Privacy Policy

Who is the Data Controller?

  • Merchant Money Ltd (We/Us) (registered in England with company number 04504897 and registered office at Carlton House, High Street, Higham Ferrers, Northants NN10 8BW.
  • We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office with registration number Z303864X. Our registration can be viewed here
  • Our Customer Service Team can be contacted via 020 3813 8242 or via email at contact@merchantmoney.co.uk.


Why do we use your information?

We use your personal information for a variety of reasons related to our business activities including processing your application for credit (whether as a sole trader, unincorporated partnership or commercial entity), where you provide security for a loan to your business, the administration of your loan agreement, to contact you and to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.  Where you are an individual and provide your consent we may use it to send you or electronic marketing. Where you are a corporate entity we may send you electronic marketing unless you object. We may also use your information to introduce you to other lenders and credit brokers who may be able to provide you with products and services.

What is the legal basis for this use?

In most cases our use of your information is necessary and carried out on the following legal grounds:

  • taking steps with a view to entering into a contract with you or for the performance of a contract with you (such as your loan agreement).
  • where necessary for our legitimate interests (such as the administration of our business and managing our risks, and the provision, management and improvement of our website, to make sure it is working properly, or the identification of new companies who may be interested in our products and services); and
  • where necessary in order to comply with a legal obligation (for example making reports to our regulatory authority or to law enforcement agencies).

Where our use of your data is not necessary for one of the purposes outlined above we may seek your consent to use it in a particular way, for example if you are an individual and we wish to send you digital marketing information, ask you to provide feedback or you tell us about a change in circumstances relating to your health.

Where we ask for your consent you may refuse and can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us using the details set out above. This will not affect any of the processing based on consent which occurred prior to your communication of your withdrawal.

What information about you do we use

We collect and use the following information about you:

  • information about you including your contact and personal details (including your date of birth) and information about your financial and domestic circumstances;
  • information about your business, its activities, its financial condition and in relation to its owners, shareholders and employees;
  • information provided to us by the loan broker that introduced you;
  • information about you from third party organisations, such as Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) and tracing agents;
  • information obtained from other public data sources which might include data from the electoral roll, public records including county court judgments, and bankruptcy and insolvency data;
  • information about your use of our website (see below for details) and call recordings when you speak to us over the telephone (calls are recorded for training and monitoring purposes); and
  • information you (or your third party representative(s)) provide us with or share publically.

In addition, when you visit our website, we will collect information about your visit, such as which pages you visit, how often you visit and any enquiry forms or similar interactive content you complete. We will also automatically collect the following information:

  • technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your device to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform;
  • information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our sites (including date and time); products you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.

You can exercise control over some of this information, for example by adjusting your settings via your website browser. Please also see our cookies policy here

When might we collect and use sensitive information about you?

We always seek to treat customers fairly and be responsive to their individual needs. Sometimes you may disclose some types of information which are classed as sensitive under the law. A common example of this is information about your mental or physical health. We will ask your consent to record this information. Not agreeing to us recording this information may impact on our ability to make adjustments for your circumstances. We collect this information so that we can treat you fairly and according to your needs.

Who do we share your information with?

We may share your information with:

  • the broker who introduced you for the purpose of managing compliance and fulfilling our contractual requirements with the broker;
  • third parties who provide services to us, such as tracing agents, our legal advisors and our website support;
  • Think Business Finance Limited, who provide outsourced call centre support to us in relation to applications and, where your application to us is unsuccessful but you wish to explore alternative lenders (see Think Business Finance’s Privacy Policy for further details);
  • other credit providers who may be able to offer you credit if we are unable to;
  • our third party payment service providers who provide payment facilities to us;
  • CRAs and FPAs to which we may report positive, delinquent and default data about your account(s) on a regular (minimum monthly) basis;
  • law enforcement agencies or regulatory bodies where we are required to do so;
  • other members of our group of companies, and any purchaser or proposed purchaser of all or part of the same or their assets, together with their professional advisors;
  • you or your third party representatives (in line with your rights); or
  • any person or persons seeking to acquire all or part of our business and/or assets and any potential assignees of your credit agreement, along with their third party advisors;
  • we believe, in good faith, that it is necessary to protect our rights, property, safety or reputation or the rights, property, safety or reputation of any of our clients or partners.Records remain on file with CRAs and FPAs for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted. This information may be supplied to other organisations which search your credit record. More information about CRAs and how they use personal information is available at www.experian.co.uk/crain/index.html in a document called the Credit Reference Agency Information Notice (also known as the “CRAIN”). You can also contact the agencies below:
  • Callcredit:
    Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ Tel: 0330 024 7579 or visit www.callcredit.co.uk
  • Equifax PLC:
    Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US Tel: 0870 010 0583 or visit www.myequifax.co.uk
  • Experian:
    Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham, NG80 7WF Tel: 0870 241 6212 or visit www.experian.co.uk

To find out more about how we share your data with CRAs, click here.

The personal information we have collected from you may be shared by CRAs with FPAs who will use it to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance or employment. Further details of how your information will be used by us and these fraud prevention agencies, and your data protection rights, can be found in the CRAIN.

Automated decision making

We may perform automated processing (i.e. processing that is carried out without human intervention) on your personal information, to evaluate certain things about you. In particular, we may do this to analyse or predict (amongst other things) your economic situation, credit history, age, personal preferences, interests or behaviour. This could mean that automated decisions (i.e. decisions that are made without human intervention) are made about you using your personal information. For example, if you do not meet an element of our lending criteria (such as being over 18 or being a resident in the UK) any application for credit will be automatically declined. If you do meet our lending criteria, the amount we lend, the term of your loan and the interest we charge on your loan will be determined by your credit status.

