New ‘purchase now, pay later’ tips: S$2,000 cap an excellent begin however not sufficient, specialists say


Mr Wong Nai Seng, regulatory technique chief at Deloitte Southeast Asia, famous that even with the cap on excellent funds, it’s nonetheless doable for shoppers to “borrow” S$2,000 from every BNPL supplier with out going by any credit score checks, and find yourself with “substantial” money owed.

To stop this threat, the business can contemplate setting completely different spending limits for purchasers.

“The restrict could be based mostly on the credit score data sharing preparations that BNPL suppliers have dedicated to and range relying on every buyer’s revenue,” stated Mr Wong.

“For instance, clients with no or low revenue, (equivalent to) college students, ought to have decrease spending limits.”

The Singapore FinTech Affiliation, in response to CNA’s queries, stated the S$2,000 cap goals to stop BNPL clients from “overburdening their monetary positions” and was decided based mostly on business information and suggestions.

It didn’t reply to questions on what number of BNPL customers have exceeded this restrict and subsequently defaulted on repayments.

On whether or not it will contemplate extra safeguards, the affiliation’s president Shadab Taiyabi stated the working group had engaged with varied stakeholders in growing the code of conduct.

“Going ahead, we’ll proceed to have interaction completely different stakeholders to obtain their suggestions and to proceed the dialogue on how the code can additional shield shoppers’ curiosity.”

WILL BNPL HURT ONE’S CREDIT RATING?

As a part of the code of conduct, the BNPL business will even be organising a credit score information-sharing bureau by late 2023, with the assistance of credit score information agency Experian.

This can enable BNPL suppliers to share with each other data on clients’ excellent quantities and delinquency standing – a transfer welcomed by specialists.

Whereas the code specifies that data can be shared just for the aim of offering BNPL companies, specialists don’t rule out the potential of BNPL information being shared with different entities, equivalent to credit score businesses and banks, ultimately.

“Ideally, BNPL credit score data ought to be aggregated with credit score information maintained by the credit score bureaus for banks and moneylenders to supply a holistic view of every particular person’s credit score state of affairs,” stated Mr Wong.

“A lender can then resolve whether or not to increase credit score based mostly on a extra full file of every potential buyer’s credit score historical past and their threat urge for food. This will even create stronger incentives for people to handle their borrowing prudently.”

Echoing that, Mr Ruddenklau stated information from the BNPL credit score data sharing bureau would probably ultimately “be commingled with different lending merchandise”.

This “logical conclusion” means potential affect on one’s credit score scoring.

“If we’re lacking funds on a routine foundation, lenders do not like that as a result of it seems like spotty credit threat. So we have to handle the small issues to look out for the larger issues – on this case, a mortgage or a mortgage for well being therapies,” he stated.

Nonetheless, specialists harassed that whereas safeguards are essential, the onus nonetheless lies on shoppers to handle their very own spending.

“May we make the cap for these between 18 to twenty years previous at S$500? Presumably,” stated Mr Ruddenklau.

“However I do not suppose that is going to resolve the underlying difficulty which is knowing the worth of cash, folks being accountable for themselves … and studying the best way to stay inside your means.”



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