways to make their services more attractive to retailers, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see more installment payment services emerge.