Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are ubiquitous in today’s workplace conversations. Turn on any business news channel and you’ll hear them repeated over and over. Ask any venture capitalist and they are sure to brag about several investments in these areas. Google artificial intelligence and machine learning, and you’ll find 213,000,000 hits, and […]
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are ubiquitous in today’s workplace conversations. Turn on any business news channel and you’ll hear them repeated over and over. Ask any venture capitalist and they are sure to brag about several investments in these areas. Google artificial intelligence and machine learning, and you’ll find 213,000,000 hits, and rising. Overhyped? We don’t think so.
Accenture boldly claimed that AI could boost average profitability rates by 38% and lead to an economic benefit of $14 trillion by 2035. That is no small statement. Even more astonishing is the general alignment among analysts on this issue. It’s widely agreed that AI and ML hold great promise across all industries, and, specifically, in finance.
In 2019, IDC projected that banking would be the second largest global industry to invest in AI, with $5.6 billion going toward AI-enabled solutions (trailing only retail). Why? The anticipated effect on business. According to the research firm, Autonomous, the financial industry’s slice of the global AI pie represents upwards of $1 trillion in projected cost savings.
Fintech Disruptors and Underwriting
Fintech disruptors, characterized as fast-moving companies, often start-ups, focus on a particular web-based innovative financial technology or process, spanning mobile payments to lending. Fintech disruptors initially found an entry point in finance through the use of AI/ML in underwriting.
In the U.S., if the customer consents, you can gain almost unlimited data about their credit profile: how many loans they have, whether they have a mortgage, if they’re delinquent, and whether they requested credit recently. According to the Brookings Institution, “AI coupled with ML and big data, allows for far larger types of data to be factored into a credit calculation. Examples range from social media profiles, to what type of computer you are using, to what you wear, and where you buy your clothes.” Access to this type of data gave rise to the development of sophisticated algorithms to underwrite consumer credit risk. We’ve seen this across a variety of lending companies offering unsecured consumer, student, or even small business loans, particularly focused on digital lending.
Importantly, though, those employing AI must be hyperaware of data collection practices, model design, and the potential for misuse. There is an inherent obligation when using these powerful tools to avoid profit at any cost. When used responsibly, AI can promote growth and better serve consumers. To meet this goal, companies must focus on creating ecosystems that are exponentially more just and equitable than what we have today.
On the surface, the digital lending numbers seem incredible. Digital lenders have grown to $50 billion in originations per year, not including incumbents. And, the research firm Autonomous notes that the digital lender model continues to raise $5 billion in annual venture capital investment, dominated by investments in the U.S.
And, yet, that same report shows that an AI/ML-driven digitization of the lending process is not headed to zero cost. To date, the cost advantages of onboarding and ongoing servicing (up to 70% reductions) have not been able to overcome the relatively high marketing costs that have yet to effectively scale lower than $250 per loan. Moreover, capital costs can reduce efficacy relative to traditional bank competition, and, then, there are the unplanned expenses, such as legal fees or elevated product development costs, the firm reports.
So, if digital lending driven by AI/ML-powered underwriting cannot deliver a material cost advantage, is further AI/ML advancement possible? And, will it improve outcomes for the consumer? Yes, absolutely. It all boils down to operations. As the use of AI shifts beyond obvious use cases and is deployed cross-functionally across entire companies to address various operational inefficiencies, the real promise emerges.
AI/ML 2.0: Improving Outcomes for Everyone
According to Deloitte, the top 30% of financial services firms who are frontrunners are more adept at integrating AI into the core strategic business of their firms, delivering revenue and cost gains quicker than competitors. In our opinion, this is clearly the case with fintech disruptors. Those that are focused on AI integration throughout the organization will quickly pull ahead of those who limit AI deployments to chatbots, underwriting, and other AI/ML 1.0 use cases.
Fintech disruptors can offer the market’s most cost-effective solutions by dramatically curtailing operation costs. Harnessing large-scale, multi-functional AI systems across organizations, instead of simply deploying in underwriting, presents fintech disruptors the opportunity to control costs at each stage and offer quality outcomes for their customers at reduced costs – with lean workforces.
So, while these systems may not face the end customer in any way – in fact, that may not be visible at all – they are the true future of AI/ML for fintech disruptors.
Fintech disruptor leaders who understand the opportunity to use an interconnected system of AI models across their organizations will likely drive the greatest overall efficiencies, both reducing costs and boosting revenues. This enhanced efficiency can be used to drive competitive position and ultimately higher profits.
AI/ML 2.0 at Work
AI can be used to help allocate resources across a variety of functions. For instance, a lender could create an AI model used to predict which of its retail partners would see the greatest increase in usage as a result of a field visit by a partner support representative. Generally, these visits don’t have uniform outcomes. Therefore, using a model-driven approach could help to allocate resources in the most effective manner. Increasing usage obviously drives overall revenue, but also helps to amortize cost over a greater number of transactions, driving better unit economics. Further, with time, the usefulness of such a system can grow. The more data collected from previous visits, the better the algorithm can be at predicting which visits will yield increasing usage.
Or, a lender could deploy AI in the call center to optimize the efficiency of the collections support team. Outbound reach to delinquent customers could be prioritized based on an ML algorithm that evaluates the potential for a successful call and the expected dollar collection. This may sound simple, but making the “good” calls and avoiding the “bad” ones offers all the obvious advantages of more precise resource allocation.
What is less obvious, though, is how these models are interconnected. The model used in the call center complements the underwriting model. If the collections team performs better, then the underwriting model can be recalibrated to maintain the overall risk of the loan portfolio. If the model prioritizing field visits is working, then it increases usage and reduces the average costs to originate a loan. This further enables a recalibration of both the underwriting model and the collections model. The combination of these models, ultimately, increases both expected and realized returns on the loan portfolio, reducing expenses and allowing the company to pass this savings back to customers in the form of lower rates. This is a win for everyone.
Optimizing the AI/ML Ecosystem
This is the true promise of AI/ML – a robust ecosystem of interdependent models utilized to enhance cross-functional outcomes. This leads to a much broader point: inefficiencies exist in all aspects of business – including accounting, legal, operations, finance and customer experience – and negatively impact profits.
Responsibly managed AI/ML 2.0 promises to address many of these functional silos with great success, improving outcomes for everyone involved.
Chase drops OnDeck, OnDeck to pursue bank charter. It appears that JPMorgan Chase may be developing their own online banking solution, which frees OnDeck up to pursue a bank charter. This is the most interesting development we’ve seen in a while.
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2019-2 (“UPST 2019-2”). This is a $358.4 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on August 7, 2019.
MoneyLion’s “all-you-can-eat” membership pricing model has distinguished itself from the pack. MoneyLion provides customers access to financial advice, loans, and other banking service. Customer’s can enjoy the lion’s share of offerings all at a bundled rate $20/month.
The near-Unicorn FinTech announced a roaring $100 M funding round led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates, bringing PIC to ~$200M. MoneyLion is looking to invest in broker dealer, training, and stock-investing capabilities and further distance itself from potential copycats.
Financial advice, loans, integration of other bank accounts
Debit, checking, and savings accounts with no fees
Rounds up purchases and invests the change, financial education
The Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates 25 basis points for the first time in over a decade marked a dramatic shift in monetary policy.
Now, interest rates are historically low, which leaves the central bank with little wiggle room in the event of a recession or if the economy stumbles. The current target range for its overnight lending rate is 2% to 2.25%.
In the past five years, the average interest rate charged on credit card debt has increased 35%.
Considering that the average household currently owes $8,390, credit card users would save roughly $1.5 billion in interest as a result of a quarter-point rate cut, a separate report by WalletHub found.
Elevate Credit (NYSE: ELVT) announced the exit of CEO Ken Rees today a Q2 earnings release missed on top-line numbers and the Fintech lowered guidance for Q3. Current COO Jason Harvison was selected to be interim CEO as the firm seeks a full-time replacement. Rees will remain on the Board of Directors.
Japanese online merchant Rakuten Inc. wants to open a bank in Utah to offer loans, credit cards and other financial services to customers of its existing U.S. cashback-shopping business, the company said Friday.
“We’re going to focus on that customer base we already have,” said Lee Carter, the new head of banking development at Rakuten and a former UBS Group AG executive. “That’s really the community that we want to extend additional financial services to.”
In the early days of my company, Kabbage, we struggled against requests from some potential partners. They wanted customers to be able to upload traditional loan paperwork like bank statements and tax returns.
By insisting on data connections, which in 2008 was usual, we lost some potential upfront revenue but prioritized a unique customer relationship and experience that would make us a more than $7 billion lending platform just a few years later.
Branchless bank Green Dot is launching the highest yielding bank account in the industry.
The Pasadena, California-based bank, which gained traction with prepaid cards in the dot-com era, launched a new bank account Tuesday with 3% annual interest on savings, and 3% cash back on all online debit card purchases. The average rate for savings accounts, according to Bankrate.com, is 0.1%.
The 3% rate on a savings account is the highest for any bank in the country, according to Bankrate.
I was in Detroit recently at the invitation of Rocket Loans CEO, Bill Parker. I do visits to fintech companies quite regularly but usually in the big hubs of New York, San Francisco or London. This was my first visit to Detroit for a couple of decades so I was excited to see how the city had changed. And you can’t really tell the story of Rocket Loans without also talking about the city of Detroit.
Quicken Loans is the crown jewel of the financial component of Rock Ventures. It is now the largest mortgage lender in the country, bigger than even the largest banks. They seem to be slowly moving away from that brand, though, and moving to Rocket Mortgage which has a much more modern and innovative feel.
The merchant cash advance is considered the payday loan for many in the small business lending market — and that’s not necessarily a good thing. While designed to connect small business owners to quick capital for a boost to their cash flow, the MCA has earned a reputation for some predatory behavior, like sky-high interest rates and fees.
Fashion and lifestyle blog Man Repeller is taking operations offline through a pop-up retail collaboration with Klarna. Opening at Showfields in New York on Monday, the “highly instagrammable” retail space was crafted to represent a shopper’s “dream closet,” Man Repeller said in a statement. Curated by the Man Repeller team, the temporary store includes offerings…
Visa is pitching a new way for startups in the fintech space to get to market faster by using its rails and a group of pre-approved partners.
Chiefly, the process makes it easier to integrate with Visa. It’s an attempt to put the payment processor’s network, VisaNet, at the center of a vast array of services ranging from payroll to business to business payments and online banking, online lending and even digital wallets.
Despite the enthusiasm they have received from the private equity world and the billionaire hedge fund set, a majority of investors have been mostly shut out of the conversation surrounding the Opportunity Zones initiative included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Although there is already a flood of capital being funneled into qualified funds (upward of $40 billion according to the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ Opportunity Zone Fund Directory) Opportunity Zones remain an ongoing experiment in maximizing the benefit to both investors and the communities in which they invest.
According to Thomas McDonald, Investment Product and Portfolio Manager of the online real estate investing platform CrowdStreet, the new language is a critical move for the program.
