The bank aims to help near-privileged customers build credit.
Image source: Andy Mielczarek/Chetwood Financial.
A rapidly accelerating area of fintech is the recent rise of challenger credit cards, with names like Zopa, Tymit and Jaja working hard to bring new propositions to a market that lacks innovation.
Enter Chetwood Financial, which is today launching its own challenger credit card called Wave, aimed at helping near-privileged consumers underserved by traditional credit card giants.
Wave includes everything you’d expect from a credit card in 2022, including an app with biometric login, support for Apple and Google Pay, card freeze, refund alerts, and the ability to edit payments from your smartphone and more.
Chetwood founder and CEO Andy Mielczarek said AltFi that the “USP” is that Wave brings these features to consumers with low credit scores.
Mielczarek called Wave “a way to get people into credit and good credit habits.”
To do this, the app also has several unique features, including a refund calculator to help customers understand how refunds affect interest on their account, and a 3-day grace period for late payments.
“In our research, we could see that major customers were getting a much better experience with their credit cards,” said Chetwood Chief Commercial Officer Julia McColl. AltFi, showing both the cashback and rewards you could get with AmEx or Barclaycard, as well as digital apps and customer service.
“It felt like there was a lot of opportunity because what our customers are getting today is so much less than what the rest of the market seemed to be able to access.”
Clearly, one of the biggest trends in credit in recent years has been the meteoric rise of buy now, pay later, which Mielczarek describes as both a competitor and an opportunity.
“The buy now, pay later journey is what we’re competing against,” Mielczarek said, pointing to the ease with which providers like Klarna are integrated with online checkouts.
“The danger is in the management of your finances, especially if you have several [buy now, pay later products] pass at once. Wave is where you come to after you’ve bought a few now, paid later and want to take control of your finances.
More broadly, the CEO says he is ‘optimistic’ on credit demand and the direction of the macro economy, which is in line with the latest figures from the Bank of England which showed a surge in card usage. credit as consumers gain confidence in the economy. and increase their borrowing.
“A revolving credit product that you can tap into to weather any difficulties that may arise next year, I think now is the right time for that.”
Wave sits alongside Chetwood Financial’s other three products, a fixed-term savings account called SmartSave, an online consumer loan called BetterBorrow, and a dynamic consumer loan that adjusts its rate based on the consumer’s credit score. borrower called LiveLend Reward Loan.
Chetwood obtained its full banking license from the Bank of England in 2018 and has focused on creating financial products for consumers underserved by the mainstream.