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Fancy an iPad Mini 16Gb? It’s yours for just 3 payments of £89/month. Any takers?

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 19.09.23

I really, really like smart ways of paying for technology. Even stumping up £269 for an iPad Mini can feel expensive, more if you’re looking at the full size iPad. It’s so unpleasant that many UK consumers will run a million miles to avoid having to pay full price (£500ish) for the latest smartphone. They’ll willingly subscribe to a 24-month excruciating expensive service plan to have somebody else front the initial device cost.

I’ve been wondering what would happen if someone came into the market and made the costs go away by splicing them or presenting them differently.

Now and again I saw examples of Tesco Direct offering something like 6-month payment terms for various Android tablets, but it’s only recently that I noticed is offering excellent payment terms on a wide variety of consumer hardware.

I have to say £89 for 3 months feels a lot cheaper than £269. That’s the cost of a bog standard iPad Mini from Very. (Have a look) Provided you pass the (I suspect, basic) credit check, you’ll qualify for “take 3” payment terms. There’s no additional cost beyond taking the purchase price and splitting payment across 3 months. If you choose to delay payment, then they’ll charge you interest. Fair enough.

Let’s get a bit more serious and evaluate the potential of using to fuel your handset purchasing habits. The Sony Xperia Z is a fabulous new handset. It’s £599 from Or, you can choose to pay £199.67 across 3 months.

Now, yes that’s a bit of cash to stump up every months for three months.

But you get to avoid:

a) Putting the whole amount on your credit card and therefore feeling, ‘shit, I’ve spent a lot of money probably unnecessarily’
b) Signing up to a 24-month contract that you probably don’t need

£199 each month for three months is a lot easier to manage. And if you absolutely must have that phone….?

And you know, you could actually spread the cost out a bit more (at an extra 7% interest rate).

Some people will read this and think I’m off my rocker. The fiscally sensible way might be to wait until you’re out of contract yada yada and then have the operator buy the device for you which you then pay-up along with your price plan.

Or it might be more sensible to buy the device outright on your credit card.

I think it’s about perception.

I like the idea of payment terms that feel more accessible.

Perhaps it’s all in the mind.

What do you think?


  1. Think its the way forward Ewan, you are right in that its a good idea to try and change peoples perceptions that paying £37.00 a month for two months isnt actually cheap if they add it up. Buying outright is always the best option but having the ability to spread that out over three months or even six months would be a savvy choice and give the consumer the choice to go prepaid on a network like GiffGaff whose service and prices are excellent

  2. The operators really are missing a trick with device financing, especially with tablets.

    Rather than requiring people to buy the device outright or take a 2 year contract, it would be much more useful for them to offer terms for 6, 12 or 24 month financing.

    For existing customers, they should be very well placed to review credit risk and determine which customers they can offer enhanced financing terms to.

    Alternatively, its a great space for a player from the finance space to enter the market and specialise in device financing. A bit like “Protect Your Bubble” does for device insurance.


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