In Episode 30 of This Week in Local, we interview the founder of a savings-based buy now, pay later rival on why America’s payments landscape needs better alternatives to debt.
Hershfield launched Accrue in 2021 to provide save now, buy later [SNBL], a model that flips the very popular (and controversial) buy now pay later [BNPL] model on its head. SNBL does this by helping consumers save for a purchase rather than take on debt in the form of a BNPL loan or by increasing a credit-card balance.
“I remember during the pandemic being overwhelmed with credit options – buy now pay later being one of them,” Hershfield says in the interview, sharing why he launched Accrue. “I felt very uncomfortable that there was not a savings option.”
The cultural drivers behind savings vs debt were one of Hershfield’s motivations to launch Accrue. And a significant portion of our interview with Michael was devoted to this topic.
Hershfield has raised nearly $30 million to pursue Accrue’s capital-intensive quest. The company has secured some notable merchant partnerships (the coin of the realm for both BNPL and SNBL). These include mattress seller Casper and online travel agency CheapOair.
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