Fiserv and Affirm team up to feed growing BNPL demand

The news: Fiserv partnered with US buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Affirm so merchants using Carat (Fiserv’s omnichannel commerce solution) can offer Affirm to their customers later this year, per a press release.

More on this: Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout offering will let customers view side-by-side biweekly and monthly payment options for each purchase. It’s yet another BNPL integration for Fiserv: The firm already works with Zip, and in October, it enabled Synchrony’s BNPL offering for small businesses using the Clover point-of-sale (POS) platform.

Affirm’s integration with Carat will offer an “even more seamless onboarding experience” for merchants, Affirm chief revenue officer Geoff Kott told Bloomberg.

Why it’s worth watching: Despite looming BNPL regulation to address the financial risks involved with these products, consumer BNPL use hasn’t faltered.

  • Ten percent of US digital buyers have used BNPL, mirroring Google Pay use and outperforming use of retail apps from brands like Starbucks, which 8% of digital buyers said they’ve used, per a February Bizrate Insights survey.
  • And the number of US BNPL users is expected to grow 31.4% year over year (YoY) in 2022 and hit 59.3 million, per Insider Intelligence forecasts.

Fiserv’s opportunity: Partnering with Affirm can help Fiserv strengthen its merchant offerings.

Large retailers like Target offer several BNPL options at checkout. This makes it hard for BNPL providers to stand out, but it lets customers choose a provider that best fits their payment needs. And having these options may help drive customer loyalty for merchants—which can solidify merchant loyalty for Fiserv.

Affirm’s benefit: Working with Fiserv can help Affirm step up its merchant distribution to reach a wider base of customers and bolster gross merchandise volume, which surged 115% YoY in its fiscal Q2 (ended December 31, 2021). Volume generated from the deal may help the provider cover losses from its last quarter. The tie-up also builds on similar partnerships with Verifone and Adyen.