Nov 20, 2020

Affirm launches an IPO and fights against hidden fees

Affirm
IPO
Max Levchin
Fintech
William Girling
2 min
This week has seen a combination of big announcements from fintech unicorn Affirm, which has both filed an IPO and started a campaign against hidden fees
This week has seen a combination of big announcements from fintech unicorn Affirm, which has both filed an IPO and started a campaign against hidden fee...

This week has seen a combination of big announcements from fintech unicorn Affirm, which has both filed an IPO and started a campaign against hidden fees.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company acts as a point of sale (POS) loan provider that addresses the inherent problems of incumbent credit card providers, namely late fees, compound interest and penalties. 

Instead, Affirm offers customers a more transparent, flexible and fair method. “We’re here to improve lives,” said Max Levchin, CEO and Founder (also one of the original founders of PayPal). “If that means more work for us, or that we make less money, we will always take the more difficult path in favor of treating people better.”

‘No Gotchas’

Affirm’s dedicated campaign against hidden fees - ‘No Gotchas’ - is taking the form of a contest, with US$1m of prize money up for grabs (100 prizes of $10k each). To enter, participants must simply submit a real world example of amusing fineprint. 

“Traditional financial institutions rake in billions of dollars in profits each year from late and hidden fees at the expense of consumers,” commented Greg Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer.

“These fees can cause people to fall into spiraling debt, which is why Affirm is committed to never surprising people by charging hidden or late fees. We hope this campaign will raise awareness of the ‘gotchas’ hidden in fine print and help people avoid debt, especially around the holidays.”

Another fintech IPO

With the company’s revenue reportedly doubling this fiscal year from $264m to $509.5m, it has become the latest example of a prominent fintech launching a bid to go public. 

The IPO, which will be handled by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Allen & Company, has been filed with a target of $100m. 

Although a smaller offering compared to other examples in 2020 such as Lufax, Lemonade, Root or Ant Group (which was subsequently suspended), this update from Affirm, as well as the promising progress shown by the scrutiny of its financials, provides further encouragement that fintech has not only survived 2020 but will thrive beyond it. 

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Jun 14, 2021

The FinTech Show: Bitcoin, crypto mining, and payments

Bitcoin
cryptomining
Payments
Fintech
1 min
Scott Birch, Editorial Director, and Will Girling, Editor of FinTech Magazine, poll our community on El Salvador's decision to make Bitcoin legal tender

In episode six of the FinTech Show (originally broadcast live on 11 June at 2pm BST), Scott Birch and Will Girling discuss:

  • El Salvador becoming the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender
  • China's decision to clamp down on crypto mining operations
  • The new developments in post-COVID payments, including the EU's decision to give every citizen a digital wallet

We also explore the newly released June '21 edition of FinTech Magazine, including a special look at our profile piece on HOOPP and the future of small business lending (guided by iwoca). Special thanks go to Valeria Simantob for providing the front cover of that issue.

Before you go! Follow us on LinkedIn and make sure to tune in on 25 June for the next FinTech Show.

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