Monzo and Curve both launched their respective “buy now, pay later” products… on the same day… and they’re both called Flex.
Image source: Monzo
For fintech bank challengers in 2021, launching a “buy now, pay later” feature makes perfect sense.
Demand for BNPL is booming. Hopes that this could disrupt the credit card industry, one of the most lucrative and competitive financial services markets in the world, seems increasingly likely.
Yesterday two of Britain’s best-known players, Monzo and Curve, did just that. And they called their hot new products of the same name: Flex.
Who was the first? Was it a coincidence? And above all, which one is the best?
Technically speaking, Monzo launched first, giving Curve a few hours, but Monzo, at the time of going to press, has not commented on the name error, but in a tweet the company said it had stealthily reported the name on Monday.
Nathalie Oestmann, COO of Curve says it was just a coincidence.
“Well, it’s kind of like spending months planning a killer outfit and then showing up to see someone wearing the same thing.” But with a lower APR and the potency of Flex much further in time, we think we’re wearing it better, ”she said. AltFi.
So what’s the difference?
Eligible Monzo customers can pay for purchases over £ 30 in three installments at 0% interest or more than six and 12 monthly installments at 19% APR (variable). Credit is limited to £ 3,000.
Meanwhile, Curve allows clients to “step back in time” and convert past payments up to a year ago into installment loans of three, six, nine or 12 months. However, it charges a flat 13% APR, which means it’s cheaper but doesn’t offer a 0% period. Monzo is therefore best for shorter periods of up to three months.
Monzo offers similar functionality to Curve’s back in time functionality, but only up to two weeks after purchasing something.
Curve Flex has been in testing since September 2020 and says it had 1,600 beta users making around 7,000 installment loan transactions worth over £ 1million.
Monzo Loan Officer Kunal Malani said: “We know money stops working for people when debt builds up and becomes a trap – so we listened to customers and designed a better way for them. to pay later, which puts them in control. Flex combines Monzo’s technology and banking expertise with its core values, ensuring that customers always have visibility and control over their financial lives and only borrow money they can afford to pay back.
Curve Founder and CEO Shachar Bialick said, “Why settle for a hard copy when you can have the real thing? Curve Flex is almost certainly the most flexible credit solution on the market. Without any limitations for merchants and the ability to accommodate all Mastercard, Visa and Discover cards, Curve Flex will provide customers with easy and affordable credit access. “