Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest

Lend Academy

News Comments Today’s main news: Affirm debuts shopping app. Zopa profits tick upward. RateSetter recovering from loan scandal. PPDAI stock rises 7% with lift in institutional-funded loans. Oportun ends Nasdaq debut with 8% gain. Australia: RBA cuts interest rates, online lenders follow. Today’s main analysis: The Future of Finance: Marcus, Neobank, and fintech. (A MUST-READ) […]

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

OnDeck Survey: Economy is Top Concern for Small Businesses Ahead of 2020 Election (New Kerala), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced the results of a national survey of U.S. small business owners that finds economic issues are the most important factors in determining their choice for president in 2020.

  • Economic concerns arise in several dimensions, including tax policy, job growth, support for small businesses, government spending and the overall economic climate. These issues were cited as the top concerns of more than 33% of those surveyed;
  • Immigration was an issue of interest for 11.3% of small business owners surveyed, ranking second behind the economy as a concern.
  • 57% of small businesses surveyed said they were either Very Optimistic or Somewhat Optimistic about the economic outlook for their businesses;
  • 93% of those surveyed said they plan to vote in the 2020 election.
  • 60% of small business owners surveyed said they already know who they plan to vote for in the 2020 presidential election.

Affirm debuted a new app encouraging customers to start their shopping journeys with it (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The point-of-sale (POS) financing provider 

Source: Business Insider

Affirm ships new shopping and bill splitting app (Finextra), Rated: A

Affirm’s app also allows consumers to pay at any brick-and-mortar store that accepts Apple Pay or Google Pay, which is increasingly important as 24% of consumers want the flexibility to look online and shop in-store.

Those with Apple Pay or Google Pay enabled have also seen up to 14% of transactions driven in-store, making the Affirm app a rare omnichannel solution for customer acquisition.

Max Levchin On The Future-Present Of Everywhere POS Lending (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Since Affirm’s launch, the landscape in the POS space is radically different than it was when Affirm entered. It is, first and foremost, a much bigger and more populated space than it once was. Other startups have come to the field — AfterpayUplift and Sezzle for example — but also bigger and more established names in financial services. In the last 12 months alone SquareMastercardPayPal and Chase have all rolled out POS installment lending products or enhancements as the market continues to pick up popularity among consumers, particularly younger ones.

Latest Macro; latest from Marcus; Oportun goes IPO (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Q4 is off to a brisk start. The jobs report released this past Friday shows 114K in net new jobs (vs expectations of 120K), generally flat wages, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.5%.

On the one hand, the US economy is near ‘stall speed’ – around 1 to 1.5% growth rate.

Source: PeerIQ, The Daily Shot, Conference Board

House prices are expected to rise 5.8% over the next year due to low mortgage rates.

Two major financing announcements this week. FinTech lender, Oportun, led by CEO Raul Vazquez, ends its Nasdaq debut with an 8% gain. The debut is notable as it represents a positive shift in the sentiment to the reception of lenders to the IPO market.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q2 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The upward trend in my returns continued in Q2, making it the fifth quarter in a row with increasing returns. My preliminary return for the 12 months ending June 30, 2019 is 6.20% (one investment is still not final), the best I have achieved since Q3 2017.

Source: Lend Academy

The Maybe-Dubious Rise of the Loans-for-Sneaker Business (GQ), Rated: AAA

Afterpay is one of a number of platforms that have sprouted up over the past couple years that are willing to float customers a couple hundred or thousand dollars to shop. In addition to it, there are Affirm, Sezzle, Klarna, and Quadpay. They are positioned as a more consumer-friendly option than credit cards, a whole host of services bent on—because this is 2019—disrupting the powers that be.

Globally, Afterpay, which launched in Australia, has over 4.6 million customers and 35,000 retail partners. In the U.S., where Afterpay only launched in May of last year, it has two million customers and is available at 6,500 retailers. Over three million people use Affirm, while another 500,000 have shopped with Sezzle.

Silicon Valley promises aside, Afterpay is, at best, a platform that allows you to take out what amounts to a small loan on an item. After an approval process—Afterpay does not check a credit score; others like Affirm do—the customer pays a fourth of the price upfront and the rest is paid off in three equal installments every two weeks.

Also new is the $1,500 limit, up from $500, that Afterpay raised after Hyde-McCormick proved himself a responsible shopper and the $87.50 payments currently due every two weeks.

What Happened to Borro? (deBanked), Rated: A

In 2013, Borro, an innovative online lending company that was poised to disrupt pawn shop lending forever, invited me to their stylish offices at 767 Third Avenue in Manhattan.

Borro made $50 million worth of such loans in 2013 and doubled that number in 2014.

Auto, home equity are soft spots in consumer lending (American Banker), Rated: A

In its quarterly report that tracks consumer delinquency trends, the American Bankers Association said that 30-day past-due rates ticked up in eight of 11 categories in the second quarter when compared with the first quarter, but stressed that delinquencies remain well below historic norms.

Finally! Maker Offers Multi-Collateral DAI Lending (Cryptovest), Rated: A

Maker DAO, the most active decentralized finance app on the Ethereum network, has announced a date for its long-awaited multi-collateral DAI generation. According to observers, November 18 may be the date MKR starts accepting other assets as collateral.

Multi-collateral DAI creation has the potential to be riskier in comparison to ETH-based models. Currently, Maker is deliberately over-collateralized at above 300%, with the minimum at 150%, due to the high volatility of crypto assets.

A $ 40 Billion Pile of Leveraged Loans Is Battered by Big Losses (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Loans tied to more than 50 companies have lost at least 10 percentage points of face value in just three months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some have dropped a lot more, with lenders lucky to get back just two-thirds of their investment if they tried to sell.

It’s hardly a full-blown apocalypse for the junk-rated leveraged loan market, which totals $1.2 trillion.

Energy is the hardest-hit sector on the list, with more than $12 billion of loans falling more than 10 cents on the dollar. Consumer and health care follow, comprising around $8 billion and $5 billion of loans outstanding, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg

Ruling cuts short debt collectors’ victory lap over CFPB proposal (American Banker), Rated: B

Under the CFPB’s May proposal, debt collectors could have unlimited contact with debtors through email and text messages, though consumers could opt out of such communications. Additionally, collectors could satisfy disclosure requirements with a hyperlink embedded in an email that takes consumers to a description about how they can dispute a debt.

The SEC is hiring a chief data officer (Business Insider), Rated: B

The Securities and Exchange Commission is hiring its first chief data officer, according to a job posting for the role.

Voyager Selects Celsius Network to Manage Certain Assets (AP News), Rated: B

Voyager Digital, LLC, a subsidiary of publicly-traded Voyager Digital (Canada) Ltd (Ticker VYGR.CN), an industry-leading best execution crypto asset broker, today announced a partnership with Celsius Network, in which Celsius will manage a portion of Voyager’s digital assets.

United Kingdom

Zopa’s P2P profits tick up but group losses widen due to heavy investment in bank (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Zopa Group – which incorporates the P2P platform and upcoming digital bank – reported a pre-tax loss of £18.295m for the year ended 31 December 2018, compared to a pre-tax loss of £5.536m the previous year.

Zopa: nine in 10 shoppers confused by car finance options (Verdict), Rated: A

In a survey of 2,000 consumers, 47% of people who had recently bought a car with finance are unable to identify which type of finance deal they signed up for. Zopa estimates that the average car buyer could save up to £11,000 over the course of their lifetime by working out the best finance deal available.

Ratesetter recovering from loan scandal (The Times), Rated: AAA

One of Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lenders appears to be recovering from a toxic loan scandal after its latest results showed it edging towards breaking even.

Accounts for Ratesetter, which links 56,000 ordinary investors with consumer and business borrowers, show that pre-tax losses narrowed by 69 per cent in the year to March.

Wonga customers’ average compensation payout may be just £118 (The Guardian), Rated: A

Customers who were mis-sold loans by the collapsed payday lender Wonga are expected to receive less than 10% of what they are owed in compensation after administrators revealed that only £41m will be put aside for claimants.

Payday loan alternative Savvy secures £20 million funding facility (Finextra), Rated: A

Stockport and Wilmslow based fintech company Savvy.co.uk is to create 25 jobs after securing a £20 million investment.

The funding, from London-based Cairn Capital, will increase lending capacity for the company who provide an ethical alternative to pay-day loans.

MEET THE FRENCHMAN WHO WANTS TO SOLVE THE UK’S HOUSING CRISIS (Business Leader), Rated: A

WHY DID YOU START BLEND NETWORK?

I started working in the financial industry as an FX trader before moving to trading gold and copper, both much more inefficient markets than FX. I realised that the UK property market was a hugely inefficient market in the sense that lenders and borrowers are not meeting. On the one hand, you have very experienced property developers across the country who are trying to access funds to build homes but traditional lenders are no longer active in providing development finance.

Instead, we lend in places such as Coventry, East Anglia, Doncaster, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a very good example of our strategic approach to lending. Last year, we did around 80-85% of our business in Northern Ireland.

Crowdfunding a start up options explained for businesses and investors (What Investment), Rated: A

Crowdfunding a start up brings to mind the statement ‘Nothing worth having comes easy’, never truer than in the case of launching a start-up. Getting a new business off the ground will often require capital. Something which a lot of people don’t know how to go about getting.

These are:

  • Reward based crowdfunding;
  • Equity based crowdfunding;
  • Debt based crowdfunding, and
  • Donation based crowdfunding.

Landlords wary of tax changes (Money International), Rated: A

Half of the 200 landlords approached agreed tax changes and tougher mortgage borrowing criteria have thwarted their plans to buy more properties, while 15% admitted they had been put off buying homes to rent.

A third who still wanted to invest are considering a switch from buy to let to peer-to-peer lending secured against property, while 8% have already done so.

China

PPDAI Stock Soars 7% on Increase in Institutionally-Funded Loans (Capital Watch), Rated: AAA

The stock in PPDAI Group Inc (NYSE: PPDF) closed 7% higher on Wednesday, at $2.83 per American depositary share, after it announced a positive trend in funding of loans by its institutional partners and increased loan origination volume.

For the third quarter, the Shanghai-based company, which operates an online consumer finance marketplace, said in a statement on Wednesday that the volume of loans facilitated by its institutional funding partners jumped to $2.64 billion, up 91% from the second quarter. Total loan origination volume was above PPDAI’s guidance, it said, as it reached $3.51 billion, up 14% from the previous quarter.

European Union

What we learned at this year’s LendIt Fintech Europe (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

At the conference, Business Insider Intelligence identified four emerging themes that we expect to set the tone for the space for the next year: further proliferation of partnerships between banks and fintechs, increased focus on digital banks’ sustainability, accelerated innovation and disruption from small- and medium-sized business (SMB) lenders, and more challenges ahead for the UK’s P2P lenders.

  • CYBG bank and price comparison site GoCompare recently partnered to offer an energy compare and switch service for all of CYBG’s B customers.
  • Barclays bank partnered with SMB finance fintech MarketInvoice last year to give Barclays’ SMB clients access to MarkeInvoice’s solutions. 
  • French Banking-as-a-Service platform Treezor was acquired by Société Générale last year, as the bank looked to enhance its ability to innovate and decrease time to market.
Source: Business Insider

Linked Finance launches ‘Beyond Brexit’ business loans (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

The new 18-month loan period will allow borrowers to access working capital facilities of up to €300,000 (approximately £265,194) in just 24 hours.

ID on track to double revenues as it eyes €300m+ of revenue within 2 years (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

ID Finance, the fintech operating in Europe and Latin America, saw revenue growth of over 100% in the first 9 months of 2019 and is on track to double its revenues to €90m revenue this year. The data science, credit scoring and digital finance company is now planning its first equity crowdfunding round via Crowdcube as it targets €300m+ of revenue within 2 years.

Binance Launches New Lending Program Phase (CoinCodex), Rated: A

The Binance cryptocurrency exchange has launched the latest phase of its relatively new lending program. For the program’s eighth installment, Binance is sticking with the model of short-term loans, as users only have to commit their crypto for 14 days.

International

A Guide to What’s Happening in the Fintech Revolution (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

These underbanked markets, led by countries in Asia and Africa, have inspired fintech innovation that’s leapfrogging the technology available in the developed world. Ant Financial Services Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay in China, Paytm in India, and Safaricom’s M-Pesa in Kenya are some well-known examples.

Source: Bloomberg

Take Facebook Inc.’s plan to launch a digital currency called Libra in 2020. The social network’s gigantic reach—more than 2.4 billion active monthly users—could draw a much wider audience to Libra than has used previous cryptocurrencies. For instance, global remittances by migrants reached a record $689 billion last year, according to the World Bank.

Source: Bloomberg

San Francisco-based 500 Startups staked 43 such companies in the 12 months ended June 30.

Goldman’s $ 1.3B Marcus burn, Neobank £200MM loss; plus 14 short takes on top developments (Lex), Rated: AAA

Goldman is losing $1.3 billion on Marcus, trying to build a Fintech leader. Etrade is going to lose $75 million from cutting trading fees to $0 to keep up with Robinhood. Revolut is losing £35 million on £60 million in revenue, with another £140 million burned by Atom, Monzo, Tandem, and the rest.

Source FT Research and Future of Finance

Generally speaking, from a deposit point of view, these are still all small businesses at £1 billion in assets (e.g., Betterment manages $20 billion).

Source: ARK Invest and Future of Finance

The first is that the Robinhoods and Monzos of the world are 10x overpriced relative to the payments apps. I can sort of buy this — though money in motion is way easier to capture than money at rest. The second is that venture investors think a finance user is worth $1,500 in a digital bank.

Source: Future of Finance

Blockchain: the future of finance (Financier Worldwide), Rated: A

Recent examples of blockchain’s impact on financial markets go well beyond these initial applications or P2P lending or crowdfunding.

The first wave of applications in finance and banking is being driven by easily achievable gains in actively traded assets.

MasterCard incorporated a blockchain payment system providing vendors real time, lower cost settlements on cross-border transactions. Representing a consortium of more than 40 of the world’s largest banks, fintech firm R3 launched a payment system built on DLT platform Corda, to expedite intra-bank transfers.

St. Regis Aspen, a Colorado resort, is a partnership formed with a crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, that in lieu of a traditional IPO completed a private placement via DLT financing real estate. This sale of ‘tokens’ – fractional interests in the underlying property – raised $18m, compliant with securities laws.

Australia

Hot home loan rates starting with a 2 (mozo), Rated: AAA

The RBA has cut official interest rates for the third time this year, and already a handful of lenders have responded by slashing rates across their range of variable rate home loans. Right now, if your home loan doesn’t have a ‘2’ in front of it, you’re missing out.

loans.com.au jumps on October RBA home loan rate cut party (mozo), Rated: AAA

The online lender has announced its response to the 0.25% drop in the official cash rate though, with loans.com.au taking 0.15% off a number of variable rate home loan offers for both owner occupiers and investors.

The changes, which come into effect on October 17, will have an impact on a number of  loans.com.au home loan offers including:

• Essentials Variable loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.04% (3.06% comparison rate*).

• Smart Home Loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 2.88% (2.90% comparison rate*).

• ZIP Home Loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.08% (3.10% comparison rate*).

• Offset Variable loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.12% (3.14% comparison rate*).

OnDeck appoints Robbie Fidler as new national broker chief (IT Wire), Rated: B

Online SME lender OnDeck Australia has appointed experienced commercial lending operator Robbie Fidler as its national broker channel manager.

Asia

SPV 2030: Sharing of risks and reward (The Malaysian Reserve), Rated: A

The growth and success of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a testament of the viability of risk-sharing contracts, where the investors take on some risks (for higher return) from the ventures they are financing. This way, finance will be grounded in the real economy, which is another core principle of Islamic finance.

MENA

Beehive funds first SME in Bahrain (Arabian Business), Rated: AAA

Dubai-based Beehive, the region’s first regulated peer-to-peer lending platform, has funded its first SME in Bahrain.

Canada

BFS Capital Opens New Data Science and Engineering Hub in Toronto (Financial Post), Rated: B

BFS Capital, a leader in small business lending, has officially launched a data science and engineering hub in Toronto as the company accelerates its plans to develop best-in-class digital financial products for small businesses across the globe.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

A Discussion About Internet 3.0 , Decentralized Everything

Internet 3.0

Internet 1.0 is HTML websites. Internet 2.0 is a social network and user-created content. How is Internet 3.0 coming along? What is Internet 3.0? Are you familiar with Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrent? Today, Bittorent has met Bitcoin and given birth to the following startups, networks, or organizations: Decentralized computing power. Golem, among others, is a […]

The post A Discussion About Internet 3.0 , Decentralized Everything appeared first on Lending Times.

Internet 3.0

Internet 1.0 is HTML websites.
Internet 2.0 is a social network and user-created content.
How is Internet 3.0 coming along?

What is Internet 3.0?

Are you familiar with Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrent? Today, Bittorent has met Bitcoin and given birth to the following startups, networks, or organizations:

  • Decentralized computing power. Golem, among others, is a peer-to-peer market for putting your computer’s excess CPU power to use for other people. It works because there is no easy way to pay anybody on the planet fractions of a dollar for having used their CPU for 1 minute. This is, however, possible via blockchain.
  • Decentralized exchanges. Ether Delta, among others, is a cryptocurrency exchange which operates in a decentralized way (i.e., without a central counterparty). Decentralized exchanges allow peer-to-peer trading, which means that when a trade is executed the items are exchanged directly between the traders without touching any third party, and without the traders being able to stop the exchange. This approach eliminates counter-party risk entirely. On the other side, it also allows people to trade completely anonymously.
  • Decentralized protocol approval. Tezos, among others, is an open-source platform for assets and applications and allows the participants to vote to change its rules and protocols. Participants can choose to change the fee structure, rules, the protocol APIs, nearly everything. This protocol change-mechanism is built within the network rules, and nobody has the right of veto or override. Imagine if eBay merchants could vote to reduce the eBay fees without the eBay management being able to stop it. Of course, this opens the doors to politics, and also to oligarchies as having more Tezos coins obviously gives you more power to influence the votes.

Other similar companies include but are not limited to:

  • Decentralized file storage (Filecoin)
  • Decentralized domain naming (Namecoin)
  • Decentralized cloud storage (Storj)
  • Decentralized databases (BigchainDB, IPFS)
  • Decentralized internet address allocation (JACS)
  • Decentralized Video Encoding and Streaming (Livepeer).
  • Decentralize financial services (Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.) and more.
Fig. 1. A map of some of the decentralized space from here.

Business models

Centralized online marketplaces , like Amazon, Uber, E-Bay or Lending Club, typically earn roughly 10%-35% of the value exchanges through the platform.

Other online platforms like Facebook or Google don’t share any of the ad revenue earned from the personal-data exchanged through the platform. They keep 100%.

In addition, all centralized marketplaces and platforms exert full control over who can advertise, who and what can be sold, to whom, where, etc.

Their full control, when the company is young or fragile, is not being exercised much. They want to attract users and customers. However, as the company grows, and pressure from investors and the financial markets increases, the platform position of the de facto monopoly in their sector is usually leveraged to increase fees and to control who and what can be transacted on the platform. For example, Google has a history of banning certain ad categories on its platform. Most people agree that the bans, so far, have been legitimate and are targeting harmful or mostly fraudulent industries from selling their products and services. However, Google’s power of life-or-death over entire industries is troublesome.

In comparison, decentralized networks and organizations have so far mostly tried a few different business models.

Financing and crypto coins

Traditional , centralized, startups sell their equity to investors. Equity is scarce by definition, to 100%. And once sold, investors typically have a contractual right preventing startups from creating more shares and diluting them without their approval.

Equity is a problem in a decentralized project. Equity to what? What does an equity holder control?

Most decentralized organizations mentioned above have created their own crypto coins in order to finance their creation. Their usual business model is to make the coin, artificially or legitimately, a required part of each transaction on their network. As the number of transactions grows and the coin inventory is limited, the coins become more valuable. And the network itself uses its own inventory of coins to finance its expenses. In addition, some decentralized networks also take a percentage of the value exchanged on their platforms.

However, the token approach has, so far, failed to work for most networks.

The most successful tokens today have thousands of active daily addresses.

Fig. 2 : Number of active addresses per network per day, log scale, for MakerDAO ( purple) , Tezos (blue), Binance (orange).

This is not surprising. All these decentralized organizations are new startups. It takes time for startups to build traction. A handful of them will have millions of users after 3-5 years. Most startups may still be viable businesses even though they only have hundreds of daily active users, but their tokens will not have any real value due to over-inventory. Therefore, maybe relying on token activity and scarcity to finance all decentralized projects may not be a viable way to finance these projects.

I believe an alternative token model is needed for most of these projects. A model that will have significant return to investors even if the network only achieves modest success of 100s of transactions per day. However, this may require an increase in network fees.

