Marks & Spencer has launched a new way for customers to pay when shopping online or via its App, giving customers who spend £500 or less up to 76 days of interest-free spending. M&S Bank, which is a trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services Plc, will provide credit for customers seeking to use Sparks Pay, a service that has been likened to a number of other rival Buy Now Pay Later schemes, offering customers access to short-term credit.
What is Sparks Pay?
Sparks Pay is Marks & Spencer's newly launched way to pay for purchases made online through its website and via the M&S App. The Sparks Pay payment method will appear as a virtual card alongside other payment methods when customers checkout, providing customers with the option to buy now, and pay later. Customers will be able to manage their Sparks Pay account online through the website or app.
How does Sparks Pay work?
Sparks Pay can be used for purchases of £500 or less and customers will receive 76 days interest-free on their first purchase. It is worth noting however that subsequent Sparks Pay transactions, will only receive an interest-free period of 45 days as standard. Sparks Pay cannot, currently, be used to pay for in-store shopping but it is likely that Marks & Spencer will make this available from next year.
How to qualify for Sparks Pay
In order to qualify for Sparks Pay, customers must be signed up to Marks & Spencer's loyalty scheme, Sparks. Like many other credit arrangements, you will be required to complete an application form disclosing your employment status, salary, living arrangement and details of the bank account from which your payments will be taken. Once you have completed the application, you'll receive a decision within 5 days to confirm whether you have been accepted for Sparks Pay. Likely successful applicants for Sparks Pay will be at least 18 years old, a UK resident and earning a minimum of £6,800 per year.
Applicants should be aware that upon completion of the Sparks Pay application, a hard credit search will be carried out, leaving a footprint on their credit file. Furthermore, any missed payments are likely to be recorded against their credit file which could affect their ability to borrow in the future.
Sparks Pay interest charges
Purchases made using the Sparks Pay credit facility will be interest-free for 45 days from the date of purchase - or 76 days if it is the first purchase. If you do not repay the credit balance within 45 days, the balance will attract interest at a rate of 23.9% APR.
Sparks Pay late payment charges
Customers who use Sparks Pay will have to adhere to the time limits for repayment if they are to avoid late payment charges.
You can expect a £12 late payment charge to be applied to Sparks Pay accounts if payments are up to 4 days late or if they are returned unpaid by your bank.
Sparks Pay introductory offer
Sparks loyalty customers can receive a 20% discount on their first order using Sparks Pay if they are buying Marks & Spencer Home and Clothing products through the Marks & Spencer website or app.