Kantar Public were commissioned by the Competition Commission to conduct a programme of research into the payday lending sector in the summer of 2013.

The project sought to better understand the experience of customers when taking out payday loans, including motivations for taking out loans, the extent to which payday loans where compared with alternative sources of credit, the extent to which customers shopped around for loans among payday lenders, issues around repaying loans and evidence of switching between lenders. A further objective of the research was to provide an overview of customers present in the payday lending sector, in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, financial circumstances and borrowing characteristics.

Kantar Public were heavily involved in all stages of the research, including leading on questionnaire and sample design, fieldwork and data delivery and the delivery a presentation and report to the Competition Commission, which both covered all strands of the research. There were three stages of the research: exploratory qualitative research to inform the design of the main stage (12 interviews); a main stage quantitative telephone survey (1,560 interviews) and main stage qualitative research (25 interviews), both with customers of payday lending companies, sampled from customer data provided by the lenders; a follow-up quantitative stage (108 interviews), which involved re-interviewing customers within a few days of their loan repayment date, and follow-up qualitative interviews (23 interviews).

The report is available on the Competition Commission website.