The X Open questions of decentralized entities

As I think of decentralization, many questions are on my  mind:

  1. What are these entities? Are they businesses, networks, organizations, protocols, or something else? The concept of Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO, has been used in the past. But to my knowledge, no actively operating entity using a real DAO model is live and generating revenue today. All entities have executives, employees, bank accounts, offices, etc. Or is it? The Bitcoin network itself, with all the developers in various organizations who are trying to contribute to it, is fairly decentralized.
  2. Governance: Leaders in centralized entities are required. Often, leaders aren’t any good at taking decisions, but making some decision is often better than not being able to make any decision. Many an organization has died because nothing at all was done. Are decentralized organizations able to make decisions fast and efficiently over 5 to 10 years while they grow?
  3. Are decentralized networks cheaper to run, and do they have a disruptor advantage over centralized networks? It is not clear. Lending Club, one of the first P2P lending startups, argued that their cost structure was cheaper than banks’. However, it turns out the cost of capital lending and cost of customer acquisition were under-estimated and banks have cheaper capital and cheaper customer acquisition. Lending Club’s profit margins are not impressive. Neither is Uber’s. Nor are Amazon’s. I believe there is no single answer to this question, but assuming that a decentralized entity is more cost effective than a centralized entity is not obvious. In human history, disciplined centralized organizations (armies, empires, …) have clearly been more successful than federations, communes, etc.
  4. Is there value built, and where is it? The startup/VC model has worked since the Dot Com boom because it was a profitable model for everybody involved. VCs made money, and successful entrepreneurs attracted more smart wannabe entrepreneurs. It is very important to see the founders and investors in these decentralized organizations be successful or there will be no second generation decentralized entities.

Conclusion

What is the innovation here?

I believe that an exchange that can work without counterparty risk is a real innovation.

I believe that a method to pay fractions of a dollars efficiently to anybody on the planet is a real innovation.

I believe one day we will see the Netflix of Internet 3.0 bankrupt the Blockbuster of Internet 0, 1.0, or 2.0.

However, questions remain. Is decentralization in business similar to communism in politics? Does this model really work? In 1990, in Moscow, everything was rationed, bread was extremely scarce. When a communist leader asked the London mayor who is in charge of the bread supply to London so they can learn their secrets, the mayor, confused, answered “Nobody!” Our modern food supply is a decentralized market, and fewer and fewer people are going hungry.

Author:

George Popescu

The post A Discussion About Internet 3.0 , Decentralized Everything appeared first on Lending Times.

What Happened at the Money 20/20 2018 Conference in Las Vegas?

Money 20/20

Its a good thing that everything that happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, which is where the Seventh Annual Money20/20 Conference took place on October 19-21, 2018. With the goal to “fearlessly take on the mission of creating a simpler, fairer, faster and more inclusive financial system for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole,” the three-and-a-half […]

Money 20/20

Its a good thing that everything that happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, which is where the Seventh Annual Money20/20 Conference took place on October 19-21, 2018. With the goal to “fearlessly take on the mission of creating a simpler, fairer, faster and more inclusive financial system for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole,” the three-and-a-half day event included more than 500 speakers and 15 agenda themes.

Themes included :

  • Payments and Platforms
  • Banking and Personal Finance
  • AI and Deep Learning
  • Cybersecurity and Fraud
  • Alt Lending and Credit
  • Blockchain and Crypto
  • Digital Identity and Biometrics
  • And much more

While this is going to serve as a brief overview of the Conference, some of the notables who spoke, and bigger announcements, there will be special interest on Alternative lending and credit. We’ll also look at the all-important payments race.

A lot of the coverage is available on YouTube where Money20/20 has its own channel, so, if you missed the conference, you still have free access to some of the information.

Day One

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak is always a good bet to help you get a financial conference rolling. The business legend’s assurances that the claims that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, along with other forms of technology, are going to cut into human productivity are unwarranted helped to establish an ongoing theme that tech is necessary for the broader inclusiveness of our collective financial future.

Jennifer Bailey, VP Internet Services for Apple Pay, detailed some of the expansions of the new iPhone X, which include face ID security.

Other notable speakers from the first day of the conference included John Collison of Stripe, Michael Mebach, CPO of Mastercard (who spoke on how to build a seven-trillion-dollar middle class), Anand Sanwal of CB Insights, and Bill Ready of PayPal.

Day Two

Day Two’s lineup of speakers was headed by none other than Virgin’s own Richard Branson, who told a remarkable story about how he created Virgin by renting a plane and selling seats to the other passengers scheduled to be on the American Airlines flight that was delayed. Sallie Krawcheck, Ellevest’s CEO and co-founder, had some valuable remarks on diversity, and Vanessa Colella, head of Citi Ventures and CIO of CitiGroup, shared some keen insights on partnerships.

Possibly the speaker from the conferences second day who made the biggest impression was Nikolay Storonsky, CEO of Revolut. The way money is moved is changing rapidly, but if Storonsky is correct in his predictions, it may change even faster. He predicts that in 10 years, two or three large fintech players will take 95 percent of banks’ business marking an industry overhaul akin to how Amazon bypassed the retail industry and Uber took on taxis.

Day Three

Patrick Gauthier, VP of Amazon Pay, spoke to Tracey Davies’s central theme when he talked about the use of technology to make things simpler and more natural between the merchant and the consumer. Harley Finkelstein, CEO of Shopify, pointed out that middlemen will not be totally going away in the financial realm of the future, but they will have to “provide a disproportionate amount of value for their profit margin in the future.”

Other notable speakers included Asiff Hijri, president and COO of Coinbase, who framed the crypto world well when he spoke of the two base use cases of the space, the store of value of bitcoin and the ability to build apps on top of Ethereum, while noting that we’re still looking for that breakthrough app. His quote “Fintech before crypto, and the promise of a stablecoin…is like mobile before the iPhone came along” might be one of those “remember when” moments.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal also spoke on the third day of the conference. Now an advisor and advocate of Steady, the platform which helps Americans find work, says his partnership with these efforts is driven by recollections of a past where the only investments that paid off were those he embarked on in order to help others.

Day Four

Much of what happened on Day Four is listed below, including the Uber/Barclays and the Grab/Mastercard partnerships, but the day also had some other mentionable happenings.

Marisol Menendez, head of open innovation for BBVA, introduced the overall winner of the 10th annual BBVA Open Talent competition, the reward going to Sedicii; founder Rob Leslie accepted the award. Sedicii provides a service that identifies data between two organizations without exposing the underlying data.

Also, adding some hope for the financial sector in general, Ripple’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larson stated that he thinks digital assets can help guard against another financial crisis by solving some of the key problems of global liquidity. He also predicts that a fluid digital asset (he thinks it will be XRP, of course) will make more fluid the trillions of dollars that are tied up due to the “clunkiness” of current systems.

Focus on Alternative Lending and Credit Cards

As instant payments and expanded remittance options gain more prominence in the world of payments and commerce, an app designed to speed up the remittance process, designed via Visa APIs, took top honors at the conference.

American Express and Amazon announced a partnership, which will produce a no-annual-fee business card. Cardholders (Amazon Prime members) will get to choose if they want to receive five percent rewards on any Amazon purchase (Whole Foods included) or 90-day payment terms, a reward that might benefit small businesses with cash flow issues.

Goldman Sachs’s Marcus Platform announced a new wealth management offering designed to make the financial market more inclusive for average Americans. The offering will focus on online savings accounts and personal lending, the end game being to educate customers on some of the ins and outs of the financial sector.

Grab Financial and M and A Mastercard announced a partnership that will make prepaid cards available to underbanked and underserved customers in Southeast Asia in order to bring them into the financial realm and allow them to conduct business globally.

Gregory Wright, CPO and SVP of Experian, touched on a common theme from the conference, that of businesses going forward by putting consumers first. He reinforced the platform’s focus on putting the consumer at the center of the lending decision by giving the consumer more control over his or her data to allow them to make a more informed lending decision. The goal is for lenders to make better decisions at lower risk while giving more consumers access to credit.

David Richter, global head of business and corporate development for Uber, joined with Curt Hess, CEO of BarclayCard US, to announce the unveiling of the Uber Visa card. A native app specifically designed for the Uber platform, the app will make it more engaging and enjoyable for Uber riders and Uber eaters to experience the platform. The card will also offer real-time notifications of rewards and balances, rather than customers having to wait a month for a statement as credit cards traditionally do.

Other Noteworthy Announcements

  • ViSync took the grand prize in the conference’s hackathon challenge. According to a Visa spokesperson, their entry, an app designed to help send remittance payments overseas, should make it easier for migrant workers to send money back to their home countries.
  • FICO announced an “Ultra” FICO rating. The new device will consider how people manage their checking accounts and will incorporate things like overdraft history to determine credit scores. The goal is to help younger people and others with little or no credit and people who are rebuilding their credit after a couple of setbacks.
  • Tracey Davies, president of Money20/20, also announced the Rise Up! program, the pilot of which took place at this event. Rise Up! seeks to increase inclusion into the financial sector on all levels. This pilot program, which will expand to other demographics in the future, focused on gender (women make up 50 percent of the population, but only 20 percent of leadership roles in the financial sector.). Of the 300 women who applied to the program, only 35 were selected. Those who were selected were privy to special seminars and one-on-one access to various leaders from the financial space.

The Payments Race

Knowing how we build points of sale, I wonder if the organizers of the original event knew just how apropos the payments race would be to the overall message of the Money20/20 events. Whether they did or not, the event serves to draw a good picture of how we use and interact with different forms of currency in our daily lives.

Closely resembling the scavenger hunt of the television series The Amazing Race, five participants were given six days to make it to Las Vegas for the opening day of the convention. They drew to see which host city will host most of their scavenging, and then they all have to make it to their city and then to Vegas. Along the way, they got points for things like the number of states they visited and the different modes of transportation they use.

The catch is this: Each participant was only allowed to use one form of payment; the options were

  • Team Checks
  • Team Cash
  • Team Credit Cards
  • Team Devices (Apple Pay and such)
  • Team Crypto

The episodes—all of which can be seen on YouTube—show the obstacles in trying to perform these tasks with only the given form of payment.

As you can imagine, Team Checks had a hard time of it, and they had to rely on the goodness of many others to navigate their journey. Team Cash didn’t face as many obstacles, but travel required some finagling as they got deeper into the trip. Team Crypto had some transportation issues early on, but also relied on the kindness of others to make the necessary accommodations.

Team Credit seemed to have the most ease traveling—they just rented an RV and drove—and the representative from Team Devices said after it was all over that using only devices proved to be easier than she thought it was going to be; she did have to go to some pretty significant lengths to rent a car.

In all, the little series of videos showed the importance of various forms of payment and that we still haven’t gotten to the point where we can survive conveniently on one single form of payment; still, everything from the conference seems to speak to the reality that we’ll get there.

And how did the race turn out? Well, I haven’t seen an actual crowning, but Team Crypto was the first to get to the Las Vegas sign, which was basically the finish line—I haven’t seen anything that mentioned how each fared at the number of states visited or modes of transportation used. If Team Crypto did prove the winner, it was their second straight title.

The event will return to Vegas next year, the dates being October 27-30, 2019.

Author:

Written by Paul Keenan.

Thursday November 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Major European Neobanks Customers

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper to introduce HELOCs. Affirm to rebrand, get into travel. Elevate Credit misses earnings estimates. Zopa says parents borrow from children’s piggy banks. Revolut wants to raise $500M through SoftBank. LexinFintech shares jump 8% on 363% earnings increase. Fintonic, Amazon partner in Spain. Today’s main analysis: Are we in an online lending bubble? Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Major European Neobanks Customers

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Announces HELOCs, Releases Q3 2018 Earnings (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Prosper noted that according to a 2017 TransUnion Study an estimated 10 million consumers will take out HELOCs between 2018 and 2022 which would be more than double the number originated from 2012-2016.

The new HELOC product will launch officially in early 2019.

Prosper also reported their Q3 2018 results today. Originations were $640.3 million, down 22% over the prior year period. Prosper attributed the decrease to credit tightening as well as the increase of interest rates to borrowers. The company has now originated $13.4 billion since inception. Net revenues also decreased as a result of decreased originations, with net revenue falling from $28.8 million in Q3 2017 to 20.6 million in Q3 2018. Below is a summary of Prosper’s other financial highlights that are availing in the company’s 10-Q.

Source: Lend Academy

Funding Circle US: Consumers will eschew Amazon to support small firms (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle US has found that the majority of US consumers still make the effort to shop at independent small businesses and would be willing to pay more for the same item than it costs at e-commerce giant Amazon.

The peer-to-peer business lender, which recently floated on the London Stock Exchange, published the results of a survey on US consumers’ support for small businesses.

It found that 77 per cent of 2,171 US adults surveyed said they were willing to pay more for items at small businesses in order to keep money within their communities and support local jobs.

60 per cent of respondents said they would pay a 10 per cent premium or more on Amazon prices.

PayPal co-founder’s installments firm, Affirm, rebrands, gets into travel (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has built a $1.8 billion business offering installment plans to American consumers. The problem: most shoppers have no idea they’re using his company, Affirm, when they choose how to pay at checkout.

Now, in an effort to make its name synonymous with online installment plans, Affirm is rebranding. Besides a new logo, the firm will list all the retailers it works with on its website. Affirm will also focus on travel, letting consumers pay for vacations over time.

Levchin Says Crypto Not a Good Currency But He Likes the Tech (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $0.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA

.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.13 by ($0.23), MarketWatch Earnings reports. Elevate Credit had a positive return on equity of 12.69% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The business had revenue of $201.48 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $201.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.01 EPS. Elevate Credit’s quarterly revenue was up 16.6% on a year-over-year basis. Elevate Credit updated its FY18 guidance to $0.23-0.32 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Amazon: Fundrise Allows You to Invest in Property Near Amazon’s DC Headquarters with New eFund (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Real estate investment platform Fundrise says it has been quietly accumulating property near the area Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has just announced they will be establishing a new headquarters. Amazon’s east coast headquarters will create a huge economic impact for the DC/Northern Virginia market, not to mention increased demand for housing and apartments. Fundrise says it has invested in 30 different buildings in expectation of rising demand. Fundrise is offering a new investment fund for this purpose: HQ2 DC eFund.

According to Fundrise, the fund already features residential properties – ranging from houses, townhomes and condominiums – with plans to invest as much as $50 million in the area. This eFund, issued under Reg A+,  allows any investor the opportunity to capitalize on expected local real estate growth in the wake of Amazon’s announcement.

RealtyShares starting to crumble after lack of venture capital (Born2Invest) Rated: A

The website started out strong. From 2014 to 2016, venture capital was pouring in from crowdfunding firms. However, investors became less interested in the portal as the investment minimum started to ramp up steadily. Company founder Nav Athwal, who had left the company’s board earlier this year, is still a minority shareholder. He also has no idea what happened to the company he helped found.

He, however, has a few words for startups. “Don’t let your burn rates get really large, strive for cash-efficiency or profitability sooner rather than later. Build a resilient business that can continue growing, regardless of where the venture capital markets are.” He adds that a startup should understand its investors and its growth limit as well.

Are we in an online lending bubble? (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

We’re in an interesting time in online lending. After years of fits and starts and boatloads of money flowing into the sector, record originations are being set all over the industry. We recently explored online lending trends going into 2019 and what participants in the sector are expecting in the near future.

Both consumer and business lenders are tracking strongly:

While personal loans have surged to a record as the fastest-growing U.S. consumer-lending category, according to data from credit bureau TransUnion, it’s fintech firms that are driving a lot of that growth.

Source: Tearsheet

Amalgamated Bank joins $ 26 million closing of Insikt social bond securitization (Impact Alpha) Rated: A

The fintech firm packages up the loans the into securities, which it then issues as bonds to financial institutions, foundations and private investors. Its latest $26 million securitizationattracted Amalgamated Bank, a B-corp-certified commercial bank that went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in June.

The issuance marks Insikt’s fifth securitization this year, backed by 21,000 loans. INSIKT’s total securitization volume across 16 issuances reached $273 million.

If Recession Comes in 2020, What Will Innovation Look Like? (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase last month predicted a 60% chance of recession by 2020, and that increases to an 80% chance by 2021. It’s not clear how traumatic an event it would be for the U.S. economy, but considering all the new players that have jumped onto the financial scene since the last downturn a decade ago.

CrowdOut Funds More “Eatertainment” (Business Wire) Rated: A

CrowdOut Capital announced the completion of a $20 million facility to Punch Bowl Social, the L Catterton–backed restaurant group that is defining the evolving category of experiential dining. The proceeds will enable the leader in the “eatertainment movement” to open multiple new locations throughout the U.S. This marks the second time Punch Bowl Social has worked with CrowdOut, choosing its flexible debt over traditional loans from financial institutions.

Sell Your House Without Making a Move – Figure Introduces a Smart Alternative for Baby Boomers to Secure Their Retirement (Corp Magazine) Rated: A

Figure Technologies, Inc. (Figure), a FinTech company creating innovative products and tools that empower homeowners to improve their finances, announced today Figure Home Advantage, a smart sell-and-leaseback alternative to reverse mortgages for retirees and a new way for Baby Boomers to lock in record housing prices as they plan their retirement. With Figure Home Advantage, homeowners convert their home equity into cash they can put to use now while continuing to enjoy life at home without the ongoing burden of property taxes, repairs, and maintenance.

Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old in the U.S. every day. A study by the National Conference of State Legislators and AARP found that 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as absolutely possible. Yet, most older Americans don’t have enough savings to cover retirement expenses or realize the lifestyle they’d imagined. According to a survey by the Insured Research Institute (IRI), only 25 percent of Baby Boomers believe they will have enough money in retirement.

Lenders Extending More Loans to Subprime Consumers as Credit Market Continues to Exhibit Signs of Strength (AP News) Rated: A

Auto loans, credit cards and personal loans all saw year-over-year growth in subprime originations this past quarter, a sign that lenders are returning to this space following several consecutive quarters of declining originations. The latest TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Industry Insights Report includes insights into consumer credit trends around personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and mortgage loans through the third quarter of 2018.

TransUnion’s report found that origination growth in the subprime risk tier grew at a significant rate across auto, personal loans and credit cards following declines in 2017. Subprime originations in the personal loan category grew 28% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 (originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag), compared to a yearly decline of 7.1% over the prior year. Auto showcased a similar trend, as independent lenders began issuing new loans to subprime consumers following industry pullback in 2016 and 2017. Subprime auto originations increased 7.3% year-over-year, after falling 7.8% year-over-year in Q2 2017.

Are you a minority borrower? You might want to think twice about using an online lender. (The Washington Post) Rated: A

It’s not just bank loan officers with racial biases who discriminate against black and Latino borrowers. Computer algorithms do, too.

That is the groundbreaking conclusion of University of California at Berkeley researchers who found that algorithmic credit scoring using big data is no better than humans at evening the playing field when it comes to determining home mortgage interest rates.

Both online and human lenders earn 11 to 17 percent higher profits off minority borrowers by charging African Americans and Latinos steeper rates, the study said. Black and Latino consumers pay 5.6 to 8.6 basis points higher interest on home purchase loans than their white or Asian counterparts with similar credit profiles — no matter whether they obtained their loans through a face-to-face process or online. The effect is smaller when it comes to refinancing, with black and Latino borrowers paying 3 basis points more.

Read the full report here.

AI-Driven Lead Distribution for Mortgage Lending Helps Loan Officers Deliver Faster Results (Verb Factory Email) Rated: A

ProPair, an innovative mortgage-industry technology start-up based in Silicon Valley, today launched an AI-based lead distribution solution that eliminates the uncertainty of the lead assignment process while optimizing results and ensuring fairness in the assignment process. Using artificial intelligence to correlate lead data with information about individual loan officers, ProPair facilitates the lead assignment process to allow lenders to distribute leads to maximize the performance of the entire loan team.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Provides $ 190 Million Financing for BM Eagle’s 17 SNF Portfolio (Business Wire) Rated: B

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as administrative agent and lead lender on the funding of a $190 million senior credit facility of 17 skilled nursing facilities for BM Eagle Holdings, LLC (“BM Eagle”), a joint venture led by affiliates of BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC (“BlueMountain”). The facilities are located in Northern California and New England.

United Kingdom

Zopa: Parents borrowing from children’s piggy banks (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA research has found that two fifths of parents have admitted to raiding their children’s piggy banks to borrow cash.

Parents surveyed by the peer-to-peer consumer lender confessed to borrowing money from their kids with a fifth taking over £250 a year.

However, 80 per cent of parents said they will also be giving their children cash as a Christmas present this year.

Nearly a quarter of children can look forward to a gift of up to £100, whilst a lucky three per cent will be receiving more than £500 in cash.

Revolut is in talks with Softbank to raise $ 500 million (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

UK neobank Revolut is currently in talks with the Softbank fund, which is worth $92 billion, for its next funding round, according to City AM. The talks are still early on, but the funding round could be as high as $500 million. It’s not clear whether existing investors, including Draper Esprit and Index Ventures, would participate in the next round.

Source: Business Insider

Monzo to offer cash deposits via PayPoint (FinExtra) Rated: A

PayPoint has announced today that challenger bank, Monzo, has chosen PayPoint’s cash payments solution for its current account holders. Beginning Wednesday 21 November, customers will be able to deposit up to £300 cash directly into their Monzo account in a single transaction at any of PayPoint’s 28,000 convenience stores nationwide.

