German deal sets up change of image for Wonga


The payday lender Wonga has struck a major deal which it hopes will take it out of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s bad books.

It is buying Germany’s second-biggest online payment firm BillPay in a move which will treble its annual revenues and allow it portray itself as a “broad-based, digital-finance  group” rather than just another payday lender.

The Archbishop, Justin Welby, vowed to put payday lenders out of business earlier this year by using the Church of England to build up Britain’s network of credit unions.

Wonga would not reveal yesterday how much it is paying for BillPay, which has around 2 million customers and works with more than  3,500 online shops. It offers customers various buy-now pay-later ways of internet shopping including instalment payments and direct debits.

Errol Damelin, founder and chief executive of Wonga, said: “The combined Wonga and BillPay business will consolidate our position as a pioneer in the financial revolution, offering customers a range of bold new payment and credit solutions for the modern world.  As well as giving Wonga Group a presence in Europe’s second-largest online retail market, this continues our ongoing transformation into a fully international, digital-finance business with operations across three continents and more than  3 million customers.”

Wonga recently launched a lending operation in Poland and bought a Spanish online credit business.