Many of you may have heard of Wonga, the payday loan company. They are known for offering short term loans to people who are looking for fast cash to cover unexpected bills, holidays, car payments and so on.

As the market is saturated with personal loan products, Wonga differentiate itself and diversify from traditional payday loan products. How does the company do it?

Euro banknotes

A little history

The firm started off in the UK, but has since expanded internationally. They now operate in South Africa, Germany and Poland, offering customers short term loans across these areas.

They were the first company to provide an instant lending decision application on Apple phones. This meant that consumers could quickly and easily apply for a short term loan on their phones, and, provided they met all the checks, could receive their much needed credit in their bank account within just a few days. This was revolutionary at the time – traditionally customers would need to fill out some hefty paperwork in a bank and wait a long time before getting a decision, and even longer to receive the money.

This is a long process, especially when you need the money quickly to cover a bill or sudden expense.

Who Wonga appeals to

Wonga claims their customers are usually “tech-savvy young professionals,” who would have traditionally gone into a bank to get short term credit but can now apply online more quickly. Entrepeneur.com suggest that

“Banks might be the bigger hitters, but alternative lenders definitely win at the racetracks. They’re faster and more efficient underwriters.”

The payday loan market exploded across the internet a few years back, in an era before the FCA rolled out new caps that culled many of the more abusive lenders. It’s safe to say that the average lender is now much safer than they once were, however consumer vigilance should still be paramount.

Wonga have undertaken updates to their risk analysis and qualification processes to more finely focus on the aforementioned ‘young professional’ market, a demographic extremely likely to be successful in repaying loans. The Wonga Money Academy is clear evidence of their desire to target the emerging ‘millennial professional’ market, the content hub explores borrowing money responsibly, investing, debt management, and understanding ‘the good, the bad and the ugly debt types’ to name a few.

Evolution

In 2017, Wonga expanded their product offering to include a personal loan with flexible repayment options for up to a 6 month period. The UK branch of Wonga have been offering these products for a while, but their South African Website have now followed suit with their own personal loan product.

Wonga Flexi Loan
photo credit: The Times

Personal loans differ from a payday loan which typically covers a 45 day period. There are many advantages of this kind of loan over a 6 month period. It is still quick and easy to apply for this loan, interest rates are often more favourable and there are various flexible repayment methods to choose from. Customers can therefore budget carefully and repay their loans on time. Wonga actively encourages its borrowers to pay back early. This means that you can pay less interest and settle your debt a lot sooner.