Amazon Rolling Out BNPL Option for SMB Customers
Amazon.com is partnering with the buy now, pay later (BNPL) service Affirm to offer small business owners an alternative checkout option, CNBC first reported Thursday. While Amazon already offers customers the option to pay with Affirm if they have at least $50 worth of eligible items in their shopping cart, this expanded relationship with the service will now be part of Amazon Business, the e-commerce platform that caters to companies, according to CNBC.
CNBC reports that the service, with loans ranging from $100 to $20,000, will be available to all eligible small business customers by Black Friday (Nov. 24). It is specifically for sole proprietors, or small businesses owned by a single person, the most common form of business ownership in the U.S.
Total Retail's Take: While BNPL options were already popular abroad, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly increased its adoption among retailers and customers here in the U.S., especially among younger generations. An Insider Intelligence report shared in 2022 by Affirm said that by 2025, one in four shoppers were projected to use a BNPL option for checkout. According to Mercator, U.S. BNPL transaction volume is projected to surpass the $100 billion mark annually by 2024, up from $55 billion in 2021.
Affirm's Chief Revenue Officer Wayne Pommen said this new service on Amazon would help small business owners increase their purchasing power, better manage their cash flow, and accelerate their growth. If approved, SMBs can select from customized pay-over-time options of three months to 48 months with the confidence that they will never pay more than the amount agreed to upfront. This is another example of how retailers can cater to their B2B customers with services and tools that are attractive to individual B2C shoppers.