Starling Bank’s £10m funding helps it make a stand to Monzo (Fintech Future) Rated: A

Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank, has secured £10 million of new capital from Bahamas-based hedge fund manager Harald McPike.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the funding is in preparation for a £80 million round to keep up, or perhaps surpass, other mobile challengers like Monzo, which recently raised £85 millionto reach a £1.5 billion valuation, and getting over 1.1 million customers.

Why data scientists solve irrelevant problems (Bobs Guide) Rated: A

In today’s challenging financial market businesses need to utilize every available resource and technology to reduce risk when processing payments and credit applications. One area in particular that is often talked about, but still either under or incorrectly utilized, is data science.

While many financial institutions are working towards implementing data science within their risk decisioning processes many are still working on creating an environment and culture that allows data scientists to be fully effective.

In a recent webinar Ken Schultz, VP of data science at Elevate Credit – better known under their brand Sunny in the UK -discussed the benefits data science can bring to a financial services organization, including the opportunity to increase accuracy, expand your market, and reduce fraud, all of which can be used to drive business growth.

Lending Works Appoints Three New Board Members, Targets P2P Growth (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Peer to peer lender Lending Works has selected three new members for their Board of Directors. The online lender has appointed; Simon Waugh, former Chairman of CMC Markets, Deputy CEO of British Gas, Paul Noble, CEO of Honeycomb Finance, a Pollen Street Capital business, and Melanie Goward, Investment Director of Maven Capital Partners.

Barclays partners with MarketInvoice (The MarketInvoice Blog) Rated: B

MarketInvoice and Barclays today announced a partnership deal that is set to transform the way small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth.

The bank has committed to a significant minority stake in MarketInvoice to give Barclays’ SME clients seamless access to innovative forms of finance. The new partnership is a key part of Barclays’ plans to invest in new business models for growth, and MarketInvoice’s ambition to broaden its reach across the UK.

China

Shares of LexinFintech Jump 8% In Early Trading as Earnings Soar 363% (Capital Watch) Rated: AAA

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: LX) saw its shares jump more than 8 percent in early trading Wednesday after the company, an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter with net income increasing more than fourfold.

Despite recent market uncertainty, the Shenzhen-based lender said its operating revenue for the third three months increased more than 13 percent year-over-year to $246.7 million thanks to a 404 percent jump in income from its loan facilitation and servicing fees.

Net income for the quarter was $46 million, or 25 cents per fully diluted ADS, up from $9.93 million a year ago.

Source: Capital Watch

Tencent reboots profits as growth picks up beyond games (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: AAA

China’s Tencent Holdings handed investors a much-needed profit recovery in the third quarter as revenue rose beyond online games, but the company warned that stricter regulation by Beijing on online advertising could sap growth.

The social media and online game group, which has lost about 40% of its market value since March as China has stalled approval of new games, beat market forecasts thanks to contributions from ads and cloud computing.

Source: Nikkei

China Rapid Finance to Announce Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results on November 20, 2018 (Acrofan) Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE: XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, after U.S. market closes.

China Rapid Finance’s management will host an earnings conference call at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 20, 2018, (9:00 a.m. Beijing/Hong Kong Time on November 21, 2018).

Why China’s online lending crisis makes liberalisation of bank interest rates more urgent (South China Morning Post) Rated: A

How big is China’s fintech sector? I would say, Britain’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Circle plus payday lender Wonga times 100. In addition to giants such as Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Pingan’s Lufax and Tencent’s WeBank, a dozen mid-size operators have gone public in the US and Hong Kong in the past 18 months alone. There are also 40 to 50 serious players that are waiting in the wings to go public. However, as the year-long official clampdown has revealed, there are far too many also-ran operators and Ponzi schemes about.

In just five to six years, fintech has surged to levels over US$200 billion in terms of total assets.

Cash-Strapped Online Lenders Ordered to Repay Investors (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Some local governments have ordered cash-strapped peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms to begin repaying their investors to head off growing turmoil in the industry.

Hangzhou-based P2P lending platform Yucaiyuan recently announced that the company “did not meet regulatory requirements and was ordered to start repaying (investors),” according to a post on the lender’s website (link in Chinese). The firm will have to repay the principal and interest on all outstanding loans until investors are fully repaid. It has 12 months to do so.

Regulators in the eastern city want to rein in what had once been runaway growth in the industry. They plan to do this by clearing out small and midsize platforms one step at a time, a P2P lender told Caixin.

European Union

Fintonic Links Up with Amazon (Finovate) Rated: AAA

Personal finance app Fintonic announced today it will collaborate with Amazon in Spain. Starting next week, Fintonic customers in Spain will be able to finance their Amazon.es purchases ranging from $225 to $1,100 (€200 to €1,000) at a rate of 0% interest for up to four months.

Mintos to Provide Debit Cards and IBAN Accounts to Investors (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

P2P lending marketplace Mintos has raised 5 million EUR in a Series A. The money is earmarked to provide new features for investors.

Crowdlending campaign raises total of €1.5 million for the first time (The Brussels Times) Rated: A

A crowdlending campaign has, for the first time, raised a total of €1.5 million in Belgium.

The announcement came on Wednesday from the platform Look&Fin, which specialises in such participative finance loans. The company, Carimat Matériaux, based in Braine-le-Château and active in construction, has raised this record amount.

In total, 483 individuals have invested in Carimat Matériaux, for a global total of €1.5 million. The group, which has specialised in construction since 1988, recorded a turnover of €56 million in 2017 and employs more than 170 people.

Berlin-based fintech startup Bonify raises funding to provide free credit scores and financial advice (EU Startups) Rated: A

Want to apply for a loan, but you’re unsure about your credit score? The Berlin-based startup Bonify provides free, easy-to-read credit reports. Users can use the startup’s platform or app to check and correct their scores, monitor changes, and receive tips on personal finance and how to optimise their scores.

Bonify evaluates consumers real-time creditworthiness, enabling them to improve their financial wellbeing through tailored financial and non-financial recommendations. The app delivers recommendations for how consumers can save money, for instance by switching to a different loan or energy provider. Bonify is also able to predict six to eight weeks in advance when its users might go into their overdraft, and provide personalised suggestions for how to avoid this.

Italian lendtech Credimi feeling dreamy with €10m funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

The investment funds came via United Ventures and Vertis, as well as some of the (unnamed) investors who took part in the first round of €8.5 million in September 2015.

Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, Credimi founder and CEO, and cool name winner, says: “Credimi’s initial start-up phase has been exhilarating, with results that have far exceeded our expectations.

SME Online Lender Creditshelf Names Fabian Brügmann New CFO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, a Germany based online lender, announced on Wednesday it has appointed Fabian Brügmann as its new CFO, effective on January 15, 2019. The lender reported that this appointment continues its planned expansion of its management team and in the newly formed position, Brügmann will be responsible for Finance and Investor Relations and directly report to Dr. Tim Thabe, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Creditshelf. He will not serve as a member of the Management Board himself.

According to Creditshelf, Brügmann previously worked as Director of Investor Relations at Commerzbank AG, where he was the contact for shareholders, fixed-income investors, and sell-side analysts. He joined the bank’s Corporate Development and Corporate Finance team in 2012. As IR Manager, Brügmann worked on the capital market communication for the “Commerzbank 4.0” strategy. He previously spent six years with the U.S. bank Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt and London.

Small Business Lender iwoca Appoints Seema Desai as COO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Online lender iwoca has selected Seema Desai as their new Chief Operations Officer (COO). iwoca provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany, and Poland via its website and through partner integrations using its proprietary Lending API.

Desai joined iwoca in January 2017 as Head of People, developing the company’s organizational capabilities. Prior to joining iwoca, Seema led the development of the Innovative Finance ISA at peer-to-peer lender Zopa as Head of Product.

As COO, Desai is expected to help scale customer service that has helped propel iwoca to become one of the fastest growing business lender in the UK.

International

Prodigy Finance Launches Refinance Product for International Working Graduates Looking to Reduce Financial Costs (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Prodigy Finance, the pioneer in cross-border finance, announces the launch of a loan refinance product for international working graduates looking to reduce their student debt. The product will allow these alumni, who previously had limited options available to them, to save at least US$20,0001 over the life of the loan, by accessing lower rates and choices of terms.

The edge a serial entrepreneur sees in challenger banks (American Banker) Rated: A

Challenger bank entrepreneur Anthony Thomson has had several lives in banking and fintech.

In 2010, with Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill, he co-founded Metro Bank, which started with one location in London and now has more than 56 branches and 2,800 employees. Thomson founded a second challenger bank in 2014 called Atom Bank, the first mobile-only bank in the U.K. As of March, it had 1.3 billion pounds of deposits and lent 1.2 billion pounds in mortgages and small-business loans.

Thomson is currently working on his third institution, called 86,400, a mobile-first challenger bank slated to launch in Australia in early 2019.

So it’s fair to say Thomson has learned a lot about what it takes to raise money and how to make it as a neobank entrepreneur.

The Ripple Effect: Crypto Backed Lending Platform Exploring XRP-Powered xRapid (The Daily Hodl) Rated: A

The crypto lending platform Nexo says it’s exploring Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP to boost the speed and lower the cost of cross-border payments. The announcement comes from Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder and managing partner of Nexo.

The company is backed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and calls itself a “decentralized lending ecosystem that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime.” It uses a long list of banking and exchange partners to deliver loans.

Nexo follows the payment company and Ripple partner TransferGo, which also revealed its interest in xRapid this week. Nexo recently added XRP to its platform, becoming one of the first lenders to use XRP as collateral.

MSTS Makes B2B Commerce Effortless for SMBs with Credit as a Service (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

MSTS, a global B2B payment and credit solutions provider, today announced that its innovative Credit as a Service solution is now available to mid-market and small businesses.

The original enterprise product, with a record of accelerating sales growth for companies by as much as 500 percent, has been optimized to meet the needs of businesses with simpler payment and credit processes. The cloud-based Credit as a Service solution for mid-market businesses can issue credit lines in less than a minute, automate the customer onboarding process and apply unique B2B customer invoicing, accounts payable and payment term requirements – providing customers flexibility and an enhanced experience.

MSTS works with B2B companies across transportation, manufacturing, retail and eCommerce.

Australia

Advice demand soaring in Australia despite trust issues (International Investment) Rated: AAA

The 2018 Financial Advice Report from Investment Trends found that an estimated 2.1 million adults intend to turn to a financial planner for advice, up from 1.6 million in 2017.

However, trust levels in banks and financial planners fell severely over that same period. On a scale of 0 to 10, banks fell from a trust rating of 5.5 to 4.8, while financial planners fell from 5.1 to 4.8.

The report found more than 40% of Australians do not believe the financial services and banking industries are meeting their obligations to everyday citizens.

Big banks welcome government competition for small end of town (Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: A

Australia’s biggest banks insist they welcome the prospect of looming lending competition from the federal government’s proposed $2 billion small business loan plan.

Under the policy unveiled by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday the government will establish a $2 billion securitisation fund which it will use to buy pools of small business loans from smaller banks and non-bank lenders.

Small business cheer $ 2b end to funding drought (Australian Financial Review) Rated: A

Small business and non-bank lenders have endorsed the Morrison government’s plans to inject $2 billion into the small and medium enterprise loan market.

But regulatory experts warned the government must avoid taking too much financial risk and not weaken bank rules in its quest to stimulate SME funding via a separate proposed bank-financed Australian Business Growth Fund.

Piper Alderman brings in financial services team (Australasian Lawyer) Rated: B

A national firm has added a financial services team, including a new partner in Sydney.

Andrea Beatty has commenced at Piper Alderman as a partner. She brought to the firm two other lawyers and an administrative assistant from NewLaw outfit Keypoint Law, where she was a consulting principal since 2016.

With more than 20 years’ experience in financial services regulation and corporate finance, Beatty is a former partner at legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques and then at K&L Gates.

Asia

New securities law sparks concerns from expert (Vietnam News) Rated: AAA

Under the revised draft Law on Securities, the foreign ownership ratio in a public company is expanded up to 100 per cent. Previous regulations had capped foreign ownership at 49 per cent. However, this ratio in commercial banks, which is a much-concerned issue recently, was not mentioned in the draft. Why?

The draft has removed limits on how many voting shares foreign investors can buy in public Vietnamese companies. This indicates that the Government has sped up the equitisation process in State-owned enterprises, especially in non-essential sectors that are not too sensitive to the economy. However, under the draft, some conditional business lines, such as commercial banks, would retain their existing 30 per cent limit. I agree with this provision of the drafting agency.

How Standard Chartered Bank is tackling digital disruption (Tech in Asia) Rated: A

While banks have not been immune to the technology bug that has spread in the last few decades, digitization in the industry has only largely been implemented “for purpose in the back end,” according to Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer at Standard Chartered Bank.

“Fifty years ago, we introduced mainframes. We took paper ledgers and put them into computers,” the CIO explains.

But the emergence of a tech-savvy millennial generation is bringing about “the first real massive change in banks since the inception of banking,” he says. As such, banks like Standard Chartered have to digitize front-facing processes or risk losing their customers.

Eurasia

Russian Online Lender MFC Zaymer Joins Robo.cash (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Automated peer to peer platform Robo.cash has issued a note saying Russian microfinance company MFC Zaymer is joining their platform. The company operates Zaymer.ru that offers short-term (payday) loans with interest rates for investors of 14% in Euros and up to 18% for loans originated in Rubles.

Africa

Nigeria dials up mobile banking revolution (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Nigeria’s central bank is looking to increase access to millions of people by opening up the banking system to non-financial companies for the first time; South African telecom operator MTN is set to be the biggest beneficiary with more than 50 million customers located in Nigeria; MTN is planning to apply for a banking license soon with the hopes of having their Mobile Money product available in country by Q2 2019; more than 60 million people in Nigeria do not have bank accounts, showing there is an enormous opportunity for telcos to expand the banking footprint.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday October 25 2018, Daily News Digest

Funding Circle Holdings PLC

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi CEO explains how market volatility, rising interest rates create opportunities. Amazon debuts no-fee AmEx card for small businesses. Funding Circle broker channel hits 1B GBP lending. China Rapid Finance is expected to break even. Today’s main analysis: Funding Circle’s short-lived rally. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Is student loan debt creating a millennial class […]

Funding Circle Holdings PLC

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United States

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto: Market volatility, rising rates create ‘opportunity for us’ (CNBC) Rated: A

Rising interest rates and market volatility, while feared on the Street, create an opportunity for online lending platform SoFi to gain new customers, according to CEO Anthony Noto.

“When the markets pull back, people evaluate: ‘Where am I putting my money from an investment standpoint?'” Noto said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Tuesday.

Made conscious decision to focus on quality, not quantity of loans: SoFi CEO Anthony Noto from CNBC.

Amazon Debuts No-Fee AmEx Card to Lure Small-Business Spending (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Amazon.com Inc. and American Express Co. are upping the ante in their bid for small-business spending.

The two companies unveiled a new co-branded card for small businesses on Tuesday. Cardholders with an Amazon Prime membership will be able to choose between an interest-free loan for 90 days or 5 percent back on purchases made at Amazon.com, Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services and Whole Foods Market, the companies said in a statement. The no-fee metal card will also offer 2 percent back on purchases at U.S. restaurants and gas stations and on mobile-phone services.

Student-Loan Debt Is Bringing on Millennial Class War (Vice) Rated: AAA

MagnifyMoney, an independent service that compares financial products and is affiliated with the loan marketplace LendingTree, recently analyzed 2016 data from the Federal Reserve and estimated the average millennial with student debt had 75 percent less net worth than their debt-free peers. Though many of the stats they calculated might have been skewed by extremes—think people with debt loads of $200,000 and trust-fund kids worth seven figures—they were able to reach some pretty startling conclusions. For instance, the median net bank account balance (checking and savings) of all grads under 35 who had loans, they found, was $5,500, while it was some $10,180 for those who didn’t.

So what’s the most meaningful difference between those with loans and without?
The one that’s really most costly is when you look at the retirement savings. On that side, the average grad under 35 with debt has around $21,000 in retirement savings. Someone who doesn’t have student loans has an average of almost $40,000.

Credit Card Stats & Studies (Hub Wallet) Rated: AAA

Source: Hub Wallet

Building Loyalty with Gen Z and Millennials Starts with a Better Experience (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

In particular, changes in the credit card market have been heavily influenced by the youngest generations. While TransUnion studies have found that consumers generally have a much higher propensity of opening their next credit product with a lender with whom they already have multiple relationships, this doesn’t appear to hold true for Gen Z. Younger consumers are engaging with new lenders rather than going to existing lenders for new products. In the report, Gen Z respondents indicated that they were the least likely to open a new credit product with a financial institution as a result of an existing relationship with that lender.

While consumers are carrying more credit cards in their wallets today than in 2010, the industry has seen five straight quarters of declining year-over-year origination growth. The study also found that the average duration for which a credit card remains open has shortened across the majority of age groups, which would indicate shifting loyalty.

Source: Trans Union

The Fintech 250: The Top Fintech Startups Of 2018 (CB Insights) Rated: AAA

The financial services industry is being transformed by insurgent startups. From capital markets to insurance and digital banking to wealth management, the Fintech 250 are among the most promising of these companies globally.

The entire 

Lendio Named to the 2018 CB Insights Fintech 250 List of Fastest-Growing Fintech Startups (PR Newswire) Rated: A

CB Insights today named Lendio to the second annual Fintech 250 list, a prestigious group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology.

“It’s an honor for Lendio to be listed among the innovative companies driving the fintech industry forward,” said Brock Blake, Lendio CEO and founder. “Lendio is doing its part to power the economy by bridging the financing gap for small businesses. We are committed to shaping the future of marketplace lending to help business owners unlock their financial potential.”

Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, recently announced it has facilitated over $1 billion in financing to more than 51,000 small businesses across the U.S. Through access to this growth capital, Lendio’s small business customers have generated an estimated $3.8 billion in gross economic output and created more than 25,000 jobs nationwide. Lendio’s milestone comes after an 80 percent increase in loans funded through its platform in the last year.

As Rates Rise and Recession Threatens, Alternative Lenders Batten Down the Hatches (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

The CEOs of Prosper Marketplace, Lending Club, and Social Finance Inc. all spoke to a common theme – preparing for the coming storm and choosing loans for quality, not quantity. JPMorgan Chase has predicted a 60% chance of recession by 2020, and it’s not clear how traumatic an event it will be.

JPMorgan signed a deal with Plaid for customer data sharing (Business Insider) Rated: A

JPMorgan on Monday signed an agreement with Plaid, a technology company that connects bank accounts with fintech apps like Robinhood, Venmo, and Acorns, that will give its customers better control over their personal data.

Plaid will access JPMorgan’s customer data through a secure application programming interface or API, allowing customers to share their financial information more easily and safely. Banks including JPMorgan have pushed back against so-called screen scraping, another way for fintech apps to companies to access customer data that generally is viewed as less secure.

Goldman shifts Marcus digital bank to its wealth unit (American Banker) Rated: A

Goldman Sachs Group is shifting a heavily touted business line into its wealth management unit as the bank eyes expansion through products that can be pitched to the division’s customers.

The firm is handing oversight of the Marcus business — its retail-banking effort, which offers personal loans online — to its $1.5 trillion investment management division, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. The move is aimed at starting new business offerings under the Marcus brand that can be sold to the unit’s expanding roster of clients.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the contents of the memo.

U.S. ‘Unbanked’ Population Continues to Fall (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

The number of U.S. households without a bank account fell to 6.5% in 2017, according to a federal government survey, as the improved economy helped bring mainstream banking services to more people.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday the number of ”unbanked” households reached its lowest level last year since the regulator began the biennial survey in 2009. The share of households without an account at a federally insured financial institution was down half a percentage point from 7% in 2015.

We’re Closer Than you Think to Autonomous Finance (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Autonomous finance isn’t a well known term within fintech, but it may be the biggest innovation in the consumer finance space in recent years. Ken Lin, the CEO and Co-Founder of Credit Karma talked with us recently on the Lend Academy podcast about this concept of autonomous finance, a concept that is slowly turning into reality.

Credit Karma is in the unique position to capitalize on this idea, particularly when it comes to the lending business, which still relies heavily on credit scores. The company has built a platform in which users can track their credit score over time and get suggestions on products based on their financial life. From my perspective Credit Karma has a monopoly of sorts on this business with no other serious competitors at scale. Due to their sheer size and the engagement with their members, Credit Karma is a significant lead generator for the major online lenders that exist today.

New UltraFICO score stokes concerns about data privacy (American Banker) Rated: A

A new credit score that includes a consumer’s cash flow alongside their credit score — dubbed UltraFICO — is winning praise for its potential to help expand access to credit but also stoking concerns about its data privacy implications.

FICO announced this week that it is testing a new credit score with Experian and data aggregator Finicity that draws on several months’ worth of data from consumers’ bank accounts. The idea, according to FICO, is to create a “second chance” score that could allow consumers who’ve been denied credit due to the traditional model another shot at obtaining it.

Short on Cash? Use Your Employer as a ‘Payday Lender’ (Nerd Wallet) Rated: A

In recent years, startups from Silicon Valley and beyond have stepped up to offer payday alternatives through the workplace. Some, including Earnin and PayActiv, have put a new twist on the two-week pay cycle to give people access to their wages as soon as they’ve earned them. Others, such as HoneyBee, SalaryFinance and TrueConnect, allow employers to offer low-cost emergency loans as an employee benefit.

