Some are growing concerned the CME’s foray into bitcoin futures trading could be the route by which cryptocurrency volatility infects broader markets.
Continue reading: Are there systemic risks in clearing bitcoin?
Some are growing concerned the CME's foray into bitcoin futures trading could be the route by which cryptocurrency volatility infects broader markets.
News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club rolls out its next-generation small business credit policy. Elevate’s RISE surpasses $300M in outstanding loans. Upgrade, Corridor collaborate on big data, credit analytics. Assetz Capital completes Seedrs funding round with 1.6M GBP. Alibaba seeks majority stake in SenseTime. Revolut banks on cryptocurrency. Comunitae suspends activities due to fraud. Today’s main analysis: The hidden relationship between […]
Who wants to take out a loan for a pair of jeans? AT: “This illustrates that its all about psychology. Millennials, who have shown an aversion to credit cards, feel better about buying high-dollar fashion items–like designer jeans–on credit when they’d feel guilty for paying cash for the same items. But, really, is POS credit any different than credit card debt, which are often used at the POS to buy the same vanity items. Affirm has designed a smart product targeted at the psychology of a generation that wants to do things differently than their parents. You can’t beat that.”
Elevate Credit, Inc., a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced its RISE product has surpassed $300 million in total outstandings, with more than 130,000 open accounts.
Lending Club arguably pioneered peer-to-peer lending, which has been one of the most vibrant segments of the credit market. Some analysts, however, have questioned the company’s ability to continue growing without adopting some traditional banking practices, like taking deposits.
Lending Club has failed to manage costs well over the past two years, leading to its inability to net profits. As illustrated in the chart below, the company’s trailing 12-month revenue now stands at about $551 million, but it has managed to reduce the net loss from about $175 million in the first quarter to about $94 million in the third quarter.
Lending Club’s first-half 2017 loan originations figure, however, declined from the prior-year period, dropping to approximately $4.1 billion versus $4.7 billion last year.
Jocelyn Vera Zorn is not eager to talk about the loan she took out to buy the pants. “It’s kind of embarrassing,” she grimaces.
For merchants, Affirm provides exceptional benefits, increasing average order values across the board; perhaps not surprisingly, people will shop more, and more often, when they don’t immediately feel the costs. And for many customers, including Jocelyn, the predictable, convenient payments are worth the higher interest rates.
Affirm claims to be a more transparent and honest, if not cheaper, line of credit for the underserved. Using internal, proprietary data science and artificial intelligence, the company says it approves 126 percent more borrowers than traditional lenders, based on soft credit pullsand an opaque mosaic of consumer information.
While more than two-thirds of Americans own at least one credit card, 20 percent are considered subprime, with a FICO score of 600 or below. Another 10 percent are on the bubble.
Upgrade, Inc. (), a consumer credit platform that combines personal loans with tools that help consumers understand and monitor their credit, today announced a strategic partnership with Corridor Funds (), a new credit analytics and portfolio management platform founded by Manish Gupta. Mr. Gupta was recently EVP, Global Head of Information Management and Advanced Decisioning at American Express and prior to that spent many years as Chief Credit Officer of the Amex US consumer lending business. Under the terms of the partnership, Corridor will provide independent analytical review and validation to investors in Upgrade’s personal loan products, and will collaborate with Upgrade on new product design.
Announced today at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest in New York, TechCrunch founder Michael Arringtonrevealed he’s raising $100 million for a hedge fund that will buy and hold crypto assets while making investments in token sales and (some) equities and debt.
Launched under a new entity called Arrington XRP Capital, the fund claims to be the first that will require all limited partners (LPs) to make investments in XRP, the cryptocurrency that powers San Francisco startup Ripple’s RippleNet software.
Five years later, LendUp customers are improving their credit scores, and now I’m proud to say that LendUp Loan customers have saved $150 million versus what they would have spent with traditional small dollar lenders, all while improving their credit score to open up more financial options in the future.
Two-thirds of LendUp Loan customers report having income swings of $100 or more a month. And since our newest customers lack short-term savings — 83% aren’t confident they can cover a $400 emergency — 77% report that they often miss bill payments.
Agile, customer-experience-focused financial technology businesses continue to drive innovation, modernization and access to credit in America’s financial services marketplace when banks and other traditional providers can’t meet consumers’ needs. For example, fintech lenders help consumers and small businesses alike find financial products and services that meet their credit needs, whether it’s a short-term loan for an emergency expense or capital to help grow a small business — even when these applicants have been denied by their banks.
Online small business lender OnDeck today launched a new monthly series spotlighting the achievements of its small business customers and how they are thriving as a result of receiving capital from OnDeck.
For December, the customer success spotlight is on Dana Donofree, the owner of AnaOno, a lingerie and loungewear company for women with a unique mission.
“Applying for a loan can be incredibly stressful but fortunately, OnDeck had quick questions and quick responses. Right away, I could see how much financing I was approved for and what that meant regarding payback. I had the opportunity to review everything before I took the loan.”
