Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Afterpay is now available in the U.S. for shoppers to use the platform in-stores.

The company first introduced in-store solutions in 2016 in both Australia and New Zealand and has been piloting in select U.S. locations this summer. Afterpay shoppers are now able to use the payment option in stores including Forever 21, Finish Line, JD Sports, Levi’s, Skechers, Fresh, APL, Solstice Sunglasses, as well as select DSW stores.

The solution aims to provide shoppers with a more convenient, secure, and contactless experience in-store.

“COVID-19 has fueled demand for payments innovation in a number of ways — perhaps most acutely in the overnight growth for contactless payments,” said Alex Fisher, vice president of retail for North America at Afterpay. “Safety concerns over exchanging traditional forms of payment like cash or credit cards have become top of mind for shoppers and retailers alike. According to a recent survey, more than 75 percent of U.S. consumers now report feeling at least somewhat comfortable in a retail environment if adequate health and safety measures are in place. Contactless payment options are a big part of this puzzle, helping to reduce physical touchpoints in stores and give consumers the assurance that they need.”

To use Afterpay in retail stores, shoppers must create an Afterpay card that is stored in their digital wallet. Mirroring the company’s online installment option, shoppers can pay for their in-store purchases in four payments, without incurring fees or interest.

Purchase is initiated by tapping the card icon in the Afterpay app which will activate the Afterpay card in the wallet. Purchases are then able to be made with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

“Today’s shopper demands an omnichannel experience,” Fisher said. “We’re thrilled to be rolling out our IRL capabilities just in time for holiday and to meet the demand for a seamless and cross-channel Afterpay experience. By launching in stores, we’re providing shoppers with the same Afterpay they know and love, in more ways and places than ever before, with the added benefit of taking home their purchase that very same day.”

According to the company, Afterpay customers who shop both online and in-store spend 15 to 20 percent more per transaction and 66 percent more frequently, compared to those who are online-only shoppers. And notably, retailers that offer Afterpay typically experience a three times increase in average order values.

“Beyond meeting customer demand with a new contactless payment method, our retail partners are also gaining access to our loyal customer base who increasingly report that they decide where to shop based on whether Afterpay is offered [and] consumers are signaling a desire to return to stores,” Fisher said. “Economic uncertainty as a result of the pandemic is also a catalyst for the shift away from traditional forms of payment. In recent months, we’ve observed growing demand among consumers to pay for things they want and need over time. Afterpay was designed with these shifting consumer preferences in mind.”

According to Fisher, the company actively listens to the Afterpay community for insights as they add more retail partners. Notably, Afterpay recently announced a national collaboration with Simon Property Group.

“Our aim is to be a partner to our retailers as they chart their course through this challenging holiday season,” Fisher said. “Our retailers enjoy amplified effects when partnered with Afterpay both online and in stores. There has never been a busier time for store teams. Just as we make the financial burden light for the consumer, our focus is making implementation easy for our partners — both at headquarters and on the floor — so they can capitalize on the opportunity at hand.”

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