What is Zilch and How Does it Work?

Understanding Zilch



Looking for a payment option that allows you to shop at over 4,000 retailers with a virtual card that you can repay in 4 easy instalments? Why not consider Zilch

Here’s what you need to know about eligibility, returns, safety features and much more.

For more offers on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products, take a visit to our Solutions page.

Zilch is a virtual card on your smartphone that allows you to shop online and in-store and pay later. Founded by Philip Belamant back in 2018, the entirely virtual and eco-friendly BNPL product offers users the abibility to shop with over 4,000 different retailers worldwide. Popular with Millenial and Gen Z users, you too can purchase what you want, when you want it with no interest or fees.

Zilch works by allowing shoppers to split the costs of their purchase over 6 weeks. Customers use their virtual cards online or instore with partnered retailers and make the first payment of 25% of the overall costs. After, payments will be withdrawn from your payment method in equal payments every two weeks.

  • 1st payment: 25% upon the day of purchase
  • 2nd payment: 25% 2 weeks after the day of purchase
  • 3rd payment: 25% 4 weeks after the day of purchase
  • 4th payment: 25% 6 weeks after the day of purchase

When you sign up for Zilch, your virtual card will allow you to shop at over four thousands of UK retailers online. However, at the present moment, you are unable to use your Zilch card in store in person.

Initially, when you first use Zilch, you will be provided with a credit limit of £170, allowing you to make up to two purchases. The more you use your Zilch card and clear your outstanding balance, your credit limit will exceed.

Currently, Zilch does not have an app – instead, you can sign up for your virtual card online via your internet browser.

As Zilch receives a commission from the retailers they work with, the money that is borrowed is entirely interest-free and comes at 0% APR. With no additional costs or fees, there is no risk of finding yourself unable to repay late fees and charges. However, a minimum spend of £20 is required for each purchase.

To check whether you are eligible to use Zilch, a soft credit check will be performed when you sign up. While this won’t impact your credit score, this will leave a visible search on your file.

Zilch takes the following into account before approving applications;

  • Creditworthiness
  • Affordability
  • Verification of Identity
  • Anti-Money Laundering regulations

Payments are collected using a Continous Payment Authority (CPA) from the debit card you provided as your payment method when you set up your account. Payments are taken fortnightly for six weeks after the day of purchase.

Should you wish to repay your outstanding balance early, in the event that your circumstances change, Zilch allows you to repay without any Early Repayment Charges (ERC).

Standard returns processes will apply with the retailer you purchased with. The retailer will then process your refund with Zilch which will take 5 to 7 days. Your payments will then be adjusted, and your account will be credited with the money from your returns, which can take from 1 to 2 days.

For your own safety, there are limitations on things that you cannot use your Zilch virtual card to buy, these include things such as;

  • Alcohol
  • Adult content and products
  • Cash advances
  • Credit card or loan repayments
  • Gambling
  • Illegal or forbidden items
  • Weapons
  • Etc.

Zilch is also a PCI DSS Level 2 certified compliant service provider.

Virtual MasterCard issued by Cashflows Europe Limited authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

To sign up and be eligible for a Zilch account, you will need the following;

  • Valid UK debit card
  • UK based post address
  • UK mobile phone number
  • Email address

In the even that Zilch asks for further information, you may be asked to provide;

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Proof of address

You will need to verify your identity by sending a copy of any valid photo ID, such as a passport or driving license for protection against fraud. As your card is virtual, once you’re signed up, you’ll be issued with your virtual pay Zilch MasterCard and can begin using it straight away.

Zilch will email you two days before your next instalment is due to remind you that the payment is about to be taken.

If you are unable to make any of your instalments on your repayment dates, then Zilch will try again at a later date to take the repayment. If after multiple tries they are still unable to debit the money from your account, they may review your account to see whether Zilch is right for you and your financial situation.

If you are already aware that you may not be able to make repayment before it is due, you can contact Zilch directly so that they are aware of your situation and can make the appropriate arrangements.

You can use the Zilch app on your smartphone to see how much your spending limits and to monitor how much you’ve spent and owe.



Discover where you can use your Zilch card in the UK by browsing our list of some of the top retailers.

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