Groundfloor, a real estate lending platform that raises its loan funds via crowdfunding from the public, announced Wednesday it raised $3 million from 1,580 investors, while also doubling its annual revenue in the second quarter of 2019.
Groundfloor is taking private real estate lending public (Groundfloor Email), Rated: B
As we close out the first half of the year, we’re excited to report accelerating growth and strong financial results for the quarter. Once again, GROUNDFLOOR more than doubled its year-over-year revenue for the quarter to $1.6 million, 1H revenue to $2.6 million and trailing 12-month revenue to $4.4 million.
The OCC received 19 comment letters on a pilot program announced in April meant to provide supervisory clarity as national banks pursue “novel activities” in which regulatory uncertainty is perceived to be a barrier to development.
Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Melissa Koide, the founder and CEO of FinRegLab. They have just published their first research report this week on the use of cash flow data in underwriting. It is the first independent research done on this topic and it is milestone for both FinRegLab and the fintech community.
Genesis, a digital asset trading and lending platform that is also a broker-dealer registered with FINRA, and a BitLicense holder with the New York State Department of Financial Services, reports that its services are booming.
According to a release from last week, Genesis’ Q2 performance was the best over as it topped $746 million in loans/borrowing – a 48% quarter over quarter increase.
Genesis states that total active loans increased to $454 million – a 149% increase over Q1.
Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU) launched two new products earlier this year called Northwest Cash and Northwest Cash Plus, offering short-term loans from $150 to $700 and $701 to $4,000, respectively. Both products are designed to help their members deal with unexpected cash needs with an easy to use application process.
An infusion of $37 million in debt financing from BMO will help cloud-based digital banking and low-code platform company Kony “accelerate growth” in its two signature solutions: KonyDBX, the company’s digital banking technology, and Kony Quantum, its low-code development platform. The financing, courtesy of BMO’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, adds to the more than $115 million in funding Kony has raised to date.
White Oak Commercial Finance (“White Oak”), an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, announced today the addition of two new professional underwriters, further increasing the company’s originations presence across the United States. Mr. Sudhir Chaudhry joins White Oak’s Los Angeles office bringing nearly 25 years of structured finance and underwriting experience. Mr. Kevin Maitland joins White Oak in Boca Raton with over 14 years of asset-based lending and commercial banking experience.
Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, andEllie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, today announced that Finicity’s digital Verification of Assets (VoA) solution is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform.
But by investing within a large, diverse portfolio of loans (RateSetter’s portfolio is currently £875 million with 250,000+ loans) investors get the stability of scale and this makes for steady and predictable returns.
And putting this inside the ISA tax-free wrapper, it’s no wonder that in less than 18 months since launch, RateSetter’s Innovative Finance ISA has attracted more than £250 million of investments from people looking to put their money to work.
RETAIL investors are at risk of being shut out of the peer-to-peer lending sector due to the so-called 10 per cent rule that will come into force this December.
However, a number of P2P lending platforms have a minimum investment of £1,000, which would mean that individuals must have at least £10,000 in total to invest across a variety of asset classes. Official statistics indicate that most UK adults do not have this amount of money to invest, which could effectively bar them from certain platforms.
P2P lenders such as Zopa, Funding Circle and ThinCats require a minimum investment of £1,000, but the FCA’s latest financial lives survey shows that 49 per cent of UK adults, equating to 25 million people, either have no such assets or have less than £10,000 in value.
Iwoca almost doubled its loans last year, leading to its first annual profit since the small business platform was founded eight years ago.
The London-based fintech, started by chief executive Christoph Rieche (pictured, centre) and James Dear in 2012, said loan originations jumped by 91 per cent to £325m, as its lending hit the equivalent of 12 per cent of the UK’s small business overdraft market over the last year.
A digital asset lending platform is looking to set new industry standards with the launch of a framework using master agreements typically seen from incumbent capital markets bodies.
The Global Digital Assets Lending Agreement (GDALA) was developed by Lendingblock, with legal counsel and support from Norton Rose Fulbright.
The platform, targeting institutional investors, will use master agreements framework similar to ISLA’s Global Master Securities Lending Agreements, ICMA/SIFMA’s Global Master Repurchase Agreements and ISDA’s Master Agreements.
Alternative lending includes business lenders that exist outside of the traditional lending space. The different types of alternative lending these lenders provide include short-term business loans, medium-term business loans, lines of credit, invoice financing, equipment financing, merchant cash advances and more. They don’t typically include bank loans or SBA loans.
At one point in June last year, Zeng Jinpeng was more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) in debt to a smartphone app.
Formal household borrowing rose to 54% of gross domestic product in the first quarter, up more than 4 percentage points in a year. China’s ratio is still lower than that of the U.S. (66%), Hong Kong (72%), or South Korea (100%), according to S&P Global.
Regulators last year launched a crackdown on peer-to-peer lending, which besides being a source of easy credit had also become a popular investment vehicle. The sector has shrunk to less than half its peak size as a result of forced shutdowns. Official data showed that almost 70% of China’s 50 million P2P investors were younger than 40.
Online attacks against China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms have been rising. An industry report released on Wednesday shows that more than 10 million malicious attacks were encountered by the online financial sector in the first half of 2019, and gambling-related attacks accounted for over 56 percent.
China Lending Corp. (Nasdaq: CLDC) announced Monday its five-year strategic partnership with Zhong Lian Jin An Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd. in the development of consumer financing and litigation guarantee business, sending its shares up 4 percent intraday to 88 cents apiece.
The nascent cryptocurrency sector is renowned for its volatility. It’s very early days in the development of the industry and with that, various niches are emerging within its overall purview. DeFi or decentralised financing is one such area. Over many years, the world of retail and business sector lending has seen little in the way of disruption. However, that may be in the process of changing.
Firms like Ripio Credit Network (RCN), Salt Lending, EthLend, and WeTrust are emerging, providing their unique twists on financing with blockchain as a basis to their respective propositions. Within Europe too, the market is innovating. Hodl Finance is one such entity – which is harnessing this newly emerging economy to provide its unique take on financing.
New research from Klarna, a Swedish firm that offers interest-free installment payments among other payment solutions, suggests shoppers will only tolerate such aggravations for so long.
Through a survey of 2,065 shoppers conducted in May and June, Klarna found 55 percent of consumers say one bad retail experience would stop them from returning to a brand. Nearly 30 percent of consumers said they don’t find shopping as fun as it used to be.
Klarna also noted 39 percent of the 250 retailers surveyed realize shopper loyalty isn’t just driven by rewards programs. Nearly 70 percent understand they have to do more to retain customers, but just over a third of retailers are struggling to keep up with changing consumer expectations because of outdated technology and a short-term emphasis on sales.
In Asia, Africa and Latin America, the percentage of unbanked people exceed 60% in all cases. However, people in this segment of the population do own a mobile device.
The massive use of mobile phones has allowed great successes, such as that of M-Pesa in Kenya and ten other African countries, which over the past decade has enabled more than 30 million users to transfer money, take out loans and make deposits using mobile phones, from the remotest rural areas.
Kiva, with its African headquarters in Nairobi, thrives as a peer-to-peer lending website whereby millions of US dollars get lent from around the world at zero percent interest rates. In 2009, dozens of competitors of Kiva emerged based largely off their business model: get generous individuals to lend their money for a few months up to a few years all while earning no interest return as long as the funds go towards helping entrepreneurs.
And Australian businesses have access to a number business loan sources including traditional banks and online lenders, although according to online lender OnDeck, some small businesses can have trouble securing funding from traditional sources.
New research from the lender found that nearly 25% of small to medium enterprises (SME’s) that have applied for business finance with a bank have been rejected – a figure that rises to 37% of SMEs which have been operating for less than five years.
Digital lending marketplace RupeeCircle has set up a segment-wise model of credit disbursement through its P2P platform. Deserving Individuals and families belonging to certain communities who were hitherto declined loans from banks and NBFCs due to lack of sufficient credit history or lack of a proper bank account can now avail loans on the P2P platform.
Vietnam-based tech company NextTech announces a total of US$10 million injected into Next100, a fund dedicated for backing early-stage startups.
Recently, Next100 invested in VayMuon.vn, a P2P lending platform based in Vietnam, Heyu.asia, a startup that provides order consolidation and shipper services, and Teky.edu.vn, a tech academy for kids.
Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.
Shares in Banco Inter SA surged more than 20% on Tuesday as the Brazilian online lender raised 1.25 billion reais ($329.73 million) in an offering largely sold to Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, boosting pressure on traditional banks.
In the latest bullish development, OPay, founded by Norwegian browser company Opera and which includes lead investors such as Sequoia China, raised $50m to partly fund its expansion in Nigeria.
While sub-Saharan Africa’s number of adults with a bank or other financial account increased to 43% in 2017, up 9% from 2014, Nigeria’s banked population dropped to 40%, down 4% from 2014. Over half of Nigerian adults — 60 million people — lack access to financial services.
Under the new mobile-money framework, MTN will drive user acquisition with its large existing subscriber base and powerful agent network. With a 42% market share of Nigeria’s 163m active voice subscriber accounts, MTN has a huge pool of untapped demand as each voice subscriber represents a potential new mobile money account.
News Comments Today’s main news: Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement. MoneyLion raises $160M. Monzo, Starling win top rankings among banking apps. Harmoney makes maiden profit. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results – Q1 2019 (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Metro areas with the biggest jump in private million-dollar […]
Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over the massive 2017 data breach that exposed the private data of nearly 150 million people. Consumers are eligible to claim as much as $20,000 in cash payments, the FTC said.
The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if approved by the federal district court Northern District of Georgia, will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief.
MoneyLion today announced $160 million in funding — $60 million in previously unannounced financing and a $100 million Series C funding round.
The round was co-led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates and included strategic investment from Capital One, a diversified bank that offers a broad array of financial products and services to over 45 million consumers. The round also included investment from MetaBank and FinTech Collective. Upon completion of the Series C round, the company will have raised over $200 million in equity financing.
OnDeck today announced the appointment of Lonnie Hayes as the Head of Sales and Strategy for ODX, a wholly owned subsidiary of OnDeck that assists banks with streamlining and digitizing small business credit origination.
My overall returns for the twelve months ending March 31, 2019 was 6.09%. This is up from 5.35% that I reported in Q4 and 4.77% in Q3. My original six LendingClub and Prosper accounts had another full percentage point jump. Last quarter I reported the returns on those six accounts had jumped from 3.19% in Q3 to 4.16% in Q4. We see this quarter they are at 5.18%. This is quite a remarkable turnaround and while I still think 5% is not a high enough return for unsecured consumer lending, it is certainly moving in the right direction.
Austin, Texas topped the list with a 15.1% increase in privately held companies surpassing $1 million in revenue between 2014 and 2016. The number of Austin firms in that category rose by 1,857.
Jacksonville, Fla. and Riverside, Calif. came in a nose behind, with an increase just under 15%. The number of firms rose by 963 and 2,359, respectively.
Buffalo, N.Y. was the only metro on our list to lose businesses with seven figure revenues: The city in upstate New York was down by four such firms, a reduction of 0.1%.
Baltimore and Oklahoma City made the smallest gains, at just over 1%, or 187 and 117 businesses, respectively.
