“It should not be called a credit card for sure in part because it’s sort of the anti-credit card,” says Affirm co-founder and CEO Max Levchin. “I don’t need to be provocative but the idea of credit cards fundamentally is to get you to spend, get into debt, and stay in debt. Literally, every single one of these things is the exact opposite for Affirm’s card.”
Affirm’s Debit Card Is The Anti-Credit Card
It should not be called a credit card for sure in part because it’s sort of the anti-credit card. I don’t need to be provocative but the idea of credit cards fundamentally is to get you to spend, get into debt, and stay in debt. You will not know when you’re done paying off any specific purchase. You’re not really sure exactly how much you’re gonna pay. You should actually expect late fees if you miss a payment.
Literally, every single one of these things is the exact opposite for Affirm’s card. You know exactly what you’re going to pay. You know exactly what the schedule of repayment is and there’ll be no late fees under any circumstances. It’s sort of the exact opposite in many ways. It does serve the same purpose. You get to pay for things right now or over time.
Card Form Factor Is Extraordinarily Elegant
I don’t really know how long the card as a form factor will be with us, but I do think it’s extraordinarily elegant. The majority of the offline world certainly in the US still transacts with plastic and chips these days so I think it’s important to meet the customer where they are. I do know that our user base is primarily millennials and Gen Z’s. They love their debit cards they love to transact with them offline.
The purpose of this product was to bring by functionality that they have really loved online and really offline as well with us but have never had in a card. Particularly, a card that is embedded inside their daily everyday spend tool. The debit card form factor is a metaphor for everyday spend and that’s what we’re trying to get to.
What I Care About Is The Return Of The Country
The primary signal that I care about is the return of the country. We’re all kind of holding our breath a little bit to see when vaccines are coming. There are a bunch of reopenings and, knock on wood, everything sort of starts to come back to a little bit more normal. There’s just an incredible amount of opportunity to grow with this product that we have. It’s seen so much adoption in areas like travel, which has been effectively zero growth for the last several quarters because of the pandemic.
There are lots of interesting new challenges as the country reopens. The dominant thread is that there is that reopening creates a lot more opportunity for this product. We have proven that this product is what our customer wants and needs. This debit card will absolutely meet them where they are as they hopefully come out of their houses and go into restaurants and coffee shops and start traveling and buy tickets.