The Treasury-backed UK No Interest Loans Scheme (Nils) is now being expanded to cover up to 20,000 people, a report said.
Nils will reportedly offer emergency loans to those who would otherwise be turned down because they cannot afford interest payments.
Nils’ website says the aim is to “fund items from household items and school uniforms to laptops for access to education and training, as well as tools and equipment to help people return to the labor market”.
The report notes that customers are only granted one loan under the program, which they can access between six and 18 months. The average duration is one year.
The program is supported by the Treasury Department but operated by credit unions and other lending companies. It has been successfully tested in Manchester and is now being rolled out in other parts of the country.
The pilot will be expanded from the existing sites in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, which took place last September, to other parts of the country over a two-year period.
It is reportedly at this point that a decision will be made on whether to expand it further.
John Glen, Treasury Secretary for Business, said last month that Nils “is a fundamental, worthwhile new initiative to provide an entry-level product for people who are currently exceeding the lending capacity of some credit unions.”
PYMNTS wrote that the current era will enable consumers to complete various tasks such as ordering groceries or booking flights faster through digital means.
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And Anil Stocker, co-founder and CEO of London’s MarketFinance, said the financial industry is moving in the same direction.
“[They] now expect a similar level of service to their business needs as they do to their consumer apps,” said Stocker.
Stocker added that the goal is “friction-free financing” and that the company’s systems are set up to allow users to make a decision in less than a day after applying for a loan.
This is because there is an increasing demand for faster application and loan approval processes.