Coles expands financial services



Supermarket shoppers will soon be able to pick up a personal loan, along with the milk and bread.

Retailing giant Coles is taking on the big four banks by offering customers the ability to get a loans and take up other personal finance products at the same time as their groceries.

The retailer has partnered with GE Capital to establish a joint financial services division aimed at making bigger inroads into the banking sector.

Coles already has around 400,000 credit card customers and has issued 350,000 insurance policies but the partnership will allow it to expand into loans.

The joint venture is expected to launch in 2015, pending regulatory approvals, and will combine the existing credit card business with the new loans offerings, though the insurance division will remain separate.

Coles also plans to use its flybuys program to lure in customers, by linking the new financial services with loyalty program benefits like discount groceries.

“Coles is committed to offering Australian families great value in all the products and services we offer,” Coles finance director Robb Scott said.

“A joint venture is a logical next step for Coles to expand into financial services, building on the success of Coles No Annual Fee and Rewards credit cards.”

The expansion into financial services follows in the footsteps of the UK, where supermarket giants like Tesco’s offer everything from savings accounts to home loans.

Coles and GE are yet to reach a final agreement on product offerings but the venture is not expected to include home loans at this stage.

Meanwhile, Coles has also launched a new mobile wallet, allowing customers to pay for groceries using their mobile phone.

Supported by Mastercard, the Coles Mobile Wallet integrates the Coles Pay Tag with a new Coles app.


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