The old saying goes, ‘money can’t buy happiness.’ It should also say ‘and debt can make you anxious, keep you up at night and cause problems in relationships.’ That’s according to a new telephone survey of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The survey found nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) are living with debt driven by factors such as everyday expenses, a lack of income, mortgage costs and student loans, reflecting the far-reaching potential impact of debt upon society.
Recent data shows outstanding household debt reached a record high of $12.84 trillion, making this survey timely. With U.S. consumer spending growing at its fastest pace since 2009, it appears the frugal habits many Americans adopted directly after the Great Recession are a thing of the past.
More than half of Americans with debt (56 percent) say it has negatively impacted their life.
Of those, one-in-five (21 percent) say debt is causing relationship tension with a spouse or partner and one-in-ten (11 percent) have misled family or friends about their financial situation. Debt is not just impacting life at home, it has found ways to creep into all aspects of the day. Nearly a third (31 percent) admit to worrying about their debt in general while nearly one-in-five (18 percent) say they worry while at work and one-in-four (25 percent) worry at bedtime.
Living with debt has become a financial and mental burden for nearly three-in-ten Americans with debt (28 percent) who stress about everyday financial decisions because of their debt. Nearly one-fifth of Americans with debt (19 percent) have received letters and calls from collection agencies. While the low interest rate environment has the potential to keep payments lower, one-in-four (25 percent) say that they’re worried a rate hike could change that.
Nearly seven-in-ten Millennials with debt (68 percent) admit it has had a negative impact on their everyday life compared with roughly half of Baby Boomers (48 percent) and three-fifths of GenXers (59 percent) with debt. Most concerning, the survey found that of those with debt, Millennials are twice as likely to worry about debt compared to Baby Boomers (M: 43 percent, BB: 19 percent) and more than a third (37 percent) admit that their debt causes them to stress about everyday financial decisions.
The world’s largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume is launching in the U.S.
BitFlyer, based in Tokyo, announced Tuesday it became the fourth digital currency exchange to receive a “BitLicense” to operate in New York. The exchange said it also has licenses to operate in 40 other states.
Curry, who was integral in leading the federal banking regulator’s efforts in advancing financial technology, including through the proposal of a special purpose national bank charter for fintechs, joined Nutter McClennen & Fish this week. He is a partner and will co-lead Nutter’s Banking and Financial Services practice group.
How involved with fintech do you plan to be?
That will be a key area and something I’m excited about working with the other members of the firm on. Fintech is interesting, especially if you’re talking about online lending and marketplace lending.
Do you expect the fintech charter will, in fact, move forward?
From my standpoint, I would not have pursued the charter without being very comfortable with the legal foundation for it.
How will you advise clients in the meantime until any special purpose charter is finalized?
Today institutions, banks as well, need to be making strategic decisions about which direction they’re going in. Well before you decide whether to apply to a fintech charter, you should be thinking through the process, so I think the time is now.
This year’s blockchain craze has pushed a huge amount of new money into cryptocurrencies, private blockchain projects, and companies holding initial coin offerings (ICOs). As of now, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies stands at more than $340B — a huge leap from where it started the year at $18B.
But you shouldn’t make the decision to refinance your loans lightly. Refinancing can help some borrowers save money, but what refinancing can do for you depends on a number of factors, including the repayment term and repayment options that you choose for your new loan.
Yours Clothing, a UK independent retailer of plus size ladies clothing, has announced a partnership with Klarna which will allow its customers to use the Pay later and Slice it payment options.
Klarna’s Pay later allows customers to try goods first. When checking out online or on mobile, Yours Clothing customers who use Klarna’s Pay later will receive their products and then have 14 days to pay Klarna back interest-free.
Klarna’s second payment option – Slice it – gives shoppers the ability to spread the cost of any purchases over £60 into equal monthly instalments.
Improve your personal credit. Yes, this has everything to do with money. You see, the higher your credit score, the more likely you’ll be able to score lower interest rates on the money you borrow. This can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, so it’s definitely a resolution worth making.
The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data.
Virtually non-existent in the country five years ago, consumer lending through websites and mobile apps has expanded rapidly over the past 18 months amid a proliferation of fintech start-ups that use big data to assess credit risk.
In a chatroom devoted to consumer lending on Tencent’s QQ social-media platform, the Financial Times contacted a person claiming to be an employee of an online lender who was offering user data for sale.
For Rmb4 ($0.61) per user, he offered to provide the full name, national ID number, phone number and loan limit. He added that for some borrowers, the data would also include a credit score from Sesame Credit, the unit of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial that sells credit scores to banks and consumer lenders with users’ consent.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in discussions to invest about 1.5 billion yuan ($227 million) and become the largest backer of Chinese facial recognition startup SenseTime, according to a person familiar with the matter.
SenseTime, which says it’s valued at more than $2 billion, is backed by Qualcomm Inc. and considered one of the more advanced players in machine vision technology.
