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Affirm Holdings acquires e-commerce returns specialist Returnly

Acquisition expands customer experience solutions offered by payment provider Affirm

Affirm Holdings, a company that specializes in providing “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) solutions for consumers, has reached an agreement to acquire e-commerce returns and post-purchase company Returnly.

Affirm (NASDAQ: AFRM) will pay $300 million for Returnly. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of Affirm’s fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“Over the last few years, alongside the rapid growth of online shopping, consumers’ expectations of accommodations for returns and exchanges have increased significantly,” said Max Levchin, CEO and founder of Affirm. “In 2019, Affirm invested in Returnly because we recognized their technology’s ability to help merchants remove friction from returns, drive loyalty and retain more customers.”

E-commerce returns are estimated at 30% of all products ordered online, and 92% of consumers in a YouGov survey said they would buy again from an online retailer if the returns process was easy. Founded by CEO Eduardo Vilar, Returnly currently serves more than 1,800 merchants and has helped facilitate over $1 billion in returns by more than 8 million shoppers.

Affirm works with major retailers and online brands to offer consumers flexible payment options. The company offers upfront pricing of products and the ability to finance purchases over time – three, six or 12 months. To pay with Affirm, customers simply need to check “Affirm” at checkout of participating brands.

“We started Returnly to fix the broken returns model that offered consumers and merchants nothing but downside and frustration,” said Vilar. “As returns continue to challenge and inhibit commerce, we believe that now is the right time to join forces with Affirm and expand the reach of our mission. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and help more businesses offer the instant and easy returns experience that their shoppers have come to expect.”

“Store credit, issued before the item is actually returned, is now a practical requirement in highly competitive segments like fashion and lifestyle. We are excited to bring Returnly’s powerful product to our merchants, and we are thrilled to introduce their more than 8 million users to the transparent, gotcha-free version of buy now, pay later as made possible only by Affirm,” said Levchin.

Affirm also recently launched the Affirm Card, a debit card alternative to credit cards that allows consumers to pay upfront from their bank accounts or to pay later using a post-purchase feature to make the buy now, pay later experience more seamless.

According to a survey from The Ascent, BNPL has grown 50% since July 2020. The survey found that 55.8% of consumers have used a BNPL service.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at