Loyalty and Fluidity in Alternative Financial Services and Traditional Lending

Growth of Funded Loan Volume Online

Non-prime lending has revolutionized the lending sector. In times where people lack a stable credit history, securing a traditional loan is not easy—and non-prime has become a go-to option in such scenarios. In the past few years, alternative financial services have gained momentum in terms of acceptability and volume. There are various companies in the […]

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Growth of Funded Loan Volume Online

Non-prime lending has revolutionized the lending sector. In times where people lack a stable credit history, securing a traditional loan is not easy—and non-prime has become a go-to option in such scenarios. In the past few years, alternative financial services have gained momentum in terms of acceptability and volume. There are various companies in the market that offer instant loans even to the borrowers who have a weak credit history. But how do we infer how many people have migrated to non-prime online borrowing from the traditional borrowing set up, and how many people have migrated back to the traditional set up?

Experian’s Clarity Services, a credit reporting agency specializing in near prime and subprime consumers, offers credit data to alternative financial service (AFS) providers. This helps lenders gain a wider perspective of non-prime applicants and further enables them to make more informed decisions.

The company furnishes the AFS trends report that specifies the prevailing trends and consumer behavior in the market by studying the underlying factors. In the 2019 AFS Lending Trends Report, Clarity studied a sample of 350 million consumer loan applications and more than 25 million loans to evaluate the market trends for the 2014 to 2018 time period. Clarity also leveraged Experian’s national credit bureau data to analyze consumer behavior.

Alternative Financial Services — What Do the Market Trends Say?

Non-prime consumers include people who may have been irresponsible with credit previously, youngsters with inadequate credit history, people who face sudden and unexpected emergencies, recent immigrants in the US or someone in immediate need of cash. The basis for the report includes factors of loan origination (involves the online and storefront channels) and loan types (includes installment payments and single pay).

In order to study the rise of the online lending market from 2014 to 2018, Clarity studied online installment and single pay loans by the number of loans originated and total dollars funded.

Growth of Funded Loan Volume ($) – Online

 

Growth of Funded Loan Volume ($) – Online Single

The graphs illustrate how online installment loans have been steadily growing from 2014 to 2018. The volume of online installment loans in 2018 was 7.4 times higher than the volume in 2014. Whereas, the volume grew up until 2016 in the case of online single pay loans, plummeted in 2017 and held steady in 2018.

As per the report, more than half of online borrowers are new to the alternative credit space. The table below illustrates the consumers who opened an online loan in 2018, tracking their past behavior from 2014 to 2018.

Clarity also tracked the activity of 2017 alternative financial borrowers in 2018 and if they continued with online platforms. The results showed that 41% of online borrowers again availed an alternative loan, while 24% of the borrowers did not show up in 2018. Also, 35% of the borrowers applied for a loan but did not open one.

Further investigations gave another interesting insight. Around 34% of 2017 borrowers who did not have any applications or loans in 2018 had switched to traditional lenders. This implies that 7% of overall 2017 borrowers migrated to traditional lending in 2018.

As per an examination of the credit classification of consumers who obtained and did not obtain loans from traditional lenders in 2018, 23% of borrowers who switched to traditional lending possessed a near prime credit score, and only 8% of the borrowers continuing in the alternative finance space were classified as near prime.

Factors Influencing Migration from Online Platforms to Traditional

While the migration of borrowers from AFS platforms to traditional ones might not be a shocker, borrowers who had a subprime credit score and were ineligible to apply for traditional loans were mostly the ones who moved to online or the AFS space to get the credit they needed. As and when their credit scores improved, they reverted to the traditional space. While AFS is convenient in terms of credit scores and repayments, there are strong factors that influence the borrowers to move back to traditional methods.

Frauds: With the advent of technology, fraud too has evolved. With data breaches, the fraudsters create a synthetic identity that cannot be easily decoded. This is leveraged by fraudsters to open fake and additional accounts.

Generation Bias: Gen X is more comfortable with online borrowing and less likely to be inclined towards storefront options. Another study under the report implies that the Silent and Boomer generations only account for 25% to 30% of all AFS borrowers.

Income Trends: In the past five years, online installment borrowers reported a higher income (while the values have been steady since 2016) and the reported incomes of storefront installment borrowers have been stagnant since 2014.

Conclusion

Due to the recession in 2008, the majority of borrowers had suffered a hit to their credit worthiness. On the other side, traditional lenders folded due to the toxic asset built up in their balance sheets. This created a vacuum for the AFS players to capture. It was a win-win as they were able to tap into a multi-hundred-billion-dollar market unchallenged, and the affected borrowers got a chance to get the credit they needed desperately.

With record economic growth, the 2019 scenario is different. Borrowers are returning to traditional ways of borrowing. The trends report puts light on the activities of the borrowers and how their needs have changed over time. In the given scenario, Clarity’s alternative credit data is a key asset when studying borrower behavior in the market.

Download the complete 2019 Alternative Financial Services Lending Trends report on Clarity’s website.

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Open Source Origination Technology Platform for Online Lenders

DigiFi lending solutions

Introduction Online lenders are fast becoming the first port of call to avail loans and have been attracting strong funding interest from VCs and PEs. This demand for a digital lending experience has also forced traditional lenders like banks and credit unions to figure out the technology which will allow them to originate loans in […]

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DigiFi lending solutions

Introduction

Online lenders are fast becoming the first port of call to avail loans and have been attracting strong funding interest from VCs and PEs. This demand for a digital lending experience has also forced traditional lenders like banks and credit unions to figure out the technology which will allow them to originate loans in a flexible yet scaleable way. They have two options: Buy or Build.

The build option can be extremely expensive and time consuming. But the buy option leads to a digital experience that is constrained, as you are dependent the features and functionalities of the vendor. Moreover, there is no way to really differentiate in the eyes of the digital customer. The solution is DigiFi: an open source tech platform which also allows you to customize along with a layer of additional services like hosting, support, platform implementation, etc.

DigiFI

DigiFi was founded by Joshua Jersey and Bradley Vanderstarren in 2014. It started its life as Promise Financial, an online lender, and raised $110 million in credit capital. It built up its own proprietary tech as there was no solution provider in 2014 offering an end-to-end loan origination platform that could automate the entire process. They sold off the tech to a large lending institution in 2017 and pivoted to DigiFi, one of the world’s first open source loan origination systems (LOS) which equips the lenders with flexible and modern tools to create unique platforms and digital experiences.

The company’s ideology is simple: That is to give other incumbent lenders, branches, credit unions, and startup digital lenders a platform where they do not struggle to build core lending capabilities from scratch. The company utilized the year 2017 and early 2018 to build up its platform, and started working with clients in late 2018. The company, with 10 people, has raised $4 million in equity to date and is based in New York.

The Market’s Pain Points and the DigiFi Solution

The ‘build or buy’ question creates a space for a platform that can bring together the qualities that fulfill the core origination requirements of the lending market and yet customize to give the client a competitive edge over other players. DigiFi empowers its clients to control the features and UI/UX so that it suits the specific needs of their unique client base. The existing tech vendors force the lenders into a rigid structure that limits flexibility to differentiate and provides the exact same experience for all sets of clients.

DigiFi gives the best of ‘buy vs. build’. Thus, DigiFi clients do not need to start from scratch and yet have the power to tailor the tech (buy and build, a win-win!). The company’s core platform is open source, and the source code can be accessed on Github. Revenue is generated from acting as a layer that provides hosting, support, platform implementation and customization services.

In crux, the platform of the company has features like complete lending CRM, decision engine for lending decisions, machine learning environment, and open-API architecture, and it can be configured for deployment across a range of lending verticals that include consumer, mortgage, small business, and commercial. DigiFi gives out the open source platform and its documentation for free.

The platform of the company is currently being leveraged by Sprout Mortgage, Mariner Finance, Constant Energy Capital, Greenwave, and Home Point Financial.

The Platform in Detail

The company provides its platform to the lenders for free and charges for additional services of configuration, setup, support, and running. Depending on the requirements of the client, DigiFi offers support plans for a monthly fee. The customization and platform implementation are charged on an hourly basis. The implementation time and cost varies. The implementation might take up to 4-8 weeks at a minimum and can take up to months if the lender needs to build out features from scratch. As compared to years and millions of dollars for building an in–house model, the DigiFi solution is usually in the 5-6 figure range.

The company’s platform is built on the JavaScript tech stack, and uses two well-established coding languages that are uncomplicated for clients to work with and engage. DigiFi focuses on end-to-end loan origination and concludes with onboarding onto a servicing system after funding.

The Future

As per the CEO of DigiFI, the incumbents are getting better with time as they have a lower cost of capital and existing customer base, positioning them to succeed. Getting the right tech partner on board is thus the critical piece to build a successful moat.

DigiFi offers a platform to lenders looking to tap the online lending market that not only equips them to get the best of the ‘buy vs. build’ system but also ensures full support and customization. It powers the lender with ready-made solutions, fast implementation, support and training, feature controls, unique customizations, flexible hosting options, and a contributor community. It provides the option to integrate all major data sources – Transunion, Equifax, Experian, MicroBilt, LexisNexis, etc. With over 45,000 development hours, DigiFi platform provides it clients a strong barrier to entry with complete configurability with other APIs, true scaleability with AWS, and integrated AI ML solutions.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

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Thursday January 24 2019, Weekly News Digest

millennials loan money

News Comments Today’s main news: Funding Circle, Stripe partner on small business expansion. Goldman, Citi drop Chinese P2P lenders. RateSetter attracts 75K investors. MarketInvoice gets 56M GBP in equity, debt funding. Hexindai shares credit data with Baihang Credit. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ on bank earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The link between marketplace lending and personal bankruptcy. 10 best places to […]

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millennials loan money

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Goldman, Citi Drop Chinese Peer-to-Peer Lenders After Crackdown (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

First came a sweeping government crackdown and a surge in defaults and failures at thousands of China’s peer-to-peer lenders. Now, in another troubling sign for the industry, some of the biggest investment banks have stopped taking them public.

Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. walked away from U.S. initial public offerings of Chinese P2P lenders in recent months, people with knowledge of the matter said. Their concerns mainly stemmed from the timing of the deals, with an uncertain outlook for P2P companies and a slumping market knocking down valuations. In each case, the businesses went ahead with their offerings after finding new underwriters.

