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  • Writer's pictureMagdalena Gołębiewska

Claro takes anti-BNPL campaign to London's streets

As a new study suggests that the ballooning BNPL industry is not taking market share away from credit cards, financial coaching app Claro Money has taken to London's streets with a billboard campaign urging Brits to "Say bye now to Buy Now, Pay Later".

Claro has erected a billboard in my beloved :) Canary Wharf, put up posters on the London Underground and sent a van around the capital to share its message.

Citing figures from the Financial Conduct Authority, the firm says that the unregulated BNPL market more than trebled in size during 2020,

"putting millions of customers at risk of unmanageable debt".

In the last two weeks, Monzo, Revolut and Curve have all jumped into the BNPL arena, joining the likes of Klarna, Clearpay, PayPal and Laybuy. The FCA is working on regulation for the industry, which it has said poses

"significant potential for consumer harm,"

citing figures which show that more than one in ten customers of a major bank using BNPL were already in arrears. The Claro campaign comes as a TransUnion study shows that BNPL is often not being used as a replacement for credit cards and other lending options. Liz Pagel, SVP, consumer lending, TransUnion, says:

“Consumers who may utilise point-of-sale financing are not doing so at the expense of traditional credit. We saw consumers who have applied for POS financing building balances on bank and retail cards, and applying for new credit at higher levels than the general credit population.These new forms of financing are growing the credit pie - opening up more opportunities for both consumers and lenders."

On the one hand, I see the danger, on the other hand banning and regulating is in my opinion, never the solution. Financial education is the key here! If people will learn how to manage their money and how to plan expenses, those products will become just an additional payment method, not a threat.

To put it simply - if you don't know how to use the knife, you can cut yourself. But if you learn how to do so, you can use it in your favour! Do you agree? PS - of course, some guidelines from regulators are more than welcome ;) What are your thoughts?

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