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Buy now, pay later company Affirm pushes further into retail gift cards

Affirm said it has been testing its service for gift card purchases for a month. “We did have a goal of getting it tested and wrapped in time for holiday because the most popular days for gift card (purchases) are right before Christmas,” Wayne Pommen, Affirm’s Chief Revenue Officer, told Reuters.

The gift cards essentially give Affirm a way to expand its BNPL service, which is typically marketed online, into physical retail stores. Affirm CEO Max Levchin in November told analysts that the company is expanding into other segments after being in an “e-commerce cage for a very long time.”

Affirm said shoppers’ total charges are provided upfront and there are no late or hidden fees. Neither Affirm nor Blackhawk would say what fees they collect from retailers participating in the program.

The company isn’t the first BNPL brand to allow gift card purchases. Stockholm-based Klarna also lets shoppers purchase digital gift cards through its app.

Blackhawk earns revenue when shoppers activate their gift cards and collects management, transaction and technology fees from its enterprise clients who want to be on its digital gift-card mall, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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