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07/08/2021

Westfield shopping centers to offer flex payments

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Westfield Century city

A major mall operator is teaming up with a leading buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), owner of Westfield shopping centers in the U.S., is entering an integrated, multi-year national partnership with BNPL provider Afterpay. URW seeks to offer consumers a more flexible way to pay for their purchases as they return to shopping in stores.

Through this partnership, URW and Afterpay will jointly invest in new customer experiences, retail innovation, events, marketing and on-premise advertising at Westfield shopping centers. The joint activity will initially extend to Westfield centers in the U.S., with plans to take the partnership global in the coming months.

Despite the acceleration of e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey conducted by Westfield found that nearly half of consumers are excited to shop in-person again, with 63% of consumers calling in-person shopping a "special treat." In addition, 73% of surveyed shoppers said that the ability to go home with their purchases right away is a big factor in their decision to return to malls.

"Afterpay is the ideal BNPL partner for us because we share a commitment to providing seamless and effective solutions to retailers that, in-turn, provide increased choice and flexibility for consumers," said Colin Shaughnessy, executive VP, U.S. leasing, URW. "We look forward to working together to elevate the in-store shopping and media experience across our portfolio in the U.S."

"Afterpay is an ideal solution for this new era of commerce because our contactless payment solution is secure and clean, while also allowing shoppers to spend responsibly and avoid revolving debt and interest," said Zahir Khoja, GM of Afterpay North America. "We are thrilled to partner with Westfield, as shoppers and retailers alike celebrate the reopening of stores."