Thursday March 1 2018, Daily News Digest

JPMorgan

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter opens IFISA to new investors today. Amazon customers would bank with e-tailer. Zopa’s VC firm raises 500K GBP in 24 hours. Collateral goes off line. Auxmoney hits profitability. Credy raises $1.4M. Today’s main analysis: Is JPMorgan’s tech investment paying off? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Presenters at LendIt Fintech USA 2018. Klarna’s end-of-year report. Asia’s fintech investment drops. […]

JPMorgan

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Asia

Canada

News Summary

United States

Many Amazon customers would welcome banking services (RetailDive), Rated: AAA

  • More than half of 1,000 U.S. Amazon customers recently surveyed said they would be willing to use an Amazon-created virtual currency for purchases, according to a survey conducted by student loan marketplace LendEDU.
  • Among other findings, the survey (which questioned consumers, including some Amazon Prime members, that made purchases on Amazon within the previous 30 days) found that 44.5% said they would also keep their primary bank account with Amazon if the e-commerce giant offered such a service.
  • Furthermore, about half of respondents said they would seek personal loans from Amazon if they were available, and roughly 45% said they would use an auto loan offering from the company. Another 30% claimed they would be ready to take out an Amazon-created mortgage.

Broad Mix of Thought Leaders to Present at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Lending

  • Jay Farner, CEO, Quicken Loans
  • Max Levchin, Co-Founder & CEO, Affirm
  • Anthony Noto, CEO, SoFi
  • Renaud Laplanche, CEO, Upgrade

Digital Banking

  • Yolande Piazza, CEO, Citi FinTech
  • Suresh Ramamurthi, Chairman & CTO, CBW Bank
  • Luvleen Sidhu President, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, BankMobile
  • Jeremy K. Balkin, Head of Innovation, HSBC Bank USA
  • Nicolas Kopp, U.S. CEO, N26 Inc.

Blockchain for Financial Services

For 2018 we looked at one of the biggest new trends in financial services, blockchain and decided to create an event within our event. We are debuting our new blockchain event Blockfin by LendIt.

  • Tim Draper Founder & Managing Director DFJ
  • Richard Craib, CEO, Numerai
  • Tom Ding, Co-founder & CEO, String Labs/Dfinity
  • Vincent Wang, Chief Innovation Officer, China Wanxiang Group
  • Kathleen Breitman, Co-Founder, Tezos
  • Catherine Wood, CEO/CIO, ARK INVEST

Will JPMorgan’s splashy tech investment pay off? (American Banker), Rated: AAA

“Retail distribution is like a muscle,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said in discussing the company’s recently announced plan to open 400 branches in up to 20 new markets. “You have to exercise it or it goes to waste.”

Nonetheless, the New York megabank raised eyebrows when it said it would invest an additional $1.4 billion in technology in 2018 — the driving factor in projections for noninterest expenses to rise 6% in the year ahead.

Fintech Platform Current Announces Strategic Investment from Fifth Third (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Current, the fintech platform that allows teens to connect their money with the people, brands and experiences they value, announced on Tuesday that Fifth Third Capital, a direct equity investment subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB), has joined the recently announced Series A funding, led by QED Investors.

Leasing App Honcker Plans Expansion With $ 23M Funding From IAC (Auto Finance News), Rated: A

Vehicle leasing startup Honcker secured $23 million in series A funding this week and is using the capital injection to expand nationwide and bring some added features to its app, founder and Chief Executive Nathan Hecht told Auto Finance News today.

InterActive Corp. (IAC) — the media investor behind Investopedia, Tinder, Vimeo, and many others — is making its foray into the vehicle marketplace with this funding round to take a minority stake in the company. Honcker partners with dealers and plugs into their existing lender network to provide an online leasing marketplace.

How Are Fintech And Proptech Changing The Real Estate Industry In 2018? (Forbes), Rated: A

2. Ability To Reach New Investors Online

The ability to raise capital online and reach new accredited investors through online portals is still in its infancy.