A number of Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies went public in the US this year. Those P2P firms have been growing quickly, with some venturing into high-risk segments such as campus loans and cash advances. As they go public overseas, it creates potential risks that may eventually affect China’s financial stability. Supervision is needed to bring the P2P lending sector in order.
That these companies listed in the US reflects several factors. One main reason is the companies are expanding. Most are underperforming, and some are in the red. US stock exchanges do not have strict requirements for indicators such as net profit and cash flow. Also, the US market attracts investors from all over the world, easily raising more funds.
Policy makers from the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission convened in Beijing on Nov. 23 to discuss new measures to crackdown on online consumer loan platforms, including those for payday loans and peer-to-peer lending. On the same day, Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial said it will enforce a cap of 24 percent on interest rates charged by lenders on its website, or 12 percentage points lower than current rates.
Although the measures haven’t been made public, our industry checks suggest three notable changes. First, the issuance of new licenses to online micro-loan platforms is being suspended, suggesting that regulators are scrutinizing online lending practices. Second, banks and bank-holding companies are being told not to buy loans underwritten by online platforms because such assets are deemed too risky. Third, turning the loans into securities will be forbidden because regulators believe securitization amplifies risks and gives investors less of an incentive to perform due diligence on the underlying assets.
So-called P2P online lending platforms have mushroomed from fewer than 10 to more than 2,000 in just over seven years, but only a few hundred operate with government-issued permits.
According to a report in El Español, peer to peer lender Comunitae has ceased all operations indefinitely due to fraud detected on the platform this past October. The Comunitae web site is still live but certain portions are not functional.
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the Netherlands, The Embassy of Sweden and Business Sweden are very proud to announce the winner of the Swedish Chamber Export Prize 2017; Klarna.The prize aims to strengthen the Swedish-Dutch business relations and has been awarded since 2012 to Swedish related companies in the Netherlands.
Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500 million accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading.
The bank, backed by the country’s largest digital wallet of the same name, launched formally Tuesday and is targeting people who don’t have access to professional financial services. That aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition to broaden access for the under-banked in the nation of 1.3 billion people.
Paytm was one of fewer than a dozen entities that secured permits to start payments banks, which can accept deposits and remittances but cannot lend.
It said it will operate a mobile-first bank with zero fees on online transactions and no minimum balance.
A major trend shaping the small-business landscape is the rise in cryptocurrency, which can provide alternative means for a variety of cross-border financial transactions.
Cryptocurrency is ideal for cross-border transactions in several ways. In addition to being secure and permanent, cryptocurrency transactions allow borrowers and lenders to sidestep time spent working through a bank, as well as converting from one currency to another. For many investors, the speed and convenience of cryptocurrency-based transactions presents an opportunity to magnify gains.
Along with crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, cryptocurrency can improve access to both payments and credit for SMEs.
Independent asset managers shall maintain relationships not only to custodians. Due to disintermediation and distributed ledger technology they will be able to profit from a much broader range of financial assets.
Brussels-based SWIFT has been urging banks to bolster security of computers used to transfer money since Bangladesh Bank lost $81 million in a February 2016 cyber heist that targeted central bank computers used to move funds.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency last month reported that Far Eastern International Bank (2845.TW) lost $500,000 in a cyber heist. BAE later said that attack was launched by a North Korean hacking group known as Lazarus, which many cyber-security firms believe was behind the Bangladesh case.
Nepal’s NIC Asia Bank lost $580,000 in a cyber heist, two Nepali officials told Reuters earlier this month.
He’s now in Sydney at fintech business Prospa, the nation’s leading online lender to small business, where’s he talking to Business Insider about the sector as well as the 12-month investigation into misconduct by the banks.
The article that someone tweeted about, posts that they liked on Facebook, and a new phone just bought on an e-commerce site—all these events now play a crucial role in determining if an individual is eligible for a loan or not.
Online lending firms have seen rapid growth in the last two years, despite the presence of a wide network of banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India. That’s because, till 2015, about 70% of Indians remained under-served by banks and other financial institutions, an opportunitythat these firms are trying to cash in on. Now, even banks and NBFCs are tying up with online lending firms to reach out to more customers.
The 166 million households that make up middle-income India—with annual earnings of between Rs2.2 lakh ($3,414)to Rs3.59 lakh ($5,572)—typically apply for personal loans to buy consumer durables, for weddings, to meet medical expenses, set up a new business, and the likes.
“We have about 80-90 parameters that are used to check a consumer’s credit worthiness. And that’s where technology comes into play to ensure that it can be done swiftly and efficiently,” said Satyam Kumar, co-founder, LoanTap, an online fintech platform that provides retail loans to salaried individuals.
GyanDhan, a Delhi-based start-up working in the space of education loans, emerged winner of a GIST pitch competition for enterprises in the Fintech and Digital Economy, one of the four focus sectors at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, here on Wednesday.
Lupiya Circle, an online market place created by women in Zambia to financially empower women in the African nation through a branchless banking model was declared the runners-up.
