Award for Responsible Lending
Nationwide wins “Most Responsible Credit Card Lending Practices”
26 April 2012: For the fifth year running, Nationwide has received the prestigious industry accolade of having the “Most Responsible Credit Card Lending Practices” at the Card and Payment Awards 2012.
The Card and Payments Awards, which have been running for 7 years, celebrate the industry’s top performers and recognise excellence in customer service and innovation in the UK and Irish card and payments industry.
Nationwide, was accredited with this award in recognition of the “In Balance” programme which sets out the way the Society has successfully balanced its customer’s borrowing needs with its own desire to lend responsibly. The judges commented how Nationwide (representatives of which are pictured here collecting the award) “demonstrates that responsible credit card lending practice is in its organisational DNA.”
A number of developments and initiatives have contributed to the Society’s fifth consecutive win:-
Normally, credit card providers only confirm the interest rate (APR) for an applicant once the provider decides whether to open the account. At the same time, a mark of that decision is left at a credit reference agency which other credit providers can see (and may then affect the applicant’s ability to obtain further credit elsewhere).
At Nationwide, however, we offer a “soft quote” facility as a part of the application process. This means that the customer is made aware of their APR before a mark that is visible to other credit providers is left at the agency. This gives our customers the choice of whether to proceed with us, or to shop around to seek an alternative price elsewhere, without concern that their ability to get credit might have been affected by their application to us. It’s only once an applicant decides to proceed with us that we leave a mark on their credit agency file.
Select Credit Card
In autumn 2011, Nationwide upgraded over 400,000 existing Gold and Classic credit card customers, who are main FlexAccount customers (i.e. those who regularly credit £750 or more per month, excluding internal transfers, into this account), to the new Select Credit Card.
Customers upgraded in this way have benefitted from:
- unlimited commission-free purchases abroad
- unlimited cash reward – 0.5% cash-back on sterling purchases (providing members continue to pay £750 or more into their FlexAccount each month, excluding internal transfers).
A new industry-standard Minimum Repayment (along with a £25 minimum amount) was built into the Select Credit Card, which although it is designed to repay debts faster (saving our customers interest) can, for some people, result in higher monthly repayments than they previously made. In order to minimise the risk of any payment difficulties, Nationwide has made sure that any potentially vulnerable customers were excluded from the upgrade. Those who were upgraded also had a package of help options available to them in case they decided they did not want to change to the Select Credit Card.
Nationwide also supports many debt advice programmes and offers additional assistance through its own resources. Customers who find they are experiencing difficulty making payments can get help in a number of ways.
Take a look online at the Money Worries pages. Here, there is a wealth of useful information to help people manage their finances.
There’s also a dedicated team of people at Nationwide who will work with individuals to understand their financial situation and discuss appropriate ways to administer their own Nationwide accounts. Credit card customers who are experiencing difficulties managing their borrowing can contact Nationwide on 0845 076 7575.
Listening to you
Every month, Nationwide surveys hundreds of customers to gauge satisfaction levels of the service and experience its credit card customers have received. The results from these surveys are fed back into the Society so that processes can be reviewed in line with what customers are saying.
In January 2012 the Select Credit Card was made available to those customers who have a FlexAccount as their main current account and pay £750 or more into this account each month.
The Select Credit Card has had positive press coverage and here on Your Nationwide customers are sharing their thoughts about the Select Credit Card. See what’s being said, or join in the conversation now.