Citizens is no stranger to consumer credit or the point-of-sale financing arena. Citizens Pay has originated over $6.4 billion in loans and served more than 5 million accounts. And a new partnership with BJ’s may signal more growth ahead for this consumer financing business line.
And growth is only achieved through the right distribution channels. Distribution has long been the name of the game in all things financial services. In the old days, banks relied on branches. Fintech v1 built their own digital distribution. Now banks and fintechs are leveraging the existing infrastructure (and stores) of partners.
While Affirm and Afterpay focus on the digital reach of clients and partners, Citizens is tackling buy now, pay later through brick-and-mortar. Today the bank announced a partnership to provide consumer financing at BJ’s warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. Citizens Pay will soon be available to BJ’s members to pay for large purchases, such as televisions, appliances and home furnishings, with low monthly payments.
“Consumers want affordable options to make large purchases responsibly with ease and simplicity,” Citizens Pay President Andrew Rostami said in a statement. “This partnership allows us to offer point-of-sale-financing to the millions of BJ’s members to make both big-ticket and everyday purchases through a simple, transparent and fully digital experience.”
BJ’s executives explained that the partnership is motivated by their members’ desire for more flexibility when purchasing a new TV, refrigerator or bedroom set.
Citizens does not securitize the loans in the portfolio, which enables Citizens to retain servicing and deliver “high-quality customer experience.”
In FinLedger’s Special Report on BNPL, sources and investors shared that point-of-sale and BNPL options provide retailers an easy way to grow their customer base while also serving Gen Zers that may shun credit cards.