When shoppers now arrive at checkout, they are frequently presented with the opportunity to pay for their purchase in installments. But shoppers are usually looking for specific product, while “buy now, pay later” platforms mostly promote brands on their pages – not the products themselves. Payments company Quadpay is aiming to change that discovery process, with its acquisition of visual search engine Urge.
“At the moment, across all BNPL platforms, consumers are presented with brands,” said Brad Lindenberg, co-CEO and co-founder of Quadpay. “However, they don’t buy brands; they buy products. The future of shopping will be highly personalized experiences that show products that consumers are interested in, using machine learning algorithms to help with discovery.”
Urge Holdings is known for its fashion search engine The Urge and its “Shazam for fashion” app called Shnap. With this new acquisition, Quadpay will be able to integrate the technologies into its platform so that shoppers can find the exact product they want without exiting the app. Consumers can upload a photo of any fashion product and the app will identify retail partners that sell it, then allow them to pay for it in four installments.
For retailers, this can help expand their visibility within the Quadpay user base. Shoppers who may be unfamiliar with a brand are given a new chance to discover the ones that match their style aesthetic. Even if the shopper does not purchase from that brand during that visit, they will now be aware of the business for future buying opportunities.
“We elevate products from exclusive Quadpay merchants and promote specific offers on a product level,’ said Lindenberg. “We have a deep understanding of consumer shopping behavior which allows us to match the consumer with the right merchant and product to drive results. For retailers, being able to offer this kind of consumer shopping experience will absolutely attract new customers and drive loyalty among their existing customer-base.”
Installment payments are particularly popular among younger demographics, who are frequently debt-averse and wary of credit cards. Brands and retailers who are looking to build their audience of millennial and Gen Z shoppers may therefore particularly benefit from a payments partnership. Lindenberg believes that this will also result in innovative uses of the Shnap app; younger users are often the first-adopters of mobile technology.
This acquisition is part of Quadpay’s broader commitment to expanding from a payments tool into a full purchasing experience. Currently, the ability to pay in four installments is available for purchases made in the app, at any retail location, on any website and with QuadPay’s integrated merchants online. And with the pandemic expanding the adoption of contactless payments, Quadpay is anticipating that its own user base will also grow.
“We also believe that as contactless payments become more widely accepted, BNPL will continue to flourish,” said Lindenberg. “On our part, we will continue to introduce new features and capabilities that make it easier to search and find particular types of items across retailers so shoppers can find the best deals on the items they want.”