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Virgin Money confirms buy now, pay later launch

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Virgin Money announced it is to enter the buy now, pay later market this autumn.

The bank has opened a waiting list for its new credit card offering – ‘Virgin Money Slyce’ – which can be used to spend at any retailer accepting Mastercard. It’s not just for buy now, pay later spending though.

While there’s no minimum transaction spend, anything over £30 a month can be spread across three, six, nine or 12-months. While there’s no fee for the three- and six-month instalment options, for customers paying over nine or 12 months, there is an instalment fee.

Customers can also consolidate existing instalment plans into one monthly payment. There’s no initial charge for this, but as above, for payments over nine or 12 months, there is an instalment fee.

It’s a percentage of the total amount a customer puts into the plan, with nine monthly payments attracting a 7.5% fee, while 12 monthly payments have a 10% payment fee added. There are no late fees if customers miss a payment.

Virgin Money said customers can build up their credit score while using Slyce, and it includes fee-free spending abroad “as standard”.

It added that “unlike some BNPL providers”, it is fully regulated so it will carry out credit and affordability checks before any spending starts, “and to ensure the product is right for the customer”. Further, it said it will have a range of controls, protections and safeguards in place.

Customers with its new Mastercard credit card for BNPL spends can view and manage activity via the app which will have reminders and alerts to help users keep payments on track.

Virgin Money said the product has been designed and built with a Gen Z audience in mind as this group are often new to credit, it said.

Hugh Chater, chief commercial officer at Virgin Money, said: “It’s clear that consumers now expect to be able to pay via buy now, pay later plans, so we’re very excited to offer an option that will bring more customers into a regulated credit environment at the same time as offering market-leading terms, flexibility and simplicity.

“Importantly, Slyce will help our customers stay in control of their spending while also building their credit score for the future – allowing our customers to buy now, pay better on terms that work for them.”

In March NatWest announced it would enter the buy now, pay later market this summer. Last month the government published plans to regulate buy now, pay later loans but rules are unlikely to be brought in until next year at the earliest.

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