Alice Tapper started Go Fund Yourself in her mid 20s as "a response to the lack of financial education in schools which has left so many of us confused and head-in-the-sand when it comes to money." She says she wanted to create a resource which made personal finance and financial news relevant and even – whisper it – entertaining. "I’d say I’m a self-confessed finance geek," she laughs.
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it’s not me it’s you 👋 *swipe 👉 * For more on budgeting, head over to stories for a useful guide. I’ve gained some new followers recently, hello! So let me explain what this is all about... I’ve launched a campaign urgently calling for better regulation to protect young and vulnerable consumers from misleading Buy Now Pay Later products ⚠️ This absolutely isn't about putting a stop to BNPL. BNPL can be useful and used well. If that's you, great! It's here to stay but there is an urgent need for better regulation to protect consumers. #RegulateBuyNowPayLater I need your help! Here’s how to support in 3 mins 👇 1️⃣ Share this far and wide and check out the other posts 2️⃣ Sign and share the Change petition. Link-in-bio. 3️⃣ Tweet - Link in bio for a tweet in one click. Tag your MP if you can. Thank you Alice x #Klarna #buynowpaylater #moneymatters#moneymanagement #moneygoals #financialpeace #financialfitness #klarna #savingmoney#personalfinance #savingmoney#wealthmanagement#moneytips #debtfreejourney #debtfreegoals #ukdebtfreecommunity #ukdebtfree#debtfreeliving #wealthbuilding#wealthmanagement#moneysavingtips #financialpeace #moneymoves #financialindependence
"So what the campaign isn’t saying is that BNPL products should not exist," Alice explains. "They can be useful and used well." Instead, she says, her campaign is calling for regulation and clarity. "As it stands, because some BNPL products don’t charge interest, they fall outside of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) regulatory remit. This means that unlike traditional credit products like loans and credit cards, there is no guidance around how they should be marketed to consumers; there is no requirement for certain information to be included at checkout and in adverts for example. This means that some consumers, particularly those who might be younger or more vulnerable, are getting themselves into financial difficulty."
"This is not about revoking the need for personal responsibility," Alice says firmly. "Personal responsibility is a good thing but you can’t expect good decisions from consumers who aren’t being told about the perils of bad decisions."
Alice says she's even come across people who have unwittingly used BNPL because it’s the default payment option on websites. "It simply should not be possible to access credit by accident. Risk wording should be mandatory in adverts alongside better protection and information at checkout." It is worth noting that Klarna specifically differentiate themselves from other, usual payments, "both visually, and in terms of the information the consumer is required to enter."
There are, as mentioned, plenty of good reasons to use BNPL schemes. Trying stuff on at home before you buy is useful for sticking to a budget as you're not having money leave your account and then waiting for it to be refunded. Alice notes that this may be particularly useful in this post-COVID world, when some of us might feel less than enthusiastic about trying on clothes in store.
So far, Alice has collected over 150 stories of people, mainly young women, who have been negatively impacted by buy now, pay later schemes. Some women have used them without realising and then found themselves inundated with late payment letters; others have shared the emotional side of getting caught in an addictive cycle of overspending. "[I've spoken to] women in their early 20s racking up debt in the thousands across multiple buy now, pay later providers. This is compounded by the pressures of social media, Instagram and poor mental health," Alice sympathises. "Oftentimes these are people who might struggle to be approved for a credit card but are still able to use unregulated buy now, pay later products." E-commerce and social media, she says, are becoming inextricably linked and it is therefore important that the products we use when purchasing are transparent.
It’s important to be clear that the campaign is seeking regulation across all buy now, pay later products. However, as market leader, Alice says that Klarna "has a responsibility to be more aware of how they are encouraging overspending."