Zopa is here to change the way we feel about our banking
I am sharing with you today exciting news of a next generation bank that has launched. Zopa is here (find out more from Zopa by clicking here) and have been granted it’s banking licence today! You may have heard of Zopa already. They have 13 years of experience in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending world, matching people looking for a competitive rate loan with investors looking for a higher rate of return. It’s now bringing us a different type of bank, one that combines its successful P2P business with a digital FeelGood bank.
How do you feel about your current bank?
Zopa has done some research** and have discovered over half of us feel that our banks don’t have our best interests at heart and 30% of us think our banks could provide a fairer service. This is a worrying statistic that we feel this way about the institutions looking after our money.
But I get it. I recently had an interesting experience with HSBC where I was trying to open a simple regular monthly savers account. I used to work for HSBC as my first graduate job and remember the systems and processes well. Opening the account felt a bit like times hadn’t moved on much from nearly twenty years ago!
The account opening took more than an hour, requiring an appointment in branch with a customer adviser. There were many forms to complete, ID to check, paperwork to sign. Honestly, it took in excess of one hour to complete everything and be set up. Banking does not need to be as complicated as this. And it isn’t with Zopa, there won’t be a long face-to-face meeting, the checks are quick, and if you’re applying for a credit product they won’t mark your credit rating until you apply.
Who are Zopa?
Zopa launched in 2005 and is a financial services company offering both loans and investment, using the P2P model. I can invest some money that will then be lent out to another customer. I get a great rate on my investment and the customer gets a competitive rate on their loan. Win-win.
Here is video from Zopa explaining how it works
As of November 2018 Zopa has lent out over £3.8 billion to consumers with more than £1 billion in the past year alone. They have over 60k active investors and over 300k loan customers. It is a huge successful business with more than 400 employees.
It has won many awards, a sure sign of a trusted company. Moneywise has voted them a trusted loan provider for the past nine years in a row! It won the award for Best Customer Service in 2018 by Moneyfacts and Best Personal Loan Provider at the British Bank Awards 2018.
Zopa is UK based with UK customers and has offices in London and Barcelona. In Nov 2016 they announced plans to launch banking products and two years later those plans have now come to fruition.
Zopa is here to shake things up
Zopa is here to change the way we feel about our banking and will give all customers a fair deal. All their special product rates and offers will be available to both new and existing customers. This is great news as this is one of my biggest issues with banks, telco, entertainment, utility and insurance companies offering better deals to attract new customers and then charging more to existing customers.
Zopa recognise that money management is extremely tough, but also that technology can make this process easier. There will be a fantastic app with plenty of features to help manage money, pay bills and set goals amongst many other things. And if you need it there is a friendly person at the end of the phone to help.
What products are coming?
Over the coming months Zopa will be launching some exciting new products, all designed to meet the needs of customers and relay their frustrations. Now that the banking licence has been granted Zopa are in a mobilisation stage where restrictions are placed for the short-term. Hence new products will be released over a period of time.
There will be a fixed term savings product that will be available and also a credit card and a money management app.
What about a new bank note?
Zopa want people to FeelGood about money so they thought it would be a great idea to cheer up some of the images on our current bank notes. They asked four artists (Matt Blease , Micheal Driver, Nadia Akingbule and Joey Yu follow them on Instagram clicking on the names) to create FeelGood images. And here is what they came up with. I think you will agree smiley faces; peace signs and sunsets are a definite FeelGood factor.
Exciting to see the Roll out of the new products and a FeelGood Company here to change our view of banking
I am looking forward to seeing the new Zopa products go live and give them a try. I have signed up their alerts. A fixed term savings account is the perfect product I am looking for now as I am looking for a higher interest rate!
I will be updating you readers regularly on the new products coming so be sure to check back and read more about Zopa.
This is a collaborative post with Zopa, whom reached out to me to help promote their banking licence news, and new products.
** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2017 adults, of which 2008 have a bank account. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th – 29th October 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).