5. Data Analysis To Drive Investment Decisions

Really use data analysis to drive your investment decisions, don’t just look at the headlines. Utilize big data and predictive analytics to dig into what is responsible for the migration of renters, and what those renters are seeking in their new apartment.

7. Reduced Friction In Buying, Owning And Selling

We are constantly pushing to incorporate or develop technologies to improve our business and customer experience by reducing cost, friction and time, as well as improve transparency and security. Some of these we develop ourselves, like application of machine learning and AI to develop a national neighborhood rating system. Others we adopt, like animated 3D visualization software. –

LA tech startup InvestFar’s innovative platform spearheads globalization of real estate investing (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Rising LA startup InvestFar; recently launched its signature mobile app to help aspiring investors with informed investment decisions. Titled as “InvestFar”, the app is the first platform to boast all the tools and resources needed for successful investments in long-distance or local markets nationwide.

Built in LA, this real estate tech startup is on a path to innovating how real estate and investors in this industry scale and manage their investments beyond local markets, especially in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York – where we often see inflated housing prices and shrunken inventory given increasing foreign investment.

Small construction companies lukewarm on tech investment (ConstructionDive), Rated: A

  • A recent customer survey from small business funding siteKabbage revealed that fewer than 35% of small construction companies planned to make investments at some level this year in technologies that could help their businesses and further bring them into the digital age.
  • More than 65% of contractors who responded to the study did not have a plan to invest in tools like big data solutions or mobile technologies, and the same percentage was either neutral, against or not likely to spend more than 20% on social media advertising.
  • Kabbage also found that even with well-publicized cyber attacks and other computer-related crimes, not even 40% of small construction firms planned to invest in cybersecurity.

ACA International Responds to Misleading ACLU Report on Debt Collection Industry (ACA International), Rated: B

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a misguided and heavily misleading report accusing private debt collectors of using the criminal justice system to “punish” and “terrorize” consumers. This is absolutely false and undermines the commitment and integrity of the professional debt collection industry.

Legitimate debt collectors work with consumers to help recover outstanding debt on behalf of businesses, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities.

Tiny Kansas bank bets big on fintech (American Banker), Rated: B

Nbkc bank in Overland Park, Kan., is comfortable sitting at the same table as many of the banking industry’s biggest innovators.

The $632 million-asset bank, a unit of Ameri-National Corp., recently participated in a $16 million investment in Greenlight Financial Technology, which offers debit cards for kids that parents can control from their phones. Other investors included the Amazon Alexa Fund, SunTrust Bank and Ally Financial.

United Kingdom

RateSetter to open IFISA to new investors on Thursday (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER is opening up its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) to new investors on Thursday, meaning that two out of the ‘big three’ lenders will be offering the tax wrapper outside of their existing customer base.

Industry onlookers argue that the IFISA will only begin to move into the mainstream once the largest P2P platforms offer the product to new investors.

VC firm behind Zopa raises £500,000 for fintech fund in just 24 hours (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

A FINTECH venture capital firm that has a stake in Zopa has surpassed a £500,000 fundraising target for a new investment company in the first 24 hours.

Augmentum Capital, which has a 7.4 per cent holding in peer-to-peer lender Zopa worth £18.5m, is looking to raise £100m through an initial public offering (IPO) alongside a crowdfunding listing on Seedrs.

What’s Up at Collateral? (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

A question concerned investors have been speculating on for over 36 hours now, since the website of UK p2p lending platform Collateral went down around 7pm two days ago and is showing a maintenance message. Investors criticize that there was no pre-announcement of this maintenance and worse that Collateral seemed to have ceased all communications to investors and did not react to any phone or email messages.

With no communications from the platform whatsoever investors wondered what to do. Some investors reported the incident to ActionFraud squad of the police while another contacted the FCA to voice his concern and seek advice.

1) How should a p2p lending platform communicate in a crisis?

In my view not communicating at all is the worst choice.

2) What can concerned investors actually do to react, if the platform is seemingly unreachable/unresponding over a longer period of time?

