MONEY 20/20, LAS VEGAS – October 23, 2017 – Affirm, Inc., the company started by serial entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest financial services, today announced the public release of its new mobile application designed to reinvent personal credit.
The new Affirm app, tested for over a year and now available for download from the App Store and Google Play, lets customers split big online purchases into smaller, fixed payments with a simple virtual card — eliminating the anxiety and uncertainty of traditional credit cards.
“Credit today is broken — primarily because the incentives for banks that issue it are built on business models that profit from consumers’ failure,” said Levchin. “Our mission is to fix this inherently broken model. The future of credit is not a traditional card, it’s a modern app that puts consumers in control, helping them use credit simply and deliberately while giving them more confidence over their financial lives.”
In 2016, credit card issuers in the United States raked in $94.3 billion in fees driven by as many as 12 different fees, including $12 billion in penalties alone. As a result, more and more consumers increasingly try to avoid using credit cards, the most ubiquitous consumer credit product, but rarely have a fair and honest alternative.
A recent study conducted by Affirm of more than 1,600 U.S. adults found that 67 percent of Americans have an actual fear of debt. Almost a third — 32 percent — are fearful because they don't know how long it would take to pay off. And, nearly three out of four – 72 percent of respondents – who have carried a credit card balance, worried about how much their purchases would end up costing in total, including interest.
The research also found that 46 percent of respondents who have carried a credit card balance enjoyed some purchases less due to carrying that balance. Eighty-seven percent of respondents expressed interest in a simple way to pay for large purchases over time that was not a credit card. And, 68 percent of respondents cited "knowing exactly how much I'll owe and when, including interest," as the most appealing element of a simple credit card alternative.
To align its products with the interests of consumers and put them in control over how they make big purchases, Affirm has built its financial services business on three simple policies:
The ensuing benefits to customers have been equally simple. Affirm users have peace of mind in putting a fixed number of payments toward discrete purchases instead of nebulous, never-ending revolving balances. They have a feeling of accomplishment in making real monthly progress towards paying down debts whose total amounts are set and clear before they press the buy button. And they appreciate the simplicity and self-control mechanisms of honest credit with no hidden fees, fine print or surprises.
“Our unique transparency gives financial control to consumers – something especially important to Millennials, but highly valuable to everyone,” said Levchin. “Fair and honest credit is what consumers want and expect today. It’s high time to deliver.”
With more than 1,000 retail partners and more than 1 million loans issued, Affirm is now releasing its first direct-to-consumer product with the aim of benefiting both customers and retailers.
The new Affirm app is a simple, fast experience that requires only a few taps to split any big online purchase into smaller, fixed payments. Users just open the app and request a one-time-use virtual card to make a purchase wherever they’re shopping. They only take out the credit they need and know up front exactly how much they’ll owe on the schedule and terms of their choosing. There are no hidden fees, fine print, or penalties for early repayment.
“Providing our users with the ability to use Affirm at their favorite shops online is just another step towards reinventing personal credit,” said Jack Chou, Affirm’s head of product. “We’re excited about the possibilities we can offer consumers when it comes to their financial well-being.”
Affirm was founded with a goal to create honest financial products and services that empower consumers and improve lives. Our goal is to revolutionize the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers. Today, Affirm provides shoppers an alternative to traditional credit cards at the point of sale, giving them the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. Unlike payment options that have compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll pay each month — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Affirm partners with over 1,200 merchants, including travel retailers like Expedia, Orbitz, CheapAir and Suiteness, giving shoppers the option to pay with Affirm at checkout.