Morses Club (Plc): Dot Dot Loans and Morses Club
History and Ownership
Morses Club Plc has been one to watch for some time. Their major step forward was the merge of their own doorstep loan company with Shopacheck. This deal penned in March 2015 helped to apply a little more pressure on the market leader (Provident). Recently in March 2017 we saw the launch of Dot Dot Loans that is an online offering targeting instalment terms. It is good to see the owner’s ambition to attack the competitive online space. They do have valued experience behind them. Their roots date back to the year 1878 through a general drapery store in Swindon owned by Mr Levi Morse. This entrepreneur would one day venture into politics.
Before this it was all hectic business including expansion of several department stores and in time selling goods to people from their homes on weekly credit. It is referenced that they have 80 years of home collected credit experience today. It is true that they never made a major impact on doorstep lending themselves. Shopacheck was always the closest competitor to Provident. Obviously, the merge helped to create a much stronger rival. They now have around 216,000 customers and employ 2000 self-employed agents as well as having 620 employees who are based across over 60 branches. Their coverage across England is good and then they have built out some locations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Info: Dot Dot Loans
www.dotdotloans.co.uk (Alexa UK Rank: No Ranking)
It’s still early days for this industry newcomer, but they have got off to a decent start. Their current Alexa ranking is impressive, although on a past check they came in at #96,143 and so there has been a recent dip. The launch of this service had followed on from the owner’s acquisition of Shelby Finance. We wouldn’t consider this as a rebrand of Shelby since there are no shared characteristics plus there is a wide gap after Shelby closed. It would have helped to at least gain access to Shelby’s past client base and the workings of their operation. They traded with a 6 month loan since summer 2012, but weren’t successful and soon closed.
The available terms for new customers is 3, 6 and 9 months. Existing customers can also pick 12 months. £100 to £600 is available at first and in time £1250 max. The pricing is competitive here. For a £300 sum you’d pay £129 (3m) or £267 (6m). An existing customer would pay £970 for £1000 over a year. It is no coincidence that they have opted to edge out Satsuma’s best rates of £129.26 and £268.80 (Satsuma is of course Provident’s online equivalent). The opening hours are a little restricted between Monday and Friday (8.30am-6pm). A Dot Dot Loans login is provided. Before applying, just make sure that you meet their wage requirement of £10,000 per year.
Info: Morses Club
www.morsesclub.com (Alexa UK Rank: #54,969)
This lender is centrally based in Birstall, Batley (West Yorkshire). The number of listed branches on their site currently stands at 62 that is where their agents are sent from. There has been a recent downsize, but their coverage is still better than most of their rivals. One of the first things that stands out with this company is the Morses Club Card. You can either receive the funds by cash or have them loaded on to the Card. This would be advised as this grants access to the Morses Club login where you can view your balance and statement. The Card itself enables free cash withdrawals, access to offers & rewards and you can shop with it elsewhere.
You can also monitor through their mobile app. Just remember that this is a weekly agent service though and so you’ll need to speak with them regarding early settlements, more funds etc. New applicants can request between £100 and £400. Then with trust earned you can get £1000. There are 3 repayment options available that includes 20, 33 or 52 weeks (5, 8 or 12 months). To explore the costs, for a £300 loan you pay £150 (20w) and £195 (33w). A returning user borrowing £1000 over a year would pay £820. Within the FAQ it does state that poor credit including CCJs and defaults may still get the green light. Their opening hours are Monday to Friday (9am-5pm).
Reviews: Feefo, Review Centre, Reviews and Trustpilot
The Morses Club reviews on Trustpilot score well at 92% from approx 780 feedback. The most common praise is directed at how friendly and welcoming their agents were that is good to hear. Other than this Trustpilot page there was no further profiles on any sites to study. Dot’s service is of course brand new and so we wouldn’t expect to see any listings for them at least until next year.
Doorstep lenders are all pretty similar and so for lenders like Morses Club we’d guide people to head over to either the market leader Provident or to Loans At Home who are the 3rd largest company. At least with these you can be sure to receive excellent coverage unlike many of the smaller firms that only cater specific areas. For the new instalment loan project there are lots of companies that charge similar rates, serve the terms that they do etc. In our main comparison we listed 50 firms and so you are spoilt for choice really.
The Plus Points
Whilst each service is packaged well, we are yet to see any kind of standout feature. We for instance look out for cheaper rates than the market leaders, weekend funding etc. The Morse Card is an interesting development and shows that they are still trying to breed life into the dated doorstep sector. Dot has enjoyed early traction, but they have been eclipsed from Track Loans who were the other big 2017 newcomer. Track’s £300 3 month loan is priced at £59.46 that is the best market deal available. This is the kind of innovation that you expect from a brand new lender that is why we are just a little critical of Dot’s current offerings.
Last Updated: January 5th, 2018.