walmart could soon offer customers a new payment option, thanks to a potential agreement between the retailer and the financial company Affirm, Inc.. Sources close to the situation said the the wall street journal that Affirm executives are discussing with the Walmart team the possibility of offering installment loans to customers for certain physical and Walmart.com purchases.
The deal, which could roll out to test markets as soon as this fall, would allow Affirm to provide installment loans for more expensive Walmart products, especially those priced above $200, the sources said. WSJ. If implemented, installment loans would offer Walmart customers a new way to make payments over time, in addition to the existing option of Walmart-branded credit cards.
Walmart credit cards have been exclusively issued by Synchrony Financial since 2000.
While Walmart credit cards typically offer varying annual percentage rates (APRs) between 17.9 and 23.9 percent, Affirm offers installment loans with fixed APRs in the range of 10 to 30 percent, which can vary depending on the applicant’s credit rating. Additionally, Affirm is not known to charge late fees, while Synchrony’s Walmart Cards charge fees of up to $38 for late payments.
Since Affirm is more likely to extend credit to customers with limited credit histories, a deal with the company could allow Walmart to win business from consumers who are unable to qualify for the cards. Walmart credit cards issued by Synchrony. That could potentially boost sales at the retailer, which has seen U.S. same-store sales growth for the past 12 consecutive quarters. Walmart continues to innovate in an attempt to avoid competition from its biggest rival, the e-commerce giant Amazon.
Affirm, which already offers financing to consumers who purchase products from online retailers Wayfairis led by computer scientist and internet entrepreneur Max Levchin, one of the original co-founders of the online payment company PayPal.