Walmart's seasonal layaway program, which has run from late August through mid-December in previous years, allows customers to put items on hold with a small deposit and make a series of interest-free, regular payments until the total is paid off. Once paid off, customers could then pick their products up from their local Walmart store.
Instead, Walmart customers purchasing items online can now choose Affirm as a payment method at checkout and apply for a loan. Meanwhile, for in-store purchases, customers can apply for a loan online, pick their desired payment plan and scan a single use barcode at the register.
"We've learned a lot in the past year as our customers’ needs and shopping habits have changed," a Walmart spokesperson told FOX Business Thursday. "Last holiday season, we removed seasonal layaway from most of our stores with the exception of select jewelry items at select stores, and based on what we learned, we are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers."
According to its website, Walmart will partner with Affirm to offer 10% to 30% APR on a wide variety of product categories, including electronics, video games, toys, home, arts & crafts, musical instruments, home improvement, auto, sports & outdoors, tools, baby, jewelry and apparel. Some promotional items on Walmart.com will also be made available at 0% APR.
Loan repayment options range between three months to a year for purchases between $144 to $799.99 and 1 to 2 years for purchases between $800 to $2,000. Affirm does not charge any late fees, prepayment fees, annual fees, hidden fees or service fees to open or close accounts.
Affirm has forged partnerships with over 29,000 merchants, including Amazon, VRBO, Nordstrom, Poshmark, Dyson, Williams Sonoma brands, Peloton and Casper. As of the time of publication, Affirm shares are up more than 5%.
In addition, Square has announced plans to enter the buy-now, pay-later space through an acquisition of Australian payment startup Afterpay in an all-stock deal valued at around $29 billion. The deal would allow Square to offer buy-now, pay-later options in its Seller and Cash apps.
Apple has also reportedly considered a buy-now, pay-later option in partnership with Goldman Sachs that would allow Apple Pay users to split their payments into four interest-free installments, or across several months with interest.