Paycheck advances in the modern workplace

What technology companies like Earnin and PayActiv say they offer is a streamlined approach for employees that retains the employer’s traditional two-week pay cycle.

Navient eyes end of non-compete with Sallie Mae in January (Asset Securitization Report) Rated: A

Navient Corp. has been ramping up origination of refinance student loans even as rising interest rates reduce the potential savings for borrowers. Earnest, the online lender it acquired late in 2017, originated $903 million of refinance loans in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date originations $2 billion. But so far, the servicing giant’s ability to expand has been limited because of a non-compete agreement with the largest private student-lender, SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae.

Under the terms of their split in 2014, Navient is unable to refinance either private student loans made by Sallie Mae or any federally guaranteed student loans held by Sallie Mae.

The non-compete clause expires in January, and Navient CEO Jack Remondi doesn’t plan to waste any time. On a third quarter conference call Wednesday, Remondi made it clear that he sees plenty of potential to refinance loans made or held by Sallie Mae.

Kabbage Extends Access Of Small Business Lending (Benzinga) Rated: A

Kabbage is now lending over $10 million per day to small businesses, in congruence with the company’s recent addition of 30,000 customers in 2018. The company reported its first $500 million quarter this year, according to the press release.

The lender serves up to 1,400 businesses daily and has demonstrated a 68 percent increase of working capital accessed by Kabbage on mobile devices, as well as a 283 percent growth in use of the Kabbage Card since 2017.

“It was a great growth quarter for the company, and is a direct result of developing flexible and convenient solutions that simplify accessing capital for small businesses,” Kabbage CFO Scott Rosenberg told Benzinga.

Beyond Kickstarter: 10 Niche Crowdfunding Platforms for Startups (Entrepreneur) Rated: A

1. CrowdStreet

If you’re building a real-estate investment business — or developing real-estate projects — check out the online crowdfunding opportunities on CrowdStreet.

4. FundThatFlip

If your business is remodeling and reselling homes, FundThatFlip offers a place to get quick cash to fix up and resell. Investors put in a minimum of $5,000.

Guaranteed Rate Ranks as the Best Mortgage Lender for Online Mortgage Service by U.S. News & World Report (Bankless Times) Rated: A

Guaranteed Rate, an industry leader in technological innovation, tops the list of the Best Mortgage Lenders of 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report. The Chicago-based retail mortgage lender was named the Best Lender for Online Service with its groundbreaking advances to make the mortgage experience fast, simple and secure with its digital platform.

US News & World Report recommended the Guaranteed Rate mortgage process as best for borrowers who:

  • Want to complete most of the mortgage process online
  • Want help figuring out the right product for their situation
  • Want access to a variety of home loan options

Bought Mega Millions Tickets? Here’s What You Could Have Made If You Invested That Money Instead (Time) Rated: A

Americans spend a lot of money playing the lottery. Approximately 370 million lottery tickets were sold between Saturday and Tuesday before the Mega Millions drawing, according to a lottery official. The U.S. generated nearly $73 billion in lottery sales in 2016 and CNN reports that in 2017, U.S. residents spent about $73.5 billion on tickets. The average American spends about $223.04 per year on lottery tickets, loan marketplace LendEDU found in a report that calculated its average by dividing the 2016 lottery revenue by the U.S. population (325.7 million).

Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Minneapolis Are the Most Promising Places to Open a Restaurant (PR Newswire) Rated: A

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its study on the best cities to open a restaurant. The study found that while traditional foodie destinations like New York and San Francisco are saturated with restaurants, up-and-comers have room to grow. The restaurant population in cities like MilwaukeeCincinnati and Minneapolis cities is less dense than in other areas, and labor costs are lower.

LendingTree analyzed the 50 largest U.S. cities to see which offer prospective restaurateurs the best shot at success. Many top spots are in once-overlooked Midwestern cities now experiencing urban renewal. The least promising cities have historically been the restaurant industry’s most competitive.

Nav and Clover Partnership Streamlines Access to Business Credit Scores & Financing (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Today, Nav and Clover, a subsidiary of First Data, formally announced an integrated, multi-year partnership to deliver U.S.-based Clover users access to their free business credit scores, as well as custom-tailored business financing and credit card options.

The Federal Reserve Bank and other surveys consistently report around 70 percent of small business loan applicants are denied by their bank. As credit data is a primary way that banks and other financial institutions evaluate business loan applicants, the integration of business credit scores and insights directly into Clover’s dashboard enables these merchants to manage this important data.

Memorial Healthcare System Taps ezCarePoint to Provide Instant Online Financing for Patients’ Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs (AP News) Rated: A

Patients at facilities run by South Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System (MHS), one of the nation’s largest public healthcare systems, can now easily and quickly finance their out-of-pocket medical fees online, thanks to a new program powered by ezCarePoint, a next generation medical financing technology platform created by ezVerify, a Sunrise, Fla. based company and LendingPoint, a Kennesaw, Ga. based company.

RealtyFolio Updates Its Platform for a Big 2019 (PR Newswire) Rated: B

RealtyFolio, the online real estate investing platform has updated its interface, including a redesign, rebrand, and upgraded features. The upgrade was meant to “make it even more comfortable for clients to navigate the platform and for clients to be able to invest in real estate projects, quickly and easily,” according to the company’s CEO, Jonathan Klein. He went on to say that they “expect a very big year in 2019, with many projects in the works, and a lot of demand from clients.”

RealtyFolio is ushering in the future of real estate investing by allowing you to build a real estate portfolio online. With over 30 years of real estate investing and management experience on its team and a vast network of strategic partners across the United States, in cities such as New YorkMiami and Los AngelesRealtyFolio gives everyone a chance to swim with the sharks.

Tamarack Hires Seven and Expands Headquarters (ELFA) Rated: B

Tamarack, a leader in providing independent software solutions in the equipment finance and commercial lending industry, has moved to a new headquarters in the North Loop, doubling their space, and added seven new positions over the past three months to meet the growing demand.

With over 25 years of Leasing and Lending experience and an expert in InfoLease®, Tamarack hires on George Burke. Burke adds extensive experience to Tamarack’s back office software engineering team.

White Oak ABL Appoints Griffith to Managing Director (ABL Advisor) Rated: B

White Oak ABL, LLC, an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, announced the appointment of Clark D. Griffith to Managing Director, based in San Francisco. Griffith joins from Encina Business Credit where he held the position of Senior Managing Director in charge of West Coast originations, offering lines of credit and term loans from $5 million to $50 million.

PNC to offer online business loan option in 2019 (Delaware Business Now) Rated: B

PNC announced that in 2019 it plans to begin offering fully digital business lines of credit, up to$100,000.

PNC will partner withOnDeck and use its Platform-as-a-Service to simplify and accelerate the conventional lending originations processes for PNC Bank’s small and medium-sized business customers.

PNC will combine its expertise with ODX’s online origination technology and professional services to create PNC Small Business Lending.

TickPick Announces Affirm Partnership, Expands Payment Options at Checkout (PR Newswire) Rated: B

TickPick, the no-fee ticket marketplace that is transforming the industry, announced today a partnership with Affirm, the company founded by entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest alternatives to traditional credit. This new payment option makes TickPick the first and only secondary marketplace to offer Affirm, which allows customers the ability to spread out the cost of their purchase over time through simple monthly payments.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle’s broker channel reaches £1bn lending milestone (Bridging and Commercial) Rated: AAA

After four consecutive record-breaking quarters, the in-house broker team has supported the growth of 9,600 British businesses.

Prior to the lending milestone, the P2P platform promoted Tom Shave to head of broker.

Tom has assisted in developing a diverse network of introducers, big and small, across the country.

UK regions come to the fore in producing $ 1bn tech companies (London Loves Business) Rated: A

The UK’s leading tech clusters are competing head to head with European capitals, according to new analysis of company growth, in a sign that the success of the UK tech sector is pushing far beyond its London heartland.

Following the IPOs of Farfetch and Funding Circle, the UK is now home to 15 unicorns and six cities have produced so-called unicorns – $1bn tech companies – according to research prepared for Tech Nation and the Government’s Digital Economy Council by venture capital analytics company Dealroom.co. This latest research is published ahead of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s first meeting with the Digital Economy Council on 24 October 2018.

Looking at the creation of $1bn tech companies, Oxford and Cambridge combined have produced more fast-growing tech companies than both Paris and Berlin.

China

Loss-Making China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE:XRF) Expected To Breakeven (Simply Wall St News) Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited’s (NYSE:XRF): China Rapid Finance Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides a consumer lending marketplace for lenders and borrowers in the People’s Republic of China. The US$156m market-cap posted a loss in its most recent financial year of -US$122m and a latest trailing-twelve-month loss of -US$49m shrinking the gap between loss and breakeven. As path to profitability is the topic on XRF’s investors mind, I’ve decided to gauge market sentiment. Below I will provide a high-level summary of the industry analysts’ expectations for XRF.

European Union

Klarna Talks Split Payments at Money2020 Conference (Cheddar) Rated: A

Klarna is launching a new ‘Slice it in 4’ product, allowing users to split up payments. Michael Rouse, chief commercial officer of Klarna, explains how it works.

INDOCHINO Chooses Klarna to Give Consumers the Power to Pay Over Time (PR Newswire) Rated: B

INDOCHINO shoppers can now Slice it at the checkout by using Klarna’s online consumer financing to easily spread the cost of their purchase over 6-36 months. Slice it has a simple 4-step credit application process, real-time decisioning and is offered within the merchant’s own website – no re-directs – for a frictionless and fast purchase experience.

By taking the premium made-to-measure experience direct to the consumer, INDOCHINO has created a superior alternative to off-the-rack clothing at ready-to-wear prices. Their immersive multi-channel experience enables customers to order their custom garments with ease online or in-person at one of 30+ showrooms across North America

German fintech poster child N26’s major security gap (Handelsblatt) Rated: A

Germany’s fintech darling N26 is potentially vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing, according to research by Handelsblatt’s sister magazine WirtschaftsWoche, which exposed a security gap at the online banking startup.

The apple of discord is how easily someone can open an account with a fake ID. A WirtschaftsWoche correspondent saw first hand how a man, Milo T., scanned a friend’s ID, added his own passport photo to the ID, printed it out and stuck it atop of a white plastic card that was the same size as the office ID card in his country. He cut the edges to make them round and voilà: a new identification card.

It took five minutes and the result is so blatantly a forgery that it would fail to convince even the laxest of nightclub doormen. None of the holograms or other security features found on original IDs can be seen on the fake. Regardless, Milo effortlessly used this ID to set up an N26 account, and this wasn’t a one-off occurrence. WirtschaftsWoche documented how several people opened N26 accounts using forged papers.

Robo.cash welcomes new loan originator (Peer2Peer Finance  News) Rated: B

LATVIAN peer-to-peer payday lender Robo.cash has added a loan originator from Kazakhstan to its platform.

Z-FINANCE provides short-term private lending in Kazakhstan with an average loan size equivalent to €60 (£52).

Investors on the Robo.cash site can now invest in these loans, which have a repayment period up to 30 days and an expected interest rate up to 12 per cent per annum.

Z-FINANCE was launched in July this year and currently lends through a network of 102 sales branches in Kazakhstan.

International

ID Finance Group reports 61% revenue growth for the nine months of 2018 (Fintech Finance) Rated: AAA

ID Finance Group has reported 61 per cent revenue growth and revenues of $141.3 million for nine months of 2018 following strong growth in Europe and Latam. The data science, credit scoring and digital finance company issued $215.7m in loans in the first nine months of the year, a 64 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Its European and LatAm operations comprising Spain, Poland, Brazil and Mexico demonstrated exceptional growth experiencing a 197 per cent revenue growth and revenues of $32.6 million for the nine months of 2018. It issued $63.8 million in loans, a 142 per cent increase on the same period last year, and has also grown its customer base to over one million registered users with 20,000 new users joining weekly.The Group has now separated its European and LatAm operations from its CIS businesses (comprising Russia, Kazakhstan and Georgia) and it is functioning as a separate entity under the ID Finance name.

Moven Enterprise Expands Availability of AI Smart-Banking Solution with Global Launch (Business Wire) Rated: A

Moven Enterprise, the smart-banking solutions division of Movencorp, Inc, today announced that it has expanded its footprint globally to help banks deepen their digital customer engagement and drive new revenue streams while significantly reducing attrition and acquisition costs.

After working successfully with TD Bank (TD) in Canada, Westpac in New Zealand, and others, Moven is now bringing its AI-driven digital banking platform to banks across LatAm, APAC, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The global expansion is well-positioned as Moven Enterprise received investment from SBI Group to enhance Moven’s footprint in Asia earlier this year. This included the formation of a joint venture, SBI Moven Asia. The company’s innovative platform leverages a bank’s data and uses proprietary algorithms to create contextual, individualized smart-banking experiences for consumers; providing them the right advice at the right time with the right offer and helping them move towards a better financial lifestyle.

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Private Lender—Pros & Cons (NuWire Investor) Rated: A

Private lending has picked up the pace in recent years. This is despite high-interest rates charged by private lenders. Many reasons have pushed lenders into this space including tightened requirements by banks.

In addition, banks tend to shy away from lending money to small businesses and startups. As a result, many borrowers look for other ways of funding, and such opportunities provide opportunities to private lenders.

However, starting out as a private lender is no easy walk in the park. Numerous risks lurk in the business, and you need to tread with caution. In this article, you’ll learn how to become a private lender and some of the pros and cons involved, so if you have an interest in becoming “a bank,” read on.

Fintech Streamlines Socially Responsible Impact Investing Via Robo-Advisors (Investor Place) Rated: A

What makes an investment socially responsible? There are several criteria. For instance, SRI investing avoids tobacco companies as their products cause health problems and death. Typically, a company’s social responsibility rating is based on its performance in three categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG). Positive practices across one or more of these spheres can land a company in the socially responsible category.

At the same time, robo-advisors are digital investment managers designed to grow your wealth through investing with models are based on sophisticated computerized algorithms, including ESG consideration. These fintech darlings have answered the call for socially responsible robo-advisors with a host of diverse options. Of course, you could choose a socially responsible mutual fund or ETF on your own. But, for the busy investor, let one of the many robo-advisors take charge of your investing, in line with your personal values.

Uphold Joins Crypto Lending Platform Cred for New Lending and Earning Solutions (Coin Speaker) Rated: A

In today’s business community, partnership has become one of the most promising tools on the way to new amazing developments and interesting projects that are aimed at offering customers really unique experience and opening new opportunities for them.

News about recently established collaborations regularly appears here and there. This time the headlines are made by Uphold which is a major global digital money platform, that has conducted transactions worth over $4.0 billion across 184 countries, and Cred that is a crypto-backed lending provider with over $250 million in credit facilities.

Joint Projects

Having announced their partnership Uphold and Cred have revealed their plans to launch two cutting edge blockchain-based consumer finance products: Uphold Earn and Uphold Borrow. Both products are aimed at helping customers to earn interest from stablecoin holdings and borrow money against the cryptocurrencies they have.

India

Indian P2P Lending Operators forms Association to Make P2P Industry More Credible (Indian Web2) Rated: AAA

After the Reserve Bank of India unveiled guidelines last October recognizing the need for peer-to-peer lending platforms as NBFC-P2P in the country, the regulatory authority had issued first license in May 2018 and since then 9 players have been recognized as NBFC-P2P companies. More than 12 companies are in the process of getting approval from the regulatory authority. Some of them are at advance to mid-level stage.

To represent the NBFC-P2P industry at various front as well as to represent country’s P2P lending industry at international forums, most of existing & new players have teamed-up and formed a registered body – Association of NBFC P2P Platforms.

The association has been registered under The Society Registration Act, 1860. Mr. Pramod Akhramka has been elected as President, Mr. Rajiv Ranjan as Secretary and Mr. Mukesh Bubna as Treasurer of the association.

Choose bank or online lender based on nature of loan (DNA Online) Rated: A

Unexpected expenditures often come knocking on your door when you want them the least. The reasons could range from maintenance for your vehicle to your old washing machine that needs to be replaced. The plus point of such expenses cropping up during the festive season is that you can always get a good bargain online (or at the store nearby). The fact still remains that these are expenses nevertheless. And that too when your festive expenditure is already lined up, leaving no financial bandwidth.

At times like these, loans bring a sigh of relief. But with so many options available in the market, whom should you approach with your loan requirement- banks or digital lending platforms?

Today, Indian consumers are benefitting from a range of financial products and financial institutions (FI) such as banks, non-banking finance companies, online lending platforms, etc, available at their disposal. If you are planning to take a loan or feel like there’s a possibility of availing the same in the near future, you must primarily understand that every lender has its own unique pros and cons. Some are quick in terms of loan approval and disbursal, some are cost-effective, some offer greater flexibility to their customers, while some offer innovative products that are more relevant for an applicant.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday October 16 2018, Daily News Digest

Dow Jones VC Report Q3 2018

News Comments Today’s main news: OnDeck creates subsidiary for bank partnerships. Lendio hits $1B in business loans. Blend Network on track to exceed 5M GBP in lending. Hexindai completes P2P compliance self-inspection report. Today’s main analysis: Bank earnings for JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why Google and Amazon are not a threat to small banks. Cities […]

Dow Jones VC Report Q3 2018

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United States

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United States

OnDeck creates new subsidiary for bank partnerships (American Banker) Rated: AAA

OnDeck Capital, an online lender that also provides the technology to JPMorgan Chase’s digital small-business lending platform, is creating a new subsidiary to pursue partnerships with other banks.

The wholly owned subsidiary will be called ODX, according to New York-based OnDeck.

OnDeck, which specializes in online small-business loans, has been working to build its bank partnership business since announcing its deal with JPMorgan Chase in 2015. The nation’s largest bank launched its QuickCapital platform in 2016.

Lendio Tops $ 1B in Business Loans Facilitated Through Its Online Marketplace (PRWeb), Rated: AAA

Lendio today announced it has facilitated $1 billion in financing to more than 51,000 small businesses across the U.S. Since its inception in 2011, Lendio has been bridging the financing gap for small business owners. As a result of access to growth capital, Lendio’s small business clients have burgeoned, generating an estimated $3.8 billion in economic output and creating more than 25,000 jobs in communities nationwide.

Rocky Week for Equities, Strong Bank Earnings (Peer IQ) Rated: AAA

JP Morgan Q3 Earnings

Revenues at JPM grew by 5% YoY to $27.8 Bn, and earnings grew by 24% YoY to $8.4 Bn. Earnings growth was driven by record NII of $14.1 Bn, up by 7% YoY, while fixed income trading revenues dropped by 10% YoY. JPM saw a small increase of 2% YoY in its consumer loan book. Net charge-offs declined by 11% YoY to $1.1 Bn and the provision for loan losses declined by 35% YoY to $0.9 Bn. The bank saw healthy growth of 11% YoY in its digital banking customers to 32.5 Mn. JPM’s ROE for this quarter was 14%, up by 3% points YoY.

Wells Fargo Q3 Earnings

WFC’s revenues were flat YoY at $21.9 Bn, but earnings grew by 33% YoY to $6 Bn. Earnings growth was driven by 1% YoY increase in NII to $12.6 Bn. The consumer loan book continues to decline with a drop of 3% YoY to $440 Bn driven by auto loans. Net charge-offs declined by 13% YoY to $0.5 Bn and the provision for loan losses declined by 19% YoY to $0.6 Bn. Digital banking customers grew by 4% YoY to 29 Mn. WFC’s ROE for this quarter was 12%, up by 3% points YoY.

Citigroup Q3 Earnings

Citi’s revenues were flat YoY at $18.4 Bn, but earnings grew by 12% YoY to $4.6 Bn. Earnings growth was driven by 9% YoY increase in fixed income trading revenue, the first increase since 2017. Citi’s outstanding consumer loans grew by 3% YoY to $309 Bn. Net charge-offs increased slightly by 1% YoY to $1.7 Bn but the provision for loan losses declined by 13% YoY to $1.9 Bn. Digital banking customers grew by 5% YoY to 18 Mn. Citi’s ROE for this quarter was 9.6%, up by 2% points YoY.

Source Peer IQ

Here’s why Google, Amazon aren’t a threat to small banks (American Banker) Rated: AAA

It’s a logical theory that sounds reasonable on its face: Since most small businesses already use Google, Amazon and Facebook for marketing, it will be easy for these tech giants to market loans to small businesses that they already have as customers.

One CNBC headline sums up the sentiment: “Another industry Amazon plans to crush is small-business lending.” The story notes that Amazon has already made billions of small-business loans to thousands of merchants and suggests that the online giant could come to dominate lending. In addition, there are countless fintech startups also seeking to disrupt small-business lending.

That’s because the theory misses a crucial detail: When tech giants and fintech startups target a business segment, they take a programmatic approach of catering to the most common use cases. That’s the opposite of what community banks do.

LendingTree Reveals the Cities with the Most Foreign-born Homeowners (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

In data for 2017, the Census Bureau found that 13.7% of the U.S. population was foreign-born.

