Afterpay Ramps Up its Mobile Payments Presence With Levi’s, Ray-Ban, & More Partnerships

June 7, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Layaway used to be the only way to buy items on installment payments, before the advent of the credit card. Now, that development has been brought back to life not only at the store level, but also at the mobile payments level with Afterpay. We’ve heard quite a bit out of these guys lately, and recently, Afterpay dropped word about its expansion efforts thanks to partnerships with several new firms.

Afterpay’s expansion efforts have been seen across the board, including partnerships in clothing, eyewear and cosmetics. Now, shoppers with Levi’s, O’Neill, Ray-Ban and Tarte Cosmetics can get the stuff they want on a small payment plan. This brings Afterpay’s total reach to right around 3,300 different retail partners reaching a combined total of 1.5 million customers just in the US.

For those not familiar, Afterpay works like a small-scale layaway plan; customers can get the items they want today and then pay the retailer on a four-payment plan set up through Afterpay. There’s no credit check required, and no upfront fees or interest, either, which means one more option for shoppers.

Afterpay CEO and co-founder Nick Molnar noted “As more millennials and Gen Zers shop for brands ranging from American icons like Levi’s, Ray-Ban, Jeffree Star Cosmetics and O’Neill to younger, category-shaking brands like Tarte Cosmetics, they are showing how important it is to them to be able to manage their budgets responsibly and never be caught off guard by surprise interest payments or fees.”

Given the apprehension around credit cards in some of the younger markets—who may have in some cases seen their family hurt by excessive debt—the ability to pay in a simple, four-payment installment plan is likely tempting. This flexibility also gives retailers more room to offer more products to customers, and gives customers more options in general, which improves their own ability to purchase. If a major store like Target or Walmart brings Afterpay in, though, then you’ll really know it’s made it; its substantial customer base, however, suggests it’s well on its way.

There’s a lot to like about Afterpay, who just made short-term consumer lending about as easy to use as a mobile payments system. That could lend a little extra life to the retail sector.