Member Exclusive, New banks

Behind Upgrade’s move to add BNPL capabilities

  • Upgrade is adding BNPL to its personal loans and payment cards, but with a twist.
  • The company also intends to make a push to bring BNPL payments offline and into shops.
close

Email a Friend

Behind Upgrade’s move to add BNPL capabilities

Upgrade, a San Francisco-based challenger bank with a focus on lending, is set to extend its lending product range with new short-term installment loans, culminating in a BNPL offering.

The firm, founded by former Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche, entered the industry four years ago as a neobank offering its customers up to $50,000 in personal loans — for credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, or major purchases — and payment cards. Upgrade’s cards are unlike credit cards, in that the platform consolidates a user’s total monthly expense and breaks it down into an installment plan of six to 36 months, charging a fixed interest rate. 

CEO Laplanche, in a recent interview, revealed the company’s plan to offer a BNPL-like product. The company’s short-term loans will allow customers to borrow money to make immediate purchases and then to pay off the debt in installments over four months, without accruing interest.

Even though the platform is just now beginning to offer a more traditional BNPL product, Laplanche believes the firm was “already in some form of BNPL since the launch of the Upgrade Card in 2019.” 


This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.

Tearsheet Outlier information and signup Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — only $49/mo. Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account

0 comments on “Behind Upgrade’s move to add BNPL capabilities”

New banks

‘Emotions are always on’: How Dreams uses behavioral science to help consumers save

  • Founded in 2014, Dreams is a Swedish money management app that helps users save money by building on behavioral science.
  • With Dreams’ plans to expand, the app could appeal to US banks trying to keep young consumer interest.
Rivka Abramson | December 06, 2021
New banks

Navigating a changing business model: How banks can compete with fintechs

  • Fintech players are challenging the vertical business model by segmenting the value chain and coupling their own products with others’.
  • Banks can remain competitive by embracing this trend and rebundle their products to unlock new growth opportunities.
Iulia Ciutina | November 30, 2021
New banks

‘We were laughed out of a lot of rooms’: How Daylight and First Boulevard offer personalized banking experiences for underserved communities

  • A number of challenger banks have recently emerged to serve the needs of historically marginalized groups.
  • Daylight provides individualized banking services to the LGBTQ+ community, while First Boulevard caters to the financial needs of African Americans.
Ismail Umar | November 22, 2021
New banks

GoHenry zeroes in on finding the fun in finance

  • GoHenry is a banking app for kids that focuses on financial literacy.
  • With cash less of a staple payment form, GoHenry could be a solution to parents who want to track their kids’ allowances.
Rivka Abramson | November 16, 2021
New banks

‘Like navigating a dark forest with a dying mini-flashlight’: How Lance uses automation to simplify money management for freelancers

  • Lance provides automated banking solutions for freelancers.
  • The challenger bank recently launched a new feature that allows freelancers to receive direct credit card payments from their clients.
Ismail Umar | November 09, 2021
More Articles