  • Key findings
    Cities with larger foreign-born populations and homeowners have higher home prices. Prices for the top 10 cities average $491,750 compared with $167,560 for the bottom 10.
  • But the lead city has modest home prices. Miami is top of the list with 26% of homes owned by foreign-born residents, but has a median price of just $278,700.
  • Immigrants love the coasts. The rest of the top five are also coastal cities, all in California with 17% and higher foreign-born homeownership rates and home prices above $300,000.
  • Some bargains are available. In addition to Miami, more affordable cities with high immigrant populations include Houston at No. 6 and Las Vegas at No. 7.
  • Cheaper cities are mostly shunned. Immigrants show little interest in bargain hunting in the cities towards the bottom of the list. The percentage of foreign-born homeowners in the bottom five cities is below 3%, despite home prices averaging about $160,000.
Source: Lending Tree

Anju Patwardhan of CreditEase Fintech Fund (Lend Academy) Rated: A

There are many VC firms investing in fintech today but most are based in the US or Europe. Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast runs a different type of fund that has its origins in China.

Anju Patwardhan is a Managing Director of the CreditEase Fintech Fund, which has quietly become one of the leading VC firms globally focused on fintech. They only launched in March 2016 and already they have made 45 investments into many of the leading fintech names such as Upgrade, Marqeta, Funding Circle, Ellevest, NAV, Figure, Onfido, DV01 and True Accord just to name a few.

Barclays to challenge Goldman’s Marcus in US retail banking (Financial Times) Rated: A

Barclays is launching a US current account in a move that will put them in a head to head battle with Marcus; the account will be added to their current digital offering in the U.S. which currently includes credit cards, savings and loans to about 13 million customers; “We’re going to launch checking, we’re in the process of doing the build and we’re doing some testing .

We expect to have that in the market next year,” explained Barry Rodrigues, head of cards and payments at Barclays International, to the FT; the company does believe their knowledge in the U.S. market with credit cards can help to position them as they make this push into checking accounts; the company has not released targets for how many accounts they look to attract.

Why Did This Fintech Startup Sponsor A NASCAR Driver? (Benzinga) Rated: A

So how can a fintech startup stand out in an increasingly crowded fintech space? For personal finance and lending startup MoneyLion, the answer is to go where the audience goes—and go around in a loop with them 500 times.

Pedal To The Metal Scaling

That’s why MoneyLion recently announced it was partnering with Penske Automotive Group, Inc. PAG‘s Team Penske to sponsor NASCAR driver Austin Cindric’s Ford Motor Company FMustang for four races this season. It’s an unexpected move from a fintech startup, whose primary marketing channels to date have generally been social media and TV commercials.

6 reasons to invest in your 20s (when all you want to do is spend) (The Next Web) Rated: A

1. Startups, job-hopping, and the gig economy come at a price

Unlike previous generations, we have much more freedom to job-hop. On average we’ll go through at least four different jobs by the time we’re 32.

By 2020, self-employment is likely to triple to 42 million workers with millennials making up 42 percent. This means we can now have our flan and eat it too.

2. Don’t count on social security either

With the number of retirement age citizens (65+) set to increase from 48 million today to 79 million, if reforms aren’t made, social security will start running out by 2035.

4. If you start investing now, you could be a millionaire later

If you want to start off small you can try investing in peer-to-peer lending with a minimum of $25. Instead of going through banks, peer-to-peer lending connects borrowers to lenders. Lenders can finance all or part (along with other investors) of a borrower’s loan at an interest rate of roughly between 5-36 percent.

United Kingdom

Blend Network on track to exceed £5m of lending (Development Finance Today) Rated: AAA

Speaking exclusively to Development Finance Today, Yann Murciano, CEO, and Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer (left), both of Blend Network, highlighted the company’s significant growth and future plans for the platform.

“We had a target of £5m, which it looks like we are going to exceed, because we will be at more than £4.2m in the next 10 days.

“In the first four months, we provided one facility of £1.3m and one for £1.4m, so this is how quickly we are growing.

Abundance Set To Unveil Fund Raising (Forbes) Rated: A

Green and social infrastructure crowdfunding platform Abundance is set to announce a fund-raising of its own. The platform will this week unveil plans to raise a seven-figure sum to fund its next stage of growth, with an equity issue that will be hosted on its fellow crowdfunding service Seedrs.

New To The UK, Royalty Finance Seeks To Reach The SMEs That VCs And Lenders Pass By (Forbes) Rated: A

But there is perhaps one small corner of the alternative finance universe in which the UK has been behind the curve – namely royalty finance.  Originally developed to service the mining and commodities industries, the concept of royalty finance has been adapted to the needs of SMEs and mid sized companies. US businesses have been able to access this form of funding since the early  1990s, when a fund called Cypress Growth Capital was established to provide an alternative to venture capital,  but to date the idea has  failed to gain much traction in the UK.

But things are changing. Corporate finance companies  offering variations on the royalty finance theme are emerging – including 

FCA sounds redress warning over high cost credit (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority has written a “Dear CEO” letter to platforms providing high-cost short-term credit – which includes some peer-to-peer lending firms – to check on their creditworthiness assessments, particularly for repeat borrowers, and to assess whether customers are being treated fairly.

It warns that firms must be able to fund any remediation costs from complaints and should inform the FCA if they are unable to.

The letter follows the collapse of payday lender Wonga in August.

China

Hexindai Completes Submission of P2P Compliance Self-Inspection Report (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Hexindai Inc. (NASDAQ: HX) (“Hexindai” or the “Company”), a fast-growing consumer lending marketplace in China, today announced it has completed the submission of its P2P Compliance Self-Inspection Report to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work, completing one of three key steps for compliance with industry reforms from the National P2P Rectification Office.

Hexindai is actively supporting and participating in this compliance process, which aims to foster the stable growth of the P2P lending industry in China. The result of this process will be a set of standards and best practices across the whole industry to protect the interests of both borrowers and lenders.

Now, Hexindai will focus on the next two steps in the process, including an inspection conducted by Beijing Internet Finance Industry Association. This will be followed by verification of inspection results by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work with field inspection and possible final check by higher level government organizations.

China’s Financial Regulators Issue Anti-Money Laundering Anti-Terrorism Financing Regulations for Fintech Industry (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

On October 10th, People’s Bank of China, China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission jointly issued the “Administrative Measures on Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing for Internet Finance Institutions (Trial)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Administrative Measures”).  The purpose of this document is to regulate the possible anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing of Internet finance institutions, and to effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

The “Administrative Measures” will be implemented from January 1, 2019, and require deeper compliance requirements for Internet finance institutions. At the same time, NIFA should coordinate with other industry self-regulatory organizations to formulate industry rules to achieve effective linkage between supervision and self-discipline management.

European Union

European VC Funding Rises in Q3 but Deal Flow Declines (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Source Crowdfund Insider

Dow Jones VentureSource is out with their quarterly report on VC activity for Q3 of 2018. According to their numbers, European VC fundraising increased during Q3 but investment in European companies “showed a notable decline in deal flow activity and investment levels.”

The report states that VC investment for the quarter totaled €3.51 billion across 24 European VC funds. This is a significant increase of 50% versus Q2 of 2018. Additionally, when comparing to Q3 of 2017 both capital and fund closings increased by 90% and 14% – respectively.

Australia

New digital ‘banking alternative’ launches (The Advisor) Rated: AAA

A new digital platform, run in partnership with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, has launched to give Australians a “radically different banking alternative”.

The new digital app, called Up, was created by Melbourne-based technology developer Ferocia and operates under Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s banking licence.

The smartphone banking app was officially launched last week and enables customers to track their money in real time, predict upcoming bill charges automatically and pay them on time, and also offers multiple saver accounts, round-ups on purchases, digital payments (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay) and no international transaction fees.

India

Funding the wanderer (DNA) Rated: AAA

Start-ups in fintech and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms are devising strategies of attracting more millennials towards small-ticket loans ranging from Rs 10,000 – 200,000, which are being mainly utilised towards experiential travel. Entrepreneurs say small ticket loans generally go towards home renovation, home decoration, home repairs, purchase of second cars/bikes, etc.. “But off late, the trend is tilting more towards utilisation of such loans for fulfilling travel ambitions,’’ say entrepreneurs.

“There is no doubt this segment (travel) is rising and more people are opting for this loan. Any customer would love a packaged deal which comes with financial support to go on a vacation, and this will also help them enjoy their vacation well,” says Bhavin Patel, co-founder and CEO, LenDenClub.

Although people going for longer vacations or to expensive destinations take loans that are in lakhs, during long weekends, the frequency of very small loans ranging from Rs 3,000 – 10,000 increases significantly, observes Bala Parthasarathy, co-founder and CEO, MoneyTap. The idea is to supplement their existing cash coffers, without causing any imbalance in their daily lifestyles, say experts.

Making FinTech Model Work for India (Entrepreneur) Rated: A

It’s 2018. We’re facing the impending risk of climate change, rampant wealth inequality, and increasing populism around the world. We need to think beyond quarter-to-quarter profits to survive this. Companies must think about the long-term effects of their work—beyond their bottom dollar.

Find a purpose for your company that will help you soar during the good times, and persevere during the tough. What’s helped me fight fires every day—and get through the hardest challenges—is our mission of powering a new, more equal digital economy in India. A true mission serves a massive need in our society, especially for SMBs navigating the post-GST economy, and has the potential to create millions of jobs for companies looking to digitize and become compliant.

What’s my business model? How does it relate to my mission? What vulnerabilities does it have?

A mission should be more than words on your website’s ‘About’ page. It should lie at the core of everything you do, including your business model. You’re destined to fail—or at least be gravely disappointed—if your mission and business model do not align.

One of India’s fastest growing P2P lending platforms, ATL facilitates instant unsecured loans (personal, education and business loans) to eligible borrowers by connecting them with investors or lenders across India through a 100% digital ecosystem.

With this certification, ATL joins a select group of fintech startups who hold the NBFC-P2P accreditation. RBI follows a very stringent due diligence process while granting this license, which involves eligibility criteria like financial stability, business continuity plan, and how the business will aid in RBI’s larger vision of financial inclusion. The startup says that recognition from RBI is a strong validation of the startup’s sharp business model, processes and compliance with the RBI guidelines.

Africa

How internet is helping revitalise agriculture sector in Africa’s most populous nation (Devdiscourse) Rated: AAA

It looked like the end had arrived for Adewale Fatai’s chicken farm. Money was running out. Built to house 30,000 chickens, the farm was producing fewer than 2,000 chicks. His family had no funds to lend, and Nigeria’s banks weren’t interested.

Instead, he went online.

Two years later, Fatai now has 20,000 chickens. Flanked by thousands of chirping birds at his farm in Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun state, Fatai says his operation was saved by Farmcrowdy, one of a breed of new peer-to-peer lending companies aiming to match farmers with small investors.

Equity of Kenya Sees $ 22 Million FinTech Income This Year (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Equity Group Holdings Ltd., Kenya’s biggest bank by market value, expects its financial-technology unit to bring in as much as 2.2 billion shillings ($22 million) of revenue in its first year of independent operations, according to Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi. The bank “has resolved to make Finserve an independent commercial subsidiary,” Mwangi said in a statement published in the Nairobi-based Sunday Nation newspaper. The unit serves 1.96 million subscribers on its mobile-banking platform, Equitel, he said.

The unit, Finserve Africa Ltd., became an independent entity this year and facilitates cross-border transactions in seven Eastern African nations worth 2 billion shillings each month, according to the statement. It has a startup capital base of 1 billion shillings and its assets are valued at 1.98 billion shillings, Mwangi said.

Asia

SoftBank is the new form of IPO (Krasia) Rated: AAA

With a walloping around US$100 billion check, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is the world’s largest venture capital vehicle, and it’s also considered too big to be a conventional one. The Vision Fund is known for throwing gigantic amount at startups, urging them to compete for more market share at costly expenses.

Online lender Social Finance’s ex-CEO Mike Cagney, after investments from SoftBank in 2015, said that the funding “takes the pressing need of an IPO off the table,” and allow the company to put off an IPO indefinitely.

It seems that, receiving SoftBank investment is the new form of doing an IPO.

The firm in Southeast Asia invested in Grab and is encouraging the ride-hailer to form joint ventures with its portfolio companies to help them enter the region.

Shady online lenders still active in Indonesia despite blacklists (Krasia) Rated: A

Unethical debt collection practices are part of the reason Indonesia’s financial services authority, OJK, has been strictly monitoring the sector. It recently blacklisted 407 online lenders for not registering with the authority. Raja Uang was one of them.

OJK cracks down on all firms who operate without being registered with OJK, but in practice, it’s difficult to ensure they do shut down for good.

Indonesia’s CROWDE raises funding from GREE Ventures (E27) Rated: A

Indonesian agritech startup CROWDE today announced that it has raised an undisclosed seed funding round from Tokyo-based venture capital firm GREE Ventures.

Crevisse Ventures also participated in the funding round.

In a press statement, CROWDE CEO Yohanes Sugihtononugroho explained that the funding will be used to increase the number of farmers that the company aims to help by giving them capital boost.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa is profitable again. Capital One limits access to alt lenders. SimpleNexus raises $20M. Funding Circle changes projected returns. Metro Bank launches digital bank in Australia. Today’s main analysis: Deep dive into Amazon. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Deep dive into Amazon. More Chinese P2P lenders fall under regulatory scrutiny. How blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending. SMBs access […]

Monday July 2 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Capital One restricts third-party data access, upsets customers (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

Capital One Financial Corp. is limiting how account data flows to outside apps for managing finances, prompting a backlash from the bank’s customers who say they have been locked out of their own information.

A technology upgrade led to the disruption, people familiar with the situation said. Plaid Technologies, whose software is used to connect banks with third parties, is unable to link with some Capital One accounts, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Slightly weak US GDP growth, Amazon Deep-Dive (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US Q1 GDP growth was revised slightly lower from 2.2% to 2% driven by lower-than-expected growth in services. This slowdown in growth seems to be temporary as the Atlanta Fed is projecting a blistering 4.5% GDP growth rate for Q2.

Amazon Treading Carefully with Its Financial Services Ambitions

A new report by CB Insights details Amazon’s “barreling into” the financial services sector, notably in payments and lending. Our view on Amazon is more sober.

In the absence of a clear regulatory swim lane, Amazon will continue to partner with financial institutions to provide lending services. The major lending products Amazon offers today are executed with highly regulated banking partners. Amazon for instance has developed co-brand relationships with JPM, Synchrony and AmEx.

Also, Amazon is courting major financial services institutions as customers of its cloud business so the company has a delicate balance that it needs to maintain between disrupting the financial services industry and losing its clients and partners.

Amazon’s Lending Products

Amazon has made a foray into consumer lending mainly with the help of co-branded credit cards. The company has also made ~$3 Bn in small business loans, but that standalone effort has now fallen to the wayside with the new small business lending partnership with AmEx.

Amazon’s international investments in fintech products have been concentrated in India where Amazon will finance commercial loans to Amazon’s sellers. However, unlike the model in the US where Amazon lends on its own balance sheet, Amazon will utilize a marketplace model with six participating banks at the outset. The lending program has grown 150% in the first five months of this year (total volumes are unreported).

Source: CB Insights

Digital Mortgage Platform SimpleNexus Raises $ 20M In Growth Capital (FinSmes) Rate: AAA

SimpleNexus, a Lehi, Utah-based company that brings the home mortgage process to mobile devices through a dynamic digital mortgage platform, raised $20m in growth capital.

Insight Venture Partners made the investment.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its continued growth and expansion.

TD Bank Teams Up With Fintech BizEquity to Enhance Commercial Customer Experience (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

TD Bank announced on Tuesday it has formed a new partnership with BizEquity to provide its small and mid-size business customers and prospects from Maine to Florida a no-cost comprehensive business valuation through a cutting-edge digital application.

The bank revealed that through its relationship with the Philadelphia-based fintech it now offers a service that typically costs several thousand dollars free of charge to small and mid-size companies. BizEquity delivers a detailed report with valuation information and key industry performance indicators to TD Bank relationship managers, who then share it with the business owner.

Small Businesses Access More Than $ 1 Billion of Working Capital During Non-Banking Hours through Kabbage (PR Web) Rated: A

Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, reports its 145,000-plus small business customers accessed over 300,000 loans during non-banking hours, reaching a record total of more than $1 billion in funding. In total, Kabbage has now provided access to more than $5 billion in funding to its customers across America. The non-banking hour analysis illustrates how Kabbage’s fully automated lending solutions remove the age-old hurdle of normal business hours by offering companies 24/7 access to working capital online.

LendingPoint Upsizes its Mezzanine Financing, Bringing it to More Than $ 50 Million (Business Wire) Rated: A

LendingPoint announced it closed an increase of its mezzanine financing, bringing the total of the facility to $52.5 million.

Paragon Outcomes Management LLC provided the financing that closed earlier this month. Paragon and LendingPoint have been building upon a successful relationship started with their first mezzanine credit facility in January 2017 of just $20 million, which was upsized just seven months later, and now has been upsized again to $52.5 million.

Amit Aggarwal: Refining A Real Estate Platform (Think Realty) Rated: A

Amit Aggarwal joined Auction.com as its chief technology officer in late 2017, but the experienced senior information technology (IT) leader had his eye on the needs of the national housing market for more than a decade before the hire. As early as 2005, Aggarwal was watching the residential real estate industry, considering the early signs of what he refers to as “cracks” in the then-booming housing ecosystem and working on a solution. By the time the market melted down in 2007, Aggarwal had been instrumental in the design and implementation of the workflow processes and platforms that served as the underpinning for the foreclosure crisis, including working closely with Fannie Mae and several of the country’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders.

Aggarwal took his passion for purifying and refining technology, processes, and real estate transactions with him when he joined Auction.com. 

Marketplace Lending: 60-Second Market Review and Insights (Credit Chronometer) Rated: AAA

Seven securitizations totaling $4.3 billion closed in Q1 2018, up 34% versus a year ago and representing the second-highest issuance in any quarter (after Q4 2017). Q1 issuances comprised $2.1 billion in student loan ABS, more than double Q1 2017 and the highest ever quarterly issuance of student deals. Total ABS issuance is expected to climb to $18 billion in 2018, up 30% from 2017.

Delinquencies increased in Q1 2018 across the consumer credit space, and reports of an influx of defaults on marketplace loans have prompted online lenders, including Lending Club and Prosper, to tighten their underwriting guidelines. The bright spot has been the student loan sector. The sector, led by SoFi which issued its largest ever student deal in Q1 at $1 billion, has been performing well, driven by refinance loans made to borrowers with strong credit profiles.

Battle for small-business customers spurs arms race at banks (American Banker) Rated: A

Surveys of small-business owners show an increasing level of confidence and commercial-and-industrial lending is up. The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan guarantee program seems poised for a fourth consecutive record year.

To capitalize, banks are investing in technology to make faster loan decisions. They are also hiring more lenders to better serve this segment. Now, bankers and other industry observers are hoping it all leads to increased earnings.

A retirement perk for millennials who are buried under student debt (LA Times) Rated: A

A new benefit program at Abbott means she won’t have to choose between paying down student debt and saving for the future. For any U.S.-based employee who puts at least 2% of their salary toward student loan payments, the healthcare company will contribute the equivalent of 5% of their salary into their 401(k) plan.

Abbott’s twist works around the tax penalty, because 401(k) payments are tax-free. Steve Fussell, a human resources vice president at Abbott, says the benefit also helps employees kick off their retirement savings early, which can make a huge difference over several decades of work. Only about a third of millennials are currently contributing to the company’s retirement plan, compared with 90% of the workforce overall.

Lending to Digital Natives: A Map to the Millennial Market (Credit Union Times) Rated: A

Millennials are a major demographic, yet they are not being served by credit unions. Only 32% of millennials are currently using a credit union compared to 50% of baby boomers, according to the Financial Brand.

Time reported the average 2016 college graduate will enter the workforce with $37,172 in student loan debt. They will change jobs four times in their first decade after college and their salaries are 20% lower than those of baby boomers at the same age, according to CNN.

United Kingdom

Zopa back in black (The Times) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa scraped back into profit last year, but rising default levels have led it to crack down on who it allows to borrow, writes Rosamund Urwin. The company, which has lent out £3.3bn in total, matches borrowers with investors wanting to lend. It has applied for a banking licence and wants to launch its bank within a year. A float has been pencilled in for 2020.

Funding Circle changes projected returns (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

FUNDING Circle has altered its projected returns, meaning that investors lending across the platform’s full risk spectrum are expected to earn less money and those opting for lower-risk loans could earn more.

The peer-to-peer business lender said on Friday that that its projected returns for its Balanced account – which invests in the full range of businesses across all risk bands – will now be six to seven per cent.

The target rate on the Balanced account had previously been 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Funding Circle’s Conservative account – which only invests in businesses assessed as lower risk – is now offering a projected return ranging between five and 5.5 per cent.

Funding Circle fund warns on dividend as currency costs bite (Citywire) Rated: A

Shares in Funding Circle SME Income (FCIF) fell today after peer-to-peer lending fund said the rising currency costs would force it to cut its dividend.

Shares fell 2.1%, or 3p, to 102p after it reported a ‘material increase’ in the cost of hedging, or removing the impact of the investment company’s holdsin dollar-denominated loans.

