Affirm Looks To Launch Everyday-Use Virtual Cards

  • Diana Asatryan
  • May 8, 2017
  • 1

Affirm, the lending startup that provides loans at the POS, is looking into launching everyday-use virtual credit cards, Bank Innovation has learned.

The company, launched by a PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, provides point-of-sale loans that allow customers, particularly millennials, to finance purchases with participating merchants. Once approved, consumers receive a one-time use virtual card via Affirm’s app, which they can use for the purchase. Then, depending on individual consumers, Affirm splits the bill into monthly payments.

The company is now looking into launching another virtual card, “which consumers can use every day,” Ryan Metcalf, Affirm’s chief of staff, told Bank Innovation.

“Currently, customers use Affirm two to three times a year on average for purchases, and then just repay the loans. With this card, we know exactly where consumers will spend their funds, and what they’ll buy,” he said. “So now we want consumers to use our card on daily basis, from purchasing, to cash flow management.”

The company is currently exploring the service, with plans to roll out “a couple of” features in the next year, according to Metcalf.

Launched in 2012, Affirm raised $425 million in total debt and equity, originating “hundreds of millions of dollars” in loans.

“Our balance sheet has grown 4X year over year for the last five years,” Metcalf said. “Where other lenders had to scale back, we exceeded our projected expectations, as we are doubling down on our B2B business, and at the same time moving to direct to consumer later this year.”

The goal is to offer “transparent” and “honest” financial products, which do not hurt consumers’ financial health, he added. “A lot of financial products out there really hurt the customer with retroactive interests, or late fees, and people accept that’s the way it is. We are now trying to lead this new category in fintech, called ‘honest finance,’ and transparency is key.” 

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