It may not seem like it, but there’s something of a quiet war unfolding across the world’s fintech stage. As we dive further into a new decade, we’re also testing out new ways to purchase goods and services – and something’s out to steal the spotlight from good old-fashioned credit cards.
The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) industry has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. While credit cards saw their peak usage in 2016, BNPL has since pushed hard and is expected to hit $680 billion in transaction volume by 2025.
Amongst many other companies, American retail giant Walmart has taken a great interest in the BNPL model – let’s take a closer look at how the system works, and how Walmart has implemented it.
In simple terms, buy now, pay later (BNPL) services allow you to make a purchase by paying for your goods or services in installments, rather than by paying a full upfront sum.
You don’t pay interest on these payments – rather, you pay fees to the BNPL service provider. Most payments are done across the course of a few weeks, although depending on the amount, this can stretch out to the length of most small loans.
Ever since its humble origins back in the 1960s, Walmart has come to dominate America’s retail experience. Part of this successful 50+ year run has depended on the company’s ability to consistently change with the times, and Walmart’s payment methods are no exception.
Here’s a list of the main Walmart buy now, pay later associates:
Walmart has chosen only these four BNPL partners as of 2021 – leaving out competitors such as Sezzle and Afterpay.
Let’s take a closer look at how these four handle buy now, pay later purchases made at Walmart:
While the other three are supported, Affirm boasts the distinction of being Walmart’s official BNPL partner.
Affirm’s process is pretty straightforward. You can get started by visiting this webpage, and then selecting a desired payment plan. For eligible goods, Affirm offers 3, 6, or 12 month payments – all with varying fees.
This process will then send you a barcode, which can be scanned at the checkout counter in your local Walmart. This legitimizes the BNPL purchase – all you need to do now is pay your dues each month, and you’re good to go.
Zip splits your payment into four installments, which are spread across a period of six weeks.
To purchase Walmart items through Zip, you’ll first need to download the Zip app, and then search through the app for Walmart. Simply add your items, choose to pay with Zip, and review the details of your 6-week payment schedule.
Zip works through Visa, and generates a ‘virtual credit card’ at this step – giving you a temporarily available credit card number, expiry date, and CVC. You can enter this at the Visa option of Walmart’s checkout page.
If you’re at a store in-person, you can also use the Zip app’s virtual card to pay at an NFC terminal.
Like the name suggests, Paypal’s new BNPL solution offers a 4-installment plan to finance whatever you’d like to buy from Walmart.
You can simply select Paypal as your preferred payment option on checkout. Once the Walmart website redirects you to Paypal’s portal, you’ll get the option to choose Paypal Pay in 4.
Once completed, Paypal will initiate an installment schedule, wherein a set amount will be debited from your Paypal balance regularly until all four installments are paid.
Similar to Zip, Klarna’s process requires the use of their app – which you can download and search within for the Walmart store.
You can then choose to pay with Klarna on the checkout screen, or even pay in-store by speaking with your cashier and sharing your BNPL details from the app.
Once complete, Klarna expects you to pay in four installments, each separated by a period of two weeks.
Walmart does not offer BNPL payments for all of its products. You can use the service for the following product categories:
- Video games
- Musical instruments
- Home Improvement
- Arts and crafts
- Sports & Outdoors
- Baby consumables
- Miscellaneous supplies
- Checkout counter merchandise
- Groceries and food
- Personal care
- Pet supplies
- Money services
- Specialty items
- Pharmacy, health, and wellness
- Weapons and ammunition
- 1-hour photos
- Wireless service plans
Walmart offers a lower and higher limit for all BNPL transactions. At Walmart, BNPL is valid only for purchases between $144 and $2000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Return a Financed Item?
Yes – Walmart has an extensive return policy, and should take your returned items provided that you’ve kept their receipt.
Does BNPL Affect Credit Score?
Some providers such as Zip and Klarna don’t need credit checks. Others, such as Affirm, will take a look at your credit score. Affirm in particular expects one above 600, and defaulting on payments will result in credit score deductions.
Do these services charge any interest for goods purchased at Walmart?
Most only charge fees. Affirm, however, charges interest between 0-30% APR, depending on a customer’s credit.
Does Walmart take Afterpay?
Walmart does not accept Afterpay. We recommend using Affirm which is the official pay later partner for Walmart.
While Walmart’s pay later program is fairly new, they’ve made a big difference by supporting four major players in the field.
With installment periods varying between one year to a few weeks, it’s great to see that spending at the super-retailer has become more accessible than ever before.