Los Angeles had the largest number of firms to pass the million-dollar mark – 6,664 – followed closely by New York at 6,568. Those large numbers represent increases of almost 8% and 5.2%, respectively, leaving them in the 16th and 29th spots on the list.
Small business loan marketplace Lendio has announced the acquisition of bookkeeping software provider Billy.
A press release Tuesday (July 23) said Lendio is rebranding Billy to Sunrise, a small business bookkeeping solution that integrates accounting, cash flow management, loan management and credit data into a single solution.
The rightful prohibition of ZIP codes in underwriting is one example of how financial regulators ensure fairness by protecting against discriminatory lending. But the increasing reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or “automated insights” as I prefer to call it, has made testing a wide variety of inputs for specific outcomes a sophisticated, scientific process carried out by companies. Lawmakers should consider these varied new data options when they evaluate machine learning during a hearing later this week.
Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced it has closed $28.7 million in residual debt financing from Angel Island Capital (“AIC”) to help the company grow and keep pace with the demand for its loans.
Drip Capital, a technology-enabled cross border trade financier, has raised $25 million in Series B funding from investors led by Accel Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Wing VC and Y Combinator also participated in the round.
While U.S. core ABS performance remains strong due largely to low unemployment, many investors are zeroing in their questions on some of the sector’s non-core assets, according to Fitch Ratings in its 2019 Virtual Investor Video Series for structured finance.
According to the U.S. Treasury report, more than 3,330 new technology-based financial services industry were founded from 2010 to the third quarter of 2017, creating industry investment worth more than $22 billion: a thirteen-fold increase since 2010. Lending by these firms now makes up more than 36 percent of all U.S. personal loans, up from less than 1 percent in 2010.
If you’re financially savvy, you can start your own peer-to-peer lending business. This is when you give small amounts of money to a business or private person, while collecting interest on the returns. Before you start lending out money, here is a successful business you can learn some strategies from:
NASAA describes initial loan procurements as a crowdfunding method that allows borrowers and creditors to enter into loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts stored on the blockchain.
To quote NASAA:
“Companies using blockchain technology need to raise capital just like any other company. One way these companies accomplish that is through initial coin offerings (ICOs), which require the new company to create tokens that can be sold to investors and used for the development of new projects. An alternative fundraising method is catching the interest of investors. Initial loan procurements allow companies to raise capital without the added burden of creating tokens.”
Online real estate investing platforms now exist, and they enable anyone to invest a percentage into a property instead of the whole amount. If you have the right skills, you can start your own online business.
Before you launch your business, learn a few strategies from this example of an online business:
Mynd Property Management, a modern property management company powered by on-the-ground experts and technology, has acquired HomeUnion, a company that enables investing in small residential properties in 20 U.S. markets. The acquisition comes on the heels of Mynd’s recent merger with RentVest, which doubled Mynd’s property management footprint to more than 8,000 small residential rental units in a total of 16 markets.
UK-based Monzo has taken the top spot in a ranking of bank apps by MoneySavingExpert.com, beating out both peers and incumbents, The Irish News reports. Seventy-eight percent of the consumers surveyed said the neobank’s app had plenty of features and strong usability.
Competing neobank Starling picked up second place, with 70% of consumers approving of its app’s features and usability. The rest of the top five was rounded out by Barclays (57%), Lloyds Bank (49%), and NatWest (47%).
British contemporary fashion brand Superdry and leading payments provider Klarna have entered into a collaboration, enabled by Adyen. Superdry customers can now use the Pay later or Pay in 3 in the UK, and later this month will be able to Pay in 4 in the US. This will make everything from jackets to jeans more accessible to Superdry customers globally.
In-house marketing is transforming the industry. It is a movement rising in popularity year on year, with over 91% of European decision-makers moving operations in-house.
How do you structure your in-house marketing at Klarna?
When I started, Klarna was in the process of a complete restructuring of their in-house operations. The brand was divided into many separate domains, with different teams having different priorities, and ‘issues’ to solve.
Today, we have four marketing domains: Branding, Merchant Aquisition and Growth, Communications and PR, Consumer Growth and Loyalty. Within each of these domains, we have different competencies. So for example, within the Branding domain, we have a mix of marketers, designers, and copywriters.
A cryptocurrency loan startup exposed reams of customer credit cards and user transactions for almost a month — because it forgot to protect the server with a password.
Security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found the database belonging to YouHodler, a lending platform designed for cryptocurrency, which claims to have processed $10 million in loans to more than 3,500 customers.
The database contained 86 million lines of daily updating records of the lending platform, containing streams of logs and computer commands based on users’ interactions on the front-end website. That also included sensitive information such as every time a transaction or a loan went through.
DeFi platforms leverage smart contract technology to provide decentralized financial solutions, such as digital currency-based peer-to-peer lending, dollar-pegged stablecoins, or investable tokenized asset baskets. The existing DeFi market is still at an early stage so we can expect more decentralized financial services that operate on a permissionless, transparent, and efficient manner on the blockchain to materialize soon.
Finacity Corporation (“Finacity”), a member of the Greensill family of companies, and DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank (“DZ Bank”) announces the addition of Volt Information Sciences, Inc. (“Volt”) United Kingdom subsidiaries as sellers of receivables to Volt’s existing trade receivables securitization. The 2-year facility supported by Volt’s US and UK receivables allows for up to USD $115 million in funding with a $35 million sublimit for letters of credit.
The company, which is partly owned by Heartland Bank (17 percent share) and Trade Me (15 percent), made a net profit of $7.2 million in the year ended in March, compared with a loss of $1.8m the year earlier.
Its revenue was up 25 percent to $32.9m, with net interest income of $728,000 – nearly 10 times more than the year before.
Yield chasing has spilled into nearly every asset class, with Australian listed bank hybrids no exception. The current average margin of bank bills at +2.40% is close to the lowest level for at least seven years.
Alternatives to bank hybrids
2. Marketplace lending
Institutional and retail investors can both access marketplace lending (also known as peer-to-peer lending) via a growing number of online platforms. There’s a mixture of residential and commercial property secured loans available, as well as unsecured business and personal loans. For more conservative investors, loans backed by residential property with an LVR of 60% or less typically yield 5-7%. Commercial property loans, business loans and personal loans usually come with higher yields. Investors in riskier loans should be expecting to lose a portion of their total return when some of the borrowers default and should set their return expectations accordingly.
Cube Wealth, an Indian FinTech start-up for financial planning and wealth management, is entering the global markets in this quarter (July-September) of 2019. The plan is to set up a tech-enabled asset management company in the UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland to start with so that customers in those markets can get an access to some leading fund managers in the emerging markets, including India.
A small but rising number of hedge funds are being established to help finance the boom in online and peer-to-peer lending across Southeast Asia.
Pilgrim Asia Consumer Finance Fund, founded by Brian Yonghui Tan and Paul Sheng, aims to raise up to $20 million in its first year and generate a return for investors of around 8% per annum. It will charge a 2% management fee.
The Financial Services Authority (OJK) condemns fintech lender Incash for posting a photo of one of its debtors online, with captions saying she was willing to have sex for money so she could pay her debts to the online lender.
News Comments Today’s main news: 3 top execs exit SoFi. Zopa proclaims end of monogamous banking. LendInvest earnings hit the roof. Financial Conduct Authority sets new rules for UK P2P lending. Quarter of global small firms are significant fintech users. Biz2Credit raises $52M. Today’s main analysis: Alternative lenders steal business from banks. P2P lending will be […]
Three top executives of Social Finance Inc. are leaving the financial-tech startup in the coming weeks, adding to the challenges the company faces as it moves through a tough environment for online lenders.
Marketing chief Joanne Bradford, head of risk Kevin Moss and Ashish Jain, the lender’s top capital markets executive, recently told Chief Executive Anthony Noto about their plans to step down from their roles. All three had been at the company prior to Mr. Noto taking the reins in early 2018.
Banks and lenders are reaping the benefits of their technology investments now. Banks like Citi have been able to offer new products and grow their deposit base, while Capital One has improved its efficiency ratio by 400 bps. Banks and lenders continue to make large technology investments for faster growth at lower cost.
What is less well known is the rapid growth of PayPal as a digital lending alternative. It may be time for banks and credit unions to wake up, however, as the company announced that they had crossed $10 billion in small business lending in only 5 years.
Amazon Joins PayPal as Top 5 Small Business Digital Lender
Amazon has joined PayPal, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square as a top 5 digital small business lender. In fact, Amazon revealed that it had made more than $1 billion in small business loans to US-based merchants in 2018.
The peer-to-peer business lender, Funding Circle, also revealed its first-quarter trading update, showing that loans under management rose by 44% compared to the first quarter of 2018, while originations grew by 23% (they have originated $9.5 billion in loans).
On May 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM” or “Notice”) to increase regulation of the debt collection industry.1 The much-anticipated Notice is the outgrowth of the CFPB’s 2016 Outline of Proposals (the “Outline” or the “2016 Outline”), which was a cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s efforts to protect consumers and overhaul all aspects of consumer finance (see our August 10, 2016 client alert on the Outline here). One presidential election and two CFPB Directors later, CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger announced a more limited plan to put in place substantial protections, but which rejects some of the 2016 Outline’s more ambitious proposals. The NPRM would overhaul the industry by, for example, requiring that debt collectors make no more than seven attempts by telephone per week to reach consumers about specific debts, and allow debtors to opt out of allowing collectors to contact them via e-mail, text messages, or other media. However, the proposal fails to address many of the Outline’s calls for increased regulation of substantiation of debt, decedent debt, and transfer of information to subsequent collectors (among other things).
Biz2Credit, the online lending platform that helps banks and other financial institutions manage small and medium-sized business (SMB) lending processes, announced Tuesday (June 4) that it raised $52 million in venture funding.
Biz2Credit said the Series B funding round was led by WestBridge Capital.
Lighter Capital announced today that it has launched new financing products to better match the capital needs of growing startups. To date, Lighter Capital has provided over $150 million in more than 500 rounds of financing to over 300 startups. The company has historically provided Revenue-Based Financing and has now broadened its portfolio to include lines of credit and term loans, designed to provide startups capital over time as they need it. Unlike most venture debt, startups do not need to have raised Venture Capital to qualify for funding.
1. Lighter Line of Credit – Startups have fluctuations in capital needs, to make essential payments like payroll or wait for a big customer payment. The Lighter Line of Credit is a revolving working capital line. It enables startups to draw and return capital numerous times, to even out their cash needs.
2. Lighter Term Loan – Provides startups growth capital in a traditional structure with predictable payments. Lighter Capital will also make forward commitments, giving startups the right to get additional capital for a period of time. For example, a startup could get a $500,000 loan today and a commitment from Lighter Capital to provide an additional $500,000 over the following six months.
LendPro Unveils Dynamic Routing Capability to Streamline POS Financing (LendPro Email), Rated: A
LendPro LLC, a provider of Lending-As-A-Service (LaaS) products and platforms for retailers, today unveiled Dynamic Routing —an innovative POS financing solution that automatically matches consumer credit applications with the best-available lending option.
