There is good news for customers using Marks and Spencer’s Sparks loyalty scheme – as the retailer has announced that Sparks card holders will be able to apply for a new digital credit account, enabling them to borrow up to £500 for purchases.
Sparks Pay has been launched alongside M&S Bank and is initially rolling out as a phased launch across the M&S website and the M&S app.
To qualify for the new credit account, shoppers must be at least 18 years of age and will need to pass credit checks. Full credit and affordability checks are in place, and interest may also be charged at a representative annual rate of 23.9%.
Customers will get up to 76 days of interest-free credit on their first order when they pay their balance in full and up to 45 days for later transactions.
Once their account has been approved, customers can make purchases with “one-click” payments and can manage their account in the app or online, where they will be able to see recent transactions and statements.
M&S said it will use customer feedback and experience from the “online-first” launch and will roll out the digital way to pay to its stores in 2023. Since the Sparks loyalty scheme was relaunched as a “digital-first” loyalty programme in 2020, the number of customers in the scheme has more than doubled from seven million to just under sixteen million.
The increase in online shopping means M&S.com now accounts for around a third (34%) of all clothing and home sales at the popular high street retailer.
Kirsty Ward, director of services at Marks & Spencer said: “We are excited to debut Sparks Pay, another new benefit for our Sparks customers.
“We are setting out to create better connected and smoother payment solutions across M&S.com, our app and stores nationwide.”
Paul Spencer, CEO of M&S Bank, added: “As a responsible lender, full credit and affordability checks are in place, enabling us to offer an instant credit account which can be used on multiple purchases, up to a maximum of £500, for those who love to shop online at M&S.”