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What is retail finance?

Retail finance, also known as consumer finance, gives you flexible ways to pay for purchases whilst spreading the cost.

Finance is usually available at the point you make payment, either built into a retailer's checkout process or offered at the point you purchase in-store. Options can vary in term (the term is the number of months you spread the payment over) and interest rate, with the most popular products tending to be interest free.

Retail finance isn't a new concept; it has a long and colourful history dating back to ancient times when merchants offered credit to their customers in exchange for future payments or goods. Over the years, its evolved. Here's a bit of history on how:

  • In the Middle Ages, merchants and bankers developed bills of exchange, which were documents that allowed traders to transfer funds across long distances without carrying cash or gold.
  • In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution created a demand for consumer goods, such as textiles, furniture, and pottery. To finance these purchases, retailers began to offer instalment plans, which allowed customers to pay for goods over time with interest.
  • In the 19th century, the rise of mail-order catalogues and department stores expanded the market for retail finance. Customers could order goods from catalogues and spread the cost.
  • In the 20th century, retail finance became more sophisticated and regulated. Credit bureaus emerged to collect and share information about customers' credit histories and scores. Consumer protection laws were brought in. New types of retail finance products were introduced, such as personal loans, payday loans, and peer-to-peer lending.
  • In the 21st century, retail finance is undergoing a digital transformation. Online platforms and mobile apps are making it easier and faster for customers to access and manage their loans. Artificial intelligence and big data are enabling lenders to offer more personalised and tailored products and services.

Where does V12 Retail Finance fit in? We've been around for over 20 years, offering retail finance through thousands of retailers. We've said yes to over 5 million applications, helping people spread the cost of the things they love.

We design our technology in-house, and we currently partner with over 1200 retailers. We make it all about you, offering systems and service you can trust. Don't just take our word for it, we're rated excellent on Trustpilot and Feefo.

Next time you want to spread the cost for something you want, need or love, look out for V12 Retail Finance, and remember, it's all about you and giving you ways to pay for the things you love.