Our regular digest of the most salient news and opinion on consumer credit,lending, and regulation
The Future of Payments | Money Supermarket | Sept 2018
Price comparison website, Money Supermarket, published a detailed guide of its view of the future of payments, and how that is expected to change the way consumers shop. The article questions whether or not having a physical wallet in the future will even be necessary – through technologies like bionic payments and AI. The article also touches on the concept of open banking. There are some interesting quotes from senior players at Monzo, Yoyo Wallet and Faster Payments, and some insightful statistics from the survey carried out by the comparison website e.g. 65% of those surveyed feel like traditional banks, such as Lloyds or Barclays, are safer than open banks and alternative financial management apps.
Buy now, pay later — the new debt trap for millennials? | Financial Times | 21.09.18
This FT feature probes into how millennials are being targeted by some ‘different-looking lenders’ who appear to be ‘rebranding debt’ for this particular generation. The article cites the example of Klarna – dubbed the ‘try before you buy’ service – which is being taken up online retailers such as ASOS. It enables shoppers to pay for their goods up to 30 days after they have been delivered. While its concept might feel revolutionary, the FT authors state it’s not all that different from an invoice or catalogue credit, its branding is just prettier.
The rise of cashless Britain: the poor suffer as banks and ATMs are closed| The Guardian | 01.10.18
Research by the Consumer group, Which?, estimate that up to 300 ATMs in the UK are closing per month as the UK becomes less and less reliant on cash. The article suggests we as a society, are oblivious to footing an ‘invisible bill; often it is small and independent businesses which bear the brunt of our use of plastic. On average it costs retailers three times as much to do a transaction by card than through cash. Where there are few ATMs in small and rural areas, small businesses are forced into investing in payment technologies that are not cost effective for them. If they don’t, it can mean they are put out of business.
Stepchange reveals strategy to double the number of people helped by 2022 |Credit Connect | 27.09.18
UK debt charity, Stepchange, has announced a new four-year strategy. By 2022 it aims to double the number of people it advises annually from 300,000 to 600,000. It hopes to offer new services to help with early interventions, increasing partnerships with creditors, and invest in new technologies. Phil Andrew, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said “We should be shocked that the need for debt advice is estimated at twice the sector’s current capacity to deliver – but we also have to plan ahead to meet it.”