While alternative lending software moves credit applications through a pre-defined, inflexible process, Dynamic Routing by LendPro dynamically guides borrower application data to lenders in the merchant’s financing portfolio based on the attributes of the sale. For example, if the total price for a specific purchase is too large (or small) for a lender’s target loan size, LendPro’s Dynamic Routing system can route the applicant to a different lender. This technological innovation saves time, increases simplicity, and may help the borrower avoid an unwanted credit application.
Using a crowdfunding platform, however, 5,000 individuals might each invest $1,000 into the company. Each of those individual investors is exposed to a very small amount of risk, and the company is able to raise the funds without surrendering ownership.
It’s one reason that venture capitalist Rebecca Lynn, a managing partner with Canvas Ventures and an early investor in the online lending company LendingClub, has largely steered clear of the numerous startups crowding into the industry in recent years. It’s also why she just led a $10.5 million investment in Possible Finance, a two-year-old, Seattle-based outfit that’s doing what she “thought was impossible,” she says. The startup is “helping people on the lower end of the credit spectrum improve their financial outlook without being predatory.”
Even though housing discrimination has been outlawed for 50 years, studies show that the U.S. black homeownership rate isn’t any higher than when the Fair Housing Act initially passed in 1968. In fact, the racial gap between white and black homeowners today is significant. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among white Americans is 73.2%, while the black homeownership rate stands at 41.1%. In comparison, 42% of black households owned their homes back in 1970, two years after housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin was outlawed.
According to the report, the U.S. cities that have the highest percentage of black homeowners are San Jose, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Portland. On the other hand, the cities where black homeownership is lowest relative to overall population are Memphis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, and Milwaukee, where the median household income for black residents is a mere $28,928.
Real estate crowdfunding platform RealCrowd reports that High Net Worth (HNW) investors are looking to increase their portfolio of real estate investments during 2019. According to a survey by the Fintech platform, 53% of surveyed HNW individuals expect to make “two-to-four direct real estate investments in 2019.” Specific details on the survey process were not revealed.
This is a big improvement over year prior when just 33% planned to do the same thus an increase of around 20%.
The survey also stated that 47% of respondents’ desire to allocate more than 25 percent of their investment portfolio to commercial real estate.
WealthStone LLC announces the launch of its new website, WealthStoneLLC.com, where technology brings increased access to institutional-quality commercial real estate investments to a wider audience, while delivering the best customer experience possible for its growing global investor base.
Peer-to-peer lending is a relative newcomer to the world of investments.Lending Club and Prosper were the first institutions to offer P2P loans beginning in mid-2000, and they’ve changed the way countless loans are handled. Instead of going to the bank, borrowers apply for loans from other people. People who have been denied loans from financial institutions are often approved for P2P loans at rates that are lower than those of larger financial institutions.
Sagent Lending Technologies announced today a strategic initiative to transform the borrower and the lender experience through Microsoft Azure. Sagent will leverage the potential of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and cognitive services available on Azure that will provide a reimagined experience for Sagent clients and their consumer borrowers.
The U.S. economy is on solid footing except for one potential trouble spot, according to Bank of America Corp.’sChief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan: leveraged loans — a business the bank has dominated for a decade.
Bank of America was bookrunner on some $317 billion of leveraged loans this year, accounting for 10.8 percent of the market share, the Bloomberg data show, which captures all leveraged term loans and revolver facilities that are either new or have been amended.
Moody’s Investors Service said covenant quality for 2018’s last quarter was close to a record low, and the rating company sees no signs of improvement this year. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last month that the market looks a lot like the mortgage industry in the run-up to the subprime crisis.
One of the challenges for the challenger banks like Monzo, Starling and Revolut is to go beyond the young demographic they’ve been successful at attracting to their products; not surprisingly, less than 5% of Monzo’s customers over 60; as more bank branch close they are looking to bring in older customers who are no longer being served by traditional banks; Monzo and Starling have both added the ability to make cash deposits; Starling recently partnered with the post office and Monzo partnered with a payments service which is in 30,000 shops in the UK; these digital banks and their competitors are experimenting in how they can have more physical points of contact with customers; Revolut recently shared a plain English customer contract in a move to help their customers better understand the product.
BlueVine, which provides small- and medium-sized businesses with access to fast and simple online financing, announced today that it has named Silicon Valley technology and engineering veteran, Herman Man, its Chief Product Officer. In this role, Man will focus on developing the next generation of BlueVine products and oversee the company’s product vision, strategy, design and execution to deliver on its mission to provide fast, fair and easy financing solutions every small business needs to thrive.
White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (White Oak) is pleased to announce that Thomas (Tom) M. Affolter has joined White Oak as a Managing Director based in Chicago. Mr. Affolter will focus on originating new investment opportunities and expanding the coverage network for White Oak’s private debt funds.
ZOPA has declared that “monogamous banking is a thing of the past”, as new research reveals that the average UK adult has a relationship with seven different financial providers.
The peer-to-peer consumer lender, which is launching a digital bank, said that the fintech revolution has changed the shape of financial services for consumers.
It cited a survey that found 71 per cent of UK adults said they do not need a relationship with their main bank, while two thirds are actively using products from banks and financial providers other than their main current account provider.
The long awaited changes to P2P lending regulations in the UK are finally here. Today, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that the new rules for peer to peer lending platforms have been set and will come into effect on December 9, 2019.
Introducing more explicit requirements to clarify what governance arrangements, systems and controls platforms need to have in place to support the outcomes they advertise. These new rules focus particularly on credit risk assessment, risk management and fair valuation practices, especially for platforms with more complex business models.
Strengthening rules on plans for the wind-down of P2P platforms.
Applying marketing restrictions to P2P platforms, designed to protect new or less experienced investors. We have also clarified the practical implication of these new rules as they apply to P2P agreements.
Introducing a requirement that an appropriateness assessment (to assess an investor’s knowledge and experience of P2P investments) be undertaken, where no advice has been given to the investor. We have also provided guidance on what the assessment should include.
Setting out the minimum information that P2P platforms need to provide to investors
Peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital said it has hit a double milestone, providing over £100m in bridging loans and a further £50m in small business funding, “as the appetite for alternative forms of finance continues to rise across the UK”.
The Manchester-based fintech adds that since it was founded six years ago it has lent over £780m to small firms and property developers, helping build 3,700 homes in Britain.
While investments of varying risk are available, some platforms have tempted consumers with returns of more than 12pc on high-risk projects. But the collapse of one large platform, Lendy, which offered loans on property developments, has concerned investors across the sector.
Payday loan alternative Wagestream has issued a release stating the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has received 47,220 complaints against payday lenders since 2018. Yet while many complaints have been received only a fraction have been resolved. Wagestream states that only one out of three are resolved or just under 17,000.
Arbuthnot Specialist Finance (ASFL) is pleased to announce it has concluded its first loan completion since announcing its launch in late May. The deal is a 70% LTV residential product loan on a property located less than half a mile from the University of Central Lancashire campus in Preston.
China is in debt, significantly. Part of the problem is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to assign a figure to the debt. There are Chinese statistics for official debt, but following the 2008 economic crisis, China implemented new restrictions on lending. Over the past decade, those restrictions have shifted from one type of loan to another so Chinese citizens get creative with how they borrow money for business purposes or to purchase property.
Furthermore, the economic crisis took “shadow lending” to new heights. Shadow lending can include everything from organized crime to banks obfuscating the purpose of a loan or peer-to-peer lending. China cracked down on this lending practice too, but the debt amount is significant and official numbers do not typically include shadow lending.
According to Curve’s Shachar Bialick, the founder and CEO, an app that lets customers to link all their credit and debit cards to just one card, says there are more than 10,000 fintech startups around the world, and even he can’t keep track of them all. Some, or even most, aren’t going to make it.
Quartz: It’s been about four months since Amex blocked Curve. What are your plans now?
Bialick: Amex was never a critical part of Curve. It was always an opportunity to solve a big problem Amex has in the UK and Europe, which is access.
Curve has continued to grow in Europe without Amex.
Have we reached the peak in terms of new fintech startups?
I don’t know if we reached the peak, but we definitely are very close, because today there are over 10,000 fintechs globally. I don’t know over 90% of them.
By eliminating the need for banks, peer to peer lending allows investors to invest in individual and company debt with 5-10% returns – a far cry from the the lowly 1.5% that you’ll received in a regular CD account.
And it works better for borrowers too. Borrowers are able to take out loans with greater ease and lower interest rates, typically offered in the region of 3-4%.
The average default rate at Lending Works is only 3.2% over the last six years. And many P2P lenders allow you to choose secured loans for additional protection.
Transparency Market Research estimates the industry be worth $900 billion by the end of 2024, with an annual growth rate of 48%, up from $26 billion in 2015.
Fintechs are becoming the ‘new normal’ in financial services, said a survey by professional services firm EY.
Fintech adoption is by far the highest in China, where 61 per cent of small businesses use their services, followed by the US, 23 per cent, the UK, 18 per cent, South Africa, 16 per cent, Mexico, 11 per cent, with the average set at 25 per cent.
Trendy U.S. online payments company Stripe, worth some $22.5 billion according to private-market valuations, is joining Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. in warning about the impact of EU rules aimed at getting customers to double-check payments going out from their accounts.
Adyen trades at a gob-smacking 110 times this year’s earnings, with a market value of 20.8 billion euros. That’s almost twice the worth of Deutsche Bank AG, even though the Dutch fintech only employs the equivalent of 1% of the German lender’s staff. Stripe is the sixth most expensive private company in the world, according to researchers at CBInsights.
News Comments Today’s main news: BlockFi hits $25M in deposits in 2 weeks. Cash-back ETF injects trouble into ETF market. PeerStreet expands product line. Funding Circle fund higher impairments drag returns. Dianrong blames Chinese regime for troubles. Today’s main analysis: New home equity loans do not significantly alter credit scores. Today’s thought-provoking articles: SoFi Money review. Can Citi, JPMorgan beat […]
Can Citi, JPMorgan compete with fintechs on personal loans? Fintechs had 36% of the personal loan market in 2017. Can big banks make a comeback? I think their efforts in doing so are going to make this a much more competitive market. Can alternative lenders continue to grow with streamlined processes and leaner teams?
BlockFi Lending LLC, a New York-based “secured non-bank lender” that provides cryptocurrency-backed loans in USD to digital asset investors, has revealed that its interest-generating deposit accounts have received over $25 million in cryptocurrency.
SoFi Money is an online checking account by SoFi, a company best known for its student loan refinance loans. SoFi’s account has a top-of-the-line interest rate and no monthly or overdraft fees. There’s no free ATM network, but SoFi reimburses many third-party ATM fees and doesn’t charge its own. SoFi also boasts unique perks: free career counseling and financial planning sessions.
Can Citi and JPM beat FinTech Personal Loans? (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA
Home prices in the United States have rebounded to new highs since the financial crisis. As a result, American homeowners are sitting on the largest amount of home equity in history — at just over $15 trillion dollars, according to the Federal Reserve.
