Walmart Adds Buy Now, Pay Later Option at Self-Checkout Kiosks

Walmart expanded its partnership with Affirm to bring a Buy Now, Pay Later option to self-checkout at stores.

A self-checkout kiosk at Walmart
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Walmart has expanded its partnership with fintech company Affirm to offer a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option at self-checkout kiosks in more than 4,500 stores.

The BNPL option, which can also be used on Walmart's website and app as well as at its vision and auto centers, allows customers to pay monthly and over time, Affirm said in announcing the deal

Walmart and Affirm first announced a partnership 2019 to add a BNPL option at Walmart Supercenters nationwide and at its website.

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Many major brands have added BNPL loans at checkout in recent years, including Google Pay, which recently announced plans to add BNPL options via partnerships with both Affirm and Zip next year.

Pat Suh, senior vice president of revenue at Affirm, said in a statement that Affirm's recent research found that 54% of Americans are looking for retailers to offer BNPL options and that 76% of consumers "would either delay or not make a purchase without Affirm.”

How to use Affirm at self-checkout

If you choose to use Affirm at a self-checkout kiosk, bring up the Affirm app or Affirm’s Buy In-Store, Pay Later page on your phone and follow these steps:

  • Enter the purchase amount. Eligible items cost from $144 to $4,000.
  • Choose a pay-over-time term of three to 24 months.
  • Checkout at the kiosk. If approved, you will be provided a single-use barcode to scan at the self-checkout kiosk.

BNPL loans in the spotlight

These loans have grown in popularity as they allow you to break up large purchases into smaller monthly payments, sometimes with zero interest, as Kiplinger previously reported. But there are also certain hazards of using BNPL, including overspending, studies show.

BNPL plans are also drawing scrutiny from consumer advocacy groups as well as state and federal governments including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation advises consumers to make sure they are adequately informed before making their next big BNPL purchase, “so you don’t end up owing more than you bargained for.” One suggestion it offers is to make sure you don’t already have too many BNPL plans open before hitting “checkout” again.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.