As a result the company, which mainly lends to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, would only be able to pay a fully covered annual dividend of 5p to 6p per share from the third quarter of 2018. This is down from the current annual dividend of 6.5p, a potential decline of 8%-23%.

SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions (This is Money) Rated: A

Recent AIM entrant Trufin is a financing business with four divisions. DFC lends to firms selling motorbikes, caravans, yachts and industrial kit, areas that mainstream banks may not be willing to touch.

Oxygen Finance helps councils make savings by prompting them to pay suppliers early, and Satago helps smaller businesses manage their cash flow. Lastly, it holds a 15 per cent stake in peer-to-peer lender Zopa.

Trufin is applying for a UK banking licence, which could help lower the company’s funding costs and boost margins. Zopa has also proposed a new funding round, which could increase the value of Trufin’s stake.

Open Banking could be worth £7.2bn by 2022, report shows (London School of Business & Finance) Rated: A

A report from Big Four accountancy firm PwC has predicted that the Open Banking sector could be worth £2.8bn by the end of the year and £7.2bn by 2022.

SMEs were shown to be more aware of the effects of Open Banking than retail customers and are also willing to make use of the data-sharing scheme, with 40% saying that they would share their financial transaction information.

When it comes to what information individuals would be willing to share, just 10% cited transaction history, while 12% said that they would share information about their financial products.

Banks were also found to still be popular with businesses, with 72% favouring them over fintech companies and peer-to-peer lending firms. This was also found to be the case for 65% of individuals.

HEAVYWEIGHT INVESTOR SAYS ‘TOO MUCH MONEY’ THROWN AT TECH (Business Cloud) Rated: A

One of Britain’s most high-profile investors has expressed concerns about “too much money being chucked” at tech businesses in the UK.

Moulton has also been an active tech investor over the last three decades, having backed peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle “very early on”, and estimates that around 50 of his 120 current investments have a link to technology.

However speaking to BusinessCloud at an investment roundtable in London organised by the Lancashire Investment Readiness Programme, the 67-year-old said the return on investment in technology is is relatively “poor”, particularly in the UK, and fears that it could become worse.

China

More P2P lenders collapse amid tough regulations (Global Times) Rated: AAA

As China has been ramping up efforts to strengthen regulations on the online financial industry, an increasing number of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms have found themselves collapsing. As such, experts have warned investors of the perils of illegal financial activities that offer lucrative rewards.

After several P2P firms such as lianbijr.com and txslicai.com.cn were investigated by police in June, another Shanghai-based online lender reportedly collapsed.

Yilongcaifu and its parent company Fuxing Group have been shut down and are under investigation by police, news site stcn.com reported on Thursday.

Another Online Lender Falls Under Investigation (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Another online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender has fallen under investigation on suspicion of illegal fundraising as the crackdown continues on China’s scandal-plagued internet finance industry.

Shanghai police have detained four senior executives of Tangxiaoseng, an online lending platform controlled by Zibang Financial Service Internet Technology Co. Ltd., since police began investigating the platform on June 16, Caixin has learned.

51 Credit Card hits road for $ 174m IPO (Global Capital) Rated: A

51 Credit Card opened books on Friday for its HK$1.4bn ($173.9m) listing in Hong Kong, with 10 firms in the syndicate.The Chinese online peer-to-peer lending platform is offering 118.7m primary shares for HK$8.5 to HK$11.5 each, which could raise between HK$1bn and HK$1.4bn.

Sponsors China Merchants Securities and Citi are leading the trade alongside CLSA, which is a global co-ordinator.

European Union

Belgian Lending Marketplace Look&Fin Partners with Insurer Atradius (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Today June 28, Belgium-based SME lending platform Look&Fin announced that it has partnered with credit insurer Atradius to offer a 100% guarantee on the capital lent to SMEs by its retail investors. The move is dramatically closing the gap between marketplace lending and bank lending. SME borrowers will get marketplace loans at lower interest rates, closer to the banks’ and retail investors will enjoy bank-level security for their investment.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Atradius is the second largest global credit insurance leader with operations in more than 50 countries around the globe and total revenue of more than €1.8 billion.

Azlo and Green Dot Offer New Lending Products for Gig Economy Workers (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Azlo will begin offering lending services to small businesses and gig economy workers this fall, the company announced last week. The fintech, which is backed by BBVA Compass, will be partnering with an undisclosed “non-traditional lending platform” to originate loans. These loans will range between $10,000 and $100,000, and even less Azlo CEO Brian Hamilton told Bank Innovation.

To determine a borrower’s creditworthiness, Azlo will not be looking at FICO scores. Instead, it will look at data collected from payment tools using APIs connected to platforms like Stripe, Square, and PayPal, in an Azlo account.

Latvia Pushes Fintech Innovation (Inside Bitcoins) Rated: A

Riga-based online lending marketplace Mintos, which just turned an annual profit for the first time, is now looking for global expansion.

Alongside Mintos, some of Latvia’s most well-known fintech startups include peer-to-peer lending marketplace Twino, and micropayment app Monea.

INLOCK to Conduct Poll to Determine the Future of Its ILK Token Model (Tech Bullion) Rated: B

INLOCK(INCOME LOCKER), a blockchain and smart-contract based peer-to-peer lending platform that enables crypto assets to be used as collateral, today announced that it will be hosting a community poll to help inform the development of its ILK token model.

Amidst preparation for the initial token sale and throughout the business screening process, INLOCK found that its token model with fractals created an unnecessary inconvenience for its users, leading to an overwhelming number of requests for a token split.

Spotcap Expands C-Suite As Business Matures (Spotcap) Rated: B

Fintech business lender Spotcap recently expanded its C-Suite to include two newly created roles.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins the company as Chief Marketing Officer and Martin Gawlak as Chief People Officer. These new roles will be instrumental in ensuring Spotcap’s continued growth. The company increased its gross revenue by more than 100 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, and doubled the size of its loan book during the same time period.

Linh Bergen-Peters joins Spotcap from HID Global and will be responsible for Spotcap’s multinational marketing strategy. Linh is a highly experienced global marketer, having held senior roles in leading technology companies such as AMD and Hewlett Packard, building and marketing high-tech brands.

International

Harmonic Fund Services live with Finastra for loan servicing (Finastra) Rated: A

Harmonic Fund Services has gone live with Finastra’s Fusion Loan IQ solution. The independent fund administration and alternative asset fund servicing firm will leverage the platform — traditionally used by banks and increasingly by service providers, to service their bilateral, specialised and syndicated loan portfolios — to provide a new loan administration and agency service to its diverse alternative investment funds client base.

Blockchain can assist banks with consumer lending (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

The finance sector has been in the lead in terms of implementing blockchain and tokenization. The next area where the technology is likely to be applied is with traditional loans.

The advantage of cryptocurrency assets as collateral lies in the efficiency the digital currency can bring into the entire lending process. For any cryptocurrency asset approved by the lender, blockchain allows for immediate validation of its authenticity, ownership and worth. This should enables anyone to get immediate backing for a loan, provided they have a verifiable means of making repayments.

The types of startups that are making in-roads in the finance space include Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network. Ripple is by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander. A second is the Depository Network [DEPO]. This is a multi-platform network enable lenders, including peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, banks, other credit institutions to accept digital assets as collateral.

Bitcoin Millionaires Turn to SALT for Liquidity (BTC Manager) Rated: A

SALT Lending offers a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows cryptocurrency holders to use their Bitcoin and Ethereum as collateral for loans.

A Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform

Dave Carlson, who runs a cryptocurrency mining operation in Washington, has used SALT for this very purpose. With electricity expenses running as high as $250,000 per month, Dave needed $1 million to cover operating expenses for Giga-Watt, his mining operation. However, the potential for a price surge made him reluctant to exchange his cryptocurrency for cash.  He found an alternative in SALT, which The Wall Street Journal has reported is helping Bitcoin millionaires “unleash their fortunes.”

Australia

Metro Bank founder joins digital challengers in Australia (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Serial banking entrepreneur Anthony Thomson, co-founder of Metro Bank in the UK, is helping to set up a new digital bank in Australia that aims to shake up a market dominated by the Big Four institutions.

The bank, named 86 400 after the number of seconds in a day, is initially being funded by Cuscal, an Australia payment services company.

Asia

The magic of crowdfunding (The Manila Times) Rated: AAA

Here in the Philippines and in many countries around the world, not only is the family the basic unit of society, but it also serves as the primordial foundation for economic activity.

Crowdfunding, through its biggest platform, Kickstarter, proved to be a very effective mode of hosting linkages between entrepreneurs and investors. Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has successfully funded 130,000 projects having around $3.76 Billion worth of pledges on all its projects. The huge acceptance and positive reception of these crowdfunding platforms continue to grow. In fact, it is estimated that it will be a $300 Billion industry by the year 2025.

Another type is “Peer-to-Peer Lending” that enable proponents to gain funding outside the traditional banking system through the risk-taking investors who are willing to shed a buck or two towards the growth of their loan portfolios.

Bermuda

Blockchain mortgages, touted for real estate investors, get thumbs-down on security concerns (Financial Post) Rated: AAA

Blockchain advocates have long touted the technology’s ability to disrupt entrenched business models. Now, several companies want to use it for real estate crowdfunding in a bid to circumvent the banks.

Bermuda-based Viva Network wants to exploit the blockchain’s ability to store records and transfer value quickly across international borders.

Targeting Bermuda as its first market, the company would use local mortgage professionals to run “mortgage hubs” that would evaluate and underwrite mortgages. It would divide each mortgage into 100,000 FMS units that could then be listed on the company’s blockchain-based exchange. Investors would purchase an FMS using Viva’s blockchain-based VIVA tokens and would harvest principal and interest payments from the property’s owner each month.

Inventions funded by

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday June 27 2018 Daily News Digest

Bank of Amazon unbundling financial services

News Comments Today’s main news: Consumer debt surpasses mortgage debt. Funding Circle, INTRUST Bank expand partnership. Revolut offers app store for business banking. VPC Specialty Lending hits record monthly returns. Today’s main analysis: Amazon’s big push into lending, and beyond. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The past and future of banking. Should income investors consider P2P lending? Banks can’t partner themselves into […]

Bank of Amazon unbundling financial services

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Consumer Debt Now Surpasses Mortgage Debt (Investopedia) Rated: AAA

Mortgages may represent the largest debt for households, but as a percentage of disposable income, home loans are comprising less of a liability, LendingTree found.

In a research report, the online lender, which analyzed data from the Federal Reserve, said that mortgage-related household debt has declined 5.5%, while consumer credit, which includes revolving credit and installment loans, jumped 45%. Of that, 42% was student loan debt. What’s more, LendingTree found that American household debt is on track to hit $1 trillion above the 2008 peak by the end of June. The debt figure has been increasing at a 3.4% annual rate and includes mortgage debt.

By the end of the second quarter, LendingTree is forecasting total mortgage and consumer debt to reach $15.7 trillion compared with $14.7 trillion 10 years ago.

INTRUST Bank and Funding Circle expand partnership (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Funding Circle, the small business loans platform, and INTRUST Bank, a leading US regional bank headquartered in Kansas, today announced the next phase of their strategic partnership to support the growth of US small businesses. Following the successful launch of this partnership earlier this year, the second phase increases INTRUST’s funding commitment and kicks off a targeted, co-branded marketing campaign, giving business owners across KansasMissouriOklahoma, and Arkansas greater access to fast and flexible financing.

To date, over 150 American small businesses have received loans backed by INTRUST through the Funding Circle platform. The upsized commitment is anticipated to increase this number above 500.

Amazon and Their Push Into Fintech (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Last week CB Insights released this really interesting report titled, Everything You Need To Know About What Amazon Is Doing in Financial Services.

Source: Lend Academy

The report provides an in depth look at the moves Amazon has made in payments, lending, the new Amazon Cash program and also takes a look at how the company has been developing fintech programs internationally.

By the simple addition of a debit card, Amazon could move the unbanked into a quasi bank account that could be used at places beyond Amazon.

They have had a small business lending operation since 2011 and much fanfare was made about the $3 billion they have loaned through June 2017. But that doesn’t even put them in the top three online small business lenders in that time period. OnDeck, Kabbage and CAN Capital all loaned more.

To be fair Amazon is not trying to be a general purpose lender. Their SMB lending operation is targeted solely at Amazon marketplace sellers as a way to help them grow their business so they will sell more products on Amazon. It is not clear they have a desire to do more than that.

Source: CB Insights

The Banking Industry: Past and Future (The Motley Fool) Rated: AAA

INDUSTRY FOCUS // Financials // 06-25-2018

One of the big things that’s happened over the past 25 years is that the big banks have gotten bigger. We now have what are known as the Big Four banks in the U.S. — CitigroupBank of AmericaWells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. All of those have grown substantially through acquisitions, not just from the financial crisis, which saw a lot of consolidation, but beforehand. Actually, three of the four were actually acquired themselves, and the acquiring companies just decided to keep the names because they were more recognizable.

Douglass: I believe that peer-to-peer lending will represent at least 25% of total lending spent in 25 years. Now, I only say 25%. For me, it’s very clear that peer-to-peer lending has become a lot more widespread and a lot more feasible than it was previously. I do expect the peer-to-peer lenders — or a bank, perhaps, who hops in — to help solve for one of the current difficulties, which essentially is poor underwriting by some of the peer-to-peer facilitators right now, meaning that the investors who are putting the money in aren’t making the kind of money that they’d hoped to — I believe those will ultimately be solved.

But, I only say 25% because banks have legitimately trillions of dollars to lend, and they will absolutely be looking for ways to deploy that capital effectively. So, I would expect that they will be helping facilitate a lot of these peer-to-peer loans. I believe they will be, in some cases, investing alongside. I think they will often invest in alone, and perhaps then sell it to peer-to-peer lenders for an arbitrage so that they can do it all again, sort of like you see with agency-backed mortgages.

Marcus Is Not Adding Credit Cards Products … Yet (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

Marcus, the consumer lending arm for Goldman Sachs, wants to become the one-stop shop for many of your financial matters, except for one: credit cards — at least for now. Right now, Marcus is heavily focused on launching a savings platform in the U.K. in the coming months, Talwar said. 

The challenges for a new ‘bank’ with a famous parent (American Banker) Rated: A

When JPMorgan Chase set out to make its digital-only brand Finn, it quickly rejected the idea of using it to lure millennial customers over to the institutional side of the bank.

Finn has also found that for the 27 states where JPMorgan Chase is part of a shared ATM network but has no ATMs or branches of its own, customers have difficulty depositing cash. While those same customers can still withdraw cash and often don’t carry money with them, customers that work for tips have a hard time keeping Finn as their main banking account.

Sharestates Launches New Loan Programs  (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Sharestates announced the launch of a Long-Term Portfolio Loan Program to facilitate the needs of borrowers throughout the life cycle of their real estate projects.

Some highlights of the Long-Term Portfolio Loan Program include 30 and 40-year mortgage terms, interest rates ranging from 5.99 to 7.5%, loans with a 10-year interest only period, followed by 20 or 30 years of amortization, as well as the ability to cover three or more properties under a single loan.

Venmo officially launches its own MasterCard-branded debit card (TechCrunch) Rated: A

Venmo today is officially introducing its own debit card in partnership with MasterCard, following beta tests of a Visa-branded debit card last year. The new card will allow Venmo users to pay anywhere MasterCard is accepted in the U.S., and will record transactions to the user’s Venmo account for easy splitting with friends. It can also be used at an ATM to withdraw funds from the Venmo’s account’s balance.

Unlike the beta version of the card, the MasterCard-branded Venmo card can be used to withdraw up to $400 per day at ATMs displaying the MasterCard, Cirrus, PULSE, or MoneyPass acceptance marks. No fees apply for U.S. MoneyPass ATMs, while the others will charge a $2.50 ATM domestic withdrawal fee.

There are no fees for using the card for purchases, even if you get cash back at the point of sale. However, if a signature is required to get cash back at a bank, you’ll pay a $3.00 Over the Counter Domestic Withdrawal Fee, the company says.

PayPal gets anti-fraud ability with $ 120m acquisition of Simility (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Following on from its $400 million purchase of Hyperwallet on 20 June, it has now acquired fraud prevention and risk management platform Simility for $120 million.

Following the close of the deal, merchants on the PayPal platform will gain access to fraud tools that can be customised through their existing account management dashboard.

Crowd lending fintech raises more than $ 17M (American Banker) Rated: A

The crowd lending startup P2Binvestor has secured more than $17 million in funding from more than 20 participants to expand its bank partnership program, the company announced Thursday.

CrowdOut Capital Surpasses $ 100 Million in Loans to Middle Market Companies to Fuel Growth (Business Wire) Rated: A

CrowdOut Capital, the first tech-enabled online marketplace to fund corporate loans for middle market companies, announced it funded more than $112 million in loans in less than two years. Accredited investors choose from the company’s vetted loan offerings on a deal-by-deal basis.

CrowdOut funds loans as small as $3 million to companies with annual revenues between $10 – $500 million to fuel growth.

James Gutierrez of Insikt (Lend Academy) Rated: A

My next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast has spent his career doing just that. James Gutierrez is the CEO and Founder of Insikt. Since I last had James on the show a lot has changed but their mission is still to improve the financial health of the underserved consumer.

Banks can’t partner themselves into digital relevancy (American Banker) Rated: AAA

For banks, these partnerships won’t generate the quantum leap they need to move beyond a decades-old, product-centric mentality to deliver next-generation financial services that consumers deserve. At best, financial institutions may gain a workable solution that squats awkwardly in the existing infrastructure and brand. At worst, after a lot of time and effort — and increasing their infrastructure costs — banks will fail to deliver any noticeable difference to customers beyond a flurry of press releases.

StraightUp Announces Merger With Slice (PR Newswire) Rated: A

StraightUp, an innovative real estate-focused platform giving investors access to previously unavailable development opportunities, announced today a merger with Slice, the first blockchain-based REIT for investors around the world.

StraightUp was designed to democratize access to previously unattainable high-potential investment opportunities in New York City. As a result of merging with Slice, the new and improved platform will give international investors access to premium equity opportunities in desirable cities across the country, including New York CityLos Angeles and San Francisco.

Mobile app for underbanked looks to go national (American Banker) Rated: A

You could easily mistake Anne Leland Clark, a Twin Cities nonprofit executive, for a banker with with big, national ambitions as she discusses her organization’s digital platform for the underbanked.

The product, known as Fair Financial, launched in a pilot program this week to serve about 500 local customers over the next 18 months.

Majority of Americans Won’t Use a Credit Card to Pay for This Summer’s Vacation (Herald Courier) Rated: A

The survey of over 1,000 U.S. respondents, conducted by Affirm, found that Americans typically take their biggest vacations of the year over the summer, and cost is a major factor when planning travel.

55 percent of Americans said it’s very important to have the cost of the vacation paid off before going. The cost of a trip can linger even after the vacation is over: 32 percent of people said they regretted taking a vacation altogether.

House passes bill allowing telecom, utility payments in credit scores (American Banker) Rated: B

The legislation, authored by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., is aimed at helping consumers, those in particularly lower-income and minority households, build their credit histories.

Under the bill, information about a consumer’s utility or telecommunications service may be reported only to the extent that the information relates to payment by the consumer for such service.

Depositing the Future (NullTX) Rated: A

What differentiates Depository Network from both of those companies/platforms is the fact that Depository Network is actually not a lending platform. Rather, it is a depository infrastructure that other P2P lending platforms, banks and credit institutions can utilize. Depository Network is the world’s first fully decentralized multi-platform collateral network that connects traditional lending and blockchain technology.

Invoice Factoring Edges Out Competition Among Short-Term Borrowing Options (PR Newswire) Rated: A

When a business needs to raise capital, the more short-term the borrowing options, the better. For every option, though, business owners must weigh the increased cash flow against the trade-off. Interstate Capital looked at a breakdown of options – from bank loans to savings – invoice factoring comes out on top.

AFR Announces Expanded Technology Offering (AFR Wholesale) Rated: B

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) announces that it has completed a pilot and will now be providing its broker network with notification when a house for which AFR owns the servicing is listed for sale. This will enable AFR’s broker partners an opportunity to reconnect with the homeowner and, ideally, assist with their next mortgage, on both the relisted property as well as the borrower’s next home.

Wells Fargo revamps premium card to compete on rewards (Payments Source) Rated: B

Two years after JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched an arms race in credit-card rewards with its Sapphire Reserve card, Wells Fargo will now offer three points per dollar spent on dining, travel and streaming services such as Netflix on its Propel card. Other purchases will earn one point per dollar, and points are redeemable at one cent per point.

United Kingdom

Revolut Now Offers an App Store for Business Banking (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Revolut, a digital only bank that says it is signing up over 120 businesses per day, has launched a new services for their business customers – Revolut Connect. This new feature is described as an “App store” for businesses to help provide easier access to digital tools.

With more than 60,000 businesses uses their bank now,  Revolut Connect is designed to help firms easily connect and build integrations for the most popular business apps, including accounting platforms like FreeAgent, communication tools like Slack, Apps to help with tax, payroll, expense management and more. Revolut adds that many more popular Apps are in the queue. Revolut wants to create a one stop mobile experience where businesses may manage all of their financial needs in a single mobile friendly application.