The decline in scores averaged just 13 points. At the high end, scores declined by 24 in San Jose,Calif. The smallest decline was 5 points in San Diego. Borrowers had an average score of 735 to start, so the declines are quite negligible in terms of access to credit and may have marginal impacts on the cost of credit. The highest starting credit score was 752 in San Francisco, while the lowest was 712 in Indianapolis.
The decline took an average of 158 days to reach bottom, which is just over five months. St. Louis homeowners saw their credit scores reach their lowest points in an average time of 101 days (3 months), while the longest decline was for homeowners in Dallas at 211 days (7 months). Loans do not appear on credit reports immediately after closing. Typically, the lender starts reporting to the credit bureaus after your first payment, depending on the lender’s reporting cycle. Thus it may take about 60 days after closing or even longer for it show up and start affecting a score.
Scores recovered over an average of 163 days. This is also just over five months, so the time to fall and recover are about equal. The quickest time to recover was 102 days, or slightly over 3 months, in Cincinnati. Borrowers in Chicago had the longest recovery time of 243 days, just over 8 months.
Scores recover within a year and begin to move higher. The complete cycle to return to the credit score prior to the home equity loan takes 321 days, less than 11 months. The shortest cycle was in St. Louis at 211 days and the longest in Chicago at 443 days, about 15 months.
Last week, one ETF upstart created a minor splash by doing what was once unthinkable — offering to pay investors to buy into its exchange-traded fund. That comes on the heels of eight fund providers — including JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard and BlackRock to name a few — all slashing fees in one of the industry’s most aggressive rounds of price cuts to date.
The sub-zero fee giveaway by Salt Financial, which previously ran a single $11 million ETF, is widely seen as a marketing gimmick to drum up a little PR, get customers in the door and increase its assets under management. During the first year, investors will receive 50 cents for every $1,000 in a new low-volatility stock ETF — until it grows to $100 million. After a year, a management fee of 0.29 percent, or $2.90 per $1,000, could kick in.
The race to zero, however, is very real. Fidelity Investments jump-started the no-fee push in August by offering index funds for free. In February, SoFi said it would waive charges on two planned ETFs for the first year. Last week, JPMorgan started selling America’s cheapest-ever ETF for the princely sum of 20 cents for every $1,000 invested. And BlackRock unveiled plans Wednesday to cut fees for large clients in one of its S&P 500 indexed mutual funds.
PeerStreet, a platform for investing in real estate backed loans, today announced the launch of a new loan product for private lenders: Residential for Rent loans. Residential for Rent loans have a 30-year term so borrowers can secure long-term financing for residential rental properties. This launch is in response to key market conditions: as more people struggle to finance buying a home, the rental market has continued to grow.
One-quarter of families don’t complete the FAFSA, according to Sallie Mae’s 2018 How America Pays for College survey. Of those that don’t fill it out, 48 percent say it’s because they don’t believe they’ll qualify for financial aid.
But they’re often wrong: An analysis by NerdWallet found that in 2017, students left an estimated $2.3 billion in federal financial aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA.
According to Elaine Rubin, senior contributor and communications specialist at private student loan marketplace Edvisors, most Americans are eligible for some type of federal aid. In fact, it’s available to anyone with a household income below $250,000 per year, CNBC reported.
An 8-year-old class action that wreaked havoc on the online lending industry is finally winding down, but the lobbying push in Washington to undo its impact shows no signs of abating.
Lawyers in the case have filed a proposed settlement that would provide $9.8 million in cash and debt relief to as many as 58,000 consumers, setting up the final chapter in a lawsuit that is likely to be remembered best for the legal precedent it established.
The stock of X Financial (NYSE: XYF) jumped more than 5 percent Tuesday morning, to $6.55 per American depositary share, after the peer-to-peer lending marketplace announced improved revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, as well as a dividend for 2018.
The Shenzhen-based company, which connects borrowers and investors on its platform, reported in a statement Monday evening that its revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year to $125.5 million during the three months through December.
Its net income, X Financial said, was $35.2 million, or 22 cents per share, at a 53 percent increase from the same period of 2017.
If you look at the graph below, 5% of S&P 500 companies hold more than half the overall cash; the other 95% of corporations have cash-to-debt levels that are the lowest in data going back to 2004, according to Wells Fargo research. We know who those 5% are — they are the GAFA companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
News Comments Today’s main news: Google gets EU eMoney license. JD launches online P2P lending service in China. Hexindai partners with Kunming Aotous. Today’s main analysis: Equity sector analysis. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Internet finance in a state of flux in China. P2P lending looking for a fresh start. Wonga collapse clears way for US payday lenders in UK. United […]
Chicago-based Enova, which also operates Pounds to Pocket and On Stride, saw UK revenue jump 20% to $36.6m (£29m). Texas-headquartered Elevate Credit operates in the UK under the Sunny loans brand, and saw its own UK revenue jump 23% to $32m, as new customer loans for Sunny rose 45% to $26,671.
Curo, which is behind WageDayAdvance, saw UK revenue jump 27.1% to $13.5m, while underlying earnings nearly halved from $8.1m to $4.2m. It was helped by a “high percentage of new customers”.
Ethical lenders that have been touted as alternatives to high-cost firms such as Wonga and BrightHouse are going out of business at the fastest rate in years, fuelling concerns that less well-off customers are in danger of losing access to credit.
The figures mark the worst year since at least 2010, as the sector battles against rising regulatory and technology costs.
Eight credit unions closed in 2018, and they affected an estimated 14,000 people with a collective £25 million in savings. Even some of the more successful CUs have had to curtail lending. Credit unions cap rates at 3 percent a month.
Despite initial reports of the feature’s disappearance, Hefeng Online Lending was still available until 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Previously, all products were labeled as being “sold out” after it was removed from the app’s main page. It has subsequently been completely removed.
E-commerce giant JD.com has become the first Chinese tech tycoon to launch peer-to-peer online lending products, CHNFUND.com reported on Sunday.
“Hefeng online lending” or literally “Hefeng Wangdai”, a platform providing information service on P2P online lending under JD.com, sold out all the products within seconds after it started operation on Sunday.
Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Hexindai (NASDAQ: HX) announced on Wednesday it has formed a funding sources partnership with Kunming Aotou Economic Information Consulting Co., Ltd. (Kunming Aotou).
Hexindai reported that through this agreement it will assess borrowers that are using its risk management and credit assessment capabilities before referring them to Kunming Aotou which will facilitate the loans through a trust fund.
Recently, the Beijing-based Chang An Property Casualty Insurance Co was reported to have compensated nearly 2 billion yuan ($290 million) for its joint business with a number of domestic peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms, according to a report of the Time Weekly.
The Lengjing reported that so far 220 P2P platforms had submitted their self-investigation reports to the government.
Micro-lending: Mynt Philippine fintech, Mynt, talks about the business case and technology behind its current micro-lending efforts and where it is planning to head with other financial services, leveraging the customers and data of its majority shareholder, the country’s largest Telco.
Home Credit – to its credit In an exclusive tour of Home Credit’s (HC) operations in Prague, we met seven staff members and learned about its retail challenger Air Bank, P2P lender Zonky and Home Credit Venture Capital (HCVC).
The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) has warned local people and firms to consider carefully and be cautious before taking part in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as there are many potential risks related to the service.
News Comments Today’s main news: FDIC opens comments on Special Purpose National Bank charters. Plaid raises $250M. P2PFA member lending exceeds 10B GBP. ThinCats raise 200M GBP. Bondora originates almost 8M euro in loans in November. Klarna joins Shopify Plus Partner Program. Nubank launches debit card. Today’s main analysis: Trends in credit card debt. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Consumer credit market poised […]
FDIC seeks comments on fintech bank charters. The Trump Administration may have just opened the door wide for OCC bank charters. They want to encourage more bank startups, which is good if they are the right bank startups. More of the same won’t cut it.
Formation of new banks post-crisis is historically low. More banks have failed since 2009 than have new banks opened.This trend could leave some communities severely underbanked.
The FDIC wants to encourage new banks to startup and wants innovative FinTech firms to be part of that process. The agency wants to streamline its application process and is seeking comments on how that can be done.
The company is today announcing a $250 million Series C investment led by famed venture capitalist and the author of the Internet Trends reportMary Meeker, who will join its board of directors as part of the deal. The funds were raised at a valuation of $2.65 billion, according to sources close to the company. Capital from Meeker’s investment came from Kleiner Perkins’ growth fund — where Meeker has been a partner since 2010 — not from the reported billion-dollar-plus solo fund she’s in the process of raising.
New investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Coatue Management also participated, as did existing investors Goldman Sachs, NEA and Spark Capital.
Low unemployment rates and continued positive growth in both GDP and real disposable income are among the key drivers that will propel the U.S. consumer credit market in 2019. Partly due to the strong performance of these economic indicators, TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) 2019 consumer credit forecast found that originations and consumer balances are expected to increase for most credit products, while serious delinquency rates will likely decline or remain steady.
A few outliers in the forecast come by way of serious credit card delinquency rates and originations as well as mortgage originations. Credit card delinquency rates are expected to rise from 1.94% in Q4 2018 to 2.04% in Q4 2019 as a shift toward more non-prime consumers with access to credit cards will likely negatively impact originations and consequently the serious delinquency rate.
TransUnion Forecast: Top Consumer Credit Trends for ‘19
Trend #1: There’s Room for Growth in Personal Loans
Personal loans continue to display signs of strength, and total balances are expected to climb 20% to an all-time high of 156.3 billion by the end of 2019.
Trend #2: Affordability May Impact the Auto Industry
It’s also worth noting that the number of auto loan originations is expected to end 2018 at 28.5 million and grow to 29.4 million in 2019. This is a significant increase from recent years (27.5 million in 2017, 28.3 million in 2016, 28.0 million in 2015). This growth is expected to be driven from both ends of the risk spectrum. Yet as the growth continues, the serious delinquency rate is anticipated to remain muted, ticking up to 1.44% in Q4 2019, an increase from the expected 1.43% in Q4 2018 and the 1.43% mark observed in Q4 2017.
Trend #3: Homes Becoming More Expensive, but Home Equity Increases Could Be a Boon to Consumers
Mortgage originations have declined the past several quarters, a trend that is expected to continue into 2019. Rising interest rates, increasing home prices, and supply constraints are driving lower origination numbers. Average balances will continue to trend upward in 2019, growing from an anticipated $208,831 at the end of Q4 of this year to $218,490 by the end of Q4 2019, a 4.6% increase.
Trend #4: More Near Prime Consumers will Carry a Credit Card
Near prime consumers are expected to increase their origination share to 19.1% in 2019, up from 18.3% in 2018.
Americans repaid $40.8 billion in credit card debt during Q1 2018 – the second-largest quarterly payoff ever. But we added almost $38 billion back to our tab in Q3 and Q2 2018. We also began the year owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt for the first time ever, after adding $87.3 billion to our tab in 2017.
Single women own considerably more homes than single men do. On average, single women own around 22% of homes, while single men own less than 13% of homes.
