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Citi Teams With FreedomPay to Offer Payments Choice at Checkout

woman paying at clothing store

Payments platform FreedomPay has teamed with Citi to enable Citi Pay products at point-of-purchase.

“This collaboration provides consumers with flexibility in selecting their preferred lending solutions at the point-of-sale, further enhancing their shopping experience,” the companies said in a Thursday (Dec. 6) press release.

The partnership also gives consumers control of their financial decisions and lets merchants offer a wider array of payment options, such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) or digital-only credit cards, the release added.

And research by PYMNTS Intelligence has shown that payment choice is crucial to consumers, so much so that they rank it above 33 other factors when picking a merchant.

Meanwhile, Citi’s research has found that 9 out of 10 consumers want their merchants to offer multiple payment options at checkout, said Terry O’Neil, head of connected commerce and strategic growth for Citi Retail Services.

O’Neil told PYMNTS Karen Webster earlier this week that there is increasing value to be had by introducing those options at the top of the sales funnel, even before checkout, so consumers have an incentive long before they decide to buy.

“O’Neil said that embedding payment products next to merchandise on shopping pages — telling consumers, for instance, that they can buy a sofa or a fridge for a certain payment over several months — is critical in consumers feeling that a splurge or an unexpected expense is indeed affordable,” that report said.

He added that it’s not just about offering payment options, but giving customers visibility into how a purchase can fit into their budget.

“The monthly payment drives most of the consideration of the purchase, because it’s a budgeting tool,” said O’Neil.

Meanwhile, further research by PYMNTS shows that consumers will employ a range of different payment methods during the holiday shopping season.

Credit cards remain the most popular payment method, with 82% of millennials and 87% of higher-income consumers turning to cards to pay for at least some of their holiday purchases.

The research also shows that BNPL transactions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday rose 72% from the week before Thanksgiving.

“Merchants would do well to heed the clamor for stretching out payments, as 22% of consumers are seriously considering switching to competitors that offer this payment option,” PYMNTS wrote.