Air Canada, Uplift join forces for flexible payment options
Denise Heffron

Uplift acquired by Upgrade: “We are very excited,” says Denise Heffron

SAN FRANCISCO — Uplift has been acquired by Upgrade, Inc. for $100 million in cash and stock.

A leading provider of ‘Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment and credit products to travellers, Uplift has seen rapid growth in recent years, serving 3.3 million customers in partnership with over 300 of the largest airlines, cruise lines and hotel chains in Canada and the United States.

Upgrade, Inc., a fintech company that offers affordable credit, mobile banking and payment products to mainstream consumers, announced the news today, July 27.

“We are thrilled to welcome Uplift team members, partners and customers to Upgrade,” said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. “The Uplift team has established the company as the leading BNPL provider in the travel industry, and we look forward to combining forces to make travel more accessible and affordable for millions of consumers, and over time implement similar solutions in adjacent parts of our customers’ lives.”

Denise Heffron, Uplift’s Managing Director, Commercial for the Canadian market, tells Travelweek that the Uplift team “is very excited about the opportunities this acquisition will unlock for both our partners and our mutual clients,” and that “our combined expertise will aid growth and development in the market and help us better serve Canadian travellers one thoughtful purchase at a time.”

Uplift offers a full range of BNPL products including popular 0% financing offers that help consumers align they payment of their travel expenses with their own cash flows at no cost to them. The company also performs credit bureau reporting, allowing users to keep up their good credit score as they make monthly payments.

Tom Botts, Chief Commercial Officer at Uplift, adds: We believe this combination will accelerate Uplift’s ability to help consumers pay for their trips through simple and affordable monthly installments. As part of Upgrade, more resources will be available to better serve our partners and customers to continue to develop simple, surprise-free, and straightforward payment plans to ensure people can pay for the things that matter most, the ones that elevate their lives.”

Travel financing fits within Upgrade’s strategy of making credit available at the point of sale to finance meaningful expenses such as buying a car or making home improvements, in addition to making credit available directly to consumers through cards and loans.

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