Apple has unveiled a new payment product. State that stocks have fallen.

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Shares of Affirm, which had traded around $170 apiece, are down 76% in the past 12 months.

Courtesy of Affirm

The “buy now, pay later” space is becoming increasingly crowded and that’s bad news for

To affirm

Assets.

Affirm (ticker: AFRM) will now face competition from the tech giant

Apple

(AAPL), which announced buy now, pay later for a product called Apple Pay Later at its closely watched annual developer conference on Monday.

BNPL’s announcement was sandwiched between Apple unveiling a new range of laptops and updated software for its iPhones, but it was enough to send Affirm shares down 5.5% in trade of Monday.

It’s been a tough year for Affirm as the payments company faces increasing competition from traditional financial firms as well as tech players like Apple.

The company has also been challenged by the broader pullback in shares of high-flying tech companies that have largely benefited from the pandemic. Today, with the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates and the subsequent likelihood of a slowing economy, investor appetite for money-losing companies is diminishing.

Shares of Affirm, which had traded around $170 each, have fallen 76% in the past 12 months and recently changed hands at $23.72.

The company said in a statement that it has more than 200,000 integrated merchant partners and consumers can use Affirm at virtually any retailer through its app.

“Consumers, especially now, are looking for more transparent and flexible alternatives to credit cards. Affirm has been offering this for nearly a decade in a very differentiated way, with personalized payment plans with terms ranging from six weeks to 60 months,” the company said. “Even as more vendors join the bandwagon we’ve started, the price tag is still huge, and we believe no one can do what our team and technology can do.”

Apple’s new product will be managed through its Wallet app on the iPhone. Customers will be able to use the BNPL service on items purchased where Apple Pay is accepted. Rather than paying for the item all at once, customers will make four payments over six weeks and incur no charges.

Other companies offering BNPL products, such as

PayPal

(PYPL) and Block (SQ), formerly known as Square, saw their shares change little during Monday’s trading session and actually ended the day up 0.3% and 0.4 %, respectively.

Apple, meanwhile, saw its shares climb 0.5% on Monday.

Write to Carleton English at [email protected]

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