Oklahoma City was the metropolitan area where single men own the largest share of owner-occupied homes, at 16%. Even though single men own a greater proportion of homes in Oklahoma City than they do elsewhere in the country, they still own fewer homes than single women, who own 24% of residential properties in the area.
New Orleans was the metropolitan area where single women own the largest share of owner-occupied homes. In this area, single women own nearly twice as many homes than single men do: 27% compared with 15%.
The OCC’s quarterly metrics report, released Tuesday, showed continued improvements in credit quality of mortgage loans at banks. But it also noted that the report is based on $3.26 trillion in principal balances, representing 32% of all mortgages in the U.S. Ten years ago, that figure was $6.1 trillion in mortgage balances, representing 60% of all outstanding mortgages.
Subprime personal loan balances have been climbing since 2014 and are forecast to increase 20% next year, to a record $156.3 billion, according to credit-scoring firm TransUnion. The last three months of this year will be the biggest quarter ever for origination, accounting for some 5 million loans.
San Francisco-based Affirm, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is one of the leaders in point-of-sale loans and is available at more than 1,200 US retailers. The company says its lending process allows it to approve far more applicants across the credit spectrum than traditional lenders.
Payday lending has also increased. These days, this type of high-interest, short-term debt often takes place online through installment loans. San Francisco-based LendUp is an example of the new breed of payday lenders, charging annual percentage rates that can range from 30% to more than 1,300% depending on the type of loan, according to a report by NerdWallet.
Digital banking platform Good Money just raised $30 million in a Series A funding round to continue developing its app.
Led by Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital (via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund), participants in the funding round included Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, BlockChange Ventures, Cross Culture Capital, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis Blake Mycoskie and Justin Rosenstein, among others.
Personal safety is a real concern Americans have about the sharing economy, according to a new survey commissioned by insurance company Lloyd’s.
The sharing economy includes companies that use data and develop platforms to connect people, including ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, apartment and home lending sites like Airbnb and VRBO, as well as peer-to-peer lending, reselling, co-working, and freelancing sites, per Forbes.
The analysis showed that 60 percent of American consumers believe they are putting their personal safety at risk by using sharing services because it means interacting with strangers, and 58 percent think that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Admiral Realty Capital’s new private placement, Fund V, is engaged in providing financing to Puainako Heights Land Investment, the master-developer of a subdivision on the Big Island with over 330 single-family homesites. The offering is featured on the Boston-based crowdfunding platform Investors’ Harbour.
Different than most existing crowdfunding platforms, Investors’ Harbour does not feature an avalanche of small “fix-and-flip” projects handled by real estate enthusiasts. With a very low acceptance rate, Harbour only hosts larger-scale construction programs, conducted by commercial development firms with admirable track record.
Bloqboard – a non-custodial digital asset lending platform for collateralized loans originated, settled, serviced, and managed on the Ethereum network and powered by Dharma and Compound – has today announced the release of a new feature they call ‘Offers to Lend’. This provides lenders with the ability to offer prospective borrowers their cryptoassets for peer-to-peer loans issued on the Dharma protocol.
Blockchain enabled payments company Wyre today announced a partnership with bZx, the protocol that powers decentralized margin lending. bZx will incorporate Wyre’s KYC/AML solution for DEXs to offer compliant trading.
Digital business bank Tide has reached 56,000 SME customers, accounting for one per cent the UK’s 5.6m SMEs. The bank has more than doubled the number of customers using its services in the last 12 months.
OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has today announced that it will be expanding its lending operations to Manchester to deal with increasing demand for its loans across the North of England.
Founded in 2015 with £1m in funding, Onedox helps people manage household bills and expenses by allowing them to connect their different accounts including gas, electric, internet, mobile, and insurance. The service – which is free of charge – allows users to stay on top of their bills while receiving personalized recommendations for saving money by switching to new providers.
China Lending Corporation has announced the launch of its new supply chain financing services, which include a business factoring program.
In addition, China Lending has acquired 98.04 percent equity interest in Hangzhou Zeshi Investment Partners, which will enable China Lending to launch its new supply chain financing services in the near future, including financing products design, related corporate financing solutions, investments and asset management, and more.
China’s financial technology, or fintech, sector, has suffered this year due to a slowing economy and stricter financial regulation. In the peer to peer lending sector, hundreds of firms have shut down due to inability to comply with regulations or insolvency. So, what can we expect from this industry in the near future?
The company offers the highest loan-to-value ratio in the entire industry – up to 80%. And, unlike its competitors, it accepts five of the top cryptocurrencies as collateral, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Short-term loans are available at a low interest rate of just 2.5%.
THE ability for small businesses in Northern Ireland to access alternative forms of finance has become a vital factor in their successful growth, the head of a Belfast accountancy firm insists.
Since the financial crash and credit crunch, the funding void left by traditional lenders has been filled by boutique funders and alternative finance, which can allow SMEs to access finance for a variety of different needs, from long term investment through to funding for short term working capital.
Klarna announced today that they are among the first payment service providers to join the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program, focusing on high-growth and high-volume merchants. This integration will allow merchants in Germany, the UK and the US to easily implement Klarna’s smoooth payment suite and offer a superior customer experience and thereby unlock additional growth potential.
In a press release on Tuesday (Dec. 11), Cred revealed the rollout of its developer platform CredX (not to be confused with the new credit card accounts payable solution recently launched by Finexio). The Crypto-Lending-as-a-Service (CLaaS) solution enables other crypto companies — including exchanges, crypto wallets or mining services — to integrate Cred’s lending functionality into their own solutions. Its set of application program interfaces (APIs) enable businesses to use crypto as collateral to access corporate financing products.
Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Rudiantara said the ministry had shut down 400 financial technologies (fintech), consisted of sites and applications, related to fraud cases on online loan services that are recently rampant in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Fintech Joint Funding Association (AFPI) asked the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) to open the identities of 25 peer to peer (P2P) lending organizers or registered online loan services that are said to have made violation.
South Korean fintech Toss has raised an $80 million funding round led by US-based firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, with participation from Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, PayPal, and Qualcomm Ventures, among others. This brings Toss’ valuation to $1.2 billion, making it the latest fintech unicorn globally, and Korea’s first.
Toss started out offering peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, but has since added other services —including insurance, investments, savings accounts, credit score management, and a financial dashboard that allows users to see all of their finances in one place — by partnering with third parties. Toss already has 10 million registered users, meaning it reaches around 20% of Korea’s population with its services.
“A lot of the traditional models are not applicable to onboard those people into financial systems,” says Sarah Zhang, co-founder of Singapore-based Points.
That’s where Points – also called PTS – picks up the slack. Founded last year, the blockchain-powered startup uses AI and big data to assess factors like an individual’s occupation, bill payments, and shopping activities to calculate a credit score.
Brazilian fintech Nubank has launched a debit function for its card offering as well as the ability to withdraw cash from ATMs, in a move that aims to extend its reach to as many as 120 million customers.
The startup created in 2013 and valued at over $4 billion
News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa gets banking license. SoFi cuts mortgage business jobs. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to CLUB Credit Trust 2018-P3. Money360 surpasses $1B in loan originations and closings. SoftBank is biggest startup story in 2018. Today’s main analysis: Rate hikes pause in 2019. LendingTree Debt Report November 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingTree Debt Report November 2019. October was biggest […]
Late Friday Bloomberg reported that SoFi was cutting 7% of its staff, or around 100 jobs, in the company’s mortgage department. This is due to a change in strategy as to how they underwrite mortgage loans. Rather than underwrite loans themselves, as they have done since launching their mortgage business back in 2014, they will outsource the underwriting to a partner.
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2018-P3 (“CLUB 2018-P3”). This is a $272.40 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close December 13, 2018.
The transaction has initial credit enhancement levels of 30.87%, 22.80% and 9.70% for the Class A, Class B, and Class C notes, respectively. Credit enhancement is comprised of overcollateralization, subordination of the junior note classes, a cash reserve account and excess spread.
This transaction is LendingClub Corporation’s eighth rated sponsored securitization, fourth of 2018 and the fifth sponsored securitization consisting of prime unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub’s proprietary technology platform supporting an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors by offering a variety of loan products originated by issuing banks through the platform, www.lendingclub.com.
Real estate marketplace lender Money360 announced on Monday it has surpassed $1 billion in loans originated and closed since inception. The announcement comes just 11 months after the lending platform revealed it had hit $500 million.
Nine months into 2018, Americans had a cumulative $3.93 trillion in non-mortgage debt. About a quarter of that debt is credit cards and other revolving debt, while the remainder is for car payments, student loans and other fixed-rate loans such as personal loans.
In just five years, Americans will have increased their debt by $1 trillion. Consumer debt eclipsed the $3 trillion mark in 2013. By comparison, the previous $1 trillion milestone — from $2 trillion to $3 trillion of consumer debt — took more than 10 years.
LendingTree today released its State Migration Study on where Americans are interested in moving. The study looked at where people moving out of state are going and discovered that of the 12.1 percent of homebuyers across the country who change states, most plan to head south.
Florida is the No. 1 destination. Florida was the top new destination for 15 of the 50 states.
Texas residents love the Lone Star State.Texas had the highest percentage of residents looking to move within state lines — 93.4 percent of purchase mortgage requests from individuals in Texas were for properties in the same state.
October was a big month for Reg CF campaigns, according to the StartEngine Index. In fact, October booked the most money raised using the crowdfunding exemption since the rule became actionable in May of 2016.
According to StartEngine, $10.9 million in funding was raised. Until October came along, this past July held the top spot at $10.7 million. The Index indicates that Reg CF has now raised $151.7 million since inception. The Food & Beverage industry remains the most popular sector to use Reg CF followed by Tech.
Installment payments have been around for seemingly forever but a new crop of fintechs are offering it with a twist: the ability to pay off smaller purchases in installment payments that in many cases are interest-free.
And it appears to be resonating with scores of U.S. consumers judging from the brisk business installment payment services like QuadPay.com enjoyed during the kick off to holiday shopping season this past Thanksgiving weekend. David Sykes, chief operating officer at QuadPay.com said 35% of online Black Friday sales for one large merchant customer came via QuadPay. On average Sykes said its service accounts for around 20% of all the online transaction from its roughly 500 e-commerce partners.
QuadPay.com makes money via the merchant, getting a cut of the sales generated by its service. That enables it to offer interest-free loans to consumers wanting to purchase everything from Uggs to underwear. Sykes said the average value of the orders on the platform is $150. QuadPay takes 25% of that on day one and then spreads out the remaining payments every two weeks. Because the average installment payment is around $37 there isn’t too much risk of customers defaulting on the loan. To prevent default it won’t let a customer use the service again if they were ever late with a payment. The executive noted QuadPay approves 92% of all applicants.
In Business Insider Intelligence’s second annual Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study, 64% of mobile banking users said that they would research a bank’s mobile banking capabilities before opening an account with them. And 61% said that they would switch banks if their bank offered a poor mobile banking experience.
Wealthfront is offering its planning services for free, effectively unbundling its software, and giving millions of Americans access to a financial roadmap.