Since 2005, the top 200 funded startups in the MENA region have attracted more than $2 billion in capital, according to a report issued by MAGNiTT, which tracks the development of startups across the region.
To date, the majority of top funded startups in the region were established in the UAE, and the primary financial backers have also tended to be UAE-based.
But a recent uptick in funding from Saudi investment firms points to a developing ecosystem for startups in the Kingdom, according to MAGNiTT founder Philip Bahoshy.
Bahoshy said that startups providing solutions for broader regional challenges such as sticky logistics and cross-border banking frictions stand the best chance of attracting meaningful investment.
Next year will be a good year for Sub-Saharan Africa. After a challenging 2017 for many of its nations, 2018 will see economic growth return across the continent, gas activity boom and fintech innovation pick up in speed.
The research department of the Pan-African bank forecasts three key trends that will take hold across Africa during the next 12 months. GTR takes a closer look at them.
3. Africa’s evolving role in fintech leadership
But 2018, he emphasises, will see African fintech firms increasingly driving this innovation. “There will still be international investors, but the actual leadership of fintech development is going to start coming increasingly from the Africans. It’s not going to be the Europeans and Americans going in, saying, ‘you should do this’.”
Ecobank’s research highlights South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire as tech hubs that will nurture the next wave of African startups and help connect them with investors.
One fintech that has caught Ecobank’s attention in particular is IroFit, a firm that uses the mobile network to enable real-time financial payments without the need for an internet connection.
Other emerging innovations in Africa include digital tools to build credit profiles for the previously ‘unbankable’ or using blockchain technology for digital identity and KYC solutions.
Modernizing banking infrastructure is no easy task, but one company has found an easy way to make it happen using the latest development techniques and tools. Borrowers expect easy-to-use solutions in this era of digitalization, but to deliver inclusive lending solutions for a broader set of borrowers, it’s very important to use data that is […]
Modernizing banking infrastructure is no easy task, but one company has found an easy way to make it happen using the latest development techniques and tools. Borrowers expect easy-to-use solutions in this era of digitalization, but to deliver inclusive lending solutions for a broader set of borrowers, it’s very important to use data that is reliable and timely. That’s where a technologically-based solution optimized for user experience comes in. Plaid gives traditional top-notch institutions a competitive advantage by giving them access to the latest technological advancements.
Plaid was co-founded by Zachary Perret and William Hockey, ambitious innovators who felt that something had to be done to make financial transactions simpler and quicker, in 2012. They developed Plaid into a platform whose suite of APIs can absorb huge volumes of unstructured data and transform it into something usable.
Based in San Francisco, Plaid acts as a bridge between users’ bank accounts, banks, and third-party applications. Initially, Plaid aimed at helping borrowers access necessary information that would help them determine the right lending institution based on their qualifications and the lending institution’s requirements. The platform made borrowing easy and fast since all information was processed in real time. However, with time, Plaid started getting attention from other financial industry players, including mortgage providers, that needed real-time data verification.
To date, Plaid has raised $60 million. The latest funding round, a Series B, pulled in $44 million led by Goldman Sachs. That was in the spring 2016.
Partnership with Fannie Mae
Recently, Plaid partnered with Fannie Mae to help automate asset verification, which has been a time-consuming and tedious step in the mortgage lending process. In collaboration with Fannie Mae’s validation service, Plaid will offer a quick, simple, and more reliable way for mortgage providers to vouch and verify borrowers’ assets.
This partnership will allow Fannie Mae’s lenders access to borrowers’ financial information directly and in real time through the Plaid platform. The integration will eliminate the manual document collection and review steps from the mortgage lending process. The collaboration will also alleviate risk through Fannie Mae’s Day1 Certainty program.
According to Kate Adamson, the head of the mortgage department at Plaid, the introduction of automated asset verification in the mortgage process is a huge step from what was traditionally handled through enormous paperwork. She said Plaid are excited to have finally simplified and streamlined the mortgage application process. “Working with Fannie Mae to smooth the mortgage application process is a great example of Plaid’s mission in innovating and simplifying how consumers experience financial services,’’ she said.
Mortgage processing is one of the major components of fintech but has not yet been fully exploited. The founders of Plaid have a broader mission whereby they want to change how consumers experience financial services by using new technology to shift focus from compliance optimization to consumer operations and user experience optimization.
The Plaid platform differs from other platforms in that it focuses on helping lenders from relying on banks solely to gather and verify information. Foundations such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae always have to verify assets in the process of buying mortgages. Normally, the verification process involves the submission of bank statements for every account a borrower has, and in cases where there are more than one party involved, all parties must submit bank statements. The process takes from hours to a couple of days, but Plaid has reduced it to mere seconds.
To eliminate the process of uploading and downloading statements, Plaid has synced all necessary information by building relationships with over 10,000 financial institutions thus helping borrowers verify their information within seconds.