VPC Specialty Lending sees record monthly returns (AltFi News) Rated: AAA

The £289m VPC Specialty Lending investment trust has recorded its highest monthly return to date for May 2018, according to stock market filings.

Its net asset value [NAV] total return for the month of May, the latest numbers released by VPC, was 1.03 per cent for the month. Returns comprised 0.94 per cent of income gains and 0.09 per cent of capital gains.

Should Income Investors Consider P2P Lending? (Morningstar) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer investment trusts now have around £1 billion of assets under management between them, but the jury is still out on whether or not they are worth backing.

P2P trusts launched four years ago as direct peer-to-peer lenders including Zopa and Funding Circle were fast gaining traction. The trusts promised exposure to hundreds, or even thousands, of different peer-to-peer loans, in return for a juicy dividend yield.

Majority of brokers’ biggest frustration is lenders changing their mind on a deal (Mortgage Introducer) Rated: A

Over half (56%) of brokers said the lenders changing their mind on a deal frustrates them the most about the specialist finance market, LendInvest found from surveying brokers at the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo in Birmingham.

A quarter (24%) identified the lack of good service as their main frustration. Rates not being good enough was an issue for 14% of those surveyed, while only 6% of those surveyed cited lack of choice as their biggest frustration.

Acceptance of robo advice on the rise (Financial Reporter) Rated: A

According to a recent poll carried out at the Intelliflo Change the Game conferences held in Manchester and London, robo-advice is now regarded as less of a threat to business for advisers than it has been in recent years.

Last year, both options gained equal top share in the poll (37% each of 315 respondents), while this year,’ robo-advice’ dropped to 25.5% (419 respondents), with ‘large product providers going direct’ down slightly but still the top concern at 32.5%.

A guide to liquid IFISAs (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

But the rising popularity of the secondary market and ‘instant access’ accounts have created enhanced liquidity for P2P investors. On an array of platforms, lenders can sign up for long-term loans before selling their stake to others, while some of the bigger platforms allow free or low-fee withdrawals.

We’ve put together a guide to all the platforms offering IFISAs with extra liquidity…

  • Ablrate
  • Abundance
  • Assetz Capital
  • CapitalRise
  • Crowd2Fund
  • Folk2Folk
  • Funding Circle
  • FundingSecure
  • HNW Lending
  • JustUs
  • Landbay
  • LandlordInvest
  • LendingCrowd
  • Lending Works
China

Chinese online lending platform Hui Ying Financial lowers US IPO deal size to $ 32 million (Nasdaq) Rated: AAA

Hui Ying Financial Holdings, which operates an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, lowered the proposed deal size for its upcoming IPO on Tuesday.

The Shanghai, China-based company now plans to raise $32 million by offering 5.6 million shares at a price of $5.85. The company had previously filed to offer 6.8 million shares at the same price. Hui Ying Financial Holdings will raise -19% less in proceeds than previously anticipated and command a market value of $436 million. Shares are currently listed on the OTCQB under the symbol SFHD.

European Union

Raisin and Banco BNI Europa Deepen Collaboration (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Fintechs Banco BNI Europa and Raisin have furthered the collaboration between the two firms. Banco BNI Europe says it has entered into a cooperation to allow Portuguese savers to gain access to the best savings rates available from across Europe.

International

Global Debt Registry Launches Decentralized Ledger for the Loan Market  (Payment Week), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (“GDR”)today announced the launch of its loan registry designed to verify and provide transparency on loan data on the cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform. All loan level collateral positions and verification activity will now be immutably recorded on the decentralized registry with highly secure permissioning and access controls to provide new levels of efficiency to the $400bn asset backed securities (ABS) market.

Mobilum Crypto Payment Processor Partners With EthicHub Crowdlending Platform (Bitcoin Exchange) Rated: B

Mobilum is a cryptocurrency enabled payment processing platform which allows for cryptocurrency payments in real time at points of sale via an already existing debit or credit cards of the customer and the issuer of the Mobilum token. Mobilum recently announced its partnership with EthicHub, an affiliation that is expected to bolster a mutual sharing of investment opportunities for users on both platforms.

EthicHub’s crowd lending projects have provided financial solutions for small projects especially those involving farmers in less economically disadvantaged parts of the world, an accomplishment for which it was awarded the Best financial inclusion project at LaBitConf in Bogota as well as the award of the “Start-up with the Greatest social impact” at Unconference Fintech Awards in Madrid, Spain.

Australia

Mortgage Choice partners with P2P lender (The Adviser) Rated: AAA

Mortgage Choice has announced that it has partnered with RateSetter in a move that would provide its 600 brokers with access to personal loans and green loans offered by the P2P lender.

RateSetter CEO Daniel Foggo claimed that the partnership was part of the lender’s plan to develop its broker relationships.

ING distribution boss joins RateSetter (Independent Financial Adviser) Rated: B

ING’s former head of third-party distribution, who led relationships with financial advice and mortgage broking networks, has left to join fintech peer-to-peer lender RateSetter.

India

All Financial Transactions on Faircent Conducted through Escrow Account (BW CI World) Rated: AAA

Faircent.com was the first platform in India to meet all guidelines prescribed by RBI and receive the NBFC-P2P certification in May, this year. This is a validation of the business model that we have painstakingly built over the last five years.

All financial transactions on our platform are undertaken through an escrow account under the trusteeship of ITSL (an IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd). Borrowers are evaluated by our fully-automated credit evaluation mechanism across more than 400 data points to understand their ability, stability and intent to repay before they are listed on the platform.

Canada

Finastra to sell Canadian-based Collateral Management Corporation business to Teranet (Finastra) Rated: AAA

Finastra today announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to sell its Canadian-based Collateral Management Corporation (CMS) business to Teranet. The transaction is expected to close in July 2018, subject to required regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

CMS will join Teranet as a new complementary line of business. Jointly, they will deliver enhanced, integrated solutions to a broad set of financial services customers, leveraging investments in technology, rich insightful data, and market leading electronic registry and workflow platforms.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday June 18 2018, Daily News Digest

funding circle

News Comments Today’s main news: Opendoor secures $325M in financing. RateSetter IFISA tops 100M GBP. China Rapid Finance’s earnings call slides. Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin, Mastercard partner on European digital bank. Harmoney to lend through its own platform. Amazon launches lending platform in India. Today’s main analysis: Rising interest rates and inflation. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Is P2P lending dying? The economic […]

funding circle

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Opendoor now has $ 325 million more. SoftBank could come next. (Recode) Rated: AAA

Opendoor has already taken out $1.5 billion in loans for home buying. And the company now says it has accepted another $325 million in new financing that values it at more than $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Opendoor will expand to 50 cities with the $325 million round. But SoftBank, with its huge $100 billion checkbook, could help Opendoor expand to even more as soon as later this year. The Japanese investor typically invests hundreds of millions of dollars into private companies, and that sort of check would be expected here, though some of the money tends to buy out existing investors.

Rising Rates and Inflation (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The Fed raised interest rates for the 2nd time in 2018 and the target Federal Funds Rate now stands at 1.75% – 2%. The committee indicated that it would raise rates twice more in 2018, a departure from the previous stance of 3 rate hikes in 2018.

The Fed summarizes member views using the “dot-plot”. The dot plot consolidates every committee member’s estimates of rates at the end of 2018, 2019, 2020 and the for long-term. The green line shows the median estimate indicating that most Fed members expect rates to be between 2.25% – 2.5% at the end of 2018, and between 3% – 3.25% at the end of 2019.

Source: Federal Reserve, Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Forward Rates – Where do we go from here?

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

Braviant Holdings Announces $ 50 Million Credit Facility with Keystone National Group (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Braviant Holdings, a provider of tech-enabled credit solutions for underserved Americans, has entered into a $50 million senior secured credit facility with institutional investment firm Keystone National Group.

The Keystone debt facility allows Braviant to expand its newly launched near prime lending platform, Chorus Credit. Chorus is Braviant’s latest offering in support of the company’s mission to promote financial inclusion for 51 million adults considered underbanked by the FDIC. While the FDIC estimates that these adults make up 19.9% of U.S. households, data from the Fair Isaac Corporation, better known as FICO, suggests that 43% of U.S. consumers have below 700 credit scores. In the traditional banking sector, a lower than average FICO score severely limits access to credit for almost half of the nation’s population. Chorus aims to close the credit gap for middle America by offering $2,500 to $10,000 personal loans that are repaid in small, affordable installments.

Is P2PLending Dying? (P2P Lending Expert) Rated: AAA

Seriously. I’m asking. Is p2plending dying? Returns have sucked the last couple of years for all investors, but especially us retail investors since the 2015 and 2016 vintages have performed so poorly. My own returns are 400-500 basis points lower than my returns on my 2013 and 2014 vintage loans were and I know some colleagues and friends who have lost money on these investments.

But can the industry survive?

Source: P2P Lending Expert

How Will the Fed’s Interest Rate Hike Impact the Average Joe? (Dough Roller) Rated: A

On Wednesday, The Federal Reserve decided it was going to increase the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, from 1.75% to 2%. This is the second rate increase already this year. In March, new chairman Jerome Powell and the Fed increased the federal funds rate from 1.5% to 1.75%. The Fed also indicated that they’d be targeting two more increases this year alone.

As I said before, when the Fed increases rates, it usually means something is going well for the economy. And all signs are pointing to that being the case. Unemployment is currently at 3.8%. In the last 50 years, unemployment has only been this low two times. That’s significant, and it means that more people are finding jobs. It may also signify a strengthening job market for you. The Fed projects unemployment will drop to 3.6 percent by the end of the year, too.

Zelle is on track to be more popular than Venmo in 2018 (Business Insider) Rated: A

Zelle is a year-old service that lets you instantly transfer money to someone else, much like Venmo or Square Cash.

But Zelle differs from either service in a major way: because it was built by seven of the largest US banks, it’s often able to integrate more seamlessly with your bank’s mobile app. While other services make you wait a few days for the money you received from friends to show up in your bank account, Zelle can transfer the money almost instantly.

For those reasons, analysts at eMarketer expect Zelle to “leapfrog” other payments services before the end of the year.

Credit Union SMB Loan Approvals Hit Record Lows (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The latest data from the monthly Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index suggests a slump in small business lending among U.S. credit unions.

press release issued on Wednesday (June 13) detailed the May Index’s latest findings, which found that large banks with more than $10 billion in assets are approving of nearly 30 percent of small business loan applications, a two-tenths of a percent increase from April levels. That figure is also a new high for post-recession big bank lending to small businesses.

Digital-only banks grapple with integrating ‘human’ interaction into their products (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Digital-only banks cater to younger customers who don’t want to talk to bankers at brick-and-mortar branches — or bother visiting a branch at all. Or so they think.

Recent customer surveys indicate otherwise, according to research findings released this month from Celent, commissioned by Samsung. It revealed that customers want some kind of human interaction for complex issues. The study found that about half of U.S. banking customers aged 18 to 44 said they banked digitally, but prefer to resolve some matters in-person. Overall, most customers surveyed preferred dealing with humans on matters like setting up financial goals or getting investment advice. To respond to fraud, a lost or stolen card, or identity theft, a majority of those surveyed across age categories preferred to phone the contact center or address it in a physical branch.

Source: Tearsheet

Real Estate Finance Is Changing, Thanks to ‘Fintech’ Startups (The Bridge) Rated: A

If your student loan debt is larger than your salary, investing in real estate might sound like a joke. But it’s doable, said Dave Conroy of the startup Meridio, a website in beta testing that lets users invest amounts of money that you might have in your wallet right now–even $20–into specific properties. Using blockchain technology keeps each transaction cost low, said Conroy, whose company is an offshoot of Bushwick-based ConsenSys, which is building myriad applications based on the Ethereum platform.

For investors, the service would reduce transactions costs and make a real-estate portfolio more liquid. For owners, it would unlock more capital and streamline transactions. While Meridio won’t provide market intelligence about properties to invest in, prospective investors can call on their own experience, says Conroy, who previously worked for the National Association of Realtors.

Why digital banking and robo advice are pairing up (Financial Planning) Rated: A

Banks and digital wealth startups are headed toward the same goal from different starting points.

Each side is increasingly seeking to package automated investment advice with checking because customers are expressing an interest in getting both services from one provider.

Fifth Third Bancorp’s securities unit teamed up with Fidelity recently to offer automated advice, while the microinvesting app Acorns rolled out a debit card called Spend and opened up 50,000 checking accounts in two days.

Wells Fargo simplifies payments pricing to compete with Square (Payments Source) Rated: A

Wells Fargo will simplify the prices it charges small businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions as the bank responds to pressure from startups such as Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc.

The changes, which are tailored for small businesses that process $100,000 a year or less, eliminate many of the complicated pricing policies that varied from client to client, according to Danny Peltz, who leads treasury management and merchant services at the company. Business customers will also be able to apply online for payment processing capabilities with Wells Fargo, Peltz said.

New Technologies and New Customer Experiences Drive Banking Today (Lend Academy) Rated: A

American Banker’s Penny Crosman sat with Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America to discuss the bank’s use of AI.  She described how the bank has inventors all over the world in their distributed innovation model.

Peer to Peer Micro-Credit Site Puddle Shuts Down (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Puddle, an online lender that provided micro-credit in a peer to peer platform, is shutting down.

In an email circulated by the company, Puddle founders stated that after five years of operation the businesses model was “unsustainable.”

RealtyMogul, Comunidad Realty Partners Sell Dallas Area Investment Property (Herald Courier) Rated: B

RealtyMogul, a pioneer in providing private real estate to discerning investors, announced that it has sold an investment property in partnership with Comunidad Realty Partners at greater than 1.5 times its purchase price.

The property, Lodge at Main, a 208-unit multifamily apartment complex in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area was acquired in 2015.

California may force online business lenders to disclose rates (American Banker) Rated: AAA

A bill pending in California aims to tame the disorderly, confusing and largely unregulated world of online small-business lending by mandating that borrowers receive standard price disclosures.

The bill, which passed the Senate without a vote to spare and has failed to garner much support from either the online lending industry or its critics, still faces a tough fight in the state Assembly. But if the measure does get enacted in California, it could serve as a blueprint for other states.

The legislation tackles the question of whether commercial lenders should be required to disclose the price of financing in a way that enables borrowers to compare multiple offers. Just as nettlesome is the question of how any such comparison metric should be calculated.

Source: American Banker

The bill would apply to small businesses that borrow $500,000 or less.

United Kingdom

RateSetter Reports IFISA Tops £100 Million in Record Time (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

UK based peer-to-peer lender RateSetter is reporting that subscriptions to its IFISA have surpassed £100 million. This milestone took four months to reach and, according to RateSetter, faster than any other P2P lender. To date, RateSetter has originated over £2.5 billion in online loans to both businesses and individuals.  RateSetter states that more than 10,000 IFISA accounts have now been opened.  The average annual return received by investors stands at 4.4% with more than £100 million in interest having been paid.

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter to raise £30m as London float looms (City A.M.) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending business Ratesetter is working on a £30m fundraising which is expected to be a prelude to a London float.

According to Sky News Ra

tesetter is working with investment bank Lazard and broker Peel Hunt to raise £30m from investors.

The funding round would value Ratesetter at about £280m.

The fundraising is expected to be a precursor to a stock market flotation which could take place as early as next year.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF LENDING THROUGH FUNDING CIRCLE (Funding Circle) Rated: AAA

In the UK, where Funding Circle has been established the longest, the platform is now competing directly with banks in the small business lending market – with net lending through the platform exceeding that of the entire UK banking system for two successive quarters at the end of 2017. A survey of Funding Circle’s customers undertaken for the study suggests 89 percent of the platform’s UK small business customers would approach
Funding Circle first again in future, rather than going to a bank.

Source: Funding Circle

Read the full report here.

Funding Circle CEO on the Fintech Frenzy in Europe (Yahoo Finance) Rated: A

How the big three shaped P2P (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ALTHOUGH we still tend to think of peer-to-peer lending as a young sector, it is now 13 years since Zopa became the first lender in the market. It was joined five years later by Funding Circle and RateSetter and since then the big three have dominated the P2P market.

Here are some of the key moments in their journeys.

London Block Exchange To Strike Deal With UK Bank (Crypto Daily) Rated: A

London Block Exchange, a UK based crypto provider is alleged to be pairing up with a new UK based bank, ClearBank.

If this news is indeed true, this will mark the first time a lender has struck a deal with a cryptocurrency-based entity.

The UK proves its tech chops, Google’s massive diversity gap and Brexit cause business tensions (Elite Business) Rated: A

Out of Europe’s 34 unicorns, the UK has produced 13. These have a combined value of $23bn, equal to 38% of the European total. This puts the UK ahead of Germany  and France, which have six and three scaleups valued over $1bn respectively. Given the nation has already spawned success stories like Deliveroo and Funding Circle, it’s hardly surprising that VC investment is also booming in the UK. Last year British startups raised $7.9bn compared to Germany’s $3.2bn and France‘s $2.8bn.

Brexit has made UK SMEs worry about talent

Having polled companies in 11 countries, researchers revealed that UK entrepreneurs were much less confident about the conscious uncoupling than those in the EU. Overall, 57% of respondents felt that their biggest challenge was that they had too little time and that they were doing everything themselves. This was double the 24% who thought hiring the right people were their biggest worry.

Alternative finance funds see mixed success (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

Over the past year, P2P Global Investments (P2PGI), VPC Specialty Lending Investments and Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) have moved away from pure P2P to boost returns and narrow their discounts, while the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) has remained true to its roots, all with varying outcomes.

The FCIF investment trust solely backs loans originated via the Funding Circle platform and saw its net asset value (NAV) return 6.9 per cent last year, while trading on a healthy premium.

In comparison, RDL – which has recently announced its intention to close – returned 5.4 per cent, VPC – which has shifted from P2P towards balance sheet lenders – saw its NAV total return grow by 3.07 per cent, while P2PGI – which last year merged its manager MW Eaglewood with Pollen Street Capital and is focusing more on asset-backed alternative lenders – reported a NAV return of 3.03 per cent during 2017. RDL and P2PGI are both trading at double-digit discounts to NAV.

Updated Crowd2Fund app includes IFISA management tools (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER platform Crowd2Fund has relaunched its app to include Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) management features via their smartphones.

Digital Challenger Redwood Bank Raises £9.8 Million (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Redwood is targeting the SME market. Products include mortgages for business owners and professional landlords, as well as a range of savings accounts. Redwood seeks to offer British businesses fast, simple, transparent loans and savings accounts, coupled with superlative service. They also promise that money is being invested back into British business and into the communities they are a part of. Warrington Borough Council has a 33% stake in the firm that was pegged at £30 million.

BIS wants tighter rules for funds offering credit, fintech (Reuters) Rated: A

Regulations introduced after the financial crisis a decade ago to smooth out banking booms and busts should be extended to funds that provide credit, or shadow banks, and fintech firms, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said on Sunday.

The introduction of “macroprudential” policy requiring banks to build up separate “countercyclical” buffers of capital if credit markets become frothy was a core crisis-era innovation.

The buffers can be released if loans begin turning sour and maintain resilience of the financial system to shocks – a departure from the traditional “microprudential” focus on the stability of individual banks.

China

China Rapid Finance 2018 Q1 – Results – Earnings Call Slides (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Source: Seeking Alpha
Source: Seeking Alpha

Chinese P2P giant Lufax dodges valuation bullet (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Lufax is wisely trying to grow up in private. The Chinese financial technology giant, which focuses on peer-to-peer lending and wealth management, plans to raise more than $1 billion at a $40 billion valuation ahead of a delayed Hong Kong flotation, says Reuters. That makes sense. Listing now could upset Beijing, and might only be achievable at a discounted price. Abundant venture capital allows the Ping An-backed startup to keep growing without a distracting market debut.

European Union

Alior Bank, solarisBank, Raisin and Mastercard to unveil European digital bank (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

Poland’s Alior Bank has teamed with solarisBankRaisin and Mastercard to unleash a pan-European digital bank.

The new offering, which is planned to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2018, will be built on the “strengths of all partners”.

Alior Bank will deliver multicurrency accounts with international transfers and deposits.

solarisBank will add the banking infrastructure with its technological, compliance and regulatory framework.

Raisin through its network of partner banks, is adding various savings and investment possibilities to the offering.

N26 launches a revised metal card (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

Fintech startup N26 is updating its N26  Metal product and launching it tomorrow. You might remember that the company first announced its premium card at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December 2017. Shortly after the conference, the card was available in early access for existing N26 Black customers.

But the company had to go back to the drawing board and update the card design. N26 Metal customers had some complaints about the design of the card in particular.

International

Fintechs are staring down the future of banking (Financial Post) Rated: A

For instance, U.S.-based Lending Club, which has been around since 2007 and which is public, has arranged US$35 billion in consumer loans for its two million borrowers. The average loan — and it originates about US$2.4 billion a quarter — is about US$14,000.

Those themes were on full display this week in Toronto at an event organized by the KiWi Private Credit Fund, which raises capital from investors and purchases unsecured consumer loans and secured small business loans originated by established U.S.-based lending marketplaces.

