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Affirm and Zip to Power BNPL for Google Pay

Affirm and Zip to Power BNPL for Google Pay
  • Google Pay is partnering with both Affirm and Zip to offer BNPL at checkout.
  • The BNPL option will launch with select merchants in the first quarter of next year in a pilot phase.
  • Google’s move into BNPL follows Apple’s launch of Apple Pay Later and Amazon’s integration with Affirm, both of which began this fall.

As buy now, pay later (BNPL) rises high on analysts’ lists of hot trends for 2024, today’s news of Google adopting the technology may make the BNPL trend climb to the top next year.

Affirm and Zip announced separately (Affirm’s and Zip’s) that their BNPL technology will be available to U.S. consumers transacting online using Google Pay at select merchants. The integration will roll out in a pilot phase in the first quarter of next year and will roll out to more merchants after that.

During the pilot phase, shoppers at select merchants will see a promotional banner at the top of the Google Pay online checkout page promoting Zip’s and Affirm’s BNPL options. If the user chooses BNPL as their payment method and are approved, they can spread out their payments in installments for purchases over $35.

“With Zip available in the Google Pay checkout experience, we are bridging a gap and providing a flexible credit product for the many consumers overlooked by traditional credit products,” said Zip Co-founder and U.S. CEO Larry Diamond. “By offering Zip payment solutions through Google Pay, we’re empowering consumers with more choices while providing merchants with a powerful tool to increase conversion rates and build lasting customer relationships. It’s a win-win scenario where convenience meets commerce, fostering a more dynamic and responsive shopping experience.”

Zip’s Pay-In-4 BNPL tool is limited to four installments spread across six weeks, while Affirm offers consumers repayment terms that range from four interest-free payments every two weeks to monthly installments.

“By integrating Affirm into Google Pay, we are making it easier for consumers to take advantage of Affirm’s flexible and transparent payment options and for merchants to drive growth,” said Affirm Director of Strategic Partnerships Jamie Cunningham. “This is an exciting step forward in our distribution strategy, as roughly half of shoppers are using digital wallets more frequently than they did before the pandemic and mobile commerce is growing faster than overall e-commerce.”

Google’s use of two vendors in this area is unusual. It is possible that it plans to test which offering is most popular among users during the pilot phase and then limit its partnership to one BNPL player for the official launch. However, it’s more likely that Google aims to expand its customer base by targeting users familiar with either Zip or Affirm, enhancing its reach across different customer segments.

Also worth noting is how closely Google is following its competition. Apple Pay rolled out its own BNPL tool, Apple Pay Later, in October and Amazon entered the BNPL space last month in partnership with Affirm. With Google Pay joining the ranks and making BNPL more accessible for consumers, the use of BNPL is likely to skyrocket in 2024, especially as consumers recover from holiday spending while fighting cost of living increases.

Photo by Matthew Kwong on Unsplash