Marketplace Lending & Personal Bankruptcy: Cause and Effect (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

A national wave of personal bankruptcies that began in 2008 reached a peak in the year ending September 2010, when nearly 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed.

Filings fell by 1.8 percent for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2018, compared with the year ending March 31, 2017. The data continues a national trend of declining bankruptcy filings since 2010-2011.

An interesting white paper (The Real Effects of Financial Technology: Marketplace Lending and Personal Bankruptcy) co-authored by Dr. Piotr Danisewicz, University of Bristol and Ilaf Elard, Assistant Professor of Finance at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics was released last summer.

Among the many additional conclusions Danisewicz and Elard reach in the white paper are:

  • The Madden win triggered Lending Club and Prosper, the two largest U.S. marketplace lenders, to reduce lending in the states affected by the verdict.
  • The co-authors attribute the increase in the incidence of personal bankruptcy following Madden to the reduction in marketplace lending. This hypothesis is supported by a number of further results.
  • The consequences of Madden are limited to the enforceability of marketplace loans and suggest that the increase in bankruptcy rates following Madden arises predominantly from changes in marketplace lending.
  • Danisewicz and Elard also rule out that the rise in bankruptcy following the verdict could be the result of an increase in defaults by marketplace borrowers in the affected states. This may occur if marketplace borrowers are over-indebted and default after being unable to obtain additional marketplace loans in the affected states.

Strong Bank Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Banks had a rough quarter for trading revenues. FICC revenues at MS dropped by 30% YoY and by 18% YoY at GSBank of America’s 15% YoY drop in trading revenues was offset by a 10% increase in consumer banking revenuesRevenues at Wells Fargo dropped by 5% YoY driven by lower consumer loan balances. WFC faces a regulatory asset cap until the end of 2019 which is hampering loan growth. JPM was the only bank where the provision for credit losses increased, driven by a reserve build for credit cards due to loan growth.

Source: PeerIQ

10 Best Places to Pay Down Debt (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Americans’ debt balances continued climbing in 2018, with total consumer debt tracking to top $4 trillion by the end of that year. With balances climbing high, many borrowers will want to use the new year to take their debt down a peg. For those who do so, prioritizing paying off debt can bring major rewards both in the near and long distance future.

86 Million Americans Fear Maxing Out Plastic on Large Purchases (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

The holiday shopping season is over now, and many Americans are seeing the impact on their credit card bills and bank statements. During the holidays, people often make a lot of large purchases, and sometimes max out their cards in order to do so. In a nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub, 34 percent of respondents say they worry about maxing out their card with a large purchase.

Source: WalletHub

Credit Line Increases Drive Consumer Engagement and are Most Likely to Happen at the Beginning of the Year (AP News), Rated: A

According to a new study from TransUnion (NYSE: TRU), consumers are 50% more likely to receive a credit line increase (CLI) between the months of January and May. However, credit line decreases (CLD) occur at twice the normal rate during the month of January.

Lendio Provides More Than 5,000 Kiva Loans to Support Women-Owned Businesses Around the World (Lendio), Rated: A

Lendio announced today that through continued efforts to support business growth around the world, the Lendio Gives program has funded more than 5,000 Kiva microloans. To-date, Lendio’s employee contribution and employer matching program has provided more than $130,000 in loans to underserved business owners in 78 countries.

Lendio Franchising Named No. 1 Financial Services Brand in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 (Lendio), Rated: B

Lendio Franchising recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. Named #1 in the Business Financial Services category for the second year running, Lendio Franchising was recognized for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. Placement in the Franchise 500 is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry; Entrepreneur received more than 1,000 applications this year, making it one of the company’s most competitive rankings ever.

Commercial Real Estate Finance Platform CrediFi Milestone: Total Capital Raised Has Surpassed $ 29 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

CrediFi, a fintech and commercial real estate finance platform, on Wednesday it has raised an additional $6 million in funding. This funding comes on the heels of the $13 million previously raised in Series B funding. The company reported that the total amount it has raised has surpassed $29 million.

Lending Express Celebrates $ 100M Lending Milestone & California’s Golden Opportunities (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Lending Express, an Israeli tech company dedicated to creating a better world of funding for SMBs, has surpassed $100 million in financing facilitated between small and medium business owners and online lenders. Lending Express also obtained state permission to open for business in California.

Fundation Launches Digital Lending Capability with Banc of California for Small Business Customers (OAOA), Rated: A

Fundation announced that it has recently launched a digital lending solution in partnership with Banc of California, enabling the California-based bank to offer a new, streamlined end-to-end solution for small businesses seeking a business loan or line of credit. The solution enables small businesses to apply for loans and lines of credit through a simple online application at Bancofcal.com and receive funds in a little as one business day.

Entrepreneurs Take Note: Success Is Within Reach (WWD), Rated: A

With insight from 600 “thriving” U.S. small business owners, a study by global financial services platform Kabbage, Inc. reveals one-third of small businesses started with less than $5,000 in start-up capital.

According to the report, particularly scrappy or thrifty entrepreneurs may want to consider starting a business in one of the three categories costing $5,000 or less “during the first six months.” Accounting; at 45 percent, online retail; at 44 percent and construction and landscaping; at 39 percent represented the least amount of start-up capital, or lowest entry barriers.

Officials caution federal workers of predatory online payday lenders during federal shutdown (News 8), Rated: A

Attorney General William Tong and Department of Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez cautioned federal workers on Wednesday to avoid predatory online payday lenders who may seek to exploit the struggling workers during the partial government shutdown.

Most People Would Not Loan Their Loved Ones Money to Start a Business (Fundera), Rated: A

The time and effort it takes to raise the funds for your startup can quickly get out of hand, which may be the reason that 29% of new small businesses run out of cash and fail.

In fact, 38% of startups are funded by friends and family members.

We surveyed 1,000 Americans on whether or not they would loan a friend or family member money to start their business and found that 82% of people would not loan a friend or family member money to start a business.

Source: Fundera

No Pay Stub? No Problem. Unconventional Mortgages Make a Comeback (WSJ), Rated: A

Lenders issued $34 billion of these unconventional mortgages in the first three quarters of 2018, a 24% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. While that makes up less than 3% of the $1.3 trillion of mortgage originations over that period, the growth is notable because it came as traditional home loans declined. Those originations fell 1.2% over the same period and were on track for a second down year in 2018.

North Capital Launches REITless Impact Income Strategies (PR Newswire), Rated: A

North Capital Investment Technology Inc. recently launched a new investment vehicle, REITless Impact Income Strategies (REITless), focused on lending and strategic debt investments to primarily single- and multi-family real estate development and redevelopment projects that aim to produce positive social impact in communities nationwide. The impact initiatives targeted by the company are energy efficiency, employment generation, affordable housing, and green-housing improvements that promote environmental sustainability. REITless is managed by North Capital Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor (RIA).

BFS Capital Achieves $ 2 Billion in Financing (BusinessWire), Rated: A

BFS Capital, a leading small business financing platform, today announced it has now issued more than $2 billion in financing to over 22,000 small businesses across the United States, Canada and, through its United Kingdom subsidiary, Boost Capital.

KeyBank To Acquire Online Lending Business Laurel Road (PR Newswire), Rated: A

KeyBank National Association today announced that KeyBank and Laurel Road Bank have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Key of Laurel Road’s digital lending business; Laurel Road’s three bank branches located in southeast Connecticut are not part of this transaction. Through the acquisition, Key will enhance its digital capabilities with state-of-the-art, customer-centric technology and will leverage Laurel Road’s proven ability to attract and serve professional millennial clients.

GROUNDFLOOR Launches Real Estate Investments Specific To Georgia Residents During Federal Shutdown (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Today, Atlanta-based GROUNDFLOOR is launching new investment opportunities specific to Georgia residents. The crowdsourced real estate investing and lending platform regularly offers investment opportunities to accredited and non-accredited investors throughout the country. Due to the federal shutdown and furloughs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, GROUNDFLOOR is now resurfacing state-by-state securities to continue to offer investors the opportunity to invest on a fractional, self-directed basis in Georgia real estate.

Is community banks’ loan growth too much of a good thing? (American Banker), Rated: A

Total loans at publicly traded banks with assets of less than $20 billion rose 9.2% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, based on Jan. 18 data compiled by FIG Partners. Publicly traded banks above that threshold have reported a 2.7% increase in loans.

Breakout Capital Finance expands Board of Directors, appoints Neil Gurvitch and Firoze Lafeer (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Breakout Capital Finance, a leading fintech innovator, announces the expansion of its Board of Directors by appointing Firoze Lafeer, company CTO, and Neil Gurvitch as an independent director.  In making the appointments, Carl Fairbank, Breakout’s Founder and CEO, said, “We continue to see rapid growth in our lending- and technology-focused endeavors.  Adding more seasoned leadership continues our expansion and growth plans.”

Samsung NEXT, NBKC Executives and Ellie Mae Veteran Join ProPair Advisory Board (BusinessWire), Rated: B

ProPair, a Silicon Valley innovator using machine learning and predictive decision-making to change how mortgage lenders are assigning and prioritizing their leads, today announced the additions of Leo Chang, Chad Cronk and Nick Hedges to its advisory board.

United Kingdom

RateSetter attracts over 75,000 investors (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: AAA

RateSetter has announced that over 75,000 investors have put money into its platform.

Since its launch in 2010, investors have earned £120m through the P2P lending platform at an average interest rate of 4.4% per year.

RateSetter currently has £830m of investment under management, including £170m invested through its Isa.

MarketInvoice secures £56m equity and debt funding (MarketInvoice), Rated: AAA

Fintech business MarketInvoice today announced it has raised £26m in new equity funding. This Series-B funding round was led by Barclays and Fintech fund, Santander InnoVentures with significant participation from European venture fund Northzone, an existing investor in the company. Technology credit fund Viola Credit, who also participated in the equity round, will provide a debt facility of up to £30m. The facility will help scale the MarketInvoice business loans offering that sits alongside their core invoice finance solutions.

