Amazon unveils buy now, pay later option for small business owners

2 Nov 2023

Image: © Sundry Photography/

Available in the US from Black Friday on 24 November, the buy now, pay later service is powered by Affirm.

Amazon has revealed its first-ever ‘buy now, pay later’ option for small business owners to split their payment at checkout.

A partnership with Affirm, one of the biggest providers of buy now, pay later services in the US, the payment option will allow for loans ranging from just $100 to $20,000 starting Black Friday on 24 November.

The e-commerce giant said the service will only be available to sole proprietors, or individuals who run their own business. Upon entering a “few simple pieces of information” at checkout during a transaction through Amazon Business, they will receive an “instant” credit decision.

“We’re constantly striving to make Amazon Business the best place for small businesses to fulfil their buying needs. Integrating Affirm as a payment option helps us do just that, while providing more flexibility and convenience to our customers,” said Todd Heimes, director of Amazon Business Worldwide.

“The technology, ease of integration and ability to support a broad range of transactions – especially as Affirm is already used by millions of Amazon customers today – make this a natural extension of our larger partnership.”

There has been very little activity in the buy now, pay later market lately. The service allows customers to split a payment into, usually, three equal portions, for a small interest to allow them to make big purchases at one go.

Affirm is one of the biggest players in this space in the US, competing with Klarna, PayPal, Afterpay and Zip, among others.

In June last year, Revolut jumped on the buy now, pay later bandwagon by rolling out a service in Europe, starting with Ireland. This put it in direct competition with Klarna, a Swedish fintech which launched its services in Ireland in November 2021.

Buy now, pay later has seen growing interest from start-ups and established financial companies alike, such as UK fintech Zilch, US-based Square (which acquired Afterpay), Italy’s ScalapayMastercard, PayPal (which acquired Japan’s Paidy) and even Apple.

The latest Amazon partnership with Affirm comes after a tough year for the lender. In February, Affirm laid off around 500 employees, nearly a fifth of its workforce, after its chief executive Max Levchin admitted the company had hired more people than it could afford.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic