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A shopper views robes in the sleepwear section of a Sears Holdings Corp. store on Black Friday at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Installment plans have helped shoppers afford large purchases since the late 19th century and are still available for pricey items like cars and smartphones. But to delay payment for a T-shirt and a couple pairs of jeans, you needed a credit card. Now several fintech startups are putting smaller purchases on installment, too.

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