“But they are not good at pricing a 9 per cent or 12 per cent risk,” he added, all of which allows entities such as his, to meet that need. It has US$27 million in assets; an average loan of almost US$14,000 and targets a return in the six- to eight-per-cent range.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney is to begin lending money through its own online platform (Interest) Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending facilitator Harmoney Corp is making a number of tweaks to its operation, which will include the ability to lend its own money through its own platform.

The company has also renamed its ‘platform fee’ – recently the subject of Commerce Commission court action – as an ‘establishment fee’ and dropped the fee by $50 to $450. The company has also tweaked some of its interest rates higher (see below tables).

Harmoney will now be operating two different markets within its platform; the existing P2P facility and a new ‘wholesale market’ operated through a new subsidiary Harmoney Nominee.

Australian regulator sues Westpac for staffer’s poor financial advice (Reuters) Rated: A

An Australian regulator filed a lawsuit against No. 2 lender Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) over a financial planner it alleges gave poor advice for years, upping its scrutiny of a sector already under fire amid an embarrassing public inquiry.

Australia’s A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) financial planning sector has provided some of the most damning evidence at an inquiry into finance sector misconduct, ordered by the government after a string of banking scandals including fraud.

P2P lender cuts rates (Good Returns) Rated: A

Peer to peer lender Lending Crowd has cut its borrower interest rates for all new business and personal loan applications including vehicle purchases and debt consolidations.

A1 grade personal borrowers will have a market leading rate of 6.89% pa and SME businesses will have rates available from 7.98%. Interest rates across all loan grades will range from a low of 6.89%
to a high of 18.96% (previously 7.90% to 19.75%).

Parents giving $ 10k towards kid’s first car (Finder) Rated: A

Survey shows 60% of parents are giving kids $10,594 to buy their first car.

According to research conducted by RateSetter, parents are stumping up $10k to get their child their first set of wheels.

RateSetter found that among parents who bought their child a car, 15% chose a new model, 71% opted for a used one and 14% donated their own vehicle. The majority of families could afford a car under $10,000, while 26% spent between $10,000 and $20,000. A lucky 12% of kids were gifted over $20,000 towards their ride. Parents in Victoria spend the most on their child, up to $13,386. In NSW, the average outlay was $10,404.

India

P2P lending companies change tack in bid to become NBFCs (Business Standard) Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies are changing their business model as they migrate to becoming (NBFCs).

RBI had created a special category called NBFC-P2P, in view of the proliferation of entities. While mandating Rs 20 million as minimum net worth, RBI had also imposed a Rs 1-mn cap for individual lending on such platforms.

So far, a couple of these entities have got an NBFC licence from RBI. Faircent says it got the licence about 20 days earlier.

Amazon launches lending platform for sellers (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

Amazon India has launched a platform for lenders and sellers wherein sellers can choose from competitive rates and loan offers. It will also open its APIs to lenders to plug in and lend to the sellers as part of the new programme, called the seller lending network.

India will be the first geography for Amazon where it has launched such a seller platform.

Fiscal 2015 World Bank Lending Report highlights India as one of the biggest Loan Beneficiary (Digital Journal) Rated: AAA

Fintechs offer loans to individuals with low credit scores as well. For instance, in the case of Qbera, individuals with a minimum credit score of 600 can qualify for personal finance. This is not quite so in the case of private banks – individuals need to have a minimum credit score of 750 to be eligible.

Aye Finance Secures $ 21.5M in Series C Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

Aye Finance, a Gurgaon, India-based provider of financial services to micro and small businesses, secured $21.5m in Series C funding.

Backers included CapitalG, SAIF Partners and LFT.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate business growth.

P2P lending: Can India replicate the UK experience to achieve Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas? (Economic Times) Rated: A

India is still struggling with a huge credit gap that is holding back the economy. Getting a bank loan is an extremely cumbersome and long-drawn process for salaried individuals and small businesses, alike. According to a study conducted jointly by ASSOCHAM and EY, around 19% of India’s population remains unserved by the traditional banking sector.

Several million MSMEs that lack a tangible financial record are thus not eligible for credit from legacy financial institutions who still use traditional credit and financial data to evaluate eligibility. For the Indian economy to achieve the next level of growth, the current gap of nearly $200 billion in credit supply to MSMEs and significant under-banked population of India needs to be addressed immediately.

Asia

FSC reins in P2P firms (Korea Joongang Daily) Rated: AAA

In Korea, P2P firms, which directly connect borrowers with investors through online platforms, are not under the direct supervision or management of financial authorities. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) only indirectly supervises them by requiring registration of P2P firms’ lending subsidiaries, which most P2P firms use to carry out the process of lending money to borrowers.

But this safeguard also has many loopholes. TheHighOneFunding, for example, had uploaded the name of a different person as CEO when it registered its lending subsidiary with government regulators.

With more investors attracted to the idea of making easy money through high interest rates on P2P lending, the cumulative amount of loans on such platforms has dramatically increased, from 37.3 billion won in late 2015 to 3.50 trillion won as of May.

MENA

Where’s the money, honey? (Gulf News) Rated: AAA

According to the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, nearly 50 to 70 per cent of loan applications made by SMEs in the UAE are declined by traditional banks, while loans to SMEs account for around four to five per cent of the outstanding bank credit in the UAE.

Enter peer-to-peer lending.

Over the years, such platforms have become big business: In 2016, the size of the peer-to-peer lending market in the US, UK, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand was estimated to be more than $72 billion, according to AltFi. In China, loan originations in 2015 were estimated at $101 billion.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday May 25 2018, Daily News Digest

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper qualifies borrowers up to $40K. GreenSky completes largest fintech IPO of the year. RateSetter hits $2.5B in lending. Lebashe increases RainFin stakes to 75%. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Alternative loan customers may perform well on traditional credit products. Banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders. How Ashton Kutcher […]

The likelihood that business would choose fintech over banks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Introduces Loans Up To $ 40,000 For Borrowers (Prosper Blog) Rated: AAA

Today we’re pleased to announce that Prosper now offers qualified borrowers access to loans up to $40,000.

GreenSky Completes Largest Fintech IPO of the Year (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

There is a lot that sets GreenSky apart from many of the fintech companies that exist today. The biggest differentiator is that the company is profitable and runs a high margin business. In fact, the company has been profitable for the last five years. They reported $139 million in net income on revenues of $326 million last year. They also have a highly differentiated, boots on the ground model to originating loans, empowering contractors to offer financing to homeowners at the point of sale. They also partner with other types of merchants to offer financing. GreenSky only holds a small portion of loans on their own balance sheet with most loans being funded through around 15 bank partners.

Segment of Population Using Alternative Loans May Perform Well on Traditional Credit Products (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

Two-thirds of consumers active in the alternative loan market fall in the subprime risk category, the riskiest of all credit tiers. Yet, a new TransUnion (NYSE:TRUstudy found that many of these consumers perform well when opening traditional credit products such as credit cards, auto and personal loans.

TransUnion studied over five million consumers who originated a traditional credit product between Q2 2015 and Q1 2016 and measured their performance 12 months after originating the loan. Of the over five million consumers, approximately 450,000 (or 8%) were present in TransUnion’s alternative lending database. TransUnion then compared the performance of the alternative loan population to those consumers who were not seeking or did not possess an alternative loan product.

The study corroborated that many alternative loan borrowers do present greater risks on traditional loans. However, there is a material subset of this population that would present reasonable risks on an auto loan or credit card, among other traditional products.

For instance, in the near prime risk tier (consumers with a VantageScore 3.0 credit score of 601-660):

  • Approximately 14% of those borrowers who possessed only one short-term loan went 90 or more days past due on a traditional account 12 months later.
  • The delinquency level declined to less than 12% when a consumer possessed two alternative loans.
  • The delinquency figure dropped even further to around 9% when a consumer had eight or more alternative loans over the course of seven years.

Near Prime Consumers with Strong Alternative Loan Payment History Perform Better on Traditional Loans

Number of
Satisfactory
Alternative
Loan
Accounts
0 1 2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11+
Ever 90+
Days Past
Due in 12
Months on
Traditional
Loans
18 % 11 % 11 % 11 % 10 % 9 % 8 % 8 %

Comparing Origination Activity of Alternative Loan Borrowers to the Rest of the Population

Approximately 26% of alternative loan borrowers who originated a traditional loan product in the study opened an auto loan and 50% took out either a personal loan or auto loan. This latter statistic compares favorably to the 37% origination rate for the rest of the population in the study.

From a supply perspective, traditional finance companies are providing by far the most loans to alternative lending consumers, with a market share of 59%. However, credit unions (9%) and FinTechs (3%) supply about 12% of such loans to this credit population.

Five Banks and Credit Unions Rocking The Small Business Market (The Financial Brand) Rated: AAA

FIS found that more than one-quarter (27%) of small businesses in the U.S. are using alternative lenders like these. Among Millennial business owners, that percentage is double (48%). And yet only 7% say they are using these platforms for lower interest rates; in most cases, banks and credit unions offer better rates. FIS also found that small businesses have been turning to non-bank financial apps to make B2B payments.

In research conducted by ath Power Consulting, two-thirds of small business owners said they would consider switching to a competing banking provider if it offered products and services to help them better manage and grow their business, and over half (54%) would consider switching to a non-bank alternative for the same reasons.

Source: The Financial Times

Digital Federal Credit Union and offers a service to small businesses to raise capital and give its members an opportunity to invest in community business. The credit union has partnered with GrowthFountain, a funding portal of crowdfunding solutions. Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union has also done the same thing.

San Francisco startup Seed is a free mobile-only banking service for small businesses, who can get a checking account and a debit card through Seed’s partnership with The Bancorp and have access to bill payment, mobile check deposit and ACH and wire transfers. Seed is sort of like Mint and QuickBooks except that Seed directly partners with a FDIC-insured bank (like how Simple started out). There’s not a physical checkbook in sight.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q1 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

My preliminary return of 4.70% is close to where it was last quarter but still down. I don’t expect my final Lend Academy P2P Fund return to increase this number so I am still stuck in the downward trend of returns.

My six original accounts at Lending Club and Prosper have all been open for at least six years so they are very mature accounts that have experienced several turns of capital as I have kept reinvesting over the years. The returns for the past year are still bad at 2.34% as I continue to pay for poor underwriting performance in 2015 and 2016 at both companies. When you see today that you can get 3% on a 10-year Treasury Note a sub 3% return is just not acceptable for an unsecured consumer loan.

Source: Lend Academy

SoFi finds new downtown San Francisco office a talent magnet as it expands services (San Francisco Business Times) Rated: A

San Francisco-based SoFi said a downtown San Francisco office it picked up this year through an acquisition is paying an unexpected dividend: greater interest from engineers that the fintech wants to hire.

SoFi has 44 engineers at the company’s downtown San Francisco office at 222 Sutter St, consisting of almost 15,000 square feet on one floor. Another 40 or so employees float between SoFi’s downtown office and Presidio headquarters.

How [and why] I invest in startups (TechCrunch) Rated: AAA

A lot of venture funds try to optimize for returns. They run complex ratio economic models to determine what their diluted value will be at the end of the life cycle of the optimal and non-optimal case of every given company.

What I look for in founders

I don’t have a magic formula, but there are four important factors that must all check out for me to invest in a founder.

  1. Domain Expertise
  2. Grit
  3. Purpose
  4. Charisma

Amazon’s Finance Ambitions Are Drawing Attention From the Fed (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, the U.S.’s most influential banking watchdog, is monitoring the potential for disruption to the industry and has expressed concern about how tech companies could provide financial services outside of regulators’ oversight, according to people who’ve spoken with him privately. Quarles hasn’t yet made any moves to intervene and the Fed’s influence would be limited.
Should the Fed get involved in the debate, it could be welcome news for traditional banks, who view Amazon and other technology companies as potential threats that enjoy fewer regulatory constraints. The companies are increasingly encroaching on lenders’ business, as evidenced by Amazon’s recent interest in offering a product akin to checking accounts.

Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book Team with LendingTree to Empower Shoppers with Auto Lending Options (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Securing vehicle financing in advance can save car buyers both time and money on their car-shopping journey. With this in mind, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, both Cox Automotive companies, have teamed with LendingTree. LendingTree’s auto finance marketplace provides each site’s visitors simple and easy online financing that can be used for new and used cars and trucks, anywhere in the United States.

Plenty of payday loan customers have good credit: TransUnion (American Banker) Rated: A

When Liz Pagel and Matt Komos began analyzing a slew of alternative credit data gathered by FactorTrust, an alternative credit bureau TransUnion acquired last year, they sought to understand the behavior of consumers who use payday loans, pawnshop loans, auto title loans, rent-to-own arrangements and “buy here, pay here” credit.

But 12% turned out to be prime and super prime. Only 3% were unscored.

The researchers then looked at what other credit these short-term borrowers have and found 75% have traditional credit, too.

Developers could make bank from Dodd-Frank rollback (The Real Deal) Rated: B

New legislation passed by the House of Representatives would relax restrictions on thousands of smaller lenders, potentially opening up the spigot for developers seeking commercial loans. The bill, which is awaiting President Trump’s signature, would remove provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that many community and regional banks had deemed too costly and unfairly burdensome.

14 Chicago tech companies made Inc.’s 2018 Best Workplaces list (Built In Chicago) Rated: B

OppLoans is an online lender that uses a data-driven credit-scoring algorithm to provide loans to consumers who can’t access credit from traditional institutions. OppLoans is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Chicago and has been named to the Inc. 500 two years in a row.

 

 

Fundbox Named “Best Overall Business Lending Company” In 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Annual Awards Program (PR Newswire) Rated: B

 Today Fundbox,  a leader in credit and payments for small businesses serving other businesses (SMB2B), announced that it has been selected as winner of the “Best Overall Business Lending Company” award by FinTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global FinTech market today.

“We are delighted to recognize Fundbox for one of our program’s marquee awards, the Best Overall Business Lending Company award, an uber-competitive award category for our program with many compelling companies nominated,” said James Johnson, Managing Director, FinTech Breakthrough. “Fundbox stood out from the competition with its artificial intelligence-based underwriting platform. By fully automating the underwriting process with a data-driven risk model, Fundbox promises to underwrite faster, more cost-effectively and with greater accuracy than many other lenders – opening up lending possibilities for more customers. Congratulations to the entire Fundbox team for their industry recognition with our 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Award distinction.”

United Kingdom

RateSetter hits £2.5bn of lending (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lender, which launched in 2010, said 65,000 people have RateSetter investment accounts, financing more than 460,000 borrowers.

Investors have lent more than £1.55bn to individuals and almost £950m to businesses and have earned an average annual return of 4.4 per cent.

ArchOver launches Innovative Finance ISA to UK investors (Global Banking & Finance) Rated: A

ArchOver, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform, is helping British investors make the most of their annual tax-free allowance with the launch of its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). ArchOver’s IFISA service offers investors premium credit control and security, proven by ArchOver’s no-loss rate. It allows investors to invest directly in successful businesses, earning tax-free interest of up to 10% p.a. – far more than the average return on a cash ISA.

OakNorth: Brexit creates opportunity to reform banking regulation (AltFi News) Rated: A

OakNorth has called on the Treasury to use Brexit as an opportunity for regulatory reform in banking.

Responding to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry on SME finance, the bank said that there should be more proportionality between challenger banks and incumbents.

Mayo-based Doherty Menswear successfully raises €45,000 in peer-to-peer loans (Mayo Advertiser) Rated: B

To date, €1,012,000 has been raised through Linked Finance’s online lending platform (www.linkedfinance.com ) to facilitate business growth in Mayo, for 29 businesses.

Two more hires for ThinCats amid company growth (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

PEER-TO-PEER lending platform ThinCats has appointed two new sales and marketing executives, as its hiring spree continues.

The alternative finance specialist has named Tony Smedley (pictured) as head of sales operations, and Richard Wilson as head of marketing, as part of a new push to “ramp up the provision of vital funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

China

China Rapid Finance Announces Preliminary First Quarter 2018 Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE:XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today disclosed preliminary financial results for the first quarter of 2018.

The Company expects to report a net loss in the range of $25 to $30 million, the majority of which consists of approximately $16 million of one-time expenses: 1) non-recurring expenses associated with preparing for registration; 2) write-offs related to receivables and amortizations; 3) non-cash accounting charges related to adoption of the new GAAP standard for revenue recognition (ASC 606); and 4) one-time costs associated with a pilot funding program that was discontinued due to regulatory changes.

Yirendai Reports First Quarter 2018 Financial Results (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated RMB11,956.7 million (US$1,906.2 million) of loans to 174,128 qualified individual borrowers through its online marketplace, representing a year-over-year growth of 65%; 23.1% of loan volume were generated by repeat borrowers who have successfully borrowed on Yirendai’s platform before; 72.5% of the borrowers were acquired from online channels;  100% of the loan volume originated from online channels was facilitated through mobile.

In the first quarter of 2018, Yirendai facilitated 214,231 investors with total investment amount of RMB11,427.6 million(US$1,821.8 million), 100% of which was facilitated through its online platform and 95% of which was facilitated through its mobile application.

In the first quarter of 2018, total net revenue was RMB1,592.7 million (US$253.9 million), an increase of 56% from prior year; net income was RMB278.9 million (US$44.5 million), a decrease of 21% from prior year and adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2018 was RMB668.5 million (US$106.6 million), an increase of 91% from prior year.

The fuse that could light China’s debt bomb (Financial Review) Rated: A

A financial planning manager in a major Shanghai bank branch points to a flickering computer screen displaying a list of wealth management products for customers wanting a higher yield to normal deposits.

For a deposit of 100,000 yuan ($20,600), he recommends a “low risk” product with an interest rate of 4.25 per cent over one year. Alternatively, the customer can opt for a riskier 4.75 per cent yield but there is no guarantee they will get any of their money bank. The customer is advised to act fast as yields are falling rapidly following closer government scrutiny of China’s savings products since March.

European Union

New Robo.cash P2P Lending & Millennials Research & 4M€ Milestone (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Robo.cash’s research shows that Millennials are steadily taking over the leading position from the older generation of investors. Six months ago, the average age of investors of the platform was 38 years, and the age groups were distributed as follows: Silent generation (73-90) — 0.8%; Baby boomers (54-72) — 9.5%; Generation X (38-53) — 38.6%; Millennials (22-37) — 50.3% and Generation Z (18-21) — 0.8%. Today, the typical investor has grown younger to 37 years old due to the increased share of Millennials — 53.9% and Generation Z — 1.8%.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Dublin-founded Future Finance agrees £100m debt facility (Irish Times) Rated: A

Future Finance, a Dublin-founded student loan specialist that recently secured €40 million in funding, has signed a £100 million (€114 million) debt facility.

The deal with alternative asset management firm, Waterfall Asset Management, which includes an option to participate in a further £150 million (€171 million) extension, will enable the company to grow its student lending business further.

International

What the Blockchain Means for the Future of Small Business Funding (Business.com) Rated: AAA

Business financing has always been a thorny issue for many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and is often cited as one of the reasons behind the morbid failure rates for new businesses. One report found that about 29 percent of failed businesses identified the lack of working capital as a major reason for failure, second only to the lack of market demand for their products or services.

Here are a few specific ways the blockchain can be used to bolster funding for SMBs.

1. P2P lending

The blossoming crypto market is also helping fan the flames of disruption for P2P business lending. Earlier this month, Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, XRP, announced plans to push the use of XRP into other industry segments outside of P2P payments and banking, including the P2P lending industry.

2. Using blockchain and big data to improve existing systems

Wish Finance, a blockchain-based lending platform for SMBs, is using the blockchain to help improve traditional risk scoring systems while providing a simple platform for repayments.

3. ICOs and SMB funding

But as investors become wiser and as trust becomes a permanent feature of the blockchain, there’s a growing opportunity for SMBs with solid business models to cash in.

Africa

Budding SA bank buys peer-to-peer lending firm RainFin (Business Tech) Rated: AAA

Johannesburg-based Lebashe will boost its holdings in RainFin by 24% to 75% for an undisclosed sum, the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday. RainFin, the largest peer-to-peer lender in South Africa, bought back the 49% held by Barclays’s South African unit, with Lebashe acquiring its 51% stake in February last year.

Asia

Singapore’s GIC emerges as most active Asian PE investor in Q1 (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC completed at least 11 private equity deals in the first quarter of this year, making the $344-billion fund the most active Asian PE investor during the period.

GIC joined other investors in sealing two of the biggest investments of the quarter, according to a PitchBook report. It participated in the $5.5-billion buyout of Denmark’s Nets A/S by partnering with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, and in the $2.5-billion investment in FirstEnergy in January.

Canada

IOU Financial Inc. Releases Financial Results for the Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2018 (Benzinga) Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV:IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announced today its results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2018.

  • Net earnings on an IFRS basis and adjusted net earnings amounted to $0.8 million in Q1 2018, the second consecutive quarter with positive earnings for the Company.
  • Loan originations increased 11.2% to $24.5 million compared to the same period in 2017.
  • Provision for loan losses decreased 50.6% to $0.9 million in Q1 2018 driven by measures taken to reduce defaults.
  • Opex decreased 23.1% to $1.9 million for the first quarter of 2018

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor