Accrue Savings' pioneering save now, buy later is transforming how American consumers pay for purchases. The New York City-based fintech launched in late 2021, and its solution is already live with brands such as Casper, SmileDirectClub, and Poly & Bark.
And, following its $25 million Series A, led by Tiger Global, Accrue Savings is furthering its mission of helping smart brands reward customers when they save up for their favorite purchases.
To learn more about Accrue Savings' offering and why it's selected Checkout.com as its payments provider, Zack Levine, VP USA Sales at Checkout.com, spoke with Accrue Savings CEO and founder Michael Hershfield.
Michael, where did the idea for Accrue Savings come from?
Accrue Savings is one of those ideas that is just so simple. It came from the vision that every retailer should offer consumers the opportunity to save for the things they want.
There are so many options for customers to make purchases using credit. But there is nothing out there that rewards customers for saving. We recognized that gap in the market and flipped the traditional credit and pay-later model around to prioritize saving and paying in advance. We allow consumers to save up for purchases from their favorite brands, earn cash rewards along the way, and buy when they’re ready, without debt, interest or any late fees.
In a nutshell, it’s saving, rewarded. And it's a win-win for consumers and businesses.
How has your partnership with Checkout.com benefitted Accrue Savings?
Payments are the lifeblood of our business. Our fear in selecting the right payment provider was that they would not have the tools for us to be able to go to market the way we wanted to. This is the case regarding what we want to offer customers today, and tomorrow.
Checkout.com specializes in supporting high-growth fintechs like us. We were impressed with its experience working with leading fintech brands such as Klarna, Wise and Curve. And its solution has all the capabilities we require.
But more importantly, the Checkout.com team understood our vision from the start. They've gone above and beyond being a payments provider. They've stepped up to become trusted advisers that have helped shape our business's product and go-to-market strategy.
This expertise and dedication to our business shone through during our initial conversations and through the onboarding process. Checkout.com puts a premium on transparency and helps us understand payments at large. There was never a 'sale'. And, even now, as we actively process with Checkout.com, our account manager is proactively helping us build our future products and improve our payments performance.
We're a Series A company, but Checkout.com treats us with the support and service we'd expect it to provide to an enterprise business. This is a testament to Checkout.com's philosophy and the dedication it shows to its customers.
Let's expand on the save now, buy later concept. How does it work in practice?
It's pretty straightforward. Merchants embed our solution at their digital point of sale and other places around our website. Their customers can then create an Accrue Savings account directly from the merchant's website and start making deposits from their checking account. As consumers start saving, they earn cash rewards towards their purchase right away, plus they can invite friends and family to contribute to their savings goals.
Accrue Savings is FDIC-insured, so customers can trust that their banking information is 100% secure and that they’re completely in control of their savings plan.
How do brands benefit from offering a save now, buy later to customers? Can it help them battle rising acquisition costs?
You're right in pointing out that brands are facing rising acquisition costs. The numbers vary, but some businesses are seeing their cost of acquisition increase by as much as 10x. That's substantial and hits the bottom line.
Can save now, buy later be a solution to this? Absolutely. Businesses that offer our solution see a reduction in bounce rates and an uptick in the conversion of cold leads. They also lock in loyalty from customers who may not be ready to buy now or planning to buy seasonal or out-of-stock products.
What we offer is a 'social saving experience'. By asking friends and family to contribute to their savings, consumers also give the brands their shopping with free word-of-mouth advertising and validation. This can be extremely powerful for brands in this environment.
Can you talk more about rewarding people for saving, why has this never been addressed before, and why is now the right time to do so?
In our forever consumption-driven society, people have innovated around credit and spending. Particularly in the United States, people have forgotten that Americans save – or have to save – to make purchases. Saving has remained somewhat in the shadows. Accrue thinks that its time has come, though. Saving needs to be rewarded!
As to why now? With the planned changes to third-party cookies for online marketing, acquiring customers online will become much more expensive. Accrue is the alternative to the deeply cookie-driven culture of businesses chasing customers across the web to sign them up.
We help brands redistribute the marketing budget destined for customer acquisition to the customers themselves. At the same time, businesses are seeing us as a cost-effective marketing tool to acquire customers early on.
What’s next for Accrue Savings?
We believe that every American retailer should be offering a savings experience to their consumers. Consumers deserve it, and retailers really benefit, so it’s a win-win. When it comes to spreading this mission globally, we believe that Checkout.com is uniquely positioned to support us. So, it’s up to us to deliver, and I know that Checkout.com will support us as we execute against our mission.