Fintech Tymit is disrupting the UK credit card market with a new offering that protects customers from getting caught up in a spiral of credit card debt.
This follows a recent survey by the Financial Conduct Authority that revealed two million adults in the UK are now struggling to pay their bills and repay loans as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This brings the total number of people in the UK with low financial resilience, which means they are more likely to fall behind with payments, to 12 million, says the UK’s financial regulator. Of those surveyed, 36% of respondents with loans or credit card debt said they were worried about making repayments on these.
The Tymit credit card puts consumers in full control of their repayments, ensuring they never get trapped on a revolving balance that continues to grow with compound interest payments. “Credit cards don’t have to be financial pitfalls,” says Tymit CTO and co-founder Nicolas Magnone. “The Tymit credit card is built around the ethos of responsible lending and promoting the financial wellness of our customers.”
Tymit has teamed up with Transact Payments Limited to issue the Tymit credit card, which is the UK’s first instalment only credit card. TPL’s Director of Business Development Noel Smith says: “We’re proud to be working with Tymit on this solution and we really believe in this product. It helps to potentially provide a better option compared with the incumbent services, which could result in higher risk of debt problems. The instalment payment market is growing rapidly across Europe, and it’s great to see Tymit’s flexible, innovative solution expand to a wider market appeal as it offers consumers a positive alternative to credit cards and loans.”
With every purchase they make, users have the option to pay off the purchase in full that month or repay in 3 monthly instalments, all at no interest. If they need longer, they can choose to repay in 6, 12, 24 or 36 monthly instalments at a transparent interest rate that is quoted upfront in GBP. “Many of the incumbent providers tend to hit customers with hidden fees and charges,” says Nicolas. “We aim to make our costs transparent and easy to understand.”
Financial wellness is at the heart of Tymit’s offering. Customers can monitor and manage their spending in a number of ways via the Tymit app. For example, the Purchase Simulator gives customers an instant overview of how a big purchase, such as a holiday, will affect their monthly payments. And the Bundle functionality allows customers to group purchases into a particular bundle, such as ‘DIY materials’, customise its appearance and apply a payment plan of choice.
In addition to helping customers get a better understanding of how much they are spending and what on, the Tymit app sends smart alerts to customers’ phones when payments are due, ensuring they never miss paying a credit card bill. “Our ultimate aim is to protect our customers’ credit scores by not allowing them to get into a position where they either miss payments or don’t pay off any of their balance at all,” says Nicolas.
Thousands are turning their backs on traditional credit card providers and signing up with Tymit. The start-up has doubled its customer numbers in just two to three months and is now working closely with TPL to move into the scale-up phase.