Goldman Sachs’ Marcus platform reveals AUM (AltFi), Rated: A

The US investment giant said its digital bank attracted has more than £5bn in UK savings just three months after its launch.

The US investment giant debuted its online lending and deposit platform, Marcus, in the UK at the end of last summer, and pulled in 100,000 customers and £5.4bn in the final quarter of the year.

Metro Bank shares crash after loans blunder revealed (The Guardian), Rated: A

Metro Bank has revealed a major blunder in how it classifies its loan book, an admission that drove its share price down by nearly 40% on Wednesday, wiping £800m off the value of the company.

The bank, which has been opening new branches as established rivals cut back, revealed that hundreds of millions of pounds of commercial property loans and loans to commercial buy-to-let operators had been wrongly classified in risk terms, and should have been among its “risk-weighted assets” (RWAs).

Glenhawk grows team with LendInvest hire following strong start to 2019 (Property Funds World), Rated: B

Having originated GBP28.4 million of potential loans since the start of the year, and completed on just over GBP4 million, early indications are that 2019 will see accelerated demand for Glenhawk’s fast and flexible short term property finance. Wareham joins Glenhawk’s 20-strong team of real estate professionals, supporting an increasingly diverse range of borrowers across the South of England and Midlands.

China

Hexindai Begins Sharing Credit Data with Baihang Credit (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Hexindai Inc. (NASDAQ: HX) (“Hexindai” or the “Company”), a fast-growing consumer lending marketplace in China, announced today that it has connected its systems and begun sharing credit data with Baihang Zhengxin (“Baihang Credit”).

China crackdown aims to push peer-to-peer lenders out of the industry (Australian Financial Review), Rated: A

Chinese authorities have further tightened controls on the peer-to-peer lending industry, aiming to clear out as many P2P platforms as possible, according to an official document seen by Caixin.

Microlenders need to obtain licences from the regulators and meet certain minimal capital requirements. For instance, a microlender in Shanghai needs to register its business with more than 200 million yuan ($41.2 million). P2P platforms usually don’t have to meet such requirements.

Chinese investors try to storm company after P2P lender failure (Business Times), Rated: A

In the latest sign of turmoil in China’s once booming peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector, around 80 investors in failed lender Xinhehui protested outside the Hangzhou headquarters of a related company on Tuesday, demanding a US$330 million bailout.

Mrs Xue, who would only provide a surname for fear of retaliation, said she arrived at 8am with around 80 other investors from Zhejiang and neighboring provinces, demanding payment for 2.26 billion yuan (S$452 million) of products that Xinhehui had sold, including 860 million yuan (S$172 million) worth that were due for repayment on Jan 6.

Xi Tells Cadres to ‘Prevent and Control’ Risks as China’s Economic Woes Mount (The Epoch Times), Rated: B

At a high-level meeting of senior Chinese Communist Party officials held in Beijing, Chinese leader Xi Jinping gave an opening speech on Jan. 21 that hinted at the severity of China’s economic downturn.

European Union

Fellow Finance Launches Peer to Peer Lending in Denmark (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finland based peer to peer lender Fellow Finance is now operating in Denmark. The company says it will offer Danish consumers access to credit while Fellow Finance investors will be able to fund Danish loans. Currently, Fellow Finance provides consumer loans in Finland, Germany, Poland, and Sweden.

Note to Irish and US parents: college not the only path for your cherished offspring (Irish Central), Rated: A

According to the student loan marketplace www.lendEDU.com, the average debt per borrower at a public college is $26,872. This rises to $31,710 if you’re inclined to a private college experience. For graduate school students – whose parents have by now presumably said, “Time to pay your own way, sunshine” – the average debt is a staggering $57,600.

International

Funding Circle partners with Stripe to help small businesses expand (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle, the global small business loans platform, today announced that it has joined the Stripe Partner Program, providing businesses using Stripe with access to affordable business financing through Funding Circle. As a verified extension partner, Funding Circle now enables Stripe users to import their data directly and securely to apply for a business loan up to $500,000 — making the process faster and easier so they can get back to running their businesses.

Boost Capital ups firepower as US parent hits $ 2bn lending milestone (AltFi), Rated: A

Small business lender Boost Capital has refinanced its credit facility lifting its funding capacity to $60m, as its US parent targets European growth.

The Chelmsford-based platform, which provides business loans and merchant cash advances, said it upped its credit firepower from $40m after signing a deal with New York-based investment firm Atalaya Capital Management.

India

Matrix Partners invests in P2P lending platform LiquiLoans (Techstory), Rated: AAA

Mumbai based peer to peer lending platform LiquiLoans, one of the few players to have secured a P2P license, has now secured an undisclosed amount of funding from some of the existing investor that is Matrix partners India.

Fintech startup floated by ex-Lendingkart execs MoneyOnClick raises funding (VC Circle), Rated: A

Two former executives from online lending platform Lendingkart have quit the firm to set up a new venture in the alternative lending space, catering to consumers.

According to their respective LinkedIn accounts, the startup, which has been operational since October 2018, has already raised $2.25 million (Rs 16.02 crore at current exchange rates) as part of its first institutional funding round from undisclosed investors.

Women, non-metros topping up on credit, says BankBazaar survey (MoneyControl), Rated: A

Non-metro cities have emerged as the bigger market for unsecured credit in terms of volume than the metros in 2018, according to BankBazaar Moneymood 2019 report.

The average personal loan ticket size in non-metros is Rs 2.80 lakh compared to Rs 2.55 lakh in metros. The unsecured credit portfolio includes personal loans and credit cards which are used more for consumption activities than secured loans.

Online rental marketplace Sacorooms Rises fresh funding Pre-Series A (Times of India), Rated: A

Sacorooms, a start-up that is building co-living spaces, has closed a pre-Series A round of funding for an undisclosed amount from Mr. Broadway. The investment comes after a strategic round led by Incubate Fund and a group of investors from the real estate industry this year.

Asia

OJK Zero Down Payment Policy Drives Multifinance Growth (Tempo.co), Rated: AAA

The recent policy of zero percent down payment for vehicle credit issued by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) believed to be able to drive the performance of the multifinance industry. Businesses are confident that multi-finance companies will perform better with the new regulation.

Chairman of the Indonesian Financing Company Association (APPI) Soewandi Wiranto, said that the business expansion stated in the new regulation can increase financing industry growth. Based on APPI’s calculation, industrial asset growth for 2019 can reach up to 9 percent while the growth rate of receivables is predicted to be in a range of 6 to 7 percent.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday January 24 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Alternative Credit Scoring – Financial Salvation For Those With Low or No Credit Score

alternative credit scoring

Reports estimate that over one-third of the American population has no record in any of the credit bureaus and, therefore, have no credit history. Millions of Americans do not have access to financial services, and this is an even more common scenario in developing markets. Over 80% of the African population do not use lending […]

alternative credit scoring

Reports estimate that over one-third of the American population has no record in any of the credit bureaus and, therefore, have no credit history. Millions of Americans do not have access to financial services, and this is an even more common scenario in developing markets. Over 80% of the African population do not use lending or banking services because they have no fixed income. The situation creates a question mark on the relevance of traditional credit scoring agencies and their impact over the larger population. Thankfully, fintech innovators are heading towards new, alternative data sources like rent payments, cell phone data, and even social media usage to evaluate credit risk. The aim is to replace traditional credit models with a more complete assessment of a prospective borrower. The focus is to create a win-win situation for both lenders and loan seekers by providing a new foundation to lenders for credit underwriting and providing millions of borrowers a chance to step up on the credit ladder.

The Current Credit Scenario

People with a low or no credit score find it impossible to prove their eligibility for loans. The most disenfranchised are minorities and women. This then creates a vicious circle as they can’t get a loan due to no score, and they can’t improve their score because no one is ready to give them credit.

Currently, the credit score of a person is calculated depending on the information in his credit reports. This information consists of the person’s name, phone number, social security number, employment information, account information, loan repayment details, and credit card accounts.

Alternative Credit Scoring Models

The following alternative credit scoring models have a different approach, leveraging their own data sources, proprietary algorithms, and technology to disrupt existing industry systems. The idea is to reach new audiences and onboard creditworthy borrowers who are lost due to the current model’s shortcomings.

FICO Score XD

FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) is best positioned to bring the change. Its FICO is synonymous with credit scoring and is usually the most important element in deciding if a person can qualify for a loan.

FICO’s new alternative model, FICO Score XD, developed in partnership with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax, considers alternative data sources like internet and phone bills to help users who do not have credit data attain a score.

The new scoring system has had a major impact:

  • FICO Score XD 2 was able to score over 26.5 million previously unscorable consumer files
  • 11.8 million were without any credit file and unscorable via any traditional bureau
  • The new system has increased coverage from 91% of applicants to almost 98% of applicants

CreditVision Link

Another scoring model has been developed by credit reporting giant TransUnion in order to integrate alternative data and provide a solution to those who do not have any credit score. It concentrates on “trended data” as compared to only considering historical data in silos. So it not only evaluates the current situation of the borrower but also the credit details for last two years for a more comprehensive credit-scoring model. It has been able to score over 60 million borrowers who were previously unscorable.

Cignifi

Cignifi, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an interesting alternative credit scoring startup. Backed by the Omidyar Network, it provides a platform for providing credit and marketing scores for consumers (especially in the developing world) via mobile phone behavior data. Its big data engine allows the mobile network operators and insurance partners to discover eligible customers for credit cards, loans, insurance, savings, and other banking services.

Cignifi’s main focus is on “financial inclusion,” which uses risk scoring technology to serve the unbanked population who do not have credit scores. It leverages mobile and texting patterns, routine of being at workplace or home, and contact with reputable borrowers.

CreditVidya

This India-based fintech startup offers alternate data-based credit scores for underwriting first-time borrowers using machine learning and big data analytics. It has raised $7 million in funding and uses over 10,000 digital footprints via in-house designed APIs. It has been able to help lenders attract first-time borrowers as well as reduce the processing time from days to 30 minutes.

India alone has 800 million unscored individuals, thus the market size is huge and lenders desperately need a service which can help them tap such a massive segment of the population.

