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Merchant Help

 

Affirm Merchant Help

Compliance

Overview 

Affirm is a consumer lender, and is subject to all applicable marketing and lending regulations. As a provider of Affirm's lending services, your messaging and terms must align with Affirm's messaging in order to stay compliant. This guide goes over what those regulations are, how they apply to your Affirm integration, and what steps you should take to ensure compliance.

As a lender, there are certain legal restrictions to messaging the Affirm product offering in order to stay compliant. Affirm takes compliance extremely seriously -- in order to keep our partners and ourselves safe from regulatory repercussions, we ask that merchants please send marketing materials including site banners, messaging, landing pages and email communications to the Affirm Merchant Success Team for review prior to deploying live on a site.

The marketing messages here must be used exactly as written below. Marketing copy that is related to Affirm financing must be distributed to all customers. Any alterations to the messaging must be approved by Affirm before it can be published.

Affirm has outlined certain prohibited businesses that may not be eligible to use Affirm.

If you have any questions, please contact the Merchant Success Team, please email merchanthelp@affirm.com. 

Regulations

This is not exhaustive list of regulations that apply to Affirm or consumer financing in general. These are some of the more prominent regulations to consider whenever presenting financing options to your customers.

Name Summary Applies to Official documentation
Truth in Lending Act (TILA) You must be transparent and honest in how you present financing options. Marketing, promotional messaging, custom financing programs https://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/regzcg.htm
Equal Credit Opportunity (ECOA) You cannot discriminate against or selectively offer financing to individuals based on their personal details (age, location, sex, etc.) Marketing, promotional messaging, product-level financing https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/law...01#fdic6500101

Guidelines

Generally, it is unlawful for a provider of consumer financial services to engage in any "unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice" when offering a consumer financial product or service. Regulators may view a representation, omission, act or practice to be deceptive when it is material and misleads or is likely to mislead a customer. The representation, omission or act must be considered from the perspective of the "reasonable consumer." Acts or practices that may be deceptive include misleading cost or price claims, offering to provide a product or service that is not available, or omitting material limitations or conditions from an offer. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Avoid statements that could create confusion about the fact that our loans are closed-end, installment loans. These include statements that suggest that Affirm financing is akin to a leasing arrangement or ongoing/revolving credit, like a line of credit or credit card.
  • Avoid statements that could suggest a "no strings attached" relationship when the customer would become contractually obligated to repay a loan, which may have an impact on his or credit.
  • If specific credit terms are stated (e.g., 0% down), the merchant must offer those terms to consumers.
  • Promotional language must clearly and accurately convey material limitations or conditions on the terms or availability of products and services. These conditions may include promotional features, expiration dates, prerequisites for obtaining particular products or services, or conditions for canceling services.

Disclosures

The disclosures below are required whenever Affirm marketing messages are present. Affirm must review and approve the format of any marketing material before it is published. Affirm’s final legal review is context-specific, so content and format are both important.

Disclosures may appear on the creative asset itself, or within one click via a link on the creative titled "Learn More." Disclosures must be clear and conspicuous: 

  • Disclosures must not be buried in the copy on the landing page or within the creative. 
  • The consumer does not need to scroll to view it and the font/font size does not make the disclosure inconspicuous. (When scrolling is necessary due to screen size, use text or visual cues to encourage consumers to scroll to view the disclosure.)
  • Disclosures must be segregated from everything else by formatting. For example, you may outline disclosures in a box or use a different type style.  

Approved language

  • Message: "Choose your monthly payments"
    • Disclosure: None
  • Message: “Pay over 3, 6 or 12 months."
    • Disclosure: "Rates from 10-30% APR"
  • Message: "Buy Now, Pay Later."
    • Disclosure: None
  • Message: “Pay over time in fixed monthly installments.  Choose Affirm to pay at checkout."
    • Disclosure: None
  • Message: "Finance your purchase with rates as low as 10%. Choose Affirm to pay at checkout."
    • Disclosure: "Rates from 10% to 30% APR. Choose from various loan terms."
  • Message: "Pay in monthly installments as low as $[__]. Choose Affirm to pay at checkout."
    • Disclosure: "Based on the advertised purchase price of $--- at 10% APR for 12 months"

Check Approved Marketing Copy to find creative ways to disclose key financing terms and conditions in a clear and conspicuous manner. 

  • If you use language such as "pay over time" or "choose your monthly payments," a disclosure of rates (i.e. 10-30% APR) must be included. 
  • Before you publish or send any Affirm promotional material to your customers, you must receive formal approval of those materials from Affirm's merchant partnerships team by emailing us at merchanthelp@affirm.com.

E-mail (CAN-SPAM)

Affirm encourages our merchant partners to promote Affirm through email marketing campaigns, which must be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act.

The CAN-SPAM Act covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial promotion of a commercial product or service.” This act includes email that promotes content on commercial websites. Refer to the FTC’s Compliance Guide for Business (PDF) for detailed information.

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “ReplyTo,” and routing information (including the originating domain name and email address) must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message. 
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message. 
  • Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement. 
  • Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box that you registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox that you registered with a commercial mail-receiving agency that is established under Postal Service regulations. 
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient may opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests. 
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you that they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company that you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. 
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.