As the buy now, pay later (BNPL) trend gains momentum and analysts predict its dominance in 2024, Google’s recent adoption of this technology is set to propel it to the forefront next year.
Affirm and Zip have separately announced that their BNPL services will soon be available to U.S. consumers making online transactions through Google Pay at selected merchants. This integration is scheduled to launch in a pilot phase during the first quarter of the upcoming year, expanding to more merchants in subsequent phases.
In the pilot phase, shoppers at select merchants will encounter a promotional banner on the Google Pay online checkout page, highlighting the BNPL options provided by Zip and Affirm. Users opting for BNPL as their payment method, upon approval, can conveniently spread their payments into installments for purchases exceeding $35.
Larry Diamond, Zip Co-founder, and U.S. CEO, expressed, “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.”
Zip’s Pay-In-4 BNPL tool allows for four installments over six weeks, while Affirm offers varying repayment terms, from four interest-free payments every two weeks to monthly installments.
Jamie Cunningham, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Affirm, noted, “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.”
Uncommonly, Google has chosen to incorporate two vendors, Zip and Affirm, in this BNPL endeavor. Speculations suggest that this move might be part of a testing phase to determine user preferences during the pilot, potentially leading to an exclusive partnership with one BNPL player upon official launch. Alternatively, Google may be strategically expanding its user base by catering to consumers familiar with either Zip or Affirm, widening its reach across diverse customer segments.
This development closely follows the footsteps of Google’s competitors; Apple Pay introduced its BNPL tool, Apple Pay Later, in October, and Amazon ventured into the BNPL space last month in collaboration with Affirm. With Google Pay entering the BNPL arena, making it more accessible for consumers, the usage of BNPL is poised to skyrocket in 2024, particularly as consumers recover from holiday spending while grappling with rising living costs.