Collateral investors in limbo after lender shuts down site (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Meanwhile, it emerged that the three limited companies listed on the Financial Services Register that have traded under the name of Collateral have not had regulatory permission to operate as a consumer credit business for at least 11 months and have all now been dissolved.

Cash4Assets, which traded under the name Collateral, had cancelled its interim permissions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A permission end date is given of 23 March 2015.

Regal Pawnbroker, which also listed Collateral as one of its trading names, saw its interim permissions lapse on 31 March 2016.

And Goldmann and Sons saw its interim authorisation lapse on 31 March 2016.

Assetz Capital introduces manual lending Isa (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The P2P lender recently announced it had registered 2,000 investors for its Innovative Finance Isa(IFIsa) since it launched in December last year.

So far, Isa users have invested £14m, with one third coming from transfers from other Isa providers.

Funding for finance start-ups hits all-time high in threat to big banks (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Major fundraisings in the UK last year included digital insurance distributor BGL Group getting $900m, while payments venture TransferWise got $280m. Elsewhere Monzo raised £93m in two separate rounds, while Revolut got $66m.

Britain’s two biggest lenders, Lloyds and RBS, announced £5.5bn worth of investment programmes between them last week, with online banking a primary focus of their spending plans.

Banks scramble to be open as clients shrug (Royal News 24), Rated: A

Open banking, as this particular revolution is known, was introduced on the second weekend of January, forcing Britain’s biggest banks to provide third parties with access to the accounts of any customers who authorise it.

A Citigroup analysis published last week finds three reasons why disintermediation of the established order is likely to be delayed. One is slow consumer adoption. A second is the fragmentation of the market for new “open banking” services in early stages of the regime. The final one is the ability of established payment providers to adapt to the new rules.

European Union

Klarna year-end report January – December 2017 (Cision), Rated: AAA

July – December 2017
● Compared to last year, total sales volume grew by 43%
● Total operating revenues increased 32% to SEK 2,474m (1,868)
● Operating income for the period was SEK 203m (35)
● Net income for the period amounted to SEK 117m (17)

January – December 2017
● Year over year growth in total sales volumes was 42%
● Total operating revenues increased 27% to SEK 4,526m (3,561)
● Operating income amounted to SEK 524m (168)
● Net income for the year amounted to SEK 346m (113)
● 26,000 new merchants, Group total now 89,000
● 19 million new consumers used Klarna this year

Highlights from the year
● Bank license was obtained in June
● BillPay GmbH was acquired in September
● Additional tier 1 capital was raised in May and a senior unsecured bond was issued in September

German fintech lender auxmoney hit profitability in 2017 (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Its origination volumes rose by 75 per cent during the course of the year, with over 40,000 loans and €316 million funded. Auxmoney has now disbursed more than 100,000 loans in its history, with a cumulative funding total of around €700m.

BNI Europa eyeing up further P2P lending deals (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

BANCO BNI Europa is eyeing up further deals in the alternative finance space to diversify its portfolio and widen its product offering for clients.

The Portuguese online bank has announced several funding deals over the past year, including peer-to-peer lenders Funding Circle in Germany and Raize in Portugal, and UK P2P invoice finance platform MarketInvoice.

JSC VIA SMS Group interim twelve month report for year 2017 (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

The Group has closed the reporting period with a net turnover of EUR 20 141 087 that shows 21,5% increase in comparison with the same period in 2016. The largest net turnover was reached in Spain where the net turnover has increased by 63%; the second largest turnover was reached in Sweden – by 55%, the third – in Poland where net turnover increased by 17% in comparison with data reported to December 31, 2016.  Company’s EBITDA in 2017 has reached EUR 2 779 456 and has ensured the net profit of EUR 835 542.

International

Cerberus Capital Management to Acquire Bluestone Group’s Australasian Operations (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. today announced that one of its affiliates has entered into an agreement with Bluestone Group, the international financial services business based in the U.K., to acquire its Australasian mortgage lending and portfolio servicing operations (“Bluestone Holdings Australia”).

