Upgrade adds short term loans through BNPL

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Digital banking startup FinTech Upgrade is launching into the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space with a product that allows users to pay off debt in four months without interest, according to a CNBC report released Friday, October 1 .

Upgrade creates installment plans to allow users to pay off debt over six to 36 months with a fixed interest rate. The company plans to roll out the BNPL initiative in the coming months, Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche told CNBC.

“We are working on a version of the upgrade card that is more suitable for small expenses,” said the CEO. “In this case, we don’t need to charge interest because it’s a lower amount.

The Upgrade product will be different from other BNPL offerings as it offers a payment option on merchant websites to allow Upgrade to consolidate a user’s card purchases into one lump sum and charge them what they owe. over four months.

“What we love about integrating the product into a card is the broader acceptance,” Laplanche told CNBC. “BNPL often relies on partnerships with merchants. It’s starting to spread online, but not so much in stores. “

Upgrade reached a valuation of $ 3.3 billion in August after a $ 105 million Series E funding round, but Laplanche told the outlet it will be some time before the company goes public, though. that he wants it to be ready for its IPO within 18 months.

The company has paid $ 7 billion in credit since its inception in 2017 and could match that amount this year.

Related: Upgrade valued at $ 3.325 billion after Series E funding round

Upgrade launched a rewards checking account earlier this year that offers customers 2% cash back and launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card in July which allows users to be paid in Bitcoin or cash.

Upgrade also announced its move to mobile banking in January with a debit rewards product that gives customers cash back when they use available funds to cover daily expenses.

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