This week, global payments platform Adyen announced it had formed a partnership with Affirm where Adyen’s merchants can now add Affirm as a payment option at checkout.
For the unacquainted, San Francisco-based Affirm offers individuals the option of a payment method that allows them to pay over time online and in-store – an increasingly popular phenomenon more commonly known as “Buy Now, Pay Later.” (The company just filed to go public on Wednesday).
I was curious about Adyen’s motivation behind striking up this partnership so hopped on a call with Brian Dammeir, Adyen’s president of North America, for more details.
He told me that first and foremost, what drives Adyen and its approach it takes into bringing payments onto its platform is merchant demand. And that, of course, is driven by consumer demand.
Dammeir reiterates the crucial role the COVID-19 pandemic has played in the recent traction in the “Buy Now, Pay Later” space.
“Merchants are looking for alternative forms of credit to offer consumers, so extending Affirm as a payment – along with other BNPL methods on our platform – made sense.”
The benefit of working with multiple players is that the various providers often have different focuses on different types of consumers, he said.
“Adyen is a payments technology doing bank things in an industry where a lot of banks are trying to do a lot of technology things,” Dammeir told FinLedger.
“Since we cover all channels – from online, in app or in store – across a wide set of geographies, we offer a myriad of local payment methods,” he said.
The pandemic – among other things – has led to contact enablement, especially in the United States, go from being a “nice to have to a must-have.”
When it comes to digital channels in general, he adds, the merchants that used digital used to be in the minority. Now they are in the majority.
“We saw a 60% jump in e-commerce on our platform when COVID hit,” Dammeir told FinLedger. “And we’ve seen a lot of that volume sustain. A lot of merchants are taking a look at that channel and asking, ‘What do I need to do to improve these flows?’ Most are exiting firefighting mode and transitioning to a new normal as the new expectation of the consumer is there.”
Demand clearly exists. In the first half of 2020, Adyen processed over $150 billion worth of transactions on its platform globally.
Meanwhile, Klarna revealed Thursday that it has reached a “record” 11 million customers in the US, representing a 106% increase year over year and a swift climb from the 10 million milestone reached only three weeks before.
Klarna went on to say that it currently has more than two million monthly active users in the US. In September alone, it added, the Klarna app accounted for 64% of all buy now, pay later app downloads in the US and took the number one spot among the most downloaded shopping apps in the US App Store, ahead of giants such as Amazon, Walmart and Target. The app also recorded an all-time high in shopping volume in September.
I’ve been working on a broader BNPL feature for a while now, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!