India

Credy raises US$ 1.4 million in seed round (Tech in Asia), Rated: AAA

The online lender secured the funding from Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, and Vy Capital, in addition to several Silicon Valley-based angel investors. It will use the capital to expand its loan book, build partnerships with institutional lenders, enhance its underwriting technology, and hire new team members.

Asia

ASIA SEES MASSIVE DROP IN FINTECH INVESTMENT AS CHINA LOSES MOMENTUM (CFO Innovation), Rated: AAA

Total fintech funding in Asia was US$3.85 billion in 2017—a massive drop-off from the more than US$10 billion invested in 2016 while the amount in Q4 2017 declined to US$748 million across 38 deals after a solid US$1 billion+ in Q3, said KPMG.

Decreased fintech investment in China accounted for much of the decrease in investment in Asia, KPMG explained. According to the firm, China saw just US$45.8 million in investment in Q4’17, while total investment in 2017 was US$1.33 billion.

The top five fintech deals in the region in Q4 are as follows:

  • WeLab (lending firm in Hong Kong): US$220 million, Series B
  • GoSwiff (payments/transactions firm in Singapore): US$100 million, M&A
  • BiWang Group (Institutional/B2B firm in Shenzhen, China): US$100 million, M&A
  • PolicyBazaar (Insurtech firm in Gurugram, India): US$77 million, Series E
  • Onlyou (Institutional/B2B firm in Shenzhen, China): US$45 million, late-stage VC
Canada

Katipult Named Among Industry Giants as Finalist for “Most Promising Partnership” Award (Cision), Rated: A

Katipult Technology Corp. (TSXV:FUND) is honoured to announce that it has been nominated, alongside Polymath Inc., for the Most Promising Partnership Award at the second annual Lendit Fintech Industry awards in April. The Katipult-Polymath partnership will be competing against some of the world’s finance and fintech giants including partnerships involving Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Group, Swedbank, and Lending Club.

National Bank CEO praises federal cybersecurity plan (Financial Post), Rated: A

The chief executive of National Bank of Canada said Wednesday that the federal government’s latest budget included “a big step forward” on cybersecurity.

The federal budget tabled on Tuesday proposed various cybersecurity-related commitments, including $155.2 million over five years so that the Communications Security Establishment could create a new “Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.”

Crypto KABN launches Blockchain-Enabled Biometric ID Validation (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Crypto KABN Holdings Inc. (‘Crypto KABN’ or the ‘Company’) an innovator in financial services, technologies and products for the blockchain industry, is pleased to announce that it is launching a revolutionary Blockchain-enabled biometric validation platform, called ID KABN, as the first component of its suite of financial and technology services, at the FFCON18: Velocity Conference in Toronto on March 5, 2018.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday March 20 2017, Daily News Digest

lending club delinquency rates

News Comments Today’s main news: Experian, Finicity collaborate on MPL digitalization. RateSetter, Zopa among P2P lenders signed up on Bud. Lending Works launches 3-minute loan app. Creditas taps asset-backed market to fund auto loans. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ performance monitor. OCC FinTech Charter: A new model for tech-enabled financial services? Today’s thought-provoking articles: Why CommonBond’s CEO says OCC charter […]

lending club delinquency rates

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

China

India

South America

Asia

News Summary

United States

Experian and Finicity collaborate to digitize marketplace with less tedious experience for consumers and lenders (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Experian®and Finicity have joined together to make it easier for consumers to apply for a loan, accelerating loan underwriting and broadening loan availability. The new technology also improves accuracy and reduces fraud risk for lenders. Experian’s new Digital Verification Solutions will deliver verification of assets and verification of income leveraging Finicity’s data aggregation and insight platform. Experian is the first credit bureau to implement this technology, which will give consumers the opportunity to secure mortgages as well as other types of loans with less paperwork and hassle by connecting with financial institutions digitally.

