Shop Pay vs. Affirm: Which BNPL Option is Best for You?

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shop pay vs affirm
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As more customers opt for installment financing at checkout, merchants face a dilemma in choosing the best option for their e-commerce store. In this article, we’ll help you make an informed decision by comparing two popular Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options: Shop Pay vs Affirm. By evaluating their key features, pricing, and benefits, you can determine which solution best aligns with your customer needs and boosts your conversion rates.

Shop Pay vs Affirm: How They Work

If you’re wondering, “Is Shop Pay the same as Affirm?” it’s important to understand that while both BNPL companies provide payment plans, they operate quite differently. This section will dissect the distinctions between Shop Pay’s and Affirm’s processes, highlighting how each caters to different buyer needs and preferences in the online shopping landscape.

Process Shop Pay Affirm
Installment Options
  • Splits purchases into four interest-free installments.
  • Displays clear payment schedules before the purchase is finalized.
  • Draws payments automatically biweekly from the shopper’s payment method.
  • Tailors financing options at checkout to match individual needs.
  • Examines customer purchases and credit profiles to set loan terms ranging from 3 to 36 months.
  • Clearly presents term lengths, annual percentage rates (APR), and total costs before purchase completion.
Payment Scheduling
  • Offers no options to reschedule or adjust installment payments.
  • Enables customers to select repayment terms that align with their budget.
  • Allows adjustments to payment schedules via their app.
Shopper Eligibility Requirements
  • Automatically enables quad-pay for purchases between $50-$1,000 at eligible Shopify stores.
  • No credit checks or extensive eligibility requirements.
  • Conducts a soft credit check to determine customized financing options based on factors like loan amounts and term lengths.
Customer Checkout Experience
  • Facilitates rapid, one-click purchases that automatically configure installment payments.
  • Integrates personal financing decisions at checkout, prioritizing transparency and customer choice over speed.

How Shop Pay Works

Shop Pay offers a streamlined, interest-free payment solution that divides purchases into four installments. Schedules and amounts are shown transparently before checkout, and payments are automatically collected biweekly. This solution is available to customers making purchases of $50 to $1,000 at any Shopify-enabled store.

shop pay bnpl

With a focus on expediency, Shop Pay’s checkout process is fast and frictionless, giving customers a one-click buying experience. This system forgoes credit checks and complex approval criteria, opting instead for a clear-cut installment plan divided over a six-week period with no flexibility for rescheduling. Shop Pay has a proven record of increasing conversion rates by up to 50% compared to guest checkout.

How Affirm Works

Affirm’s approach is centered around providing a personalized experience for buyers. It conducts soft credit checks at checkout without affecting their credit score to offer financing options customized to their spending and credit profiles. Affirm offers various loan terms and APRs to cater to different financial needs and preferences.

affirm payment terms

Moreover, Affirm’s app allows buyers to reschedule payments, making the entire process transparent and tailored to their specific financial circumstances. Their emphasis is on providing choice at every step of the checkout process. Despite having a longer checkout process than Shop Pay, it still boasts a superior conversion rate with 28% fewer abandoned carts than other BNPL providers.

Shop Pay vs Affirm: Pricing

Now that you know how each service works, let’s discuss how their pricing structures compare. Shop Pay and Affirm each have distinct approaches to transaction fees and financing costs, influencing both merchant and shopper experiences. We will examine how their pricing structures differ and see which service best meets your financial needs.

Pricing Shop Pay Affirm
Merchant Costs
  • Embedded within Shopify Payments, with no additional fees.
  • Charges a flat rate of 2.4% + $0.30 per online transaction or 2.7% for in-person point-of-sale (POS).
  • Offers a customized fee structure based on various factors such as order volume and average order value.
  • Typical transaction fees range from 3% to 5%, but larger retailers may negotiate lower rates.
  • No monthly account fees, with costs incurred per transaction.
Shoppers Costs
  • Divides eligible purchases into four equal payments over six weeks.
  • No interest or additional financing fees charged to the buyer.
  • May apply interest with APRs ranging from 0% to 36% based on creditworthiness.
  • Interest rates and total costs are shown before finalizing the purchase.
  • No hidden fees or compounding interest.

Shop Pay’s Costs

For merchants, Shop Pay integrates seamlessly with Shopify Payments, requiring no additional fees. Merchants face a standard transaction rate of 2.4% plus $0.30 for online transactions or 2.7% for in-person transactions at POS systems. These fees include the payment processing and the installment plan features offered by Shop Pay.

shop pay pay in 4

From the shopper’s perspective, Shop Pay simplifies the process by splitting purchases into four equal payments over six weeks without imposing any interest or additional financing costs. This ensures a transparent and burden-free shopping experience.

Affirm’s Costs

On the merchant side, Affirm presents a more flexible fee structure that can be tailored based on factors like sales volume, average order value, and desired repayment terms. The fees typically range from 3% to 5%, allowing larger retailers to negotiate terms that fit their transaction profiles and potentially reduce costs.

affirm apr calculator

For shoppers, Affirm offers a personalized financing experience with APRs varying between 0% to 36%, depending on individual credit assessments. All financial terms are disclosed upfront, providing clarity and avoiding hidden fees. With zero-interest promotions, consumers can enjoy flexible and honest repayment plans.

