Reinventing the relationship between merchants and consumers in Europe

Reinventing the relationship between merchants and consumers in Europe

Three years after our launch, we have raised €210M to build what we call balanced commerce. Our objective? Continue reinventing the merchant-consumer relationship at a European scale.

Our raison d’être: bringing finance back to serving business

We want to be part of consumers’ daily lives and help them buy better – not just more – by offering them an effective and sane alternative to traditional consumer credit. Buying better is not just about buying better quality, longer-lasting products; it’s also about not incurring hidden charges or late fees.

It is also important for us to support the growth of retailers. To do this, we want to help them boost conversion rates and increase average basket values, as well as bring them new customers within the framework of a balanced relationship, as opposed to what we see with the large Internet platforms.   

We are the only BNPL player in the world that has never charged even €1 in late fees.

The business model of charging late fees imposes an ethical distortion – late fees are an incentive for the BNPL company to accept vulnerable buyer profiles who are likely to pay late and therefore pay additional fees. These penalties can represent up to 15% of revenues for some platforms. At Alma, it is 0%. By choice. We want to put this notion of responsible lending back at the heart of discussions about credit, and make our practices the market standard.

Finance must remain a means, not an end. It must remain at the service of the real economy, not the other way around. This is the vision that we are striving to spread in France, and now in Europe.

More than 6,000 merchants and over a million consumers have already chosen us. Without a doubt, this is the accomplishment of which we are the proudest.

Our ambition: to become (truly) European

This is what our merchants are asking from us: to be supported wherever they sell, via e-commerce as well as in-store, on the French market as well as across Europe. We are currently present in 5 countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Italy. In 2022, we are going to develop our presence in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland and Austria.

But « being present » is not limited to offering a dematerialised payment method and managing everything from HQ. For us, being present means being in contact with merchants and their customers by developing local teams. It means staying true to our DNA: helping all merchants, small or large. 

For this reason, after opening offices in Madrid and Milan, we will soon be opening one in Germany. Proximity and physical presence are essential for us. We want to become a (truly) European company.

This is also why we are going to encourage mobility between our different European offices: so that each employee will have the opportunity to spend a few months abroad, to immerse themselves in the culture, to understand the problems of the local market and to establish links between teams. We are convinced of the double benefit of this cross-cultural mix: on the one hand, we develop real expertise based on comparison and analysis of practices; on the other, this mobility will make us even more attractive to talent.

And we will need talent if we are to achieve our objectives: by 2025, we will have more than €300 million in turnover, 10 billion in payment volumes, and 1000 employees. 

We dare to be ambitious because we know the value of what we are creating for the ecosystem: more than a product, more than a company – a new vision of balanced commerce, where the success of some does not depend on the failure of others.

written by

Benoit Renard

Head of Marketing

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