Nilson Report

Issue 1129 | Apr 2018


Companies featured in this issue include:

Top Issuers of U.S. Debit Cards, Purchase Volume 2017

Investments & Acquisitions—March 2018

Investments & Acquisitions in Money Transfers Since January 2017

Market Shares of Purchase Volume for Top U.S. Debit Card Issuers 2017

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers Ranked by Purchase Volume Per Card 2017

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers in the U.S. Ranked by Purchase Volume 2017

Market Shares of Purchase Volume for Top U.S. Debit Card Issuers 2017

The 5 largest U.S. debit card issuers are shown here along with their market share of the $2.729 trillion in Visa and Mastercard and PIN debit card purchase volume in 2017.

1. Wells Fargo,
2. Bank of America,
3. JPMorgan Chase,
4. PNC Bank,
5. U.S. Bank,

Full access to the Market Shares of Purchase Volume for Top U.S. Debit Card Issuers 2017 is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



Affirm Moves Installment Financing In-Store

Affirm began offering installment credit financing to customers of U.S.-based merchants selling online in 2014. Since then, more than 1,200 online merchants have installed the Affirm payment button at their checkout pages, and more than 1 million installment payment transactions have been funded. Consumers click the Affirm button and input their name, date of birth, phone number, email address, and last four digits of their Social Security number to start the application process. If approved, they can choose 3-, 6-, 12-, 18-, or 24-month installment plans.

Most merchants offering Affirm are considered to be midsized. They pay Affirm a merchant discount rate and receive immediate payment in full. Affirm has a contract with Cross River Bank in Teaneck, New Jersey, to open installment loans. Funding is provided by Affirm.

Applicants for installment credit are of all ages, but the majority of borrowers are about evenly balanced between consumers considered to be Millennials and Generation X. 

These are people between the ages of 21 and 51 who use Affirm as a funding option for higher priced purchases. On average, 25% of Affirm transactions are initiated by returning customers.

Affirm began offering a mobile app in November 2017, and already 60% of all installment credit applications originate from mobile phones. 

The app initiates a one-time virtual Mastercard card in the approved amount of the transaction. The Mastercard can be used at any online merchant, not only those who have integrated Affirm into their checkout page. Cross River Bank is the issuer. 

Affirm recently added Apple Pay to its mobile app, which allows users to have installment payment as an option at any physical store that uses an NFC card reader at checkout. 

Merchants not equipped to accept Apple Pay can integrate Affirm at the point of sale through a text-to-apply virtual card or the Affirm InStore API (application programming interface) with their POS system.

The API integration does not involve a virtual card. It does provide added value to merchants, including the opportunity to offer 0% financing as well as other financing options and marketing programs.

Affirm’s first in-store customers were Simply Mac and Peloton. Simply Mac saw a 63% increase in credit applications through Affirm over their legacy private label credit card providers. 

The text-based application process saves store clerks from the longer process associated with initiating a new private label account. And Affirm says it approved more than 33% of applicants over levels approved by those private label issuers.

Affirm’s most recent funding round was in December 2017. It received $200 million. Affirm does not publicly share the total debt and equity funding it has raised.

Julie Ingle is Head of Marketing at Affirm in San Francisco, California, (415) 984-0490,,

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