The co-founder of online payment company PayPal launched a rival business on Tuesday called Affirm. Max Levchin, who was co-founder of PayPal with Peter Thiel, and Chief Technology Officer for four years, has created a competitor in the already crowded mobile payments business.
Aimed at shoppers who are making online purchases from a smart phone or other mobile device, Affirm is focused on streamlining the mobile checkout process online. Other online payment services can require typing in multiple screens of information in order to make a payment, which can be awkward on the small smart phone screen.
Affirm uses Facebook to confirm users’ identities the first time they use the service, and has trimmed down the online buying process to two taps on a smart phone screen; one tap on the Affirm button found on participating merchant websites and a second tap to confirm the order.
Affirm’s payment service is similar to paying a charge card. Users will have 30 days to pay for their purchases. Participating merchants pay a small fee for the service so consumers aren’t charged a service fee. If a user account becomes delinquent, however, Affirm can charge “reasonable” fees, according to their terms of service.
The user’s Affirm account can be paid using credit cards, bank transfers or by check. It’s not possible, however, to use PayPal to pay an Affirm account balance.
Fox Business News. 2/27/13 “PayPal Co-Founder Levchin Launches New Mobile Payment Start-Up”