Alma enters the big leagues. The French fintech Alma, specialist in payment in installments, has just signed a contract with the American giant Apple.
The start-up, which raised 115 million euros in February, has been responsible for managing all of the Apple brand’s split payment flows for France, whether in Apple Stores or on the Apple website. online business. Very positive news for fintech, in a context where most split payment players are showing signs of difficulty.
Concretely, when paying for their purchases, rather than paying for everything at once, consumers will be able to choose a formula in 4 or 24 monthly installments. This spread of payments (also called “Buy Now Pay Later”, or BNPL) will cost nothing more to Apple customers, who bear the commissions charged by Alma, as indicated on the brand’s website at Apple.
In the big leagues
Contacted, neither Apple nor Alma wished to comment on this partnership, which has been officially operational since July 26. On its site, however, we can see that these new payment options concern most Apple products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch, including iPad protection accessories. However, computers are excluded.
With this contract, the young Alma asserts itself as a new major player on the French payment market. The fintech launched in 2018 won the call for tenders launched by Apple several months ago, according to a source familiar with the matter.
It managed to convince that its technology and its product were superior to those of traditional players in the sector, which still concentrate the vast majority of the BNPL market in France. Until now, it was Sofinco, the consumer credit subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, which was in charge of installment payments for Apple.
Sofinco is not the only historic player to have been given priority. According to our information, the young French shoot has also won a contract with Maisons du Monde, ending the partnership which linked the trader to Cetelem, the “consumer credit” subsidiary of BNP Paribas.
The merchant of decoration and furnishing products has a turnover of around 1 billion euros. “Alma had some nice merchants so far. There they change dimension, says a source close to fintech. It’s still a small part of the big guys, but they’re clearly part of the big guys. »
A lucrative contract
From a financial point of view, the contract with Apple could also take Alma a step further. Each year, several million iPhones are sold in France (2.4 million between January and September 2021 according to the GfK firm).
In the context of the rising cost of living, the apple firm seems to be betting on split payment as a marketing lever, given the price of its devices (more than 1,000 euros for an iPhone 13). Evidenced by the systematic highlighting of these payment options in installments on the French site of the Californian manufacturer.
In addition, in the United States, Apple recently launched its own BNPL solution, after acquiring a credit scoring fintech. The regulatory constraints in terms of credit have probably dissuaded him from trying the adventure alone in France, especially since a new European text is in preparation.