Executive Briefing

Affirm’s clever end-around, Snap and Chipotle earnings

The comeback tour continues.

Hi all. There’s something fun about Snapchat and Chipotle — both in the middle of awkward but so-far successful comebacks — reporting earnings at the same time. While they’re different businesses with different problems, both have bounced back from potential near-collapses and are successfully — so far! — rebuilding their audiences and reputations.

But first, a quick note about Affirm, the consumer finance company run by Max Levchin of PayPal fame.

Affirm’s clever Apple Pay end-around

Affirm is known for its instant loans that let customers pay for products over installment plans, with interest rates ranging from 0% to 30%. Now 7 years old, it works with 3,000 merchants, from Walmart to Peloton, and boasts more than 3 million shoppers.

But if you zoom out, the bigger picture is that Affirm is trying to disintermediate and disrupt the credit card and banking industries with what it says are more modern, transparent, and responsible loans and practices.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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