First iPhone credit app launched

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An online cash advance company has launched the first ever credit application for the iPhone, which allows both existing customers and first-time applicants to access short-term loans through their handset.

The Wonga.com application gives iPhone users access to flexible loans of between one and 31 days, on amounts ranging between £1 and £1,000, turning the touchscreen device into a “virtual cash machine” which can transfer funds directly into the applicants bank account within 15 minutes.

Customers choose the amount of cash they need and the date on which they choose to repay the amount. Costs are calculated up front and applicants receive an immediate decision.

Wonga.com founder and chief executive Errol Damelin said: “Our vision has always been to provide UK consumers with a fast, convenient and short-term way to solve immediate cash flow problems. While automating the lending process in a responsible way was a big challenge, our technology now enables us to develop a range of products which do just that.

“We have made this application available as a free download from the Apple Store and, although it’s just as easy and quick to use as our existing web service, our unique technology will ensure we continue to make responsible lending decisions.”

The company’s web service launched in July 2008 and has already processed nearly 750,000 applications.

Wonga.com has come under criticism for its APR rate which is listed on its website as 2,689 per cent. But, Wonga.com communications director John Morewood said: “As required by law, we publish our typical APR on the website and in our contract, which is 2,689 per cent. Now that may sound ridiculously high, but interest is inherently an annual measure, and assumes compounding, yet our short-term cash advances are only available for up to a month and we don’t compound interest.

“Interest is charged at one per cent per day, so a loan of £100, for example will charge an interest rate of £1 a day, which works out at £10 over ten days or a total of £31 over our maximum lending period.”

Wonga.com is keen to expand its offering within the mobile space and although there are no current plans for a BlackBerry application.

Morewood said: “We are looking at more mobile technology and possibly social media, we are open to all ideas, we believe we are doing something really unique. This is the first move for us in technology to make Wonga.com more accessible.”

An advertising campaign for the product will start across public transport networks in London on Monday (January 18).

 

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