Advantages of Alternative Credit Scoring Models

  • Access to a wider customer base: It enables the widening of the prospective borrower base. This is extremely vital for fintech lenders as it is difficult for them to compete with the big banks on pricing. But their ability to utilize new credit models and give borrowers with “thin” credit files a chance will lead to the expansion of the entire market.
  • Customer experience: Alternative credit scoring also automates the process of credit decisioning and allows for a more hassle-free digitally-enhanced experience. This enhances the utility to millions of borrowers who were otherwise supposed to visit their nearest branches for processing of their loan applications.
  • Improved underwriting process: All the alternative data adds a layer of analytics to the existing data, as well. This gives deep insight to the underwriters and helps in developing an enhanced credit-scoring model.

Conclusion

These alternative credit-scoring models aim to bring banking to the unbanked. This empowers lenders to reach out to individuals who were rejected for the reason that they had no/thin credit flies. The new models will shake up the industry, and lenders incorporating them into their credit underwriting process will see better traction and stronger customer loyalty, especially from those who were earlier denied credit on a faulty premise.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Friday November 3 2017, Daily News Digest

p2p lending volumes

News Comments Today’s main news: Kabbage sued over true lender doctrine. Orchard to launch online lending industry page on Bloomberg terminal. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6. DBRS assigns provisional ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6. RateSetter changes approach to property loan defaults. Lendy breaks another record. MarketInvoice enters business loan market. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ […]

p2p lending volumes

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United Kingdom

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International

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News Summary

United States

Small Business Borrower Sues Kabbage (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

A small business (SMB) in Massachusetts borrowing funds via marketplace lender Kabbage has sued the platform, igniting new debate in the conversation over the definition of a “true lender,” according to reports in the National Law Review on Tuesday (Oct. 31).

The small business that sued the parties is reportedly arguing that Celtic let Kabbage “rent” that bank charter to originate loans with excessive interest rates, despite Kabbage being the “true lender,” because Kabbage, not Celtic, bears the risk of loss. The plaintiffs are using state usury and consumer protection statutes, the publication said, as well as the federal RICO statute and Lanham Act.

Orchard to Launch Online Lending Industry Page on the Bloomberg Terminal (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Orchard Platform’s online lending industry data and insights will be made available to Bloomberg terminal subscribers, providing a wealth of information on an asset class that offers a number of potential investment opportunities.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6 (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6 (“SCLP 2017-6”). This is a $591 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6

Class Preliminary Rating Initial Class Principal
A-1 AA+ (sf) $315,000,000
A-2 AA+ (sf) $175,000,000
B A (sf) $75,000,000
C BBB (sf) $26,000,000

DBRS Assigns Provisional Ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6 LLC (DBRS), Rated: AAA

DBRS, Inc. (DBRS) assigned provisional ratings to the following classes of notes issued by SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6 LLC (SCLP 2017-6):

— $315,000,000 Class A-1 Notes at AA (sf)
— $175,000,000 Class A-2 Notes at AA (sf)
— $75,000,000 Class B Notes at A (sf)
— $26,000,000 Class C Notes at BBB (sf)

FinTechs Taking Larger Share of Personal Loan Market While Increasing Portfolio Risk-Return Performance (Globe Newswire), Rated: AAA

FinTech lenders continue to gain market share in the personal loan space while maintaining their portfolio risk-return performance. Results from TransUnion’s “Fact versus Fiction: FinTech Lenders” study were released today during the Digital Lending + Investing Conference in New York.

To better understand the personal loan market, TransUnion studied unsecured personal loan originations over the past several years, as well as more detailed portfolio performance between 2014 and 2016. The analysis differentiated between those loans issued by banks, credit unions, FinTechs and traditional finance companies to compare performance across lender types. The study found that the balance share of these loans originated by FinTechs had dramatically risen in recent years. At the end of 2016, FinTechs represented 30% of all personal loan balances, up from about 4% in 2012 and less than 1% in 2010. This trend continued through the first six months of 2017, with FinTechs now representing 32% of personal loan balances.

Share of Originated Personal Loan Balances

Timeframe/Lender Banks Credit Unions FinTechs Traditional Finance
2017 (Through June) 29 % 24 % 32 % 15 %
Full year 2016 26 % 23 % 30 % 21 %
Full year 2015 27 % 22 % 28 % 23 %
Full year 2012 35 % 32 % 4 % 29 %

As part of this study, TransUnion developed a coarse risk-return metric*. While loans provided by FinTechs experienced higher delinquencies than competitors, specifically within the lower credit risk tiers, TransUnion’s study found that they generated effective portfolio risk-return ratios that exceeded those of banks and credit unions. As of Q2 2017, FinTechs averaged an 8.7% return compared to 6.7% for banks and 6.3% for credit unions. Traditional finance companies average the highest return at 11.5%.

The study demonstrated how FinTechs focus their originations in the near prime and prime risk tiers.  As of Q4 2016, 59% of FinTech balances originated were in those two risk tiers. This is slightly higher than the 57% rate in Q1 2014.

Personal Loans Continue to Grow

The study also observed general personal loan trends. Personal loan total balances and consumer participation have both grown considerably. As of Q2 2017, 16.1 million consumers possessed a personal loan, compared to 14.8 million in Q2 2016 and 13.1 million in Q2 2015. Just five years ago in Q2 2012, approximately 9.8 million consumers had a personal loan. Total outstanding balances have risen from about $45 billion in Q2 2012 to $106 billion in Q2 2017.

While conventional wisdom holds that personal loan borrowers fall in the subprime risk bucket, TransUnion data through Q2 2017 show that personal loan adoption is greatest in the near prime (26%) and prime and above (49%) risk levels. Subprime constituted only 25% of such loans.

The most recent TransUnion data show that the number of lenders issuing personal loans has decreased in recent years from 7,245 in 2012 to 6,896 in 2015 and 6,680 in 2016. However, the number of lenders issuing large volumes of personal loans (at least 10,000 annually) has nearly doubled in the last 5 years from 68 in 2012 to 128 in 2016.

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

October was another very active month for the FT Partners team as we announced seven significant FinTech transactions. We are pleased to announce our role advising:

  • Source: FT Partners

    Download the full report here.

    6th Avenue Capital Secures $ 60 Million Commitment For Merchant Cash Advance Funding (AltFi), Rated: A

    6th Avenue Capital, LLC (“6th Avenue Capital”), a provider of small business financing solutions, announced today its securement of a $60 million commitment from a large institutional investor. The investor made their commitment based on 6th Avenue Capital’s industry-leading underwriting, compliance standards and processes. 6th Avenue Capital will draw from this commitment to offer merchant cash advances to small businesses through its nationwide network of Independent Sales Organizations (“ISOs”) and other strategic partnerships, such as banks and small business associations.

    Success of CFPB data-sharing guidance relies on how it is enforced (American Banker), Rated: A

    This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took an important step toward making that potential a reality with its release of consumer-authorized data-sharing and aggregation principles. In the principles, the bureau reiterated consumers’ right to share data, recognizing that connectivity is the underlying magic fueling the consumer fintech revolution. The guidelines will promote innovation, competition and consumer control.

    Data sharing often requires consumers to provide their bank account usernames and passwords to third parties. In the guidance, the CFPB clarified that granting consumers access to their data does not necessarily mean sharing login credentials. At the same time, the bureau made it equally clear that if banks and others want to prevent the sharing of credentials, they need to find another, more secure way to provide access. Both banks and data aggregators should have an incentive to eliminate the use of credentials.

    Third, banking regulators could update their third-party vendor risk management guidelines to clarify the kinds of due diligence banks are required to conduct on parties with whom they share data.

    Elevate Credit Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Release Available on Its Investor Relations Website (CNBC), Rated: A

    Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE:ELVT) (“Elevate” or the “Company”), today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Elevate has posted its third quarter earnings release to its Investor Relations webpage at 

    Fintech Brokerage Robinhood Launches Spotify-Like Web Platform (Benzinga), Rated: A

    Robinhood, the fintech brokerage that offers commission-free trading through a mobile app, announced Wednesday it’s launching a web platform.

    Bhatt says the web trading platform is primarily geared towards informing people who are interested in investing about the stock market. However, the company faces an interesting product design challenge, in that about half of its users have invested previously on another platform.

    LendingTree Announces Top Customer-Rated Lenders by Loan Product for Q3 2017 (Business Insider), Rated: A

    LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its quarterly list of the top customer-rated lenders on its network based on actual customer reviews for the third quarter of 2017. The list features the top lenders in multiple loan product categories, including Mortgages, Personal Loans, Business Loans and Auto Loans, all of which are included in LendingTree’s online loan marketplace.

    Mortgage Category

    #1 Winner:
    Busey Bank

    Personal Loans Category

    #1 Winner:
    Best Egg

    Auto Loans Category

    #1 Winner:
    RefiJet

    Online lenders shrug off scandals to increase US market share (Financial Times), Rated: A

    The online lenders set up to upend US retail banking in the wake of the financial crisis are still expanding in spite of scandals and setbacks at some of the biggest names in the business.

    Financial technology groups originated $15bn of personal loans in the first half of the year, according to figures published on Thursday by TransUnion, the credit bureau whose database covers the borrowing habits of 220m consumers.

    That was almost a third of the total US market for new personal loans — a bigger share than banks or credit unions or other traditional consumer finance companies — and compares with just 4 per cent in 2012 and 28 per cent in 2015.

    R3 to take on Ripple with cross-border payments blockchain (American Banker), Rated: A

    R3 is working with 22 of its member banks to build a real-time, cross-border payments solution on Corda, the consortium’s “blockchain inspired” distributed ledger.

    The banks include U.S. Bank, TD Bank, Barclays, BBVA, CIBC, Commerzbank, DNB, HSBC, Intesa, KBC, KB Kookmin Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Natixis, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank, R3 said Tuesday.

    What type of data is fair in credit models? (American Banker), Rated: A

    It’s long been a mantra in the fintech community: Traditional underwriting models that rely heavily on conventional credit scores leave out people who haven’t built up a credit history. A percentage of these people are creditworthy, but without a history to go on, the credit bureaus haven’t created profiles of them yet.

    To assess whether unscored people can repay loans, lenders are increasingly looking at “alternative data” — information that comes from someplace besides a traditional credit bureau that can help predict how a potential ….