Advantages of using APIs for data verification
Standardized data: The relationship with over 10,000 institutions helps lenders to get standardized data that is complete and accurate. Data retrieved through APIs is also authentic and reduced the rate of fraud.
Automation: Since all data is synched with the platform, the process of retrieving and verifying data is automated reducing processing time. Automation also helps to reduce paperwork, which is costly in both effort and time.
High document integrity: Data retrieved through APIs is acquired from the source and can thereforebe trusted. Every institution wants to make decisions using updated and accurate data, which has been made possible through APIs in real-time.
Conversion: Initially, mortgage processing took days and was also a tiring factor that made many potential customers abandon the process in the middle. Now, the application process requires minimal effort, which leads to an increase in conversion rate.
Plaid’s key differentiators
An all-purpose enterprise: Most companies are dedicated to mortgage asset verification only, but Plaid is different since it offers cross-industry asset verification to ensure optimal consumer experience and satisfaction.
The unique drop-in module: The Plaid Link feature has boosted customer experience in many ways including ease of use, a factor that has led to the attraction of a huge number of consumers to the platform and increased conversion rate.
Ease of integration: Plaid is designed for developers, which makes it user-friendly. Developers can easily get started and integrate their applications without any trouble.
Quality integration: Having built relationships with over 10,000 banks, the quality of data processed through the platform can be deemed high quality regarding completeness and accuracy as it is updated real time.
The Future of Plaid
The company has started seeing overwhelming results with an increase in conversion rate for mortgage applications, more banks integrating with the platform, and other financial institutions planning to launch with them soon. The enterprise is also improving the technology front end and back end to facilitate efficiency from an operational point of view. Plaid is streamlining and tokenizing data as well as increasing resources, to include human resources, to sustain growth, improve efficiency, and meet market demand. The main aim of the platform is to improve customer experience by making all operations as simple and fast as possible.
News Comments Today’s main news: Fiduciary rule delayed–again.SoFi prepares sixth student loan refinance ABS.LendingTree secures $250M amended, restated credit facility.Indonesian tech investments hit $3B YTD. Today’s main analysis: Qudian bounces back. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Will Mulvaney back consumers or payday lenders?American consumers say financial crisis had no impact on their lives.Online education startup promises to […]
SoFi is has entered the post-Thanksgiving pipeline with its sixth student loan refinancing transaction this year, in line with its plans to issue 12 securitizations in 2017.
The California-based online lender filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are banks on the deal, according to the deal documents.
While relaxing over the Thanksgiving weekend you might have noticed a new trend occurring in television while watching the games: six second ads.
SoFi is focusing their message on the consumers lifestyle, presenting an understanding as to why someone needed to increase their credit card debt.
They also placed a Black Friday circular with several national newspapers which you can see in the photo below. The ad is a clever take on the typical sales fliers we all see around this time of year. But instead of an ad featuring low prices we see an ad touting much higher prices. The message is that if you are buying gifts on credit cards this holiday season and carrying a balance you will be paying a lot more than the advertised price. It is a message focused on smart spending, giving a better look at the true costs of products when financed.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Washington D.C. Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to appoint White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to director of the agency.
As a Congressman, Mulvaney accepted $55,500 in contributions from payday lenders during his four successful runs for Congress, including $26,600 during the 2016 election cycle, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Before he was tapped to lead President Donald Trump’s Office of Budget Management, Mulvaney took $115,200 from the securities and investment industry, and another $96,564 from the insurance industry in the 2016 cycle, both more than any other industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This record, along with comments Mulvaney made indicating he would shutter the agency if given the opportunity, has led critics to question whether Mulvaney’s priority will be consumers — or the companies the agency is responsible for regulating.
Payday lenders appear to want Mulvaney to lead the CFPB.
President Trump’s hostile takeover of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, by contrast, relies on the rather less cherished legal principle of habeas cuppedia, Latin for “you shall have the pastries.”
Under the statute that created the CFPB, the watchdog agency set up after the 2008 crash to police lending abuses, it should now be rightfully run by Leandra English, the deputy director who succeeds the just-resigned director, Richard Cordray, until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. Trump found another statute that he says lets him appoint Mulvaney. English filed suit to defend her legitimacy, Mulvaney submitted doughnuts, and a Trump-appointed federal judge, to nobody’s surprise, ruled in Trump’s favor.
New data released today by Hartford Funds revealed that a decade after the Great Recession, Americans are unclear how the economic event impacted their life and financial behavior.
The majority (40 percent) of respondents said that the financial crisis had no impact on their life, yet large numbers reported that they avoid the market (42 percent) and have altered their spending and savings habits (46 percent). Others (26 percent) shifted their retirement timeline and plan to work longer then they’d hoped, and 25 percent had to change jobs or take on additional jobs.
The majority (40 percent) of respondents said that the financial crisis had no impact on their life, yet large numbers reported that they avoid the market (42 percent) and have altered their spending and savings habits (46 percent). Others (26 percent) shifted their retirement timeline and plan to work longer then they’d hoped, and 25 percent had to change jobs or take on additional jobs.
