Simplifying mobile checkout could greatly increase completed purchases

By March 22, 2013
shopping cart, mobile device and credit card next to each other

Merchants often lose customers when they are shopping with their smartphones during the checkout process. Startup Affirm gives mobile commerce sites a simple button for mobile shoppers to “Tap, tap, buy.”


Smartphones are a growing channel for the digital economy, with mobile retail steadily increasing as the devices become more prevalent and customers become more comfortable with using them for shopping. But there is still a serious problem with the conversion rate between browsing and purchasing. Mobile payment platform Affirm focuses on the most vulnerable part of the mobile shopping process - the checkout. Affirm aims to create as seamless of an experience with mobile checkout as they are accustomed to with Amazon or Apple, using a “Tap, tap, buy” interface that the service hopes will make buying as easy as shopping on smartphones.

Shoppers use mobile because it is convenient and quick, payment should be too

Instead of entering the world of mobile payments as a competitor with credit card processors or mobile wallets, Affirm instead is specifically focused on improving conversion rates. Affirm is even integrating Stripe on the back end for card processing, as AllThingsD reports. The payment authentication uses Facebook, and even guarantees merchant payment in between user checkout and payment. This process makes Affirm unique in that it offers what can basically be considered mobile credit for 30 days - startup investor Max Levchin refers to the feature as putting the purchase on a “digital tab.”

Affirm features use multiple sources of identity verification data

Payment and the virtual tab are all made possible with various identity confirming practices, which are mainly the responsibility of the merchant. Affirm also will be drawing on incomes per zip code and user mobile device ID. The Facebook login will be user provided at checkout on the mobile merchant page, but Affirm partners may possibly react to this shift in responsibility by encouraging customers to create accounts or some other way of safekeeping their identity. Launching partner has an Affirm button on their mobile checkout page, as well as an option for customers to opt-in by texting to a short code number and receiving a link.

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