The second largest independent robo is betting the firm can steer users into fee-based accounts after they interact with its software to come up with a financial plan. The freemium software uses the firm’s automated advice engine, Path, according to the firm.
Building a great service is hard but not impossible. But building a great service and making it available for free — that’s really hard.
Credit Karma seems to have figured out a way to do both. The company, with 85 million members in the U.S. and Canada, continues to roll out free, innovative financial products to its user base. It all began 11 years ago with a simple premise: to provide users with free access to their credit scores. From there, the company has rolled out a bunch of new products, including ID monitoring, tax preparation, a financial chatbot, auto finance, and unclaimed money.
Automated investment advisor, Betterment is rolling out “Two-Way Sweep”, a tool that can automatically “sweep” excess money from customers’ bank accounts into a Betterment account optimized to provide better returns for cash.
What’s behind this new product: Studies show that only one in three millennials is investing in the stock market. That means they’re holding a high percentage of cash. In fact, Betterment sees 30 percent of customers with cash balances of $20,000 on average. This excess in savings earns little to no interest. Betterment’s Two-Way Sweep is intended to take the hesitation out of deploying more money into investments by automating the process.
CommonBond, best known as a leading provider of online student loans, has made its second acquisition, NextGenVest, an artificial intelligence powered advice platform for Generation Z. NextGenVest helps high school and college students in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia with their college financial needs through a combination of human “money mentors” and AI-powered suggestions delivered entirely through text messages.
Chicago-based fintech firm OppLoans has been honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the best places to work in 2019. This marks the second year in a row that the personal lender has been named to this prestigious list in the Small & Medium Business category. The Employees’ Choice Awards program, now in its 11th year, is based solely on the input of employees, who elect to provide feedback on their jobs, work environments and companies on Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites.
According to 2017 statistics from the FDIC, 16 percent of households in Mississippi are unbanked, choosing instead to use “predatory services” like corner store check cashing in their neighborhoods.
Allen founded her first startup, an app development shop, while still in college. After moving to Silicon Valley, Allen realized it wasn’t just rural communities that were underserved by banks. Inner city areas across the country, most of which are home to majority Hispanic and African-American populations, are also affected. An FDIC survey found that more than 15 million adults in the U.S. go unbanked.
In 2016, Allen founded CapWay with co-founder and fellow Mississippian Timothy Lampkin. The mobile-first platform is aimed at younger generations (think older millennials and Gen Z) in those unbanked communities to help them break out of the predatory economy cycle.
Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, announced today it is working with mortgage banker Princeton Mortgage to automate borrower asset verification for lenders. The agreement will provide Princeton Mortgage loan officers and borrowers with a faster, simpler loan origination experience that reduces both paper chase and headache.
Onward Financial Inc., a member of the first cohort in NBKC Bank’s Fountain City Fintech accelerator program, won a $1 million award from the Communities Thrive Challenge, which is put on by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Back in 2005 Zopa quietly launched their P2P lending platform in the UK, the world’s first. It was the start of a lending revolution that has moved on to all corners of the globe. Today, a new chapter begins as the company announced that regulators have approved Zopa’s banking license. With that Zopa achieves another first: becoming the world’s first combined peer to peer lending platform and digital bank.
Zopa explained that this is called the “mobilisation’ phase” as regulators put some restrictions in place. A full licence will be granted once it meets the conditions set by the regulators.
Zopa said it will begin its new service next year. The digital bank will include options such as a fixed term savings product protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), credit card and a money management app.
Pointing to a statement by the FCA that just “40% of UK adults have confidence in the financial services industry,” Zopa sees opportunity in becoming a digital bank unencumbered by green-screen legacy tech and unnecessary brick and mortar branches.
Zopa explained it would redefine banking with the following services:
Giving customers a fair deal as standard – with no catches like sign-up offers that aren’t available to existing customers or hidden fees and charges.
Making sure money management is simple and a real person is available to discuss
Other companies expected to be promoted to the FTSE 250 are peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle, the retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone and the investment trusts Smithson and Woodford Patient Capital.
Looking at 2017, we saw some encouraging trends and one of them is in terms of diversity and choice. We saw peer-to-peer lending grow at over 50%. It’s obviously coming from a smaller base as it’s a reasonably new form of lending, but 50% growth is a very strong outcome.
Peer to peer property lender CrowdProperty is now disclosing their performance metrics using Brismo’s (formerly known as AltFi) standardized reporting methodology. CrowdPropert states that it is the first property development platform to incorporate the Brismo process which is described as an independent standard.
Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ABL) has supported a highly experienced Management Buy In (MBI) team, led by Paul Hampton, with a £2m invoice discounting facility to support Premier House Investment’s acquisition of Ralph Coleman International Ltd (RCI) and provide ongoing working capital, paving the way for the company’s exciting expansion plans.
KAMBO is expanding beyond desktops to become accessible on our most coveted devices, our smartphones. With the introduction of two native apps, KAMBO’s lending platform will become one of the most flexible and diverse of its kind.
The KAMBO app is now available on iOS and Android, making it the first crypto-lending platform to have an app in the App store.
Ingard, a compliance network, brokerage, and lending packager specialist, announced on Tuesday online lending platform LendInvest has joined its buy to let panel. According to Ingard, members may now access the lender’s buy to let range direct by registering through LendInvest’s online portal.
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”) is pleased to announce that OneConnect, a subsidiary of the Group, ranked first in one of the world’s most authoritative machine-reading comprehension challenges — the Stanford Question Answering Dataset 2.0 (SQuAD). GammaLab Institute of Artificial Intelligence (GammaLab), owned by OneConnect, scored 83.435, close to the human performance level of 86.831, way ahead of other companies in the challenge.
Another scenario is internet arbitration in universal financial inclusion. Small loan companies tend to turn to online arbitration, which is expensive and takes time to resolve, under the current peer-to-peer lending market. With the reading comprehension skill of GammaLab, the arbitrator will finish a case quicker, reducing the cost for arbitration.
CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, announced today the introduction of its Total Home Value for Originations AVM solution.
The new Total Home Value for Originations solution is specifically calibrated and packaged to improve efficiencies when performing property valuations during the purchase and refinance loan underwriting process.
According to EY study, fintech startups have raised $41.7 billion in the first half of 2018 across the globe. So, what fintech strategies need to be implemented to transform the consumer experience on the market?
India is finally catching up with its neighbour and biggest competitor China. The country now has the second highest fintech adoption rate of 52%, only behind China’s 69%, which also throws a huge opportunity for India to not only make best out of financial services sector but also to disrupt it.
Uber. WeWork. Saudi Arabia. The biggest startup stories in 2018 shared one long and influential thread: Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, its $100 billion tech investment fund, and founder Masayoshi Son.
The Vision Fund is backed by several prominent investors, including Apple and the government of Abu Dhabi, but its largest financial partner is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The country’s government, under crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, contributed 45 percent of the $100 billion, and in October announced plans to put another $45 billion into a second Vision Fund.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has emerged as a popular alternative financing option for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia. In 2016, P2P lending generated US$115.01 million, which accounted for more than half of total market share of Southeast Asia’s alternative financing market. In an evolving financing landscape, P2P lending complements the services banks provide and support the region in realising its growth and development potential. The very fact that investment in the region’s startups tripled from US$2.52 billion in 2016 to US$7.86 billion in 2017 is a testament of the vast potential in Southeast Asia’s FinTech startups.
Businesses, largely SMEs, benefited from such platforms too. According to a Deloitte report, SMEs contribute to 40% of Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and hiring 70% of the region’s workforce. Despite the importance of SMEs regionally, support is generally lacking, especially in terms of financing. This is due to strict banking regulations imposed after the 2008 global financial crisis, which have made banks and most financial institutions increasingly risk-averse. This is evidenced by McKinsey Global Institute’s report stating that 39 million Southeast Asian SMEs (or 51%) lack access to credit.
Malaysia’s securities regulator may license more operators of equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms next year, after current operators raised more than 200 million ringgit (US$48.25 million) for small firms since the industry was legislated in 2015, according to its chairman.
Singapore- and Thailand-based marketing software startup Milieu Insight has announced that it has raised S$1 million (US$730,000) from a group of private investors including former Rippledot Capital Director, Ravi Ravulaparthi.
HonestFund (CEO: Sanghoon Seo) has announced that the company, one of the largest marketplace lending players in South Korea, has successfully raised $12 million Series B investment.
Investment was led by Korea’s leading VCs and investment companies, such as Dunamu & Partners, MurexPartners, KB Investment, TL Asset Management, Bass Investment and HB Investment. This brings HonestFund’s total investment to $21 million, making it one of the most valuable Fintech companies in South Korea.
While many banks have sought to employ experimental technologies when dealing with customers, including predictive virtual assistants, geolocation and advanced data analytics, few have brought all those pieces together to the degree used by TD Bank.
The bank has used such technologies live in production and won significant customer adoption, with its mobile app becoming No. 1 in the finance category in Canada for both iOS and Android. Mobile customers use the app 17 times a month on average, a figure that is growing.
Capital is the livewire of any business, especially for startups and established small businesses. Hence, they are always seeking for some additional funding that is too small for an angel investor to get a return for their effort. Banks also think it’s not worth their time. That’s where peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is working to fill that lending gap. This model may be a solution for many small businesses that are struggling with just tapping smaller funding amounts.
News Comments Today’s main news: Klarna launches Boost. Funding Circle going where banks won’t. Zopa CEO says marketing restrictions appropriate for riskier platforms. ApplePie Capital hits $300M franchise loan milestone. Menē, Affirm partner. Today’s main analysis: SoFi and Prosper Q3 earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub is healthier than ever. Average homeowner age in U.S. metro areas. Robo-advisors growing. Top 5 emerging […]
ApplePie Capital, the first and only online lender dedicated to franchising, announced that it recently surpassed $300 million in loans originated to franchise entrepreneurs opening or expanding their businesses.
The gap between current and projected financial conditions continues to widen suggesting greater volatility ahead:
Prosper’s 10Q revealed that the company lost $19.8 Mn in 3Q, a $7.2 Mn improvement YoY. Net revenues declined from $28.9 Mn to $20.7 Mn YoY. Originations declined from $822 Mn to $640 Mn YoY driven by tighter credit guidelines and rising interest rates.
SoFi’s EBITDA loss in Q3 was $12 Mn compared to an EBITDA gain of $56 Mn in Q3 2017. SoFi’s originations were $2.5 Bn, down by 30% YoY. Rising rates have slowed SoFi’s student loan refinancing business and have contributed to the drop in originations. SoFi now has 700 k checking account customers and the company is branching into offering a suite of wealth management services to these customers. SoFi recently closed a $560 Mn line of credit.
Below is a comparison of key financial metrics of Prosper, SoFi, and their publicly-traded counterpart LendingClub.
Investors are barely noticing it, but LendingClub (LC) continues to pump through another record-setting quarter as the P2P lending platform shores up its core business and boosts its profit targets for the year. Volatility has largely left LendingClub stock; the company has traded in the $3-4 range for the better part of this year as investors have moved on to more exciting names, but in my view, LendingClub is well-positioned for a near-term rebound.
