Merchant Innovation

Buy Now, Pay Later With BCBG’s Pre-Approved Cards

There must be some organized shoppers out there who keep to their budgets during the holiday season, but just as many overshoot and find themselves in sticky financial situations come the new year. However, a new payment method from BCBG might help fashion-obsessed shoppers stick to their budgets this year.

BCBG released more information on Wednesday (Dec. 16) about its Affirm Virtual Card program that pre-approves customers for dollar amounts and then provides them with one time-use store cards. Instead of paying for massive bills all at once at the first pay period after Christmas, BCBG shoppers can instead pay the store back in smaller installments over time. Touting the Affirm Virtual Card’s financial transparency that makes keeping track of spending easier for consumers, Max Levchin, founder of Affirm Inc., explained that using the card meshes with what consumers want out of transactions with their favorite brands.

“Affirm’s new Virtual Card is the best way to buy for lots of people, especially millennials,” Levchin said in a statement. “It’s honest. It’s transparent. It’s what this generation of shoppers wants and expects.”

Offering seamless and optimized payment methods to consumers makes sense for retailers like BCBG if it eases burdens that keep consumers from shopping, but if those merchants don’t see much financial benefit to the move, products like Affirm’s Virtual Card aren’t likely to see much movement with brands. However, average order values jump nearly 80 percent when shoppers plan on paying with such a method, and conversion rates also increase by about 20 percent. Moreover, of those who sign up for a card, 36 percent come back for return purchases — 82 percent of which are larger than the first.

It’s hard to see payment methods like Affirm’s catching on in verticals with products that don’t come with the high prices usually associated with the newest fashion, but for BCBG’s customers, the Affirm Virtual Card is looking like a match made in heaven.

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