Zilch, a London based start-up redefining the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) market, has today become one of the UK’s first BNPL FinTech to secure a consumer credit authorisation with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The move marks a historic moment for the UK Fintech industry - and is a testament to Zilch’s unique approach of placing consumer financial wellness at the heart of its operations.
Philip Belamant, Zilch founder and CEO said, “Zilch was built with customer affordability at the forefront of everything we do and we have been working towards this point since our conception. Having secured our consumer credit authorisation with the FCA is another step towards improving consumer financial wellness and removing credit related anxiety for our customers.”
Zilch is the only player in the industry that makes use of Open Banking data (in partnership with CreditKudos) as well as soft credit checks to ensure each customer's creditworthiness and affordability is assessed accurately every time they shop, preventing burdensome debt.
The fintech entered the FCA’s innovative Regulatory Sandbox Programme to work hand in hand with the regulator on its unique consumer-focused approach to buy now pay later.
Philip continued, “We have been working very closely with the FCA over the past 12 months to make this a reality - I don’t think I’ve ever come across a regulator with such a forward thinking approach to innovative business models. The Sandbox programme allowed us to seek advice from the FCA, get their oversight and guidance on our initial testing and ultimately ensure we were building a model that is not only profitable for our business but, importantly, one that works for our customers too.”
Over the last few years the FCA has taken critical steps to ensure that the consumer credit market is a transparent and trustworthy space for the consumer and in September, the FCA announced a review of the future regulation of the unsecured credit market, which will consider the impact of the pandemic, new business models and the growth of unregulated products.
“We welcome and fully support this approach and believe lenders should always do their best to ensure they are at no point becoming a burden on the customer. For this to happen one must make use of the latest technologies in order to assess not just credit worthiness but affordability too. Zilch is leading the way in this regard.”
Zilch is the most unique player to enter the BNPL market with it’s over-the-top solution which allows customers to pay over time and interest free wherever MasterCard is accepted.
Unlike the majority of BNPL providers that work with merchants to offer cash at checkout, Zilch is merchant agnostic and has partnered with Mastercard to provide a service directly to its customers wherever they choose to shop. Customers can use Zilch to get discounts and deals as well as pay over time wherever they like through one, easy to use experience.