By Kristjan Novitski, MD & Founder of Peachy.co.uk
25 years ago the concept of being able to access hundreds of pounds simply with a few taps of your mobile phone while walking down the street would have been completely alien. The internet has totally transformed the way that both consumers and businesses access finance. It has provided them with a wealth of options where people can quickly and easily compare loan options from across the world. No longer are consumers forced into taking a loan from their nearest bank or money shop; they can log on and compare rates and see what is best for them.
The short-term loan industry which Peachy.co.uk inhibits is one that has acted as a magnet for criticism in recent times with the common perception that we force consumers further into debt. However, it’s important to remember that while there are some bad guys around, there are a number of companies, like Peachy who are fully committed to offering a much-needed service that certainly doesn’t deceive customers. We make sure that all our activities are in line with rules outlined by the OFT (Office of Fair Trading), the CFA (Consumer Financial Association) and soon the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) who will be taking over regulation of the industry in April.
The internet has given companies like ours a platform to offer consumers, and businesses, a lifeline. When they have been rejected funding from their local bank, we have been there. John O’Hara from Instant Lolly recently said that payday loan companies are “the untold saviours of the recession” and while I can’t go so far as to agree with that, I think there is an element that they do provide a service that people have needed in recent years. And, it’s thanks to the internet that we are able to offer that service. Peachy itself was launched in 2011 – born in Estonia out of my aim to focus on ‘the 3 E’s’ – expectations exceeding experience and provide a fast, easy and secure offering when our customers needed it. We focus on creating long-term relationships with our clients and those who can access hundreds of pounds via their mobile phone are only those who we approve and know we can rely on to pay the money bag in an agreed time.
Of course there is a percentage of our customers who take their short term loan to help start up their own business and it is this element of our industry that is, in fact, helping to drive improvements in the economy. The internet has given these would-be entrepreneurs and innovators the chance to access a whole international market place to choose from, reaching venture capital funds and business investors worldwide.
The next step for the short term loan industry, thanks to the internet, is the rising power of mobile technology. Already 66% of our customers access their funds via their mobile and with new apps coming out, innovations and elimination of the so-called ‘cowboys’ by the FCA will mean that the reliable, trust-worthy companies can take precedence in the industry, building a better reputation and allowing us to expand our technology that will make things even easier for everyone in need of accessing finance quickly.