Guidelines for Marketing partners – version dated 2023-10-17
Zmarta AB and Freedom Rahoitus OY, hereafter jointly referred to as ”Zmarta”, “we”, “us” (or similar), provide consumer credit intermediation services and it is crucial for us that all marketing of Zmarta’s services is conducted in a legally compliant manner and in consistency with good marketing practice.
These guidelines aim to clarify and ensure that all marketing of Zmarta’s services by a Marketing partner (“Marketing partner” or “you”) is handled in a correct manner. However, please note that these guidelines should not be viewed as legal advice from Zmarta, the Marketing partner itself is obliged to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations for marketing of consumer credits.
We believe that these guidelines will bring value to both Zmarta and our Marketing partners by enabling us to present the intermediation service to customers in a compliant way.
1. General marketing rules
- Marketing must be carried out in accordance with good marketing practice and cannot be aggressive, misleading or untrue. This must be taken into account when creating content and also in connection with e-mail/SMS send-outs, both in terms of content and frequency.
- Marketing must comply with consumer protection, marketing regulations, and other applicable laws and it may not include any unfair business practices. The Marketing partner is responsible for the content he publishes, for personal data that he collects and compliance with applicable data protection laws.
- The Marketing partner must collect its own consent to direct marketing.
- The Marketing partner may not encourage the customer to take quick decisions regarding the credit or indicate that the customer will receive any benefit if he/she applies quickly. In other words, no aggressive, misleading or untrue marketing.
- A customer’s decision to not sign-up for a loan must be respected and the Marketing partner cannot contact such customer to try to persuade him/her into taking the offered loan if the customer has stated that it is not interested.
- Direct marketing of consumer loans (via e-mail/SMS) must be moderate in terms of how often it is sent to the consumer, it is unlawful to send direct marketing too often and too frequently. For the Swedish market, guidance regarding frequency (as well as content) of send-outs can be found in the Swedish court case PMT 7180-22 (the Consumer Ombudsman vs. Qliro).
- The Marketing partner may not use the logos of Zmarta’s cooperation banks/lenders without prior written consent from the bank/lender in question.
- Competitions, contests, sweepstakes, raffles and similar may not be used as a marketing method.
- The Marketing partner may not direct any marketing towards persons younger than 18 years.
- The Marketing partner is fully responsible that third parties (which the marketing partner has engaged) follow these guidelines as well as obligations and restrictions stated in our agreement. If you, or a third party that you have engaged, want to create own content or modify the content Zmarta has provided, it needs to be sent to Zmarta for pre-approval.
2. Creating content
Things to consider by the Marketing partner when reviewing/creating content:
• It must be clear that:
- Zmarta is the provider of the consumer credit intermediation services and that the Marketing partner’s role is limited to marketing Zmarta’s services. o The Marketing partner does not claim to provide intermediation services or other licensable business unless the Marketing partner has a license to do so.
- In other words, it must be clear to the customer that Zmarta provides the intermediation services, not the Marketing partner.
3. When describing Zmarta’s intermediation service, you may not:
- Refer to a specific number of “banks”, i.e. “over X banks”. We collaborate with other partners than banks, such as credit institutions. You may say “several banks” or “over X banks and lenders”.
- Market our services in a way which gives the customers the impression that they will receive a specific number of offers, e.g. “you get offers from over X lenders”. Customers will never get the same number of offers as we have lenders since the offers will be limited depending on internal rules. Rather say that “you can get several offers”.
- Use phrases such as “Lending money fast”, “Lending money in only a couple of seconds” or use any wording which refers to SMS/quick/instant loans.
- Use superlatives or comparatives in your marketing (such as “You will get the best offer” or “You will get cheaper interest”).
- Use inappropriate or ungrounded promises (such as “You will save money”, “You will get a loan”, “You will lower your monthly cost”, “Say goodbye to expensive loans” or “Consolidate your loans and you will have more money to spend”).
We need to present a reliable and balanced picture of the loan. These types of statements might mislead the consumer about the financial consequences of taking a loan by presenting the loan as a worry-free solution to the consumer’s potential problems.
- Use statements regarding how many customers that have previously used the loan application service (such as ”More than 100 000 customers have already applied” or “Do as thousands of others, apply and find out what we can do for you”).
These types of statements downplay the seriousness of the decision to enter into a credit agreement by affecting the average consumer's ability to decide to what extent the credit is favourable for him or her and risks luring the consumer into an unconsidered decision.
- Imply that loans are preapproved in any way. We do a credit check for all applications and it is the lender’s decision to approve a loan or not.
- Use phrases such as “…just click on the link below to get money directly to your account” (or similar).
- Market our services in a way which gives the customer the impression that an application has already been made or that loan offers have already been provided and may therefore not refer to “Regarding your application…” in any e-mail/SMS text or subject line before an application process has been started by the customer.
4. Specific rules for direct marketing (i.e. e-mail and SMS)
- National legislation regarding unsolicited/unwanted communication must be strictly obeyed by the Marketing partner.
- Consent to digital marketing must be obtained from the customer and documentation is required for such explicit permission from subscribers to receive the specific email/SMS. Opt-in details as date and source/purpose for opt-in should be possible to share if asked by Zmarta.
- Unsubscribe link needs to be included in all electronic marketing and should always work properly. Possible errors must be corrected immediately.
- Unsubscribe link should be marked in the language used in the direct marketing (not enough with only English “Unsubscribe” if other language has been used in the marketing).
- An unsubscribe-request needs to be processed as soon as possible.
- Sender name (identification) shall be correct, not misleading and may not vary from time to time. Contact information to the Marketing partner must also be visible in the send out/newsletter.
- The sender must disclose the source of the consumer’s contact data and the reason why the consumer is receiving the send out should be visible in the send out, e.g. “You receive this e-mail since you signed up for newsletter “Economy”.
- Blacklist tool must be established, used and updated at all times before each individual send out.
- If Zmarta is mentioned in direct marketing this sentence must be added in all email/SMS marketing (smaller font in bottom of text, only in Finnish/Swedish):
SE: Det här e-postmeddelandet skickas inte från Zmarta, men från en kommersiell marknadsföringspartner.
(Translation for ease of reference: This e-mail is not sent from Zmarta, but from a commercial marketing partner)
FI: “Tämän sähköpostin lähettäjä ei ole Freedom Rahoitus, vaan lähettäjänä toimii mainontaa tekevä kolmas osapuoli."
(Translation for ease of reference: This e-mail is not sent from Freedom
Rahoitus, but from a commercial marketing partner)
5. Calculation example
- Information about the representative effective interest rate (Swe: representativt ränteexempel) must always be shown when marketing a credit if the marketing portrays any detail describing the terms of the credit, e.g. if the marketing contains information about monthly cost, interest rates or similar. Such example:
- Must be provided clearly, highly visible and in near connection to the presentation of monthly cost/payment. Meaning that it must be easily readable and accessible (may not be presented behind link or at the bottom of the page).
- Shall refer to the most common credit situation that is applied or can be foreseen.
- Shall be updated frequently by the Marketing partner.
- Marketing partners that present Zmarta’s offer must always use the current example displayed on Zmarta’s website.
- Marketing partners that provide comparison services in their own name (so called white labels) are recommended to use the current example displayed on Zmarta’s website. If not using Zmarta’s example, the example used shall always contain at least the variables included in Zmarta’s example.
- If the Marketing partner wants to market that our lenders have rates “from” e.g. 3% (Swe: frånräntesats), the entire interest range (lowest-highest) must be added in connection to the information.
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