I opened my Ottawa Citizen a few years ago and I saw this picture and I was hit by a combination of revulsion, anger, and lurid curiosity.
Revulsion and Anger
Why am I repulsed? You haven’t really read much of my posts, but I think the Cheque Cashing and Pay Day Loan industry is the worst financial service out there, and shouldn’t just be heavily regulated (which it is not) it should be shut down. Anger because the surcharges and interest rates taken by these modern-day Loan Sharks is obscene even at the Loan Shark level.
This is the most amazing entrepreneurial set up I can see. Whoever runs this particular business has nailed their clientage exactly and are pandering to their every whim and need.
- Cheques cashed at a fee
- Lottery tickets sold (and given away as incentives to good customers)
- Cigarettes sold
- Foreign Exchange
- Money Transfers
- Income Tax “Refunds Now!”
- Payday Loans
What other services could they offer?
It’s staggering that the government allows this kind of “financial pornography” to go on. I must admit I didn’t think there was places like this around my house, but I noticed a “Modern Day Money Lender” has opened in my neighbourhood, why? I have no idea.
My guess is over the next year or two, this may be one of the growth industries along with repossession and bill collection, and that is a very sad statement about life in general.