PayPal co-founder Max Levchin is gearing up for a busy holiday season, especially from millennials.
Levchin's latest venture, Affirm, is an online lender that's offering a new way for consumers to buy gifts for friends, loved ones and themselves. Jewelry from Chloe + Isabel, guitars from Dean Zelinsky and wireless speakers from Sol Republic are among the latest items that can be bought with a loan from the start-up.
When purchasing an $850 mattress from Casper or $1,500 electric skateboard from Boosted Boards, buyers are given the option of a payment plan from Affirm. Launched last year, the company has about 100 merchants on board.
It's just the first step for Levchin in building what he ambitiously expects to be a bank of the future, one that customers enjoy rather than loathe. Next in Affirm's product pipeline is education lending, which Levchin said is coming "imminently." Small business loans are on the horizon, and Levchin has designs on eventually housing consumer deposits.
"People born in the '80s have absolutely no love for banks and have witnessed their parents get(ting) manhandled by the banking establishment in the 2007-08 crisis," Levchin said in an interview at Affirm's new office in downtown San Francisco. "The thesis is—there's actually room for honest finance."