    Foundation Capital Leads CoverWallet Series B Financing (Foundation Capital), Rated: A

    Which is why we’re excited to have led the Series B for CoverWallet, an online insurance broker for small businesses which is upending the industry.

    Small-to-medium business (SMB) insurance is a profitable, but highly fragmented $100 billion/year market. At the present, SMB insurance is sold through 40k+ brick-and-mortar insurance brokers, which employ 500k+ agents and move 99% of premiums. The typical SMB insurance application has 27 pages, and is completed while having “the talk” with the agent, which will include many upsell & cross-sell attempts. The typical SMB insurance quote takes 7-10 days. For SMB owners, this process is time consuming and painful.

    Affirm Now on Apple and Android (NewsCenter.io), Rated: A

    Affirm, a popular web service that allows users to buy online and pay off their purchases in fixed monthly payments, has launched their Android and iPhone app.

    Remitly Raises up to $ 115M in Series D Funding (FINSMES), Rated: A

    Remitly, a Seattle, WA-based independent digital remittance company, is to raise up to $115m in Series D funding.

    The financing – subject to applicable third party and regulatory approvals – will be led by Naspers’ fintech investment division PayU, a global online payment service provider, with participation from existing investors Stripes Group, DFJ, and DN Capital. In conjunction with the funding, Laurent le Moal, PayU CEO, will join Remitly’s board of directors.

    New, New Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform (Business Insider), Rated: A

    When you see prominent investors such as George SorosLarry Silverstein and Goldman Sachs participating in the real estate crowdfunding business – it means something. So, let’s follow the smart money. The real estate crowdfunder that everyone is talking about now is CityVest, which claims a top pedigree of founders and investors. And CityVest.com is living up to its mission – Smarter Real Estate Investing.

    CityVest provides wealthy individuals with online access to institutional real estate funds and the higher rates of return they generate.

    Which States Do Home Buyers Want to Move to—and From? (Realtor.com), Rated: A

    Prospective home buyers overwhelmingly want to head south, according to a recent LendingTree analysis. The online loan marketplace looked at the 1.5 million mortgage requests it received from October 2016 to October 2017 to come up with the results.

    Which state do home buyers most want to move to?

    But of all the Southern states, which was the most desirable? Drumroll please … that would be Florida. The Sunshine State was the top destination for folks from 18 states, or about 9.14% of those looking at loans on LendingTree.

    Which state do home buyers most want to leave?

    Vermont residents were the most likely to want to hightail it out of the Green Mountain State. Despite its popular ski resorts, only about 76% of locals were looking for in-state mortgages.

    Which state do home buyers most want to stay in?

    Texans were the most happy of any state’s residents to stay put. About 92.5% of folks looking for potential mortgages wanted to stay within Texas, according to LendingTree’s report.

    Real Estate Investing For The Tech-Minded (Forbes), Rated: A

    So as a techie, how does one go about evaluating not just the real estate but also the platform offering the investment?

    That’s why it’s critical for real estate investing platforms to be willing and able to answer questions from prospective investors — even those would-be investors without a ton of prior real estate knowledge. These companies should take a page out of Amazon’s book and develop a customer obsession.

    Be leery of any cliché claims of leveraging big data to automate underwriting. Underwriting is as much science as it is intuition/experience, and the best commercial real estate professionals have a carefully tailored mix of both.

    In the long run, the track records of the platforms will speak loudest.

    Steven Dupree was SoFi’s first marketing executive and VP of marketing for 3 years. He and his growth-oriented team took SoFi from originating 10 loans a day to over 1000.

    The three most basic ingredients for being able to succeed in FinTech are:

    1) “Good enough” technology

    2) Tremendous capital markets expertise

    3) Some sort of customer acquisition strategy

    Companies like Experian and Equifax know if you have loan balances, and specifically they know if you have student loan balances. We sent pre-screened offers to prospects with outstanding student loan debt through physical mail about how SoFi could help them with those loans.

    Plan Would Take Payday Lending Interest Rates From As High As 600% to 28% (StateNews.org), Rated: A

    Several community groups rallied to show their support for a bipartisan bill they think is needed reform against predatory lending.

    The bill would cap the interest rate of payday lenders at 28% and close any loopholes around that cap.
    <

    Filene, QCash Financial, CFSI Offer Free Webinar on the Benefits of Small-Dollar Lending (BusinessWire), Rated: A

    QCash Financial, a CUSO providing automated, cloud-based, omni-channel small-dollar lending technology for financial institutions, announces it will co-host a free webinar with Filene Research Institute and the Center for Financial Services Innovation to discuss the opportunities for credit unions in offering small-dollar lending on November 14.

    During the webinar, QCash Financial will address our industry’s impact and opportunity to deliver small dollar loans. QCash Financial, the Center for Financial Services Innovation and Filene will collaborate to discuss the omni-channel lending solution that serves members in search of small, short-term unsecured loans.

    Registration information can be found at filene.com. The webinar is scheduled from 2 p.m. CST / 12 p.m. PST until 3 p.m. CST / 1 p.m. PST.

    Ken Rees, CEO of Elevate, to Speak at Dallas Techweek Conference (BusinessWire), Rated: A

    Ken Rees, Chief Executive Officer at Elevate, a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, will speak on a panel session at Dallas Techweek on Thursday, November 2, at 9:15am CT. The panel will focus on data intelligence, breaking down the hype around data science, and exploring ways companies can turn that hype into actionable business intelligence.

    Rees will be joined by local tech talent and founders, including Clarisa Lindenmeyer, Chief of Strategy/Partnerships at Launch DFW; Sravan Ankaraju, President of Divergence.Academy, CEO of Divergence.AI; Dave Copps, CEO of Brainspace; and Steve Hebert, Co-Founder & CEO of Nimbix, Inc.

    Elizabeth Warren Warns: Navient Deal A Danger To Student Loan Borrowers (International Business Times), Rated: A

    U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned Wednesday that the nation’s largest student loan servicer has positioned itself to stealthily strip consumer protections from unwitting borrowers across the country. In an interview with International Business Times, she also said the loan servicer, Navient, should not be permitted to be a government contractor handling student loans on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.

    The Massachusetts Democrat was sounding an alarm about Navient’s recent acquisition of online lender Earnest. She said the transaction opened up the possibility that the company will try to boost its profits by selling debtors on refinancing their current federal student loans with the company’s own private loans — the kind that she said to do not necessarily permit income-based repayment options.

    BrightPlan Launches ‘Hybrid-Robo’ Advisory Service (Plan Adviser), Rated: B

    A new robo-advisory platform has hit the market, under the moniker BrightPlan.

    Important to note, according to the firm, clients are not required to invest through BrightPlan in order to receive financial planning advice. They can manually input external account balances or link external accounts from more than 10,000 financial institutions to BrightPlan, which will monitor goal progress and provide advice to stay on track.

    Will a robot take your job? These startups hope so (PitchBook), Rated: B

    Avant wants to replace loan officers

    Avant has created an online lending platform that uses Big Data and machine learning algorithms to streamline the loan decision process helping borrowers consolidate debt through personal loans. The company, led by CEO and co-founder Al Goldstein (pictured), raised $325 million in Series E financing back in September 2015, with General Atlantic leading a round at a $2 billion valuation.

    Avant isn’t alone, with competitors like publicly traded Lending Club (NYSE: LC) and VC-backed Kabbage using a similar strategy: automating the credit creation process.

    Dreiling and Stamets join Attune (Royal Gazette), Rated: B

    Two new appointments have been made at data-enabled platform Attune, the company jointly created last year by American International Group, Hamilton Insurance Group and Two Sigma Investments.

    Martha Dreiling takes on the role of head of analytics and corporate operations, while Richard Stamets has been appointed head of underwriting strategy.

    United Kingdom

    RateSetter changes approach to property loan defaults (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    RATESETTER is changing the way it deals with defaulted property development loans, which could involve taking control of the project and completing it itself.

    The peer-to-peer lender said on Wednesday that if a property development is only partially completed and has gone into default, it will now examine whether maximum value would be delivered via an immediate sale or by completing the development and then selling it.

    Lendy Update: Breaks Previous Monthly Loan Repayment Record; Recovers £20 Million in October 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    UK-based peer-to-peer property platform Lendy announced on Thursday it has broken all previous records for loan repayments generated in any one month, recovering £20 million in total in October 2017 alone. The online lender reported that this exceeds its previous September 2016 high of £14.5 million. The record figure includes repayments on P2P loans on three caravan parks in Christchurch, Dorset, totaling £7.6 million and a Manchester mill of £1.35 million.

    This UK fintech is taking on big banks with business loans — and one key EU law is driving it (CNBC), Rated: AAA

    A digital invoice finance platform in the U.K. will provide business loans to its customers for the first time, it was announced Wednesday.

    The firm said it would expand into the business lending market, pitting it against established players such as U.S. listed peer-to-peer lender LendingClub and Britain’s Funding Circle. The latter raised £82 million ($100 million) in funding from venture capital investors earlier this year.

    CEO and co-founder Anil Stocker told CNBC that MarketInvoice will take advantage of an incoming European Union regulation called the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which forces banks to open up data about their customers to third party companies.

    Citigroup Bets Millions on U.K. Mortgage Lender (Bloomberg), Rated: A

    Brexit may be roiling Westminster and inflating prices on supermarket shelves, but don’t tell that to financial institutions eyeing the U.K.’s burgeoning online-lending industry.

    In the latest sign of confidence in the sector, Citigroup Inc. has agreed to provide a fintech firm called LendInvest Ltd. with funding for mortgages, the startup said in a statement Wednesday.

    Citi Provides Warehouse Facility to LendInvest in Buy to Let Expansion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    LendInvest, a Fintech marketplace platform for property finance, has agreed a long-term warehouse facility with Citi boosting its entry into the UK’s £40 billion buy-to-let (BTL) market.

