London-based fintech Zilch is partnering with debt advice charity StepChange, in a bid to offer support to its customers, in a first for a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) company.
According to Zilch, it is the first BNPL provider to integrate the StepChange Direct advice service directly into its platform.
Zilch chief executive and co-founder Philip Belamant said the move was a natural step for his company.
“The entire ethos of Zilch is about being customer-first and we’ve built the business around doing the right thing by our customers – even if it’s difficult – every time,” he said.
“It’s why we’ve invested so much time and resource into building a meaningfully proactive relationship with StepChange.
“To Zilch, this partnership is a natural and obvious one – why would any responsible lender of credit not want to align with an establishment such as StepChange that is doing so much to support people in these hard times?”
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As well as integrating StepChange onto its platform, Zilch will be making financial contributions to the charity.
This will be done via FairShare, a voluntary agreement among companies providing debt management services to pay back a percentage of their debt repayment income towards support charities.
StepChange chief executive Phil Andrew said the partnership will help the charity “continue its mission.”
“StepChange has been helping people for 30 years – and during that time has supported millions of people seeking help with problem debt,” he added.
“Over the last three decades a lot has changed – with new challenges like the cost-of-living crisis and new financial products.
“But one thing has not changed and that is our commitment to support people struggling with problem debt and to work with a wide network of partners and supporters to ensure that those who need help can access it.
“Zilch’s commitment to our work through the payment of Fair Share contributions, as well as finding innovative ways to minimise the barriers to people seeking help, will support us at StepChange to continue our important mission.”