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Virgin Money grabs a ‘Slyce’ of the buy now, pay later market

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31/10/2022
Virgin Money Slyce has opened to customers who joined the credit card waiting list in summer. Here’s what you need to know about its leap into the booming buy now, pay later sector.

In July, Virgin Money opened a waiting list for its new credit card offering – ‘Virgin Money Slyce’ allowing customers to pay instalments for any monthly spends of £30 or more.

And now, these customers have been invited to apply for Slyce, while Virgin Money confirms it will launch for all in “early November”.

Interested customers can undergo an eligibility check for the Slyce card so there’s no impact on credit scores.

But before you dive in, here’s what you need to know about the buy now, pay later credit card offering.

Virgin Money Slyce

Virgin Money said it wants to “keep things simple” as instead of having multiple plans and payments with lots of buy now, pay later providers customers can manage all their buy now, pay later spending on one card, and pay back money owed with a monthly payment to suit different budgets.

The maximum credit limit is £3,000 though the level you receive is based on individual circumstances.

It’s only available for card purchase transactions so excludes balance and money transfers. It can be used at any retailer accepting Mastercard (in-store and online), but it’s not just for buy now, pay later spending.

While there’s no minimum transaction spend, anything over £30 a month can be spread across three, six, nine or 12 months. Any monthly amount under £30 needs to be paid in full.

There’s no fee to pay if you choose the three- or six-month instalment plan or pay in full each month.

But for instalments over nine or 12 months, there’s an instalment fee which is a percentage of the total amount you put in the plan:

  • Nine monthly payments: 7.5%
  • Twelve monthly payments: 10%.

As an example, if you spend £60 in a month and opt for the six-month plan, you’ll pay back £10 each month over six months.

However, if you picked the nine-month plan, a £4.50 instalment fee (7.5%) would be added and you would pay off a total of £64.50, which is £7.16 each month over the nine-month period.

Opt for 12 months and a £6 instalment fee (10%) would be added, meaning you would need to pay £5.50 each month over the 12-month period to repay the £66 total.

Other important points to know

Virgin Money confirmed that before customers choose a plan, any fees that apply will be shown in pounds and pence in the app. You can toggle between different plan lengths to see the options before choosing the one that’s best for your budget.

However, if customers don’t select a plan during the payment option window, your spend will automatically be put into a 12-month instalment plan, with a 10% fee. This will take longer, and cost more to pay off what you owe.

There are no late fees if customers miss a payment, but you will need to be mindful of dates to pay as you could be switched to the 12-month instalment plan which comes with a 10% fee as above. Credit Reference Agencies will also be told that your account is behind on repayments.

There are no foreign exchange fees for using the card overseas and card users can earn cashback at certain retailers.

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

Hugh Chater, chief commercial officer at Virgin Money, said in the summer: “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.”

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