I opened my Ottawa Citizen a few years ago, and I saw this picture, and I was hit by a combination of hatred, anger, and lurid curiosity. It truly is a hideous financial image.
Revulsion and Anger
Why am I repulsed? You haven’t 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 are obscene even at the Loan Shark level.
This is the most impressive entrepreneurial setup I can see. Whoever runs this particular business has nailed their clientage exactly and is 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?
Hideous Financial Image Commentary
It’s staggering that the government allows this kind of “financial pornography” to go on. I must admit I didn’t think there were places like this around my house, but I noticed a “Modern Day Money Lender” has opened in my neighbourhood. Why? I have no idea.
I guess over the next year or two. This may be one of the growth industries along with repossession and bill collection, which is an unfortunate statement about life in general.
Pretty crafty! Do we blame the marketer, or the dumbo who falls for this?
Not sure, but it is still disgusting.
I totally agree that the payday loan business must be stopped. There are so many people in financial problems these days and these financial services keep getting them deeper in the problems.
Well, the credit card industry has moved into the traditional loan shark space, so these guys had to go even farther out.
Neil, I don’t think their terms are all that straighforward, do they advertise that their yearly rates are in excess of 12,000%? Don’t think so.
They are parasites.
It has always struck me that foreign exchange doesn’t quite fit with the rest. Most people in Canada are sending money home, not exchanging it. And foreign currency is usually something that the better off deal with (or at least those with the financial wherewithal to save up for a plane ticket).
I find that I don’t get overly offended at these kinds of places. There’s demand. Their terms are pretty straightforward. And unlike the loan shark, they won’t break your legs. So, while I’d like to live in a world where everyone is knowledgeable enough to not use these services, I prefer the storefront business to the back alley business. More regulation wouldn’t hurt, though.
You must admit, all that neon does add a touch of class to the whole operation. 😉
Sort of reminiscent of the neon “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” you might have seen on a seedy strip club, so maybe your “financial pornography” phrase is apt
LOL 🙂 “financial pornography” term expresses it’s true essence.