Source: Koto Card
Challenger lender Koto Card Ltd announced today it is rebranding to The Credit Thing and radically changing its product. The Credit Thing represents a substantial simplification of the product, which now offers up to 62 days of interest-free credit and starting limits of up to £1500 at an APR of 27.9%.
The Credit Thing uses novel underwriting to help the 15+ million customers who are left behind by big banks a better chance of being approved and a neo-bank experience once they are. The team behind The Credit Thing has first-hand knowledge of how challenging it can be to get on the credit ladder, even with no issues in the past. They hope The Credit Thing will take some of this stress away by taking a more individual approach to assessing applications.
Using Open Banking, Customers can link their current accounts as part of the application process, which means customers whose credit histories look thin or non-existent can prove their creditworthiness. In addition, customers apply in-app rather than online and are issued with a virtual card instantly, as soon as they are approved, which can then be added to Apple Pay or Google Pay or used to spend online. This is a big step forward for those who are used to waiting days for a decision on their application and even longer to receive a card in the post.
Once they have an account, consumers can expect a premium app with spend analytics, real-time spend alerts, and faster payments. Unfortunately, these features are often only available in the prime credit market, meaning customers with a less evolved credit file get left behind in these digital innovations. Customer support is over Whatsapp or iMessage, with extended opening hours slated to be 24/7 soon and no bots.
More than 15,000 customers have pre-subscribed for The Credit Thing, and they’ll now be invited to apply through the app. This month, the full market launch will start through price comparison and online channels.
Founder and Executive Chair Misha Rogalskiy said, “I know from my experience of coming to the UK 3 years ago that there are insufficient good credit options for consumers who are new to the country or new to credit. The market is ready to be disrupted by a provider who will give them access to the credit, the price, the experience and the service they deserve”.
Chief Executive Officer Rob Escott commented, “We learned a lot from launching koto. What customers value in that product is the premium, human service and the great app, and we proved our approach to underwriting is working. So we’ve kept those real positives and changed our product to something simpler and more intuitive. We’re looking forward to a real surge in our customer base in 2022”.