The company’s growth is set to continue with ongoing success in the US, Monevo’s newest territory.
Personal loan originations in the US reached new heights by the end of 2016. Total balances reached $102bn for the first time, $14bn higher than the end of 2015. The number of consumers with personal loans at the end of 2016 was 15.82 million.
Fifteen US lenders, including Lending Club, Sofi, and Prosper have joined Monevo’s roster of over 150 personal loan lenders across the world.
Just like Uncle Sam, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants you…to be able to apply for financial aid on your phone.
DeVos said Tuesday that the government plans to launch an app for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which some 20 million people fill out every year in hopes of getting grants, loans and other money for college or career training. It’s all part of a plan to make the FAFSA much simpler to submit.
HouseCanary, the data analytics and valuation platform for real estate professionals, today announced it has closed a $31 million series B funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $64 million to date. Investors in the round include PSP Growth, the venture and growth equity arm of PSP Capital, a private investment firm founded by entrepreneur and former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, as well as Alpha Edison and other existing investors.
Investors can now value over 100 million properties with a median error of 2.5% or less. Lenders and appraisers use HouseCanary technology to reduce the time it takes to complete an appraisal from more than 25 days to less than a week.
How secure is your data? Recent hacks and breaches have re-stressed the importance of the data security and customer information. This track will help young startups and big box financial institutions verify customers, understand data security and utilize tools to improve efficiency. The future of technology is in robotics, machine learning and biometrics, not grasping these changes will make your business extinct.
Bitcoin. Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. ICO’s. Everyone’s talking about them, but how will these new age concepts change the future of money?
Banks are looking to fintech partners to transform their business for the digital revolution. This track will explore the crucial role of mobile banking, smart ATM innovations, chatbots’ role, and the digital transformation at all levels—from branch to infrastructure to data storage.
Learn how to scale your growth like Lending Club, increase access to credit like LendingPoint, and utilize mobile-only technologies like MoneyLion.
There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, up from 1 million last year, according to the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan estimates 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled by 2022, a rise of around 20% since 2015.
The military is skilled at producing what Gary McAlum, the chief security officer at USAA, calls “Jedi Knights.”
Wells Fargo is making a big push to hire veterans, said Rich Baich, its chief information security officer. He has held several positions in the Navy, the North American Air Defense Command, the National Reconnaissance Office and the FBI.
As of August more than 8,500 veterans worked at the San Francisco bank, and at any given time it has 200 team members on active duty.
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), a leading online loan marketplace, announced today it has entered into an amended and restated $250 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility that will replace LendingTree’s previous $125 million credit agreement. The amended and restated revolving credit facility provides increased borrowing capacity and improved pricing, along with greater strategic and operational flexibility. The facility can be used to finance working capital needs, permitted acquisitions, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes.
The amended and restated revolving credit facility will be governed by a maximum net leverage covenant of 4.50x, with step downs to 4.00x over time. Additionally, the amended credit facility contains an accordion feature under which the borrowing capacity can be increased by $100 million or a greater amount, subject to certain conditions.
The UK chancellor’s recent Budget reminded us that systemic problems continue to plague the government’s delayed roll-out of universal credit – a single monthly welfare payment that will replace six separate benefits.
Govcoin, intent on ‘disrupting’ welfare state provision, has been working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) since early 2016 to develop a solution for welfare payments.
‘Claimants can – voluntarily – download an app, which enables them to create virtual jam jars and apportion money to them. Whether that’s ‘rent’, ‘gas and electric’ – it’s entirely up to them,’ said Kay in an last autumn.
Govcoin will financially empower benefit claimants. But its distribution model involves benefits being paid – not in pounds and pence – but in the form of a cryptocurrency similar to . Govcoin promises to allow claimants to pay for goods and services – such as utilities – linked to the system.
Called Bond, the fund lets accredited investors buy securities known as “Bond Units” in an asset portfolio that holds a mixture of property bonds, real estate and cryptocurrency assets.
Each Bond Unit, which digitally represents an equity share of Bond’s asset portfolio, will be issued on the Bitshares Blockchain and traded via the Bitshares decentralised exchange.
The portfolio has 30 per cent exposure to P2P Bitcoin lending; 30 per cent to property bonds and real estate; and 30 per cent to digital currency learning website the Billion Hero Campaign. The remaining 10 per cent is invested in alternative cryptocurrencies.
After losing more than 40% of its market value last week — as Chinese regulators tightened rules for online consumer lending — Qudian is seeing a 16% bounce today in its American depositary receipts (ticker: QD), to a recent $14.
One of the Chinese fintech players that made their way to the US public market is Rong360 Inc’s Jianpu, an online platform for discovery and recommendation of financial products. The founder and CEO Ye Daqing recently joined its investor James Mi, founding partner of Lightspeed China Partners, on stage at TechCrunch Shanghai to discuss why the fintech is booming in China and what opportunities lie ahead.
