You don’t need FCA authorisation/Consumer Credit Licence to offer your customers finance
It is a common misconception that you are required to be authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and have a Consumer Credit Licence to offer your customers finance or credit. Legislation was changed in 2015 so that as long as you meet the following criteria it isn’t required.
No. of instalments
You can offer repayments over 12 months with a maximum of 12 instalments
Your primary business purpose isn’t to sell financial services
The agreement must be for a fixed amount.
No interest or charges
You cannot charge customers interest or an admin fee for paying by finance
Why does it matter?
Firstly, obtaining authorisation from the FCA is generally regarded by businesses as very time consuming and can be tricky to achieve. One of the main reasons for this is because the FCA will not give you guidance on what your company needs to apply for and will tell you that you need to seek legal advice. Once you have worked out what authorisation you need from the FCA you need to apply and wait for a decision. It is likely that it will take 6-12 months before your authorisation is granted and in some cases it will take longer if they need more information from you.
Once you have been granted authorisation from the FCA with the right permissions, you will have to pay them fees and compile reports with the information that they require about how your business is trading.
Thankfully you are able to avoid the problems associated with authorisation from the FCA by doing business in line with the points discussed earlier.
How can I take advantage of this?
The easiest way that you can offer your customers credit without FCA authorisation is to use PayItMonthly system. We built our system from the ground up to make sure that you comply with the legislation. Therefore you just need to remember that you cannot charge your customer fees for paying by finance.
We believe that the regulations set out by the government, allowing companies to offer finance without a licence, shouldn’t be used as an excuse to cut corners and cause detriment to customers.
The FCA have embedded some really important principles into how Regulated companies treat their customers. These include treating customers fairly and listening to their individual circumstances. We wholeheartedly agree with these and they are at the core of how we do business. If a customer is struggling in any way we always try to work with them to find the best repayment solution.