Wonga Group (‘Wonga’ or ‘the Group’) today announces new product features and the launch of a new marketing campaign in its latest step to ensure that all lending is conducted responsibly and transparently, delivering the best outcomes for customers.
The changes are in line with the six priorities announced by Wonga last July, which led to the suspension of advertising in the UK and a review of all marketing to reduce the risk of inadvertently attracting the young or vulnerable.
As part of Wonga’s focus on lending responsibly and sustainably to those who are cash and credit constrained across the UK, the Group has also announced a number of improvements to its cap-compliant, short-term loan product. They will be rolled out over the coming months and include:
- A 3-day grace period – if a customer is late with repayment, Wonga allows three days before applying a one-off default fee of £15;
- No surprises – in addition to the up-front pricing provided on the home page, applicants now see prominent information about the cost of a ‘worst case scenario’, should the loan fall into arrears;
- Improved safety net – all balances in arrears will be frozen after a maximum of just 7 days, representing a shortening of the existing 30-day limit on accruing interest;
- 24-hour money back guarantee – customers will be able to change their mind and cancel their loan within 24 hours of approval with no interest or fees and with no impact on their credit file;
- Refreshed website – a new-look Wonga website provides clearer product and company information for customers.
Additionally, Wonga is improving the level of customer service it offers, with enhanced agent support to help signpost customers to free and impartial debt advice where appropriate.
Wonga has also redeveloped its approach to marketing and today launches a targeted campaign designed to ensure it accesses the right type of customer. From today, the Group will be implementing a number of different safeguards in its TV media approach, including:
- Working with media outlets to self-impose a set of advertising restrictions to ensure that Wonga mitigates the risk of attracting the young or vulnerable;
- Screening commercial TV stations for under-18 audiences and automatically excluding from Wonga’s marketing plans those that fail to meet strict criteria;
- Providing clear risk warnings and representative APRs, which go beyond current regulatory requirements, so that customers are clear upfront of the risks of short-term borrowing.
Tara Kneafsey, UK CEO of Wonga, said: “Our new product features and today’s marketing re-launch are further proof of the action we’ve taken, and continue to take, to ensure Wonga is lending responsibly and putting customer outcomes first.
“We’re re-presenting our short-term loans to the public in a way that accesses the right type of customer and reduces the risk of inadvertently attracting the very young or vulnerable. Our focus is on serving hard-working people throughout the UK who need access to transparent, flexible and short-term credit products.
“We’re determined to put customers at the heart of everything we do, which is demonstrated by the new features we’re implementing, a number of which go beyond regulatory requirements.”
Wonga’s new advertising campaign will feature across a range of traditional and digital marketing channels including television, radio, print and online. The ‘Credit for the real world’ campaign has been developed to present typical Wonga customers while demonstrating their need for a responsible source of short-term credit.