Credit cards, personal loans and maybe even home loans may be offered by Coles.
Coles promises to be a name to watch in banking. While they already offer credit cards, they've recently announced a new line of credit products including personal loans offered through GE Capital, in an effort to offer more ways to earn rewards and provide new ways for you to pay at Coles. You can expect to see Coles credit cards and personal loans on the market early next year if their application is approved.
What products might Coles Money offer?
Coles have confirmed that they’ll offer credit cards and personal loans, but to date there's contrasting information about a possible entry into the home loans market. In April 2014, Coles Finance director Rob Scott outlined Tesco's entry to the mortgage market overseas: "Tesco, for example, has now commenced offering mortgages after gaining regulatory approval from the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority."
In July, a Coles spokesperson told The Adviser that they had no immediate plans to enter the home loans market, saying "Initially, our joint venture with GE will focus on growing the existing credit card business and then look at other consumer lending such as personal loans. We have no plans to offer mortgages at this stage."
Even if they have no plans to offer home loans in the near future, they might set their sites on mortgages if Woolworths also enters the market. Woolworths have made some moves which indicate it will be entering the market, including applying for a banking licence and securing a number of trademarks underneath the Woolworths Money brand.
If you already have a Coles product, like a Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard, and you want to know whether this means you have to get a new loan or card, there should be no change to your contract.
Credit cards and personal loans from Coles
Coles Money is the obvious guess for the name of the new financial services division – it was one of the names the company trademarked. However, much like Woolworths, who recently secured a number of key financial services brand names, Coles have been tight-lipped on the shape and direction of the joint venture with GE Capital.
General Manager of Coles Financial Services, Richard Wormald said in an interview with the ABC that, “the focus of that (Coles Money) will be credit cards and personal loans”.
We think this is just the start for Coles. The lucrative deposit and home loan markets are natural next steps from their card and personal loan business.
The Coles Mobile Wallet
Coles want to get in on the near field mobile payments space with a product of their own: The Coles Mobile Wallet.
Over half the card payments at Coles supermarkets are contactless, so it makes sense that Coles have now given shoppers a way to pay for items and earn points using their smartphone.
The Coles Mobile Wallet is a combination of software and hardware a shopper attaches to their phone. Coles Mastercard account holders get a "Pay Tag" to place on the back of their phone. They then link the smartphone app with their credit card account and payments can be made at Mastercard PayPass terminals.
The Coles credit account is linked to Coles loyalty promotions, like flybuys, so the account holders earns points when they spend.