Key insight:

  • New partnership between Aire and online retailer N Brown for customers who choose to open a new credit account
  • Aire adds retail finance to its growing portfolio
  • New research finds that UK adults pay off on average of £40 per month for retail purchases
  • 9% of UK adults increased their monthly commitments in the last two years

Aire, which provides a more accurate way for lenders to understand and score new applicants, today announces a first-of-its-kind partnership with online retailer N Brown, as research data reveals the ‘new norm’ of UK shoppers choosing to spread the cost for their retail purchases over time.

The new agreement will see Aire provide its augmented credit assessment technology to support N Brown, which operates online stores such as JD Williams, in analysing the full picture of online customers and the true benefits and risks that come with them. Aire combines technologies of Artificial Intelligence with data science and deep knowledge of credit, which will enable N Brown to reach a wider group of customers without increasing its risk. After recent announcements about new partnerships in the p2p lending and car finance spaces, Aire’s expansion into the retail sector means that it is adding another new market to its portfolio in under six months.

The announcement comes at the same time as the publication of new research findings from on an online survey of 2,000 UK adults, which was conducted by independent research agency Populus. The research points to the growing importance of accurate customer assessments in the retail sector, with retailers increasingly taking over the role of traditional lenders. The survey found that 13% of UK adults already pay regular instalments for retail goods, such as electronics and IT products, or furniture and white goods. The UK monthly average for these payments lies at £40 per month. What is more, 9% of British adults have increased their monthly commitments for such retail products over the past two years, while only 4% decreased their obligations.

What is more, the practice of choosing to pay off retail goods over time is truly arriving among young, higher-income families in the UK. While the average monthly commitment for retail products for people with no children is £27, those people who have children spend £63 per month. In terms of age, people’s commitments take a big jump forward between the age of 25 and 34 when the average payment lies at £53 per month – the highest among all age groups. Finally, households with an annual income of over £35k show the highest monthly average payments with £57.

Matt Davies, Head of Partnerships at Aire, said:

“It has been a busy six months at Aire, in which we have shown that our assessments are fit for the new realities of how we live, work and shop. The partnership with N Brown is another proof point for the fact that our technology is flexible enough to be used in very different scenarios and at all stages of the credit cycle.” 

Stuart Daniels, Head of Credit at N brown, said:

“We are delighted to have partnered with Aire on the use of their technology in our creditworthiness assessment. Not only will it lead to better outcomes for our customers, it fits with our Financial Services strategy of delivering agile deployments of cutting-edge technology and data modelling.”