By digitizing the end-to-end mortgage process, loan approvals that take as long as 70 days, may be approved in as little as 10 days. With Experian’s industry-leading credit decisioning and Finicity’s account insights technology, consumers can rapidly complete the income and assets verification process through a simple digital experience.  Consumers will then permit delivery of appropriate account data, which is pushed to Experian’s Decisioning as a ServiceSM hosted platform. This will give lenders the ability to integrate consumers’ account data into their credit decisioning processes. As a result, lenders and other service providers will assess a consumer’s ability to pay and verify borrower income and assets in a manner compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Experian and Finicity’s partnership also will benefit the approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population with limited or no credit history, including millennials, who are the largest segment of the workforce and are increasingly applying for loans. While these consumers may have a limited credit history, most consumers have a checking and savings account, as well as other payment obligations such as rent, and utility and phone bills, which can demonstrate they are capable of repaying a loan.

PeerIQ Performance Monitor (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

  • Lending Club targeted the most significant increases in borrowing rate to riskier borrowers in E, F, and G-grades. Prosper’s recent borrowing rate increases are mild comparing to Lending Club’s rate actions. We expect that the overall borrowing interest rates will continue to increase in response to hikes in Federal Funds rates
  • For Lending Club’s 36-mo and 60-mo products, delinquency rates continue to trend higher for 2016 vintage. We expect loans to approach peak delinquency after ~13 months of seasoning; for Prosper, we expect the 36-mo product to hit peak delinquency about 9 months of seasoning and 13 months for the 60-mo term product.
  • For both Lending Club and Prosper, charge-off rates continue to be elevated for loans in 2016 vintages. The spikes in charge off rates agree with delinquent loan pipelines as loans transition from delinquency to charge-off states. (We note that recent credit buy box tightening will not show up in the 2016 vintage).
  • We expect that originators continue to adjust pricing and credit modeling based on forward-looking credit market, Fed Funds rate expectations, the credit environment andthe competitive landscape in consumer unsecured lending.

See the full report here.

Why CommonBond’s CEO says fintech charter could be a game changer (American Banker), Rated: AAA

For the founder of an online lending startup, David Klein, CEO of CommonBond, talks like a sage.

The bearded entrepreneur notes approvingly that the conversations in his industry are becoming “more grounded and mature, rather than all about going to chase the shiny object,” and that company valuations are “catching up to reality.”

What’s new at CommonBond?

DAVID KLEIN: One of the things we are most excited about is what we call the 401(k) for student loans. This is SaaS-based technology that enables employers to contribute to their employees’ student loan repayment every month.

It is very early days, so only about 4% of companies have a student-loan-related benefit. That number is expected to be over 20% in two years.

Over 70% of millennials have student loan debt. Over 50% are thinking about student loans are thinking about them more than retirement and about 80% of them would choose a company to work for if they had this benefit.

In some of your talks over the last year or so, you’ve hypothesized that the number of marketplace lenders would soon shrink. Has it happened the way you thought it would? Have many hung on longer than you thought?

For online lending, 2016 was a year where the strong got stronger and the weak got weaker. There were a few shops that closed up and there were some players that became better known and entered 2017 stronger than ever. I think that continues in 2017 and 2018, regardless of geopolitical or macroeconomic picture, because if you study the emergence of industry, that’s what tends to happen.

What’s the key to that default rate? Are you chasing only the HENRYs?
We look at past credit and future prospects. We look at credit reports and FICO scores, but we look at cash flow, employment, industry of employment. We are looking at a host of factors.

What are your thoughts on the OCC’s proposed fintech charter?

The OCC charter would allow us to comply with regulation in one jurisdiction, instead of 51 jurisdictions including D.C. To the extent that we can save on costs, we could pass that along to customers.

It would affect capital costs. We might get access to low-cost deposits like banks do, we might get access to the Fed discount window to get close-to-free money and we might get access to better pricing in the capital markets by being a chartered institution. We’d be poised to significantly lower our cost of capital long term.

The OCC FinTech Charter: A New Model For Tech-Enabled Financial Services? (Payment Law Advisor), Rated: AAA

On February 21, DWT Payments team members Andy Lorentz and Tom Scanlon took part in a discussion organized by NYPAY that focused on the prospects of the OCC special purpose fintech charter.

View the presentation here.

