With citizens across the globe finding themselves in a financial crunch, Goldman Sachs’ new product may be coming at just the right time. The investment bank launched a point-of-sale (POS) financing solution that will help users pay for larger purchases over time.
The POS tool, MarcusPay, helps borrowers afford items ranging from $750 to $10,000 by paying for them over the course of 12 to 18 months. Goldman Sachs doesn’t require any money down and there are no fees for purchases made with MarcusPay. The interest rates for MarcusPay purchases range from 10.99% to 25.99% APR. These rates are competitive with those of credit cards, which average just over 15% APR.
Goldman is piloting MarcusPay with JetBlue Vacations, a partnership that was formed before the recent pandemic quashed any and all vacation planning.
Aside from the launch partner fumble, MarcusPay faces a few more hurdles to compete with companies such as Sezzle, Affirm, and Klarna, which have been gaining traction in the U.S. in the POS financing space for the past few years.
The first issue is that MarcusPay requires users to apply for financing during the transaction flow. The extra hurdle of filling out an application in the middle of the purchasing experience may be enough for users to abandon the purchase altogether. Second, the popularity of POS financing is due, in large part, to millennial consumers that do not have a credit card. This is quite different from Goldman’s target market, which is primarily comprised of mass affluent consumers. Additionally, the POS financing product may result in cannibalization– that is, Goldman’s credit card holders may opt to use the POS financing product instead of their credit card in order to benefit from a potentially lower interest rate.
The one benefit that MarcusPay has in competing in the POS financing space is that its service is generally geared toward financing larger purchases.