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Shop Pay vs Affirm: Features and Capabilities

Comparing Affirm vs Shop Pay includes examining the distinct features and capabilities each platform offers. Both are tailored to enhance the shopping experience but serve different merchant and consumer bases. We will explore how each service caters to its users’ needs with its available features.

Feature Shop Pay Affirm
Integration & Compatibility Available only for Shopify stores and Shopify POS systems. Works with a variety of e-commerce platforms and POS systems beyond Shopify.
Customization and Capabilities Utilizes Shopify’s customization features and checkout process. Provides extensive customization for financing options, risk assessment, checkout processes, and in-depth reporting.
Reporting Analytics Uses Shopify’s native reporting tools to deliver basic analytics on payment installments at the store level. Features an Advanced Merchant Dashboard where merchants can analyze financing performance.
Security Standards Inherits Shopify’s robust security infrastructure, including Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications, and System and Organization Controls (SOC) audits Meets finance-specific security measures, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Know Your Customer/Client (KYC) guidelines

Shop Pay’s Features

Shop Pay is specifically designed for Shopify’s ecosystem, integrating exclusively with Shopify-powered online stores, their POS systems, and e-commerce channels like social media platforms. This focused compatibility supports a seamless experience within Shopify’s system but limits its use to Shopify merchants only. Nevertheless, Shop Pay has become the preferred payment method for its expanding network of more than 150 million users globally.

shop pay online shopping option

Despite these constraints, Shop Pay benefits from the robust security and compliance frameworks inherent in Shopify’s platform. It is Level 1 PCI compliant, ISO-certified, and undergoes SOC audits, ensuring a secure transaction environment.

Affirm’s Features

In contrast, Affirm boasts far-reaching compatibility with over 100,000 merchant sites across various platforms, including Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce, and more. It integrates with major POS systems used by global retailers and partners with leading retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, which enhance its presence across online and offline commerce channels.

affirm merchant portal

Affirm offers an advanced Merchant Dashboard that allows for in-depth performance analysis using multiple filters, such as order volume and APR tiers, providing actionable insights. Additionally, Affirm adheres to stringent security standards required for lending services, including KYC, GDPR, and regular financial audits, positioning itself as a highly secure and compliant financing solution.

Shop Pay vs Affirm: Support

As we look into the support systems of Shop Pay vs Affirm, it’s clear that each platform takes a distinct approach. This section will explore their differing support models and how they affect the overall satisfaction and success of their users and partners.

Support Shop Pay Affirm
Shopper Support
  • Handled by individual Shopify merchants.
  • Dependent on the specific Shopify store’s customer service quality.
  • Thorough and direct support, with a robust self-service portal and dedicated customer service teams.
Merchant Support
  • Merchant onboarding into Shop Pay is streamlined through Shopify’s partner resources and self-help tools like documentation and webinars.
  • Personalized support from dedicated account managers.
  • Offers a Merchant Success Portal.

Shop Pay’s Support

Shop Pay integrates its support structure within the broader Shopify ecosystem, delegating it to individual Shopify merchants to address customer issues. This means the quality of support a Shop Pay user receives is entirely dependent on the merchant’s own customer service capabilities. It also has a virtual Help Center assistant that can get you personalized answers when you’re logged into your account.

Merchant onboarding is facilitated through Shopify’s comprehensive array of partner resources, including detailed documentation and educational webinars. These resources are designed to streamline the integration process and provide ongoing support.

Affirm’s Support

Affirm’s network attracts over 40 million high-intent shoppers, demonstrating significant consumer engagement and trust. It takes a hands-on approach to customer support, providing direct and comprehensive assistance to both shoppers and merchants. Shoppers have access to self-service options, as well as dedicated customer service teams for more complex issues.

affirm support

For merchants, Affirm assigns dedicated account managers to assist with everything from integration to post-launch optimization, along with tools like Affirm’s Merchant Success Portal. This tailored support structure improves the user experience, drives financing program performance and expansion, and ensures high satisfaction levels and continuous improvement for merchants.

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Whether you opt for Shop Pay or Affirm, Cushion can significantly enhance your BNPL management across any provider. This app consolidates all your BNPL transactions into one clean dashboard, giving you a clear overview of payment installment schedules and due amounts so you never miss a deadline. Optimize each payment to work better for you and improve your credit history – join Cushion today.


Choosing between Shop Pay and Affirm for your BNPL needs depends on several factors, including integration ease, cost-effectiveness, and the customer experience you aim to provide. Shop Pay seamlessly integrates with Shopify and has a straightforward, interest-free financing model. Affirm has broader compatibility and customizable financing options. By understanding the differences, you can choose the platform that best fits your financial needs.

Last Updated on April 04, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.
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