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Merchant Help

 

Affirm Merchant Help

Marketing compliance

Overview

Affirm is a consumer lender, and is subject to all applicable marketing and lending regulations. Affirm takes compliance very seriously. As a provider of Affirm's lending services, your marketing and terms must comply with these regulations. This guide covers these regulations and the disclosures you may need to include in your marketing to comply.

To ensure compliance and quality, send all marketing materials including site banners, messaging, landing pages and email communications to the Client Success Team for review before deploying live on your site. Please allow 5 to 10 business days for this approval process.

All of your Affirm related marketing content must be available to all of your customers.

Regulations

Please review our list of prohibited businesses that are not eligible to use Affirm.

While not an exhaustive list of regulations that apply to Affirm or consumer financing, these are the most relevant ones to consider when presenting and communicating financing options to your customers.

Name Summary Applicable areas Regulatory documentation
Truth in Lending Act (TILA) You must be transparent and honest in how you present financing options. Marketing, Affirm promotional messaging, custom financing programs Federal Reserve site
Equal Credit Opportunity (ECOA) You cannot discriminate against or selectively offer financing to individuals based on their personal details (age, location, sex, etc.) Marketing, Affirm promotional messaging, product-level financing FDIC site
CAN-SPAM Act You must follow established requirements for commercial messages and give recipients the ability to stop receiving messages from you. Email marketing FTC site

Generally, it is unlawful 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 a "reasonable consumer." Acts or practices that may be deceptive include stating 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 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 their credit.
  • If specific credit terms are stated (e.g., 0% down), you must offer those terms to customers.
  • 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.

Affirm encourages merchants to promote Affirm through email marketing campaigns, which must be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. The 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.” Here are the main requirements (read the CAN-SPAM Act for more details):

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • Identify the message as an ad.
  • Tell recipients your location.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

Businesses that violate FTC regulations may pay severe penalties to settle charges that are related to deceptive advertising. Affirm disables your account if you fail to comply with these regulations. Failure to comply may incur further legal and regulatory action from Affirm, your customers, or outside parties.

Marketing Disclosure

Some of your messaging may require adding disclosure information. This primer describes when that disclosure is needed, where it should go, and what it should say.