There's a new mobile payment operator on the block, and it is taking a bit of a different approach. The service, called Affirm, doesn't store credit card info and charge you when you make a purchase — that would put it in direct competition with major players like PayPal and Google Wallet. Instead, Affirm pays for you after quickly checking a few factors to determine whether or not it thinks you're likely to pay them back. Instead of a traditional credit check, Affirm uses a Facebook application to verify that you're a real human being, and it uses other information like ZIP code and mobile device ID to make its decision to vouch for you or not. If approved, you'll be given 30 days to pay back the company using a credit card or check, interest-free. Affirm charges merchants a fee to use the service.
With the system, which is currently only being offered when purchasing from 1-800-Flowers, you only need to select Affirm, connect to Facebook if it's your first time using the service, and then click order. (You still need to enter your shipping and billing address into 1-800-Flowers' form, however.) The service launched with the same partner earlier this year under the name Expedite, and it's being launched by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.