Alma stands up to the split payment giants

Alma is a French Fintech that has decided to address the needs of merchants and consumers regarding split payments. Whether on a merchant website or in a store, Alma wants to provide solutions to make this type of payment in installments more accessible.

Split payment

Three types of split payments

Alma did not invent the principle of payment in installments, but it intends to offer the most successful version possible. Alma’s offers are divided into three main services:

  • Payment in 2, 3 or 4 times: this is the most common form of split payment. The customer will have the possibility at the time of purchase to choose this option. He will be able to access the service or product immediately while being able to spread the payment of the sum over several installments. This service is generally used for average purchases that do not exceed large amounts.
  • The payment in 10 or 12 times: same principle as the previous payment, with the difference that the payment in 10 or 12 times is more adapted to the purchases of an important amount. When the customer wants to buy a product (household appliances, travel…), he can divide the payment into ten installments, allowing him to access an expensive product without immediate financial consequences. With this service, merchants will be able to attract new potential customers more easily, who will have less of a feeling of having to pay a large sum of money in one go.
  • The Pay Later: we have already presented on several occasions the Buy Now Pay Later option. Alma offers two types: D+15 or D+30. The customer will have the option to pay 15 or 30 days later when he chooses the Pay Later payment method. He will have access to the product or service on the day of the order but will be able to be debited 15 or 30 days later.
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These three services have convinced the merchants, on the one hand because they allow them to capture more sales by avoiding customers to pay the full amount at once, and on the other hand because the merchants receive the payment the day of the order. They will not have to run after unpaid invoices: Alma makes sure to pay the merchants even in case of unforeseen events.

Split payments also helped merchants maintain business during the complicated pandemic period. It allowed many merchants to “survive” during this time when the population greatly reduced their spending. The integration of this kind of services on merchant websites is very simple, via an Alma plugin available on major e-commerce software such as Prestashop, Shopify, Magento and others.

Alma offers merchants a per-transaction fee, which does not include setup fees or monthly fees (3.8% for payment in 3 instalments, and 4.2 for payment in 4 instalments).

Alma : Fundraising, partnerships and news

Alma was created in 2018 and is therefore still a very young Fintech. However, this youth has not prevented it from raising large amounts of money and forming partnerships with established payment players.

The French fintech’s first event will be a €3.3 million fundraising that will simply allow Alma to enhance and deploy its fractional payment services. Carried out in 2019, it is the first stone in Alma’s building.

One year later, in March 2020, Alma raised another €12.5 million. In the words of the Fintech itself, the objective with this round is to “quadruple in size by 2020”. At the same time, Alma announces its intention to help merchants and customers during the period of health crisis that started at that time. On the one hand, the fintech will allow customers to postpone one of their payment deadlines, on the other hand, it will offer fees to merchants on their first 2,500€ of payment.

In July of the same year, Alma will partner with the French-speaking mPOS provider Smile& Pay. The goal is to offer the 13,000 merchants who use Smile&Pay’s mini-payment terminals, a payment in installments service. This service will be directly integrated into the payment terminal, allowing the buyer to select this option at the time of payment.

After a convincing activity even in times of crisis, Alma will continue to strengthen its strategy in the following years. To do so, it will first raise 49 million euros in January 2021, a sum that will allow Alma to process annual payment volumes exceeding one billion euros.

Then, in February 2022, Alma will raise its biggest round to date: 210 million euros. This will allow the Fintech to have European ambitions, by “extending its vision of a balanced commerce in the ecosystem of commerce in Continental Europe”.

With its success in France, Alma is now looking to the world. Its multi-installment payment system, which is complete and easy to integrate in merchants, has enabled it to become the leader in split payments.  Major retailers such as Alain Afflelou, Etam, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have trusted Alma to implement an integrated split payment system. This payment method has succeeded in making a place for itself in the growing ecosystem of payment methods, bringing real flexibility to customers who cannot always pay cash.

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