The 5 Best ‘Alternative Investments’ to Consider (Newsmax), Rated: A

Private equityThese investments aren’t publicly traded or listed on the stock market. Private equity or venture capital firms invest in venture capital, start-ups, company growth, or restructuring of a company.

Real estate — Investing in property may include housing, apartment complexes, and commercial real estate. The Wall Street Journal explained that some self-directed individual retirement accounts allow people to diversify their investments into real estate, among other options, but there are many rules and risks. You also can invest in property indirectly through real estate investment trust (REIT) funds, which are available on public exchanges.

NEW REPORT: What’s The Ticket To Platform Payments Success? (PYMNTS.com), Rated: A

Radial, for example, an omnichannel technology and sales platform provider, recently debuted a new deferred payment option called Buy Now, Pay Later. The new payment feature, the result of a collaboration with European solution provider Klarna, allows customers to spread payments out over the course of six to 36 months. Similarly, fundraising platform Virgin Money Giving and payment processors Worldpay recently collaborated on a new payments system designed to handle the high number of donations that are made in the days and hours leading up to major events such as the London Marathon.

Meanwhile, PayPal looked to improve its platform with a new acquisition. The company announced plans to acquire multichannel bill payment processing and receivables company TIO Networks for a total of $233 million, according to reports.

Financial Poise™ Announces “EQUITY CROWDFUNDING,” a Four-Part Webinar Series, Available On-Demand Now through West LegalEdcenter (Benzinga), Rated: B

Financial Poise™ Webinars and West LegalEdcenter are pleased to announce the on-demand premiere of a new webinar series “EQUITY CROWDFUNDING 2017,” designed to introduce attorneys and business owners to the basics of investing in private companies through crowdfunding. Moderator Chris Cahill of Lowis & Gellen joins panelists from firms including Crowdcheck, CFX Markets, Crowdfunding Lawyers.net and Riggs Davie in Episode #1, Title III, Regulation A+, and State Crowdfunding Regimes.

Nasdaq Announces Development Role In Shaping Ad Contracts Blockchain (Yahoo! Sports), Rated: B

Securities exchange operator Nasdaq has announced it is helping to compile a blockchain for ad contracts, in partnership with the New York Interactive Advertising Exchange.

The blockchain is billed as being a transparent market mechanism for advertisers and publishers to set up ad contracts, creating a more fluid, price-driven environment for digital advertising.
It is hoped that the new system will provide a more efficient basis for the wider digital advertising industry, said to be worth in excess of $32 billion per year.
Nasdaq has already filed patents for its technology, in addition to launching its own private market Linq, powered by the same infrastructure, back in 2015.
United Kingdom

RateSetter and Zopa among P2P lenders signed up to money platform Bud (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

SIX PEER-TO-PEER lenders including RateSetter and Zopa have partnered with Bud, a new online platform and app that enables consumers to manage their finances on a single dashboard.

Zopa, Landbay and Assetz Capital have all got live pages on the platform, meaning that Bud’s customers will be able to manage their P2P loans alongside their bank accounts, pensions, mortgages and other investments.

LendingWell, Lending Works and RateSetter have also signed up to Bud, although their pages have not gone live yet.

Bud currently has 18 partners operational on the site, with another 20 signed up.

Walsh said that Bud is currently in talks with other P2P platforms.

It has been in its ‘beta’ testing phase since November and currently has around 4,000 customers signed up.

P2P lender launches three-minute loans through app (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

A fintech app has partnered with peer-to-peer (P2P) platform Lending Works to offer loans in just three minutes.

Revolut customers will now be able to apply for between £500-5,000 in credit in two minutes and receive funds on their contactless card almost instantly.

The London-based company also plans to enable a P2P lending marketplace among its own user base of 530,000 Europeans, ultimately allowing customers to lend and borrow money across borders.

RateSetter funds SME acquisition in the South East (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has channelled £140,000 to fund a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) acquisition in the South East, as part of its focus on business lending in the region.