There are many fintech companies that are quite controversial because some of them have damaged the reputation of the market. But two of the [fintech] companies you invested in have both filed for an IPO recently. James, what’s your view [on the market]? What makes you such a good investor, landing two IPOs?
Mi: Lightspeed mostly invests in early-stage companies. We usually look at their development in 3-5 years down the road.
We were actually very prudent about P2P. When we finished looking at all the companies we ended up choosing PPDAI because it was offering a real online solution. No offline sales. And this type of business contributes to the society.
Why are so many Chinese [fintech] companies going IPO in the US recently?
Ye: China will see ten to twenty years of significant growth in fintech and micro-finance. The level of digitalization of finance in China is much lower than that of e-commerce, which took more than ten years to reach 14%. Digital finance is currently at less than 5% penetration. In four to five years, or even longer, fintech will surpass retail. For example, lending, car mortgage, credit cards, and insurance.
Let’s look at another buzzword, that is artificial intelligence (AI). Every single industry nowadays is talking about AI. What will happen when AI meets fintech?
Ye: The financial industry is actually a data industry, wholly relying on data to make risk control decisions and take care of customer service and marketing. Take our platform for example—it has nearly 70 million registered users, more than 2,500 partnered financial organizations, with 170,000 types of products, and each product is facing a changeable set of challenges and varying user behavior.
The attack on banking jobs has been relentless. British banks are set to close almost 800 branches this year, after shutting nearly 600 in 2016. The CEO of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, warned that the company could afford to lose half of its staff to automation. Swiss bank Nordea announced at the end of last month that it was cutting a tenth of its staff, and its CEO said the banking industry could cope with half its current number of personnel. Consultancy Greenwich Associates estimates that 15% of the finance industry’s jobs are at risk of being lost to AI-driven alternatives.
In addition to teaching, Nguyen Trieu is leading by example with the launch of an AI-enabled mobile savings app, which is in the early planning stages.
But there’s a big difference in fintech scenes across the world.
The mindset and the way people use technology and fintech is very different. If you’re in Hong Kong, you have WeChat on your phone and you use it on a daily basis. Here, you don’t use fintech on a daily basis. Some people might use Revolut but they still have a traditional bank account. Here, fintech is seen as innovations on top of existing financial services whereas in Hong Kong, fintech is finance.
So the course is for everyone, everywhere?
And not just for people in finance. When we did the beta test only 40% of the users were from the finance industry—the rest were from tech, or were entrepreneurs or consultants.
So automation, AI, machine learning, and the like are all coming for your job if you don’t retrain?
Banks are thinking today about cutting thousands of jobs and increasing their technology budgets. To me, it is is absurd for a CEO of a bank to think this way.
So, what finance jobs most at risk right now?
In general, anything that can be automated will be automated. But right now, compliance is at risk. Over the past few years there’s been a lot of investment in compliance and KYC [know your customer], because regulators wanted the investment and it was a way for banks to demonstrate they were doing their part after the financial crisis. Now, that has totally changed. It’s starting to cost a lot and regulators have said we want you to show that you are being efficient, not just hiring a lot of people.
Bloom is a global decentralized credit scoring system available to anyone – even the unbanked and underbanked. Bloom’s flexible ecosystem will allow users to have access to credit services which work globally and are extremely secure and transparent thanks to the blockchain’s inherent features.
First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building Bloom?
People shouldn’t be forced to rebuild credit from scratch when they move to a new country. Billions of people around the globe are still considered “credit unscorable,” forcing them into taking out dangerous, informal loans.
To make matters even worse, many governments generate credit scores based on religion, political affiliation, and voting status, instead of data. Even in the United States, 45 Million Americans (including many financially savvy millennials) still do not have a credit score.
What do you think is the biggest problem Bloom will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
3 Billion people cannot access credit, largely due to artificial restrictions from governments. Tell us more about how BloomID works behind the scenes. The most interesting part about is the vouching process; how does this work and how does Bloom ensure that vouches are not manipulated or faked in any way?
BloomID is the Bloom protocol’s method of both establishing a reliable identity as well as forming the basis of creditworthiness for users who are newly entering the Bloom network. BloomID allows organizations who store information about individual identities to attest to the identity of a Bloom user and mark that information on the blockchain for future re-use. A user’s friends, family, and peers can help an individual bootstrap creditworthiness by vouching for their ability to act responsibly with credit. This is like a reference, similar to co-signing.
Is Bloom already working with notable businesses or firms? Are there any future partnerships in process? If yes, can you explain briefly about it?
We’ve been in touch with 100’s of lenders and partners. We’ve announced quite a few. Peer to peer lending, traditional fiat businesses, crypto lenders… we’re working with people on the whole spectrum.
For example: Self Lender is a credit building lender we are working with, Everex, Lendoit, and ETHLend are crypto lenders. We’re working with partners for anti-fraud such as TypingID.
ETHLend is a Decentralized Lending Innovation using the Ethereum platform as its base.
First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building ETHLend?