    The perils and profits of of peer-to-peer lending (The Spectator), Rated: AAA

    ‘We’re taking business from the banks, from the invoice discounters and from the traditional suppliers of finance, in ever larger amounts,’ says Angus Dent, chief executive of ArchOver, a P2P lender that launched in September 2014. ‘We only lend to companies with strong balance sheets and we only lend against accounts receivable (ARs). We will loan up to 80 per cent of the value of the ARs. Once the loan is made the ARs must be maintained at 125 per cent of the value of the loan, monitored by us on a monthly basis. This provides a quickly realisable asset for our investors in case the borrower gets into difficulties over repaying for the loan.’ The minimum amount that ArchOver expects clients to invest is £1,000 per project.

    For Anil Stocker, chief executive and co-founder of MarketInvoice, P2P lending against receivables (amounts owed to a business) offers a particularly interesting investment class ‘because it’s of short duration, a liquid product, with invoices typically taking 45 to 50 days to be paid.

    Source: The Spectator

    Lenders must help brokers meet specialist challenge – LendInvest (Mortgage Solutions), Rated: A

    IMLA found that lending by specialists has grown by an average of 19% each year from 2009 to 2016, with a total of almost £17bn lent last year. That’s enormous growth from a sector that was particularly badly dented by the effects of the financial crisis.

    Even with these enormous annual increases in lending, the market share of these specialists remains modest. According to IMLA it has grown from 3.5% in 2009 to 6.8% in 2016, and that still lags significantly below the levels seen before the onset of the financial crisis.

    UK fintechs take market share from dominant high-street banks (Financial Times), Rated: A

    Britain’s leading financial technology start-ups are celebrating a record-setting week as they accelerate their push to take market share from high-street banks in areas such as payments and lending.

    TransferWise will on Thursday announce that it has collected $280m from investors, a record fundraising round for a UK fintech, to finance expansion of its cross-border payments service into more countries around the world.

    Meanwhile, Funding Circle has for the first time outstripped net new lending by the major high-street banks to UK small businesses, according to figures released by the Bank of England this week and data provided by Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lender to SMEs.

    Britain’s small businesses bank on alternative finance options (Finextra), Rated: A

    Of 1000 small biz owners quizzed by WorldPay, more than half say that they are planning for growth in 2018, yet 52% admit to being concerned that the traditional routes to finance, such as bank loans, are not going to be as easily available in the coming year.

    While 21% of business owners aged 44 or under say they’re still most likely to apply for a bank loan when looking for funding, nearly as many respondents (17%) say they’re more likely to look at crowd-funding, while 11% prefer P2P lending, and six per cent say they favour business cash advance.

    HSBC unveils robo-advisor plans (Business Insider), Rated: A

    HSBC’s head of retail wealth, Dean Butler, provided his perspective on automated advice, and the bank’s plans for new products in the area, at the UK Robo-Advice Innovation Forum on Wednesday, attended by BI Intelligence.

    Source: Business Insider

    Landbay & Buy to Let Club Complete Lending to New Southgate Building in Less Than Two Months (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    Earlier this week, Landbay and Buy to Let Club completed lending to a new building in Southgate, a suburban area of north London, in under two months. The initial case was reportedly submitted on the broker portal by Buy to Let Club on August 24th.

    Fintech firm MarketInvoice enters business loans market (Asset Finance International), Rated: A

    Fast-growing fintech firm MarketInvoice has launched a new business loans service that expands its solutions beyond invoice finance.

    Businesses will now be able to obtain unsecured business loans from £10,000 to £100,000 over a 12-month term, with no early repayment fees.

    By expanding into the £35 billion business loans sector, MarketInvoice aims to increase support for businesses which need working capital around their invoice finance requirements.

    Natural evolution (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

    Stuart Lunn, co-founder and chief executive of Edinburgh-based P2P business lender LendingCrowd, sees the benefits of both.

    “For P2P investing to become truly mainstream, it’s essential to simplify the products on offer and enable greater comparability between opportunities,” he asserts.

    “Passive products force greater diversification and I think that will benefit the sector as a whole.”

    Funding Circle and RateSetter make LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25’ companies list (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

    Funding Circle and RateSetter have been placed at number eight and number 21, respectively, in the ‘LinkedIn Top 25 Companies – Startups’ list, which was released on Thursday morning.

    Funding Circle was the highest-ranking P2P platform, and it was praised for funding more than 28,800 companies over the past seven years, with more than £2.8bn allocated to borrowers.

    CEO switch for online lender Patch of Land (AltFi), Rated: A

    Jason Fritton returns to his former post as CEO, as Paul Deitch steps down.

    P2P firm Assetz continues profitability (AltFi), Rated: A

    Assetz Capital notches seven figure pre-tax profit during the six months from April to September 2017.

    Durham’s Atom Bank named by LinkedIn as one of UK’s top 25 start-ups (ChroncleLive), Rated: A

    A North East company has been named by social media site LinkedIn as one of the country’s 25 most disruptive companies.

    Durham ’s Atom Bank, which is shaking up the banking world with its mobile-based app and personalised services, is named alongside companies including Deliveroo, Uber and Airbnb, on a list of start-ups which LinkedIn says are changing the UK business landscape.

    Online retailer Asos offers buy now pay later option with Klarna (Finextra), Rated: B

    Today, leading European payments provider Klarna has announced a UK partnership with ASOS – one of the world’s leading destinations for fashion loving 20-somethings.

    The news means that UK customers with the iOS or Android ASOS app can now use Klarna’s ‘Pay later’ solution to pay for their items up to 30 days later – with no interest or fees.

    Alternative lender Sancus announces new managing director (AltFi), Rated: B

    The alternative finance services firm has announced that Dan Walker will take over from current MD Caroline Langron in January 2018.

    The group is part of GLI Finance, which acquired peer-to-peer lending platform FundingKnight in 2016. Earlier this year, FundingKnight was moved into Sancus BMS Group, was awarded full FCA authorisation in July.

    China

    Chinese Listed Banks still create more profits than BAT (Xing Ping She), Rated: AAA

    In recent years, with the rise of Internet financial and the change of macroeconomic environment, the traditional commercial banks did go through a “severe winter”. Since 2011, banking climate index has been down all the way. It is not until 2017 that the new season of spring is coming.We selected 38 listed Chinese Banks in exchange of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen as the performance comparison samples, and analyzed their comprehensive profitability based on the financial data of the first half of 2017.During this time, the total net profit of the 38 banks selected in this paper was 823.93 billion RMB, up 4.14 percent from the same period last year. The chart below described the profit data of all the 38 banks in the first half of 2017.


    Profitability Banks Ranking
    Among the 38 listed banks, we can also find the Top10 earning banks as follows, including 5 large-scale commercial banks and 5 joint-equity commercial banks. In addition, the net profit of Ping An Bank and Beijing Bank has reached the threshold of 10 billion RMB.


    Chinese listed banks VS internet giants in profitability
    According to the total value and earning data of the selected 38 listed banks as follow, their total market capitalization is about 10 trillion RMB, and the total net profit was 823.93 billion RMB. That means the net profit ratio was about 0.082.

    As for the BAT giants which are closely watched in the Internet industry, the three Internet companies are worth about 6.5 trillion RMB in total for the first half of 2017, and the net profit reached 52 billion RMB. That means their net profit ratio was just 0.008, much lower than the listed banks. Obviously, Banks still have an advantage over emerging Internet companies in terms of profit creation.

    In fact, research shows that the rise of the Internet financial companies has little impact on the profitability of large commercial Banks and rural commercial Banks, while has a great influence on city commercial Banks, and Joint-stock commercial Banks have been promoted instead because they can seize the Internet financial opportunities. In general, though the development of Internet finance has brought adverse effects on the profitability of commercial Banks, and also forced it to actively adjust the profit model and promote the diversified development of the profit structure.

    Data resource: Wind Database

    Another Chinese P2P lender! Senmiao Technology files for a $ 20 million IPO (NASDAQ), Rated: A

    Senmiao Technology, a early-stage Chinese marketplace for peer-to-peer lending, filed on Monday with the SEC to raise up to $20 million in an initial public offering.

    China pours millions into facial recognition start-up Face++ (Financial Times), Rated: A

    Chinese facial recognition start-up Megvii Face++ has raised $460m in an investment round led by a government fund, as the country pours money into efforts to become an artificial intelligence superpower to rival the US.

    The Beijing-based Face++ said on Wednesday that it had raised money from China State-Owned Venture Capital Fund and the China-Russian Investment Fund, which is backed by the sovereign wealth funds of both countries. Private investors including Alibaba’s payments affiliate Ant Financial also participated.

    Chinese listed company transferred shares of Wei Dai Network, making over 1B RMB (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

    On October 17, Handing Yuyou(300300.SZ), a listed company that was suspended from trading, began to transfer its assets of internet finance continuously. On October 30th, the company announced that it would transfer a 2 percent stake in the Wei Dai Network for 170m RMB, and then they announced to transfer a 1.5 percent stake in the Wei Dai Network for 127.5 million RMB. Through the two deals, Handing Yuyou(300300.SZ) will receive nearly 300 million RMB in cash. Deducting the previous investment costs, Handing Yuyou(300300.SZ) won over 100 million RMB in less than half a year. In the past three years, according to the company’s history of the investment in Wei Dai Network, we can find that the company has earned at least 10 times to the original investment.

    The transferee of this transaction is Beijing Qianshan Xinyuan Investment Management co., LTD. According to the public information, Beijing Qianshan Xinyuan Investment Management co., LTD. was established in 2015 with the registered capital of 10 million RMB. Its parent company, Qianshan Capital Management co., LTD is a private company registered in 2016. The parent company also have the other several subsidiary corporations, including Qianshan Venture Investment Management co., LTD., Beijing Qianshan Wealth Management co., LTD., etc. Currently, the parent company has a total capital size of 1 billion RMB.

    European Union

    Mintos Scraps Secondary Market Fees (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

    Starting from today, November 1, 2017, we have removed the 1% fee for selling loans on the secondary market of the Mintos marketplace. This means from now on, there are absolutely no fees for investing through Mintos.

    Source: P2P-Banking

    Orange is the new bank? Telecoms giant ventures into lending (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Telecoms giant Orange launches its own bank on Thursday, aiming to win 25 percent of France’s online banking market by capitalizing on the rising use of smartphones to steal share from established lenders with inferior technology.

