Keeping up with an ever-evolving retail landscape

Meet Joshua Fabian-Miller, Product and Proposition Director at Barclays Partner Finance

Changing consumer behaviour and evolving regulation continues to transform the financial sector, and it’s important that responsible lending remains at the forefront of our minds.

Joshua Fabian-Miller, Product and Propositions Director at Barclays Partner Finance shares how the team are adapting to keep up and thrive in these changing times.

Josh, could you tell us a bit about your career in Barclays, and your role at Barclays Partner Finance (BPF)?

“I started at Barclays nearly 10 years ago and I’ve worked across a number of business areas including Credit Cards, Personal Loans and the distribution division of European Retail Banking. In early 2020, I began my role as Product and Propositions Director at Barclays Partner Finance."

 “In my role I lead the teams who develop, run and optimise BPF’s products and associated propositions for both clients and customers. From identifying, sizing and prioritising new market opportunities to ensuring our products deliver great customer and client outcomes - we’re always looking for opportunities to stay one step ahead and create value for our partners."

 “If I had to sum up my role, it’s setting a clear vision for how we create value for customers and clients, and enabling the team to execute this vision. We’re committed to providing a product suite that enables customers to spread the cost of purchases at point of need, while helping our partners grow their businesses.” 

In a market that’s highly regulated, how do you and Barclays Partner Finance stay on the front foot of regulatory and market changes?

 “At BPF we understand the importance of regulation to support a strong and effective lending market."

 “As a responsible lender we pride ourselves on continually introducing changes that have a positive impact on our clients and customers - all of our lending is fully regulated."

“As a business, we’re always looking to adapt and think differently. We actively embrace the direction of travel within consumer lending and payments. And we’re always reviewing and refining our processes as the regulatory landscape evolves, to make sure we lend in the most responsible way."

“Working in consumer lending over the past decade, I’ve seen how the market place has changed and continues to change. I believe staying close to our customers, understanding their purchase needs and preferred methods of payment, as well as providing a great customer journey, is what creates shared value for our customers and our partners. There is no time to stand still”.

Can you explain what responsible lending means, and why it’s important to Barclays Partner Finance?

“I think responsible lending is about putting the customer first, and ensuring finance offered suits their individual needs, at point of purchase and in the future."

“At Barclays Partner Finance, we think it’s important that our loans deliver a positive outcome based on a customer’s individual circumstances, throughout the lifetime of the loan."

“We’re focused on providing loans that we’re confident customers can afford, without detriment to their wider financial situation. It’s in the interest of both the customer and clients alike – it lets our customers spread the cost of payments sustainabily, and helps our partners build their businesses. This creates the foundations for a healthy, sustainable unsecured credit market."

Could you tell us what changes Barclays Partner Finance has made to how they lend responsibly?

“As a responsible lender, we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our products and we put our customers’ needs at the heart of what we do."

“We continually review our customer journeys to make sure that whilst we’ve removed unnecessary frustration - we don’t shy away from ‘positive friction’. For me, this means targeted checks if necessary to ensure we’re making responsible lending decisions, and an experience which allows customers to pause and ensure they fully understand the loan agreement they’re taking out."

“In our application process, we’ve introduced additional affordability questions to help us better understand potential changes in a customer’s financial circumstances over the life of their loan."

“We’ve also introduced our ‘Eligibility Checker’, to help remove uncertainty about finance. We want customers to be able to make informed decisions about their budget when researching a purchase. By answering a few simple questions, in a matter of seconds they’ll be able to see if they’re likely to be accepted for finance and how much they are likely to be accepted for.”

And finally, what would you say to a business that was looking for the right finance partner?

“Don’t rush in, take your time."

“Make sure you partner with a lender who is experienced in creating sustainable shared value for customers and clients, and is willing to work with you and deliver the right processes for your business."

“Your finance partner should also be supporting you not just in converting business ‘at-sale’ in the checkout journey, but helping you generate business ‘pre-sale’ – not just at the point of sale."

 “Developing a true partnership with your retail partner will only help your business grow."

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