The next big thing

I like to think of myself as a ‘young mover and shaker’.

Truthfully, though, the only thing about me that still moves and shakes these days is my belly (damn you ‘dad bod’!).

In the same way, Nimble likes to refer to itself as a ‘fintech disruptor’.

It gives Nimble a sort of … mover and shaker air … financial technology, man! We’re changing the world!

Actually, no.

The closest Nimble comes to being ‘fin’ tech is that it’s a loan shark that preys on young people.

Nimble slugs millennials the maximum rate the payday laws allow: 20% of the principal, plus 4% per month.

Yet their marketing is truly masterful: their ironic hipster-cool advertising encourages young people who are short on cash to just ‘Nimble it’.

Make no mistake: the combination of charging insanely high interest rates and uneducated young customers means that Nimble is making a lot of money.

And now, for the next line, I’d like you to quietly hum the Jaws theme song to yourself.

(Dernum … dernum … dernum.)

Nimble has just revealed it has huge expansion plans: it’s applied for a fully fledged banking licence.

This is very bad news for young consumers … they’re effectively shark bait.

Yet wouldn’t it be good to teach teenagers just how dangerous this mob is, before they fall for their advertising?

Well, that’s exactly what my high school money class teaches.

Here’s how it goes:

First, we play a Nimble ad (which is actually pretty funny).

Many of the kids laugh as they watch it, and probably think to themselves “that’s a cool company”.

Then I get them to go to the Nimble website, which shows an attractive young couple fist-pumping the air, presumably after scoring what Nimble calls a ‘smart little loan’. And then I get the class to calculate the total cost.

“Let’s say you get hit with an unexpected $1,000 car repair bill, and you decide to ‘Nimble it’. How much will it cost you after nine months?”

After a little bit of maths, the kids work out that the answer is a whopping $1,560.

You should see their faces when they work out how much it costs. They literally can’t believe it.

That is the power of teaching independent financial education in schools.

From that point on, every dollar that Nimble spends on its highly targeted youth-based advertising is wasted on these kids. The game is up. They’ve jumped the shark.

Tread Your Own Path!