    Orange is starting from a small base – Coisne says it has 25,000 customers have expressed interest ahead of the launch, a tiny fraction of the company’s 21 million mobile clients. But the timing of its entry gives some room for optimism.

    In France, 793.4 million online banking e-payments were made last year according to the European Central Bank, up from 586.2 million in 2014.

    INFOGRAPHIC: FINTECH AND THE FUTURE (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

    The GetLine Network  a decentralized P2P lending platform, recently reached out to us with one of their infographics on FinTech, and we thought it was appropriate and timely for our audience.

    Financing and loans are even being re-thought of with new forms of capital raising, such as ICOs, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding, and P2P lending, making banks and legacy financial institutions even less needed.

    Source: Irish Tech News
    International

    Lendio Gives supports Kiva borrowers (Bankless Times), Rated: AAA

    Small business loan marketplace Lendio announced it has provided more than $25,000 in loans to over 1,200 small business owners in 75 countries around the world through its employee-based Lendio Gives program in partnership with Kiva.

    The top five sectors supported by Lendio’s funding are agriculture, food, retail, clothing, and services. Of the loans Lendio has funded, 86 percent have gone to women or women’s groups. The top countries Lendio has supplied funding to include Zimbabwe, Peru, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador, and Senegal.

    International P2P Lending Volumes October 2017 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

    Thincats reached the milestone of 250 million GBP loans originated since launch.

    This month I added Bolden.

    Source: P2P-Banking

    Fintech and Cross-Border Payments (IMF), Rated: AAA

    To gauge the IMF’s most recent analysis: A speech last month, at the Bank of England, by the IMF’s Managing Director—Christine Lagarde—analyzed potential challenges posed by fintech innovations to central banking.

    In my remarks here today—focusing on implications of fintech for cross-border payments—I’ll explore three broad areas: [1]

    • First, a sketch of the economic framework on how fintech applications will affect financial services and the market structure.
    • Second, the current landscape of cross-border payments, and the possible evolution of cross-border payment systems; and
    • Third, the role of central banks, themselves, and the possible reasons for them to issue their own digital currencies.

    Alternatives assets such as P2P loans to double in volume by 2025 (AltFi), Rated: B

    Alternative asset classes – in particular, real assets, private equity and private debt – will more than double in size, reaching $21.1trn by 2025, accounting for 15 per cent of global AuM as investors diversify to reduce volatility and target specific return and risk outcomes, according to research by PwC.

    Zelle adds major tech partners to roster (Banless Times), Rated: B

    Zelle – a new, real-time payments network from bank-owned Early Warning Services – has added ACI Worldwide, CGI, D3 Banking Technology, and IBM to its growing list of technology partners.

    India

    One Size Fits All? Regulating Peer-To-Peer Lending Platforms (India Corporate Law), Rated: A

    Briefly, as per the Master Directions:

    • It is now mandatory for entities proposing to undertake this business to be registered as ‘NBFC-P2P Lending Platforms’ with the RBI (NBFC-P2P). To ensure business continuity, existing players have been given a period of three months to apply for this licence. Applicants will be scrutinised for scalable and secure technological capabilities, financial standing as well as fit and proper management.
    • Fundamentally, the NBFC-P2P is expected to operate only as an intermediary and not undertake any lending activities itself or hold any funds of its participants (lenders or borrowers) on its books. Towards this end, an escrow mechanism for movement of funds has also been envisaged.
    • The exposure of each lender and loans (not exceeding a three year maturity period) availed by each borrower across all NBFC-P2Ps has also been capped at INR 10 lakhs, with each borrower not permitted to avail more than INR 50,000 per lender.
    • In addition, directions also prescribe that NBFC-P2Ps adopt minimum standards of transparency, disclosure requirements and fair practices.

    Impact on Aggregators

    • To the extent P2P lending platforms are servicing individuals and/or unregulated entities, there is merit in regulating such operators to contain any systemic risks. However, there are existing players in the market who primarily service regulated financial institutions (viz. banks and NBFCs) as lenders. The Master Directions fail to recognise this distinction.
    • Separately, banks and NBFCs today use distribution channels including web-based loan aggregators.

    SBI partners with Primechain Technologies and Intel to adopt blockchain-driven KYC (The Times of India), Rated: A

    PrimechainTechnologies announced on Wednesday that the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), will adopt blockchain technology to manage the mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) details in its system. Intel Corporation will act as a technology provider to facilitate the implementation.

    Asia

    P2P lender PeopleFund aims to change landscape (The Investor), Rated: A

    Korea’s accumulated peer-to-peer lending reached 1.47 trillion won (US$1.31 billion) by end-September as more and more borrowers are embracing the new, more convenient platforms for connecting with investors.

    Considering that the figure accounts for only 60 members of the Korea P2P Finance Association among the industry estimates of 130 lenders, the market is actually bigger. It also reflects a sharp upward trend; back in June 2016, when the association first began compiling data, accumulated loans granted by 22 members stood at just 152 billion won.

    Against this background, Kim founded PeopleFund in March 2015. Since then, the bank has been on a roll. On Nov. 1, its accumulated loans stood at 121 billion won, compared to 19 billion won in February. It’s the No. 3 player in the local industry.

    Africa

    SME failure rate set to spike unless funding issue is addressed (Engineering News), Rated: AAA

    The South African SME sector is set for a major crisis unless access to adequate business funding can be ensured as a matter of urgency. This was the key takeout from the just-released Key Funding Challenges for South African SMEs 2017 report developed by online lenderLulalend.

    “76% of respondents to our national survey of SMEs said they had undergone a tedious months-long paperwork-heavy process in applying for businessfunding from traditional lenders, only to have their applications denied.

    Considering access to credit was the #1 business challenge for nearly three out of every five SMEs surveyed, this disconnect between the needs of business owners and the lenders that have traditionally supported them is creating conditions of high risk and volatility.”

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

Paving a Path to Decentralized Credit Profiling

Pave's Global Credit Profile

In the U.S., consumers tend to take credit for granted. Access to credit is nearly ubiquitous, and the three major credit unions ensure that the vast majority of Americans have a credit score, which allows them to be assessed for risk by potential lenders considering making an offer for a loan product. But the recent […]

Pave's Global Credit Profile

In the U.S., consumers tend to take credit for granted. Access to credit is nearly ubiquitous, and the three major credit unions ensure that the vast majority of Americans have a credit score, which allows them to be assessed for risk by potential lenders considering making an offer for a loan product. But the recent Equifax data breach proved that there are drawbacks to the robust credit scoring system, even in the U.S. Pave seeks to solve that problem with their Global Credit Profile, a decentralized database that allows the consumer to control who has access to their credit information.

Why Credit Data Should Be Decentralized

As the Equifax data breach shows, no one’s credit information is secure. It’s estimated that 143 million Americans and as many as 400,000 Brits may have been affected by the breach. Since the breach has been reported, there has been a run on credit monitoring products. And none of the credit bureaus can guarantee that hackers won’t gain access to their data. In fact, its getting increasingly more difficult for any company using the Web for database storage to insure the data they keep is 100% secure.

What Pave wants to do is solve that core data issue for the consumer.

“We’re looking at the existing paradigm and saying it’s broken,” Pave CEO Oren Bass said. “Not too many people are looking to solve the data access problem on a global basis.”

Bass said the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—collect information on individuals, which they get from banks, credit card companies, and other businesses that issue credit, and sell that data to third parties. The individual doesn’t get any of the money. They’re cut out of the equation altogether. And who can guarantee that the buyer of the data can keep it safe from bad actors? Pave’s solution is to wrap up the data in a digital wallet-like security lock connected to the blockchain.

Pave’s Meandering Path to Its Data Security Solution

Bass started Pave in 2012 with co-founders Justin Mitchell and Sal Lahoud. They founded the company as a response to the 2008 financial crisis. Their primary product was an income sharing agreement for people with limited credit history, and the target audience was millennials.

“Due to lack of data and legal clarity on the product, it didn’t have staying power,” Bass said, “so we pivoted to include short-term consumer loans.”

Their intent was to lend to people with limited credit histories, but they struggled with getting a solid process for underwriting them. That’s when they wrote an algorithm to assess creditworthiness and were delighted to see it worked so well. They ended up lending to 1,700 people with limited credit histories.

Then, 2016 happened. A difficult year for online lenders on the whole, it proved to be very difficult for Pave. “We capsized as a marketplace lender,” Bass said. “We didn’t have the equity capital to become a balance sheet lender.” So they started using their technology to solve a different problem—the problem of data access for the underserved population.

Earlier this year, Pave ended a seed round and funded half a million dollars in startup capital for the Global Credit Profile. Since 2015, they’ve managed to fund $18 million including a Series A funding round that year.

What the Global Credit Profile Does

The gist of Pave’s Global Credit Profile consists of its three buckets. They collect data for marketing, or prospecting, for underwriting, and to assess the value of consumer information. But when you collect information on individuals, you have to make sure that data is secure. That’s why they decided to connect the data to the blockchain.

Using the Global Credit Profile, users will be able to:

  • Monitor and control their own financial data in real time
  • Dispute errors and omissions
  • Link credit accounts so that more data is included in their profile
  • Port their data anywhere they want to globally to ensure they have access to the best credit products in any country they live or travel to
  • Control who gains access to the data and get paid for that access

Pave’s Global Credit Profile will work by leveraging the inherent decentralization of the blockchain as a distributed ledger allowing each credit transaction to be approved using the same or similar processes used to record cryptocurrency transactions in real time today. Any information currently collected by the credit bureaus can be kept in a consumer’s self-controlled file including rent and mortgage payments, utility bill payments, lines of credit, and more. Plus, the credit profile can include social data gathered from user’s social media accounts.

Each user gets an IP address and a key to enable the application. The user can access all of their financial information in one location.

Who is Using the Global Credit Profile Right Now?

In pre-launch, Pave got quite a few users, but it escalated when they decided to lend to consumers. They have lent $23 million to 1,700 users. Current users include many in Africa and India who connect their utility bills and payment data.

Pave’s technology is powered by a core data center including visualization and data integration. The data is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). For data storage, they use IPFS. Due to the decentralized nature of their system, a hacker wanting access to credit information would need to hack as many 145 million different files with information on different individuals within each file.

