Afterpay is on a mission to enable the next generation of consumers to more easily access the things they want and need. By splitting purchases into four payments, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) model allows consumers to maintain financial wellness, while expanding their access to products from hundreds of thousands of merchants around the world.
The company's ethos is rooted in promoting accessibility and rewarding people for making responsible financial decisions. But while global commerce is a powerful connective force, it’s also a source of waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Aware of this tension, Afterpay partners with organizations that educate consumers to mitigate potential damage related to their purchases. The company had already begun tackling waste reduction via partnerships, and wanted to do the same for carbon emissions—in a way that felt authentic and fit seamlessly within their product experience.
Furthermore, it was important to Afterpay that their customers feel empowered to take action directly, and thus become part of the solution. Climate change is particularly top of mind for the company's target audience—an Afterpay report found that 50% of Gen Z Americans prioritize shopping sustainably—and they saw an opportunity to channel this passion into meaningful engagement.
“As we enable more consumers to access products from their favorite brands, it’s important to educate them about the impact those purchases may have on our planet,” explains Head of Strategic Partnerships Joe LaFalce. “We wanted to find a way to engage our customers directly in this effort, and empower them to take part in fighting climate change.”
To do so, Afterpay turned to Patch to help them become the first BNPL platform to embed climate action right into their app.
Climate action at consumers’ fingertips
Patch connects climate-conscious companies of all sizes with trusted carbon credits from an expertly vetted, broad collection of projects, either through direct purchases on the Patch platform or an API integration that automates the process. For Afterpay, it was important that the solution be embedded seamlessly into their user experience.
“We wanted to inspire our customers to take meaningful, direct action based on their Afterpay carbon footprint, and Patch’s API platform made it easy to create an engaging experience,” says LaFalce.
Afterpay decided the best starting point for building a climate action feature would be their already vibrant loyalty program. Through the Afterpay Shopping App, customers can see their carbon footprint and earn loyalty points by contributing to carbon credits. These loyalty points unlock new features and access to deals. Because Patch offers fractional purchasing, Afterpay’s customers can make small contributions to high-quality projects that are otherwise only accessible to large corporate buyers. The average contribution is around $5: a low lift for individual consumers to fund innovative climate technologies, and high impact for the climate when scaled across Afterpay’s user base.
For their portfolio of projects, Afterpay selected a range of nature-based solutions and frontier carbon removal technologies, and chose to let their customers select the project that resonates with them most. All projects have been vetted by Patch’s team of experts, so both Afterpay and its users can feel confident in their climate impact.
A win for Afterpay and the Earth
In just four short weeks, the Afterpay team was able to expand their loyalty experience, integrate with Patch, and launch to their users. Since then, thousands of Afterpay customers have placed orders for carbon credits—about 3000 individual orders per month—right from the Afterpay Shopping App. They’re now projected to contribute over $150K in carbon credits by the end of the year.
These contributions are helping to scale exciting technologies from organizations like Running Tide, which harnesses the power of kelp farming to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and CarbonCure, which injects carbon dioxide into concrete to sequester it for millennia.
Early data also showed a lift in Afterpay Shopping App session time and gross merchandise volume from users who engaged with the feature, demonstrating that climate features can help move the needle on business goals, in addition to environmental ones.
A world of climate opportunities
Afterpay’s Patch integration has already enabled their core demographic of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers to be more conscious consumers.
“Afterpay’s integration demonstrates that consumers not only want to make climate impact with their transactions, but choose to do so when given the opportunity,” explains Brennan Spellacy, CEO at Patch. “It’s a win-win for both climate action and consumer engagement.”
But bringing carbon removal to scale doesn’t end there. With their first feature complete and showing robust user engagement, Afterpay is looking ahead at ways to grow feature adoption and build additional climate offerings.
“The entire Afterpay team is thrilled to see what we’ve been able to achieve with Patch in such little time,” La Falce said. “We can’t wait to continue our partnership and unlock even greater climate impact.”