Amazon UK is now offering a monthly pay-back option on items worth over £400 ($590), according to the company’s website.
The service, which is called Amazon Pay Monthly, is in partnership with Hitachi Capital, who also work with John Lewis on a similar scheme. The repayment can be made over two, three, or four year periods, depending on the price of the item — making pricey purchases much more affordable. According to Trusted Reviews, the interest rate is set at 16.9%.
Customers will have to submit to a credit check and will, in most cases, know whether they qualify within a minute, according to Amazon.
One person “close to Amazon” told The Guardian that the move is a “gamechanger” for the company.
It’s a first for Amazon, but many other British high street retailers — including John Lewis and Tesco — also offer financing on expensive items. By offering a similar service, Amazon is making itself more competitive in the market, and putting these established players under greater threat as it targets their higher-end business.
Amazon has become a dominant player in the British retail landscape, with sales of £5.6 billion in the country in 2015 — disrupting older businesses in the process. It continues to aggressively expand into new markets, most recently groceries.
Shares of Ocado, a rival online groceries delivery service, have been tanking in response to Amazon’s expansions in the area.
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