Zilch becomes first BNPL to partner with UK debt charity StepChange

Zilch becomes first BNPL to partner with UK debt charity StepChange

UK-headquartered buy now pay later (BNPL) FinTech Zilch has partnered with UK debt charity StepChange to help those during the cost-of-living crisis.

The deal, which Zilch believes is an industry-first, will help Zilch’s customers access help, if needed, more quickly during the cost-of-living crisis. Zilch is the first BNPL company to fully integrate StepChange into its platform.

The duo has removed steps that hinder people being referred. As part of this, StepChange has worked with Zilch’s vulnerability team on how to recognise and make referrals to debt advice more effectively.

Zilch will make financial contributions to StepChange through the Fair Share funding mechanism to support the charity’s operations.

Speaking on the partnership, Zilch CEO and co-founder Philip Belamant said, “The entire ethos of Zilch is about being customer-first and we’ve built the business around doing the right thing by our customers – even if it’s difficult – every time.

“It’s why we’ve invested so much time and resource into building a meaningfully proactive relationship with StepChange. To Zilch, this partnership is a natural and obvious one – why would any responsible lender of credit not want to align with an establishment such as StepChange that is doing so much to support people in these hard times?

“This partnership ensures we provide our customers with the very best support if they do fall behind on repayments – all for free.”

Last year, Zilch raised $50m in additional Series C funding. The capital was raised to support its expansion in the US market.

FinTech Global recently spoke to several players in the FinTech space about the future of BNPL during the cost-of-living crisis. The general consensus is that while 2023 could be a year of change for the industry, many will come out stronger.  

Brian Hanrahan – CEO at payments firm Nuapay said, “As interest rates increase, the cost-of-living bites, and potential regulation is brought in, BNPL providers will need to adapt to remain competitive. This means balancing the needs of consumers to spread more items over a prolonged period of time, while ensuring merchants have a cost-effective payment option.”

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