Where is your information stored?

The information we collect about you will be held on our secure servers within the European Economic Area (the EEA) and will not normally be transferred or stored outside the EEA. In limited circumstances where it may be transferred outside of the EEA we will always tell you first and ensure that adequate safeguards are in place. These adequate safeguards will usually be European Commission Model Contract Clauses.

Data Security

We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the security of your information and to prevent unauthorised access, including encryption, fire walls, data back-ups, policies and procedures, and access protocols. We enforce physical access controls to our buildings and files, and we only authorise access to those employees who require it to fulfil their job responsibilities. When you share data with us through the website, that information is protected by secure socket layer (SSL) encryption.  Unfortunately, transmission of information via the internet may never be completely secure and you should ensure when using our website as with any other online services that you have appropriate protections in place (such as anti-virus software and an up-to-date web-browser).

We never ask for payment details (such as your account or card number) via email so if you receive a suspicious email purporting to be from us, please contact us via telephone or email using the details above). Your use of our website is subject to our website terms of use which are available here.

How long will your information be kept on file?

We keep your information for as long as it is needed to provide you with the services you have requested and, to the extent it is necessary for the protection of our legitimate interests (the management of legal risks and administration of our business), for six years from the end of your credit agreement with us (if you take out a loan). Where you partially complete an application, or are declined we will keep your information for up to 30 days so you can pick up where you left off. Where you are an individual acting in your own capacity or as a sole trader and have consented to receive marketing from us, we will hold your records on file for two years since the last time you interacted with us.

Right of access You have a right to access the personal information we hold about you and be told why we use it
Right of rectification You can ask us to correct or update your information to ensure it is accurate and complete.
Right to erasure and right to restrict processing You can ask us to stop processing and to delete your data in certain circumstances (for example where it is processed with your consent, or it is no longer necessary for us to process it).
Right to data portability You have a right to ask us to provide you with information in a form that suits you, and/or to provide your information to a third party.
Right to object You have a right to object to our processing of your information.
Rights: profiling and automated decisions You have a right not to be subject to automated decisions which have a legal effect and to be protected by safeguards in respect of any profiling.
Right to object to direct marketing Where you have consented to receive direct marketing you can change your mind at any time by contacting us or following the directions in each message. Please allow a few days for us to action your request
Rights in relation to CRAs You have a right to be told which CRAs we have used and obtain a copy of your file from CRAs.

You can exercise the above rights by contacting us. Further information is also available from the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).

Contact and complaints

If you have question, want to exercise your rights or make a complaint about our use of your information, please contact us using the details above, or by email to contact@merchantmoney.co.uk
You can also make a complaint to the ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone 0303 123 1113. www.ico.org.uk.

Updates

Updates to this notice may be published to this page on our website from time to time, so please check back for updates. Where appropriate, we may also send updates by email.

Annex 1

In order to process your application, we will perform credit and identity checks on you with one or more credit reference agencies (“CRAs”). Where you take banking services from us we may also make periodic searches at CRAs to manage your account with us. To do this, we will supply your personal information to CRAs and they will give us information about you. This will include information from your credit application and about your financial situation and financial history. CRAs will supply to us both public (including the electoral register) and shared credit, financial situation and financial history information and fraud prevention information.

We will use this information to:

  • Assess your creditworthiness and whether you can afford to take the product;
  • Verify the accuracy of the data you have provided to us;
  • Prevent criminal activity, fraud and money laundering;
  • Manage your account(s);
  • Trace and recover debts; and
  • Ensure any offers provided to you are appropriate to your circumstances.

We will continue to exchange information about you with CRAs while you have a relationship with us. We will also inform the CRAs about your settled accounts. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, CRAs will record the outstanding debt. This information may be supplied to other organisations by CRAs.

When CRAs receive a search from us they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders.

If you are making a joint application, or tell us that you have a spouse or financial associate, we will link your records together, so you should make sure you discuss this with them, and share with them this information, before lodging the application. CRAs will also link your records together and these links will remain on your and their files until such time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to break that link.

The identities of the CRAs, their role also as fraud prevention agencies, the data they hold, the ways in which they use and share personal information, data retention periods and your data protection rights with the CRAs are explained in more detail in the CRAIN (see the links in our Privacy Notice).

THE CRAIN is also accessible from each of the three CRAs – clicking on any of these three links will also take you to the same CRAIN document:


ANNEX 2 – Cookies

Cookies

We may obtain information about your general internet usage by using an anonymised cookie file which is stored on the hard drive of your computer. Cookies enable us to improve our service to you, store information about your preferences and recognise you when you return to our site. You can set your web browser to refuse cookies, but if you do this you may not be able to enjoy full use of the site.

In most cases we will need your consent in order to use cookies on this website. The exception is where the cookie is essential in order for us to provide you with a service you have requested (e.g. to enable us to offer you services which you are applying, or have applied, for). We work with third party suppliers who may also set cookies on our website, for example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. These third party suppliers are responsible for the cookies they set on our site. If you want further information please go to the website for the relevant third party.

DESCRIPTION OF COOKIES

Name of cookie Owner Purpose for the cookie
Google Analytics Google This is a web analytics service provided by Google Inc which uses cookies to show us how visitors found and explored our site, and how we can enhance their experience. It provides us with information about the behaviour of our visitors (e.g. how long they stayed on the site, the average number of pages viewed) and also tells us how many visitors we have had.


HOW TO TURN OFF COOKIES

If you do not want to accept cookies, you can change your browser settings so that cookies are not accepted. If you do this, please be aware that you may lose some of the functionality of this website. For further information about cookies and how to disable them please go to the Information Commissioner’s webpage on cookies: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies/ .