The peer-to-peer finance platform has arranged two loans to enable Thame-headquartered digital marketing agency Purple Frog acquire Oxfordshire neighbour OXLink, an IT specialist that will help it scale up its operations.

Zopa Celebrates Plus Products 1st Birthday (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Friday, peer-to-peer lender Zopa celebrated the one year birthday of its product, Zopa Plus, by taking a look back at its progress over the past twelve months.

While revealing how Zopa Plus has performed to date, the Zopa team explained that the product is performing in line with expectations. Although each individual investor has different Plus experiences, 73% of investors have notably invested for an average of at least six months, with no loan sales, have achieved actual returns of at least 6%.

Fintech Startup CurrencyCloud Raises m in Series D Funding Round (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

UK-based fintech company CurrencyCloud, a cross border payment-as-a-service provider, announced the raising of £20 million (US $25M) in Series D funding round. The company has raised from backers a total of £44 million ($61 million) in venture funding to date.

The firm has amassed an impressive roster of investors which this time included Alphabet’s venture arm GV, formerly Google Ventures, in addition to existing investors Notion Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Rakuten FinTech Fund, and Anthemis.

MarketInvoice names Zopa’s Giles Andrews as chairman (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ZOPA co-founder Giles Andrews OBE has been appointed chairman of MarketInvoice, to help support the peer-to-peer invoice finance platform’s plans for growth this year.

Andrews will work directly with MarketInvoice’s co-founders Anil Stocker and Ilya Kondrashov to drive scale in the business, as well as chairing and managing the board of directors, the company said.

The high-profile appointment comes at a pivotal time for MarketInvoice, as it is looking to double its lending to £2bn this year.

 

Merseyside Pension Fund finances Canary Wharf development (IPE), Rated: A

The Merseyside Pension Fund has backed a £12m (€13.8m) loan secured against a development in Canary Wharf.

The £6.8bn public sector scheme has partnered with LendInvest on the deal.

The loan will help finance a planned development in London’s Docklands, which will include a 320-bedroom hotel and 199 residential units.

Digital Disruption Has Arrived In FinTech (Forbes), Rated: A

ClearBank, the first new clearing bank to be authorized in the UK in over 250 years launched on February 28th.

It is the only UK clearing bank that does not offer services direct to the consumer – a neutral and independent platform service that does not compete with its own customers.

There are big incentives for FinTechs and incumbents to use ClearBank. Put simply, they will be able to process payments and offer new competitive transactional banking services more cost effectively, efficiently and faster than has ever been possible.

I suspect ClearBank will be on the radar of everyone in the global FinTech ecosystem.

Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Artificial Intelligence, and Identity technologies all promise to deliver technology enabled disruption, but appear to be slow out of the starting blocks with adoptable and scalable use cases. ed on February 28th.

Crowdfunding platform becomes Sharia-certified (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Crowdfunding property investment platform Yielders has secured full Sharia certification from the UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC).

Launched in April 2016, Yielders specialises in pre-funded investment opportunities with pre-defined rental incomes, enabling investors the chance to start earning returns almost immediately.

How to find your way through the Isa maze (This is Money), Rated: B

Over the years, Individual Savings Accounts – Isas for short – have helped millions of people build long-term wealth they can access tax-free and at any time (unlike a pension).

But the Isa is about to get a major facelift which will make it a more exciting proposition than ever before.

From the beginning of the new tax year on April 6, a family of four – with two children under the age of 18 – will between them be able to squirrel away a maximum £48,256 in Isas over the course of 12 months.

Australia

AI automation FinTech startup Presagen secures competitive commercialization funding (Newsmaker), Rated: A

AI automation FinTech startup Presagen has secured its first round of funding as part of the South Australian Early Commercialization Fund  (SAECF), which is administered by TechInSA. SAECF is a new government grant funding scheme for companies with innovative technologies that have potential for global markets and large revenues. Presagen has been awarded the first of three possible phases of funding. Companies that are awarded all three phases can receive up to $500,000 in funding to support global commercialization initiatives. Presagen will use the funding to bolster its growing technical team.

Presagen uses a unique behavioral AI technique which emerged from the defense industry to automate complex human-centric tasks using software.

