Shopify announces new merchant debit card and support for installment payment plans – TechCrunch

Shopify today announces several new products and features at Reunite, a virtual conference for the 1 million merchants using the company’s e-commerce platform.

Additions include Shopify Balance, which chief product officer Craig Miller described as an attempt to rethink the bank account in a way better suited to the needs of a business.

“The traditional products offered by banks were created in a very different world,” Miller said. “We went back to the first principles of their design. “

Shopify Balance is therefore a merchant account with no fees or minimum balance.

Miller said that “initially” the only funds in the account will come from Shopify payments – merchants won’t be able to deposit extra money, but they will be able to log in, track cash flow, and pay bills. The account comes with a debit card (virtual or physical), and Shopify said it will also offer cash backs and discounts on expenses like shipping and marketing.

The company is also announcing a Buy Now, Pay Later feature, allowing merchants to give their customers the option of splitting their payments into four equal installments with no interest or additional fees.

Buying now, paying later could be particularly useful for merchants selling larger items – in a time of record unemployment and economic uncertainty, concerns about “serious debt” could prevent some customers from making these purchases with their credit cards. At the same time, traders will still be paid “instantly”. (Miller said Shopify is working with a finance partner for Balance and Buy Now, Pay Later, although he declined to offer more details.)

Shopify plans to launch both products later in 2020.

Other new features include a local delivery option allowing merchants to design a distinct delivery experience for local customers. The company is also opening up its robotic order processing network to merchants and adding the ability to collect tips at the checkout.

Miller said the general theme connecting everything Shopify has done over the past few months is a “crazy acceleration in the importance of digital” as merchants adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event also comes just a day after Facebook announced Facebook Shops, which will allow merchants to include digital storefronts on their Facebook pages and Instagram profiles. Shopify is actually a partner of this initiative; merchants will be able to manage their Facebook and Instagram storefronts from the Shopify platform.

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Elaine R. Knight

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