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Willow Automates Pay-in-Four Bill Financing

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) FinTech platform Willow, which lets customers pay their bills in four installments, on Tuesday (Aug. 31) rolled out the company’s proprietary automated solution for non-discretionary spending.

Willow was unveiled in April and now has more than 20,000 customers using the beta version of the platform, which allows customers to upload their bills to have them paid by Willow before the deadline then allows users to pay Willow back in four weekly installments plus a $4 fee per $100 bill payment. Willow doesn’t charge interest and pays utility bills, insurance premiums and childcare costs.

“It’s no secret that consumer finance in the U.S. is broken, with creditors encouraging consumers to spend beyond their means,” said Willow Co-Founder and CEO Bay Hudner in the company announcement. “This has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Willow, Hudner said, has “deployed a simple and transparent solution that helps consumers plan ahead, stay current on their bills and improve their credit score. We’re here to make sure that no American has a late-fee ever again.”

“The overwhelming positive response from consumers has been eye-opening,” said Co-Founder and COO Braden Golub in the announcement. “It is clear Willow is well positioned to ensure that hard-working individuals and families never feel the strain or stress of when bills are due each month.”

Related: BNPL Gains Critical Mass To Take on Big Credit

Buy now, pay later offerings are gaining momentum around the world in different formats and gained serious steam through Amazon’s partnership with Affirm, which brings BNPL more broadly to its hundreds of millions of customers across the U.S.

Walmart and Affirm announced their own omnichannel deal in 2019 that initially gave shoppers the option of using Affirm to pay for their purchases over time, in person, at 4,000 Supercenters nationwide. The BNPL functionality is now also offered on Walmart.com.

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