On the back of LendingClub’s strong Q3 report, the company also inched up its guidance for FY18. The forecast now calls for $693 million in revenue and $91.5 million in EBITDA at the midpoint of management’s ranges:
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California appointed lead plaintiffs in a class-action suit against LendingClub, alleging the San Francisco-based company tried to artificially inflate securities and defraud investors.
The plaintiffs, under the title LendingClub Investor Group (LIG), include Xiangdong Ding and Zhenbin Chen, who will serve as lead plaintiffs in the suit according to the Nov. 7 ruling. Ding and Chen invested in and allegedly suffered substantial monetary losses as a result of the fraud.
LendingTree set out to find which metro areas have the oldest homeowners. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, we ranked the 100 largest metropolitan areas by average homeowner age. While some of the rankings aren’t surprising (Florida metros dominate the “old” end of the list), cities popular among millennials aren’t necessarily gaining young homeowners.
The average age of a homeowner across the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States is 54. Only two metros in our analysis — Provo and Ogden, Utah — have an average homeowner age below 50.
Homeowners in Florida are older than homeowners in most other states. Seven out of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest average homeowner age were in Florida.
Homeowners in cities in Utah are among the youngest in the country. Out of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest average age for homeowners, metropolitan areas in Utah — Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake City — held the top three spots.
LendingHome today released a never-before-seen, inside look at localized market statistics based on a combination of LendingHome proprietary data and publicly available real estate records.
LendingHome’s inaugural “State of The Flipping Market” focuses on California which experienced the biggest surge in brand-new house flippers – those who buy, rehabilitate (fix), and resell (flip) residential homes – compared to any other state in 2017. California was also LendingHome’s top state for loan originations in 2017.
LendingHome’s report also pinpoints California’s Top 10 flipping hot spots by county. Ranking first was Los Angeles County, where a whopping 25.71% of all houses purchased were flips. The Top 10 in order:
Executives at three of RealtyShares’ real estate crowdfunding counterparts—ArborCrowd, CrowdStreet and EquityMultiple—say the collapse of a player like RealtyShares is an unfortunate but inevitable growing pain in an evolving industry. Charles Clinton, co-founder and CEO of EquityMultiple, calls the RealtyShares situation a “natural blip.”
The fall of RealtyShares isn’t “an indicator of the health or the longevity of this industry,” Steen says. “It’s actually an indicator that the industry is maturing. In an industry like this—crowdfunding of commercial real estate—you’re going to have certain business models that survive and certain ones that might not.”
Plastiq, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of a solutions to pay bills by credit card, raised $27m in Series C financing.
The round was led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from DST Global. In conjunction with the funding, Kleiner Perkins general partner, Ilya Fushman, will join the Plastiq Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth and roll out new services, develop and deepen its partnerships with key players in the financial and payments sectors, such as MasterCard and other major card brands.
Financial services comparison site SuperMoney is venturing into new territory this week with the launch of its student loan refinancing comparison marketplace. And since student loans are the largest source of unsecured debt in the U.S., with outstanding loan amounts totaling $1.53 trillion, now is as good a time as ever for the new endeavor.
The new marketplace aims to help students make smarter decisions when refinancing their existing student loans. By submitting a single application, users can receive actual rate quotes in real time from multiple lenders, including LendKey, CommonBond, and SoFi. Each offer transparently shows users a breakdown of monthly costs, payments, and fees so that they can make the best decision based on their circumstances.
2. Open a Home Equity Line of Credit – If you’ve been paying down your mortgage for a few years, you’ll have built sizeable equity into your home. Assuming you have decent credit, most banks will give you a line of credit based on that equity.
4. Look into Peer-to-Peer Lending – Peer-to-peer lending is another way to get funding with a comparatively low barrier to entry. Investors put their extra cash into a peer-to-peer lending platform so you borrow from individual investors rather than a bank.
6. Crowdsource the Money – If friends and family are sympathetic to your needs, you may be able to generate funds from them. It’s easy to collect money through crowdsourcing with platforms such as GoFundMe.
Today, Klarna, a leading global payments provider, announced a new collaboration with Gravity Blanket, creator of weighted blankets and sleep products engineered to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation. Shoppers will now be able to use Klarna’s Slice it and brand-new Slice it in 4 products, which allow consumers to pay for their products in installments.
ArborCrowd, the only online platform that enables individuals to make equity investments in institutional-quality commercial real estate, announced today that its Co-Founder and Managing Director, Adam Kaufman, was named a HIVE 50 Innovator by Hanley Wood, the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential and commercial design and construction industries.
The prestigious HIVE 50 is made up of the top people, products, and processes that are leading the charge to inspire creativity, improve performance, and explore better ways to build. This year’s honorees were separated into five categories. Mr. Kaufman was selected as one of the top innovators in the “Capital” category for his role in co-founding and leading ArborCrowd, which provides accredited investors with access to institutional-quality real estate investment opportunities.
One company that isn’t quite doing that is Funding Circle, the platform lending company founded in the U.K. in 2010. After an initial public offering earlier this year, it’s publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange with a $1.6 billion market cap.
That’s a lower valuation than the company hoped for and that “less than giddy IPO,” as Bloomberg put it, has been seen as a cautionary data-point for other soon-to-be-public fintech lenders.
ZOPA’S chief executive has said that proposed investor marketing restrictions are appropriate for platforms that offer riskier manual lending opportunities but not for them.
Jaidev Janardana (pictured) said that when an investor is lending against one property or one business, this could be riskier and “we need to make sure investors are sophisticated when they make these decisions”.
A growth in the demand for low-cost investment services in the UK is driving new investor uptake in fintech robo-advisors, according to Boring Money research. Through Q3 2018, 800,000 new DIY investment accounts — where customers decide on investment choices without the help of financial advisors — were opened in the UK.
Of those new account openings, a third were with one of the UK’s leading fintech robo-advisor operators, including Nutmeg and Moneyfarm, compared with 11% a year ago. The total number of DIY investment accounts, inclusive of customers of robo and traditional platforms, rose to 4.8 million in the same period — a 22% uptick.
Klarna is searching for eight small and medium-sized enterprises to help them grow and take their businesses to the next level with its ‘Smooothest Store’ competition.
Open to businesses specialising in fashion, jewellery or lifestyle products, who are less than two years old, with an e-commerce store and a turnover in excess of 100,000 pounds per annum, the competition will help the winning up-and-coming retailers with a tailored combination of guidance, finance, and Klarna’s in-demand Pay later payment product.
Today’s customers are looking for transparency and speed. My credit card provider had years to collect data on my and had ample opportunity to contact me and explain what information they needed. Sadly they chose to wait for me to get fed up with their slow process. We see companies struggle everyday with the balance between calculated risk and customer experience. At Equiniti we have dealt with many similar situations in which we try to find the right balance for our client so that they can offer their client the credit they need in a safe and structured way without sacrificing speed. Perhaps it is time that I offer this service to my own bank. But I would make them ask me 3 times………
Peer-to-peer lending is growing in popularity among borrowers and investors but where could financial advisers fit into the picture? Paul Stallard has some thoughts on the matter.
Peer-to-peer lending is growing in popularity among borrowers and investors alike, offering a flexible alternative to traditional investment products. In particular, peer-to-peer lending is catching on among property investors, with platforms offering attractive returns without the associated hassle and risk of traditional buy-to-let investing.
Klarna has launched its own financing program for SME retailers in Europe. The new initiative is called Boost and is aimed to further support retailers in accelerating their growth. The company promises the application process will be simple and straightforward.
Klarna’s Boost is currently available in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden for selected merchants only, but it will be widely available in these seven European countries from the beginning of December.
The company explains the release by saying how cash flow is often one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to grow further.
The consumer credit market in Sweden is a relatively large and growing market. The total loan volumes amount to approximately Bn EUR 23, distributed among 1.4 million individuals. According to the Swedish central bank, the average interest rate is 12.5% and credit losses are between 0.9% to 1.5% per annum.
The funding predominantly comes from Swedish banks and niche banks which are advanced in digitization and benefit from the Swedish population being used to managing their finances online. However, digitization has not contributed to improving competition or the conditions for consumers. Instead, net interest rates (rates after deduction of funding costs) have risen well beyond 8-10% and created the world’s most profitable banks with a return on equity often well above 30%.
Menē Inc. (TSX-V:MENE) (“Menē” or the “Company”), an online 24 karat investment jewelry brand, today announced its partnership with Affirm, which provides U.S. customers with a new option based on real-time credit decisions that allow them to split Menē purchases into monthly payments while receiving items directly following payment capture.
Qualified U.S. customers will be offered 0% APR loans for 3 or 6-month terms, while remaining customers will be offered 10-30% APR loans for 3, 6 or 12-month terms. For example, a $600 loan over six months at 0% APR would cost $100 per month. Affirm’s offering is in addition to Menē’s existing Harvest Plan payment program, which remains available to Canadian and other international customers.
It’s already home to fintechs like Bankaool, a challenger bank offering an annual interest rate of 3.75%; Conekta, an AI-powered platform develops that helps FIs in Latin America detect and prevent fraud; as well as CLIP, a Square Cash-like company that allows merchants to turn their phones and tablets into POS terminals.
The WSJ reports that a subpoena was sent to the SALT lending platform this February and the SEC is currently evaluating whether or not the ICO constituted an unregistered securities offering. SALT’s troubles do not end there. The SALT CFO has also filed a lawsuit against the company because favorable loans were given to company executives and family members.
The FinTech ecosystem is a financial evolution in itself. Right from money transfers to personal loans, from account management to asset management, FinTech is rapidly making its way into the lives of the tech-savvy microentrepreneurs of today. Just a few years ago, the only way to start a business was to approach a bank or an investor for financial assistance. Thanks to FinTech, the micro or small businesses now can choose to no longer go through the conventional methods to get microloans for starting, running or scaling up their businesses.
FinTech has opened a whole new world of opportunities for small businesses. They can now offer more and better services at a reduced price. But, if you want to not only sustain but succeed in your business, it is important that you embrace technology and stay up to date with the latest FinTech developments.
P2P (peer to peer) lending has grown popular in Indonesia. These online lenders promise quick loans with few questions asked. According to Indonesia Investments, credit disbursement through P2P lending in Indonesia has soared 204.7% this year.
Hundreds of fintech startups launched in Indonesia with variations of the P2P loan model; some of the older players are starting to see traction, while some others are facing various challenges due to increasingly stringent regulations.
The Financial Services Regulator, OJK, at some point put out a list of more than a hundred online lenders that it had banned for pushing into the market without going through the mandatory registration with the regulator, but that doesn’t appear to deter startups from participating in the lending gold rush.
Biz2Credit is working with HSBC Bank Canada to give Canadian small business owners quicker and easier access to apply for business financing.
HSBC eCredit is a digital-first approach to lending, which will allow small business owners to apply for financing online. Currently available by invitation in selected areas, HSBC eCredit will be fully available country wide in English December 2018 and in French the following month.
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 […]
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.
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’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.
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.
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 Credit Cards
Team Devices (Apple Pay and such)
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.