Rakuten, Afterpay Combine BNPL, Cash-Back Rewards


Buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform Afterpay is teaming up with shopping rewards and cash-back program Rakuten on a program that combines cash-back rewards and flexible payment schedules, according to a joint announcement.

MAC Cosmetics, Crocs, Ulta Beauty, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Ugg and Ray-Ban are among the thousands of retailers who will offer shoppers enrolled in both Rakuten and Afterpay cash back when they pay for their purchases in four interest-free installments, a double play that could help increase conversion rates and raise average order values.

“Working with Rakuten, we are able to help consumers spend responsibly during the busiest shopping season of the year, while also providing merchants with a two-in-one solution to deliver new customers and drive higher conversion rates,” said Melissa Davis, chief revenue officer at Afterpay, in the joint announcement.

With the combination of cash-back rewards and BNPL, Rakuten and Afterpay could help retailers attract high-value shoppers and increase their sales.

“Offering unique deals and incentives is a key strategy for driving conversions of more expensive, luxury products,” said Kristen Gall, president at Rakuten Rewards. “In fact, luxury items saw an 86% sales lift over non-luxury items in a recent cash-back promotion — showing that cash back is universally valued, and not just by habitual coupon-cutters.”

Related news: Afterpay: BNPL Purchases up 34% From Last Year

BNPL spending in the U.S. has increased 230% in the past year, with a 34% increase this holiday season compared to last year, according to an Afterpay report released last month. That includes a 30% year-over-year increase of people using Afterpay, with supply chain problems leading to 442% more shoppers buying goods in stores instead of waiting for them to arrive.

Fashion and fitness saw 26% and 46% increases, respectively, followed by housewares and beauty increases, including air fryers, candles and coffee makers, lash curlers and foundation.