M&S partners Clearpay for online payments
Written by Hannah McGrath
Marks & Spencer is launching its first pay by instalments option with Clearpay, as part of its £25 million technology transformation programme.
The High Street stalwart announced that the partnership with Clearpay, part of the Afterpay Touch Group, will enable UK customers on M&S.com to spread the cost of purchases over £30 interest-free for six weeks. The option is set to go live in mid-November.
The announcement comes after chief executive Steve Rowe set out the plan for “far-reaching change” at an investor meeting earlier this month including an upgraded range and online shopping options after half a decade of falling sales.
Rowe told investors that the introduction of instalment credit online was among a range of "tactical actions" to be deployed to drive trade alongside more effective leveraging of M&S’ multi-channel estate.
The move is intended to help M&S compete with the likes of Next, which already has a credit system, and e-commerce rivals such as ASOS, which have agreements with digital payments players like Klarna.
Clearpay is a free facility that spreads the total payment out over four instalments, paid back across six weeks and not requiring a credit application. Customers can access and manage payments through the newly-launched Clearpay app, which gives on-the-go access to its shop directory and budgeting tools, payment history and status.
M&S said the new payment would help to drive towards the business’ target of one third of clothing and home UK sales online by 2022.
Kirsty Ward, director of M&S Bank and services, said: “We’re committed to providing our customers with seamless, easy and convenient ways to pay, and that’s why we’ve introduced this fully integrated and interest-free option to help spread the cost of shopping on M&S.com.”
She added that the Clearpay solution would complements the retailer’s existing financial services offerings, including M&S credit and debit cards through M&S Bank. The facility is being rolled out on online over the next few weeks and will be fully available to customers from mid-November onwards.