The bulk of Pave’s user base today are immigrants, people who have a credit history abroad but don’t have a credit profile in the U.S. where they are living. They’re new to credit, but they have a low profile. They can use their education history, social data, and utility payments. Bass said they want to help these individuals build a credit profile and work their way up to prime status.

“We hope the credit bureaus will partner with us and use our technology to protect against the security issues they have,” Bass said.

Bass sees alternative data becoming the norm in credit profiling in the future. That will include machine learning algorithms, social data, and utility payments for many of the world’s unbanked and underbanked. They currently have plans to raise more capital through an ICO token issue, but they’re currently working with private investors. Ultimately, they want to build an ecosystem that will allow others to develop and build apps that interact with the Global Credit Profile. To make that happen, they need more people on their team with alternative credit, data, and programming expertise.

“The only way we’ll be successful is to take on the status quo of the credit bureaus,” Bass said. And Pave is off to a good start.

Author:

Allen Taylor

Checking the Credit of the Subprime Consumer

Checking the Credit of the Subprime Consumer

In the US, there are tens of millions who do not have a reliable FICO score, either because their credit history is not sufficient or it is non-existent. This becomes a vicious cycle and an important reason why subprime borrowers struggle to obtain credit. Traditional lenders are dependent on FICO, and handicapped as they lack […]

Checking the Credit of the Subprime Consumer

In the US, there are tens of millions who do not have a reliable FICO score, either because their credit history is not sufficient or it is non-existent. This becomes a vicious cycle and an important reason why subprime borrowers struggle to obtain credit. Traditional lenders are dependent on FICO, and handicapped as they lack qualitative information about subprime borrowers who might otherwise be creditworthy. Clarity Credit Bureau was born with the clear goal to collect subprime data and cater to this population, which is not being served properly by the big three credit bureaus.

Over the years, the company has been able to carve its own niche in the subprime market. Now, lenders and financial institutions are using Clarity for subprime borrowers across the entire credit spectrum, and they are using the bureau in conjunction with other credit bureaus in order evaluate credit applications at a more granular level. This layering of Clarity above traditional data has created value for Clarity clients as they are able to offer credit to a wider client base with the assurance that they are creditworthy.

Extensive Database

Around 200-220 million consumers within the age group of 19 to 65 form the largest part of the credit consumer population in America. About one-third of this nearly 70 million person group are subprime borrowers. Sixty million are covered by Clarity, which is nearly 80% of the entire subprime market. This extensive and elaborate data is what makes the company stand out and be the sought after credit rating agency for subprime borrowers. on average, the entertains anywhere between 400,000 to 800,000 report requests every day.

Clarity does not use FICO data. The company has developed over 30 different report products. They also use the same information as traditional bureaus such as credit history, identity verification, etc. The only difference is that Clarity focuses on data collection for a different population set.

Traditional Bureaus as Laggards

Traditional Bureaus lag behind Clarity Credit Bureau due to the paucity of an adequate mechanism to have access to the subprime borrower data. Typically, financial institutions do not provide financial services to subprime customers without FICO data, and they report to credit bureaus.

But, if a lender client of Clarity requests a report on a customer and extends credit to that customer, the financial service provider submits the performance of the credit line to Clarity. It is structured as a “Give and Get” model, similar to other credit bureaus.

Competitive Edge in the Market

According to the Clarity’s founder, Clarity Credit Bureau is the largest bureau in the subprime credit reporting space. Moreover, it has succeeded in carving its niche as the most innovative player in this segment, and its revenues grew by over 70% from 2014 to 2015.

A Solution for Loan Stacking

Loan stacking is a serious threat in the P2P lending space. Borrowers have managed to take advantage of lenders due to the shortcomings of the alternative lending industry. To fend off loan stacking, lenders have been using a consortium approach for 10 years. This involves a group of lenders getting together and sharing every approved application among the consortium. It’s a temporary fix as information sharing is restricted to the consortium, and if the consumer gets a loan from a non-consortium player like a tribal lender or payday lender, the original lender would not be any wiser.

Keeping this in mind, Clarity has developed a real-time solution: Temporary Account Record, a patent-pending solution that will close the reporting gap from hours to minutes, which helps reduce the risk of underwriting unsecured loans. Everyone who is part of the Clarity family and using this technology will be notified when a lender approves a loan.

Real-Time Technology

In today’s world, where technology changes hands in mere weeks, methods used by the three big rating bureaus are quite off the pace. These bureaus use archiving technology for updating their database. Archiving technology will add new data to an existing database randomly from time to time. The resulting report generated might not be up to date or accurate. Clarity, however, uses real-time technology for reporting where the updated information is gathered and stored in the original format along with the date and timestamp.

Clarity Credit Bureau makes use of MySQL, an open source relational database, and the Bongo database system to capture and leverage big data. It uses an on-premise database architecture, instead of operating on the cloud, with multiple data centers complying with industry standard security and encryption certification. Though this is a costly solution, it is necessary as they deal with extremely sensitive public data.

Company History

Clarity Credit Bureau was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida with the aim to provide unprecedented credit risk solutions to lenders and service providers that deal with nonprime consumers. The company also collects and analyzes multiple data points on the behavior of nonprime consumers, and endeavors to provide customized data-driven solutions to clients to meet their specific needs and circumstances.

Clarity Credit Bureau has over 100 employees and around 600 clients.

Founder and Manpower

Tim Ranney, the President and CEO at Clarity Services, has expertise in the IT sector and large database systems. Prior to the inception of Clarity Credit Bureau, he spent nearly 20 years in Internet security and risk management, serving as chief operating officer of an industry leader and senior executive for both Network Solutions and VeriSign.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

How Factor Trust is Setting a New Standard for Alternative Credit Scoring

alternative credit scoring

The big three credit bureaus in the United States are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Though there are many smaller and regional players, the big three have a stranglehold on the market. However,  the alternative lending revolution has given an opportunity to smaller, nimbler competitors to offer products for the nascent-but-growing fintech industry. Factor Trust is […]

alternative credit scoring

The big three credit bureaus in the United States are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Though there are many smaller and regional players, the big three have a stranglehold on the market. However,  the alternative lending revolution has given an opportunity to smaller, nimbler competitors to offer products for the nascent-but-growing fintech industry. Factor Trust is one of the players looking to create a niche by providing alternative credit data, analytics, and risk scoring information.

Factor Trust, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, opened its doors in 2006. Its latest round of funding ended in November 2015, and the company managed to raise $42 million from ABS Capital Partners and MissionOG. CEO and Co-Founder Greg Rable held many high profile positions in companies like PGi and Empagio before embarking on his entrepreneurial voyage, etc. President and Co-Founder Michael Heller served as president of Argus Information and Advisory Services.

Factor Trust has a team of 60 on board. The company has enjoyed rampant growth in last 3-4 years.

What started as a small alternative credit bureau quickly turned into the largest alternative customer tradeline data provider. Factor Trust covers most of the major loan markets including short-term lending, installment lending, nonprime auto, POS finance, and credit cards.

130 million U.S. adults have a FICO score lower than 700, which is why Factor Trust concentrates on the non-prime credit segment. This segment is generally underbanked.  Factor Trust calls them “Credit Climbers” because they are struggling to improve their credit scores.

Factor Trust’s biggest USP is its proprietary database, which has allowed the company to established itself as an alternative credit bureau. Most of the established players in the market focus on repackaging and reselling third-party products, but Factor Trust focuses on in-house solutions. The strategy has been successful as the company has consistently added half a million users per month.

Every new application or inquiry is treated as a new consumer without performance data. Once an application is accepted, performance data supporting the application is then collected. Factor Trust’s data comprises of application and tradeline information, and, with the help of these data, the company is able to get comprehensive knowledge about consumer spending patterns and the types of products these consumers use. Other important information like stability, payment history, and income stream provide additional insight into financial habits of consumers.

The product range is similar to what traditional credit bureaus like Equifax or TransUnion offer, but Factor Trust serves consumers at or below prime whereas other bureaus serve consumers at or above prime. Cross-over lenders in the auto and credit card industries use traditional rating bureaus in addition to Factor Trust while lenders like Installment, POS, and short-term lenders don’t use traditional ratings at all. This highlights that the company is chasing a massive market that is growing rapidly.

Factor Trust continues to develop its products to stay in tune with the regulatory developments and technological changes in the FinTech ecosystem. Expected CFPB regulations in the coming year will make it compulsory for the lenders to determine the borrower’s ability to repay (ATR) before they can provide borrowers with a loan. In order to help lenders meet ATR regulations efficiently, Factor Trust has introduced the Flexible Technology platform. Lenders can quickly compare residual income to the requested loan amount to determine whether a consumer has the ability to pay back a loan. This product will help lenders keep tabs on the factors that trigger a change in a consumer’s credit situation and alter a credit line accordingly. Saving lenders from the hassle of sending multiple file formats to different bureaus, Factor Trust has also developed a CRA gateway, which is executed based on CFPB regulations. This will allow lenders to automatically update all credit bureaus rather than wasting resources on dealing individually with those bureaus.

Factor Trust uses a flexible pricing schedule. Pricing depends on product demand within a particular region. Higher the demand, lower the price, and vice-versa. On average, the company charges a fee of $1-$1.30 per score and can adjust pricing as it does not use third parties to fetch data. Factor Trust has a dedicated team of experts to make onboarding hassle-free. This allows companies to go live in just two weeks. There is no setup or minimum monthly fee. Along with setup, Factor Trust provides scores and purpose built-in different vertical and segments, which no other alternative bureau provides.

The reason Factor Trust is the preferred choice for the alternate lending industry is because it can pull data through its ATR product and also through traditional data from Equifax, presenting lenders with the best of both of worlds. One telling difference between Factor Trust and other bureaus is the updating of reporting data. In Factor Trust, data is accessed and processed in real time whereas other bureaus update performance statuses monthly. This also allows lenders to ensure that borrowers are not attempting loan stacking. With the emergence innovative technologies and short-terms loan products, the technology used a few years ago is obsolete. Therefore, solutions offered by Factor Trust should become the new industry standard in a few years.

Authors:

Lauren Twardy