If you recently took out a ‘smart little loan’ from Nimble – well, you’re smarter than you may well think.
Advertised as ‘payday loans’, the cash injections, if approved, are designed to see you through to payday, or provide you with that extra cash you need for whatever reason, even if payday seems a lifetime away.
The problem is, if people are living payday-to-payday, odds are they’ll find it very difficult in the cycle of interest and repayment – especially with a loan that comes complete with exorbitantly high interest rates.
Nimble hit us seemingly out of nowhere, with their clever, funny adds and relatable nature. They had a sleek look and seemingly big advertising budget, with ads cropping up all over the place.
The problem is, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission were watching, and, with the ASIC, ruled that Nimble has to refund $1.5million in repayments to more than 7,000 consumers who were given loans, and should not have been.
Nimble’s advertising campaign was widely criticised by the industry for encouraging customers to use the service as a means of paying household bills, rather than utilising financial hardship options from other service providers.
Nimble chief executive Sami Malia issued a statement confirming the decision: “Nimble has identified and promptly resolved these issues.
They affected around 1.2 per cent of loans written during the period from 1 July 2013 to 22 July 2015.
These application assessment issues were entirely unintended and were resolved in collaboration with ASIC.
There has been no adverse findings against Nimble.”
The consumer watchdog ruled that Nimble had “significant deficiencies” in its loan-approval process, and had failed to adequately assess certain customers’ financial situations.
Instead, they chose to rely on a rather simple algorithm that did not take external variables – such as customers taking repeat payday loans from multiple sources in a short amount of time – into account.