Finance is where blockchain technology was conceived, and it is in finance that blockchain technology is arguably most transformative. It intrinsically offers greater visibility, scalability, and efficiency – and potentially at a lower cost.
By providing a means of authorizing fully trackable and verifiable transactions, it also offers the potential for truly open-source many-to-many lending. Presented in these terms, it may well seem like a threat to peer-to-peer firms. If blockchain removes the need for marketplaces, why should borrowers and lenders pay fees to these platforms? ETHLend promotes less fees, transparency, and integrity amongst borrowing and lending.
What do you think is the biggest problem ETHLend will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
In today’s world, you are at the mercy of banking institutions for borrowing and lending. We all know the bank pays out minimal interest on investment accounts and charges maximum interest on borrowing. We have partnered up with Bloom who provides credit scoring capabilities so both borrower and lender build a reputation amongst the ETHLend community which is usable elsewhere on the blockchain.
Why do you think the shift from traditional lending to P2P lending is happening right now?
Market research tells us that there are countries at the moment which are paying from 0.5 to 5 percent. For example, here in Finland, it is quite common to have a secured mortgage loan with an interest of 0.4 to 0.8 percent on bank’s marginal. On the contrary, In Brazil, the interest rate tops to 32 percent and Russians pay on average of 11 percent and in India 10 percent (take note that today’s numbers may differ).
The differences in interest rate mean that with a higher interest rate, people and businesses have less access to finance.
More than 140 LPs responded to the survey, of whom approximately 52 per cent were based in North America, 31 per cent in Europe and 15 per cent in Asia Pacific. Nearly one quarter (22 per cent) were public pension plans, 15 per cent were consultants and 13 per cent were either endowments or family offices.
Intralinks is a leading financial services company with over USD31 trillion of transactions executed on its platform and over four million users. It has the largest community of GPs and LPs and is used by over 1,000 private equity, real estate and hedge funds on a daily basis. Over USD1 of every USD2 raised globally for private equity was facilitated using Intralinks for a total of USD317 billion in 2016 and 13 out of the 20 largest funds were raised on its platform.
More than one third of investors confirmed that their current allocation was more than 30 per cent, with nearly two thirds confirming that they planned to increase their allocation to alternatives over the next 12 months by 1 to 10 per cent.
Gregor discusses Silver Bullion SG a company he started in Singapore where individuals can securely store their gold and silver. They just hold your precious metals and validate their authenticity. They do this without counterparty risk as your assets are marked, segregated and you hold the title. The company holds over 230 million in hard assets.
Using peer to peer lending you can withdraw up to half of your holdings in loans at low-interest rates.
A new study from Juniper Research ranks GoCardless as the current clear leader in the fintech market. GoCardless enables simple payment processing and integration with many popular services, and Juniper believes that its potential for efficient, borderless commerce is disruptive and far-reaching.
Indonesia’s tech start-ups have been catching the eye of investors, having raised close to $3bn in funding in the year to September 13, a substantial increase on the $631m received in 2016.
Chinese firms are prominent among the foreign investors in Indonesia’s start-up boom, according to research firm CB Insights: Alibaba committed $1.1bn to online marketplace Tokopedia in August, and in May JD.com and Tencent Holdings invested $1.2bn in ride hailing motorbike service Go-Jek, which utilises mobile payment services.
Alternative financing posts 1462% growth
Last year Indonesia posted one of the highest growth rates in the Asia-Pacific region in alternative finance activity. The segment’s total market size expanded by 1462% to $35.4m, according to a report by the University of Cambridge, Monash University and Tsinghua University published at the end of September.
The study found that peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending had come to dominate Indonesia’s alternative finance market, accounting for just over 60% of the 2016 total, with P2P consumer lending representing 18% of the figure, or $6.5m.
Fostering collaboration and growing market opportunities
Indonesian tech start-ups attracted the second-highest amount of investment in South-east Asia between 2012 and September 13, at $4.6bn, behind Singaporean companies, which raised $7.3bn over the same period.
A programme entitled ‘Fintech Challenge Vietnam’ has been launched by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), with the aim of fostering innovation in financial services that promote greater financial inclusion in Vietnam.
Fintech Challenge Vietnam has been organised by the SBV with the support of the Mekong Business Initiative and sponsorship by the Vietnam Bankers Association and the Vietnam Fintech Club.
The focus of the Fintech Challenge is on fintech solutions that can improve the offer of financial services to the underserved and unbanked.
The challenge is an opportunity for Fintech companies from both inside and outside Việt Nam who are interested in collaborating with commercial banks to pilot and scale solutions that improve financial services in the following categories: electronic payments, e-KYC (Know Your Customer)/e-Identification, open APIs, blockchain and peer-to-peer lending to apply.
The deadline for application is January 18, 2018, at fintech.mekongbiz.org.
The Financial Services Authority (OJK) aims to issue a regulation on financial technology (fintech) businesses by March next year amid robust development of the industry, OJK deputy commissioner Nurhaida said Tuesday.