Back in the day, getting a "short-term loan" meant knowing a Goodfellas-type character, a guy who wouldn't hesitate to take out some "collateral" if you forgot to pay. As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, though, getting a short-term (15-day) loan is as simple as texting a message to a bank. In this week's trends newsletter, Springwise points to a new banking service available from Finland's Ferratum, which promises to deposit funds into your account within 10 minutes:
"Dutch consumers have a new way to take out loans: by SMS. Finnish Ferratum just launched its short-loan service in the Netherlands. Customers can borrow EUR 100, 200 or 300 for a term of 15 days, by texting Ferratum their name, date of birth, bank account and address. If they've pre-registered, the money is in their bank account within 10 minutes. First-time customers have to wait 24 hours. Speedy loans come at a cost: Ferratum charges a hefty 25% processing fee. Which means that consumers who borrow EUR 300 today, owe the company EUR 375 in 15 days time.
In Sweden, Estonia and Finland, where a handful of companies have started offering similar services over the past year, ombudsmen have been pushing for regulation. While critics claim that it's unwise to offer people such effortless methods of sinking (further) into debt, one could also argue that consumers should be able to choose whichever form of credit works best for them. Though the rates smell of shark, the concept is definitely quick and easy..."