China

China, Blockchain & The Holy Grail of Marketplace Lending (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

When one of the world’s largest corporations gets together with one of its largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders, you can almost hear the market sit up.

That’s what happened last week, when Chinese conglomerate Foxconn joined forces with P2P lender Dianrong to launch a blockchain platform for working capital. The benefits to supply chains are clear: smoother cash flows for suppliers will strengthen their liquidity, lower their costs and avoid delays in delivery due to lack of funding.

Should this change occur as projected, investment is likely to migrate to the stronger P2P lenders, shrinking the pool of potential borrowers.

The opportunity to lend to entities with a better-than-average risk profile at a reasonable return is the ‘holy grail’ of marketplace lending.

Peak Establishes New Fintech Subsidiary in China (Military-Technologies), Rated: B

Peak Positioning Technologies Inc. (CSE: PKK) (OTC PINK: PKKFF) („Peak” or the „Company”) today announced that the Company has established a new fintech subsidiary in Shanghai.

India

RBI likely to add tough riders to regulate P2P growth (India Times), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to introduce strong riders to prevent the nimble peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry from growing rapidly and suffering the same fate it did in many countries where P2P almost ended up looking like a ponzi scheme.

The RBI, which is expected to release the guidelines on the industry soon, believes that while the sector is yet to show much scale and traction, there should be a strict vigil on its functioning.

The regulator is worried about some cash-based unscrupulous lenders joining these platforms and lending at high interest rates, and would prefer institutional lenders to enter the space and perhaps reduce rates.

Credy looks to digitize personal lending in India  (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Lending platform Credy is looking to change the way people gain access to personal loans in India. The company, which is currently a part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 batch, is digitizing the process and improving access to capital for residents by opening up peer-to-peer loans to a wider group of borrowers and lenders.

With all that in mind, Credy has emerged to improve personal lending in a market that is worth $50 billion and is growing at a 30 percent rate.

South America

Brazil’s Creditas taps asset-backed debt market to fund auto loans (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Brazilian financial technology company Creditas Soluções Financeiras Ltda tapped the asset-backed debt market to raise 50 million reais (US$16 million) for auto loan refinancing, its chief executive said, an area shunned by traditional lenders after soaring delinquencies.

Sergio Furio said the transaction in February was the first in which Creditas fully decided collection and credit scoring procedures. Proceeds will go to refinance borrowers at a fraction of the cost of auto loans from banks.

Consumers in Latin America’s biggest country pay an average 190 percent a year for unsecured overdraft, credit card and consumer loans with banks.

Secured personal credit accounts for 1 percent of Brazil’s outstanding lending, a sign large banks have overlooked a segment that could thrive as benchmark domestic interest rates approach single-digits.

Asia

Our fintech future (Bangkok Post), Rated: A

In a digital world where the exchange of money is being revolutionised, banks are stepping up their collaboration with financial technology specialists to shape the future of financial institutions along with their security and data collecting systems.

While the internet has made banking much easier for consumers, it can also be a gold mine for hackers. In the old days they were simply called thieves, and they are breathing down the necks of banks, which are racing to find ways to make security cheaper and more effective. This is where fintech comes in.

In addition to working with fintech innovators on security systems and on ways to make customers’ banking experience better and faster. Mobile applications and various other electronic payment systems besides the ATM are the top examples that come to mind.

The Malaysia-based bank is broadening its fintech reach by joining with the likes of Samsung Pay and Go-Jek, a transport, logistics and payments startup in Indonesia, to provide more payment channels. It is also collaborating with the Thai mobile market leader Advanced Info Service for a mobile point of sale application, an e-wallet system for mobile money transfers, as well as Touch N’ Go, whose customers include Malaysian tollway operators, and the shopping portal Lazada for e-commerce payments.

US-based IDC provides market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications used to collect and analyse this personal information are getting smarter every day, opening more opportunities.

Mobile banking applications can be about providing services such as information about exchange rates or locations of businesses since it is not always about money transactions.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor