Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest

Lend Academy

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

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

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

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

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

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

The point-of-sale (POS) financing provider 

Source: Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: PeerIQ, The Daily Shot, Conference Board

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

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

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

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

Source: Lend Academy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Bloomberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY DID YOU START BLEND NETWORK?

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

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

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

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

These are:

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

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

Source: Bloomberg

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

Source: Bloomberg

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

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

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

Source FT Research and Future of Finance

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

Source: ARK Invest and Future of Finance

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

Source: Future of Finance

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

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

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

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

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

Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asia

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

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

MENA

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

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

Canada

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

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Decentralized Internet: The P2P of Everything

Decentralized internet

Details Title: Internet 3.0: Decentralize everything Internet 1.0 is HTML websites. Internet 2.0 is a social network and user-created content. Internet 3.0 is the decentralization of everything: decentralization of marketplaces, of resources usage and allocation, etc. Is Internet 3.0 the P2P of everything? Examples of decentralization include: Decentralized exchanges (Ether Delta) Decentralize computing power (Golem) […]

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Decentralized internet

Details

Title: Internet 3.0: Decentralize everything

Internet 1.0 is HTML websites.
Internet 2.0 is a social network and user-created content.
Internet 3.0 is the decentralization of everything: decentralization of marketplaces, of resources usage and allocation, etc.

Is Internet 3.0 the P2P of everything?

 

Register Here

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Webinar: Changes and Challenges Impacting Fintech Companies

Manatt

This past year, significant efforts have been made by the SEC, FINRA, state regulators and CSBS to streamline regulations and processes for all fintech companies. These ongoing changes have presented opportunities and challenges that impact the fintech community around the globe. Please join us for a 60-minute webinar, moderated by Manatt’s fintech leader Brian Korn, […]

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Manatt

This past year, significant efforts have been made by the SEC, FINRA, state regulators and CSBS to streamline regulations and processes for all fintech companies. These ongoing changes have presented opportunities and challenges that impact the fintech community around the globe. Please join us for a 60-minute webinar, moderated by Manatt’s fintech leader Brian Korn, to gain insight to the following key topics:

  • Updates on the bank partnership model
  • The latest on charter options, including the OCC fintech charter and ILCs
  • The state and federal enforcement agenda, including rapidly growing FTC activity
  • SEC/FINRA Joint Statement on Custody and Customer Protection Rules for cryptocurrency and digital investments: Paradigm shift or more of the same?
  • State fintech regulatory sandboxes: What are they exactly, and will more states continue to opt in?
  • Deal terms: How the regulatory environment is driving investor and lender behavior for originators

If you can’t make our live program on September 19, click here.

The post Webinar: Changes and Challenges Impacting Fintech Companies appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest

marketplace lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement. MoneyLion raises $160M. Monzo, Starling win top rankings among banking apps. Harmoney makes maiden profit. Today’s main analysis: Peter Renton’s quarterly MPL results – Q1 2019 (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Metro areas with the biggest jump in private million-dollar […]

The post Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

marketplace lending

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Internationnal

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Equifax will pay up to $ 700 million to settle data breach lawsuits (CBS News), Rated: AAA

Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over the massive 2017 data breach that exposed the private data of nearly 150 million people. Consumers are eligible to claim as much as $20,000 in cash payments, the FTC said.

The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if approved by the federal district court Northern District of Georgia, will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief.

MoneyLion Announces $ 160M in Funding  (Finanzen), Rated: AAA

MoneyLion today announced $160 million in funding — $60 million in previously unannounced financing and a $100 million Series C funding round.

The round was co-led by Edison Partners and Greenspring Associates and included strategic investment from Capital One, a diversified bank that offers a broad array of financial products and services to over 45 million consumers. The round also included investment from MetaBank and FinTech Collective. Upon completion of the Series C round, the company will have raised over $200 million in equity financing.

OnDeck Taps Bank Veteran to Lead ODX Sales and Strategy (OnDeck), Rated: A

OnDeck today announced the appointment of Lonnie Hayes as the Head of Sales and Strategy for ODX, a wholly owned subsidiary of OnDeck that assists banks with streamlining and digitizing small business credit origination.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q1 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

My overall returns for the twelve months ending March 31, 2019 was 6.09%. This is up from 5.35% that I reported in Q4 and 4.77% in Q3. My original six LendingClub and Prosper accounts had another full percentage point jump. Last quarter I reported the returns on those six accounts had jumped from 3.19% in Q3 to 4.16% in Q4. We see this quarter they are at 5.18%. This is quite a remarkable turnaround and while I still think 5% is not a high enough return for unsecured consumer lending, it is certainly moving in the right direction.

Source: Lend Academy

Metros With the Biggest Jump in Private Million-Dollar Businesses (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

  • Austin, Texas topped the list with a 15.1% increase in privately held companies surpassing $1 million in revenue between 2014 and 2016. The number of Austin firms in that category rose by 1,857.
  • Jacksonville, Fla. and Riverside, Calif. came in a nose behind, with an increase just under 15%. The number of firms rose by 963 and 2,359, respectively.
  • Buffalo, N.Y. was the only metro on our list to lose businesses with seven figure revenues: The city in upstate New York was down by four such firms, a reduction of 0.1%.
  • Baltimore and Oklahoma City made the smallest gains, at just over 1%, or 187 and 117 businesses, respectively.
  • Los Angeles had the largest number of firms to pass the million-dollar mark – 6,664 – followed closely by New York at 6,568. Those large numbers represent increases of almost 8% and 5.2%, respectively, leaving them in the 16th and 29th spots on the list.

Lendio Marries SMB Loan Management With Accounting (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Small business loan marketplace Lendio has announced the acquisition of bookkeeping software provider Billy.

press release Tuesday (July 23) said Lendio is rebranding Billy to Sunrise, a small business bookkeeping solution that integrates accounting, cash flow management, loan management and credit data into a single solution.

How AI can advance the cause of fair lending (American Banker), Rated: A

The rightful prohibition of ZIP codes in underwriting is one example of how financial regulators ensure fairness by protecting against discriminatory lending. But the increasing reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or “automated insights” as I prefer to call it, has made testing a wide variety of inputs for specific outcomes a sophisticated, scientific process carried out by companies. Lawmakers should consider these varied new data options when they evaluate machine learning during a hearing later this week.

Aura Closes $ 28.7 Million Expansion Loan from Angel Island Capital (Business Wire), Rated: A

Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced it has closed $28.7 million in residual debt financing from Angel Island Capital (“AIC”) to help the company grow and keep pace with the demand for its loans.

Drip Capital raises $ 25 mn from Accel, Sequoia (IBS Intelligence), Rated:
A

Drip Capital, a technology-enabled cross border trade financier, has raised $25 million in Series B funding from investors led by Accel Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Wing VC and Y Combinator also participated in the round.

More options to save on student loans at Credible (Credible), Rated: A

With Ascent and MEFA on board, Credible’s student loan marketplace now provides access to eight lenders, including traditional banks, online lenders, and state student loan authorities.

This is how fintech solutions are speeding up mortgage closing times (Housingwire), Rated: A

Financial technology is transforming the mortgage industry by making the origination process more convenient and secure for borrowers.

In 2018, BOK began leveraging Roostify’s digital platform to provide its customers a secure way to upload, send and receive loan documents remotely.

Financial services newcomer Cross River blurs line between fintech, banking (ROI), Rated: A

Few would expect it was a good idea to start a bank right as the recession raged a decade ago.

Fewer still would say any bankers eager to do that, as Cross River Bank did, would go on to become one of the state’s most impressive growth stories.

Fitch Ratings: Questions Increase Around Fringe Players in U.S. ABS (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

While U.S. core ABS performance remains strong due largely to low unemployment, many investors are zeroing in their questions on some of the sector’s non-core assets, according to Fitch Ratings in its 2019 Virtual Investor Video Series for structured finance.

Should fintechs be regulated like banks? (BAI.org), Rated: A

According to the U.S. Treasury report, more than 3,330 new technology-based financial services industry were founded from 2010 to the third quarter of 2017, creating industry investment worth more than $22 billion: a thirteen-fold increase since 2010. Lending by these firms now makes up more than 36 percent of all U.S. personal loans, up from less than 1 percent in 2010.

Examples of Financial Services Business Ideas (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

If you’re financially savvy, you can start your own peer-to-peer lending business. This is when you give small amounts of money to a business or private person, while collecting interest on the returns. Before you start lending out money, here is a successful business you can learn some strategies from:

Business Name: RainFin

Website: 

Established date: 2012

About the business:

RainFin offers an online marketplace that enables borrowers to access affordable debt capital and investors to access new asset classes. RainFin is a registered credit provider and aims to remove traditional costs and barriers for borrowers and investors through innovative technology, designed to create a transparent and fair marketplace.

NASAA Warning on Initial Loan Procurements: “Crowdfunding Meets Blockchain” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

NASAA describes initial loan procurements as a crowdfunding method that allows borrowers and creditors to enter into loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts stored on the blockchain.

To quote NASAA:

“Companies using blockchain technology need to raise capital just like any other company. One way these companies accomplish that is through initial coin offerings (ICOs), which require the new company to create tokens that can be sold to investors and used for the development of new projects. An alternative fundraising method is catching the interest of investors. Initial loan procurements allow companies to raise capital without the added burden of creating tokens.”

Examples of Online Business Ideas (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

Online real estate investing platforms now exist, and they enable anyone to invest a percentage into a property instead of the whole amount. If you have the right skills, you can start your own online business.

Before you launch your business, learn a few strategies from this example of an online business:

Business Name: Real Estate Crowdfunding

Website: 

About the business:

Real Estate Crowdfunding offers its clients lower fees, the option to invest in a development nearby and transparency, which enables their customers to find out more about projects before investing.

Mynd Property Management Acquires HomeUnion, a Real Estate Investing Portal (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Mynd Property Management, a modern property management company powered by on-the-ground experts and technology, has acquired HomeUnion, a company that enables investing in small residential properties in 20 U.S. markets. The acquisition comes on the heels of Mynd’s recent merger with RentVest, which doubled Mynd’s property management footprint to more than 8,000 small residential rental units in a total of 16 markets.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement with Think Finance, a payday lender that has targeted nearly 80,000 Pennsylvanians.
United Kingdom

Monzo and Starling took first and second place in a ranking of banking apps (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

UK-based Monzo has taken the top spot in a ranking of bank apps by MoneySavingExpert.com, beating out both peers and incumbents, The Irish News reports. Seventy-eight percent of the consumers surveyed said the neobank’s app had plenty of features and strong usability.

Competing neobank Starling picked up second place, with 70% of consumers approving of its app’s features and usability. The rest of the top five was rounded out by Barclays (57%), Lloyds Bank (49%), and NatWest (47%).

Source: Business Insider

Lord Myners heaps further pressure on FCA over Lendy failings (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

FORMER City minister Lord Myners is keeping the pressure on the Financial Conduct Authority over its decision to authorise now-collapsed peer-to-peer lending platform Lendy.

A series of written parliamentary questions show Lord Myners is seeking answers on whether better regulation is needed and the creditor status of Lendy investors.

Lessons from Lendy (Brismo), Rated: A

– History of troubled lender shows the importance of independent verification of credit performance
– This is not a function the regulator can reasonably be expected to undertake
– Marketplace lending will fail to access deep pools of funding until these lessons are learned

Innovate Finance expands national network with three regions added (ComputerWeekly), Rated: A

Last week Innovate Finance announced the addition of Fintech Northern Ireland, Fintech Wales and Fintech West to the national network.

Growth Street pledges £75m overdraft funding for East Anglia (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

GROWTH Street has pledged to commit £75m of overdraft-style financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Anglia.

The peer-to-peer business lender, which provides a revolving credit facility for borrowers, said it is already 10 per cent towards its target having lent £7.5m in the region.

Is Short-Term Financing Right For Your Business? (Nav), Rated: A

If you need a short-term capital boost, there are a number of options available to you. Here are a few short-term financing examples that you may want to consider.

Superdry collaborating with Klarna (Fibre2Fashion), Rated: B

British contemporary fashion brand Superdry and leading payments provider Klarna have entered into a collaboration, enabled by Adyen. Superdry customers can now use the Pay later or Pay in 3 in the UK, and later this month will be able to Pay in 4 in the US. This will make everything from jackets to jeans more accessible to Superdry customers globally.

OakNorth completes £11.4m loan to Ocea for major new residential development in Redhill, Surrey (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

LendInvest boosts business development team with new hires (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

Nigel Robbins has joined LendInvest from specialist mortgage lender Magellan to source deals across the South West of England.

European Union

In-house marketing at Klarna: Interview with Elin Svahn (BannerFlow), Rated: AAA

In-house marketing is transforming the industry. It is a movement rising in popularity year on year, with over 91% of European decision-makers moving operations in-house.

How do you structure your in-house marketing at Klarna?

When I started, Klarna was in the process of a complete restructuring of their in-house operations. The brand was divided into many separate domains, with different teams having different priorities, and ‘issues’ to solve.

Today, we have four marketing domains: Branding, Merchant Aquisition and Growth, Communications and PR, Consumer Growth and Loyalty. Within each of these domains, we have different competencies. So for example, within the Branding domain, we have a mix of marketers, designers, and copywriters.

AdviceRobo has launched an open banking capability for lenders (Business Insider), Rated: A

AdviceRobo focuses on offering credit risk management solutions, and its latest API product enables lenders to categorize transactional data and predict defaults to make sound credit decisions.

The Netherlands-based fintech’s new API, dubbed CatRobo, is powered by PSD2 — a regulation that came into effect in January 2018 forcing banks to open up their data to third-parties.

Here’s what it means: The API will help lenders make better use of their data, better compete with alt lenders, and lend out more cash to underserved consumers.

Source: Business Insider
International

Justin Sun denied reports that he had postponed a charity lunch with the investing guru after attracting regulatory scrutiny. In China, where executives sometimes vanish, such reports are not unusual.

Embedded finance, or why fintech mega VC rounds have become so common (TechCrunch), Rated: A

This morning, it was personalized banking app MoneyLion,  which raised $100 million at a near unicorn valuation. Last week, it was N26, which raised another $170 million on top of its $300 million round earlier this yearBrex raised another $100 million last month on top of its $125 million Series C from late last year. Meanwhile, companies like payments platform Stripesavings and investment platform Raisintraveler lender Uplift, mortgage backers Blend and Better, and savings depositor Acorns have also raised massive new rounds this year.

Cryptocurrency loan site YouHodler exposed unencrypted user credit cards and transactions (TechCrunch), Rated: A

A cryptocurrency loan startup exposed reams of customer credit cards and user transactions for almost a month — because it forgot to protect the server with a password.

Security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found the database belonging to YouHodler, a lending platform designed for cryptocurrency, which claims to have processed $10 million in loans to more than 3,500 customers.

The database contained 86 million lines of daily updating records of the lending platform, containing streams of logs and computer commands based on users’ interactions on the front-end website. That also included sensitive information such as every time a transaction or a loan went through.

Source: TechCrunch

Crypto Lending Market ‘Continues to Experience Sustained Growth’ (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

In the Q2 2019 edition of its quarterly ‘Digital Asset Lending Snapshot’ report, Genesis Capital made several interesting observations:

  • At the end of Q2 2019, the total value of “active loans outstanding” was $452 million versus $181 million in Q1 2019, i.e. a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase of 149%.
  • Originations went up 48% QoQ, which means that Genesis Capital has just experienced its fifth straight quarter of “strong growth.”
  • Genesis Capital has originated over $2.3 billion in “loans and borrows” since the business was launched in March 2018.
Source: CryptoGlobe

What Is DeFi? (Bitcoin Market Journal), Rated: A

DeFi platforms leverage smart contract technology to provide decentralized financial solutions, such as digital currency-based peer-to-peer lending, dollar-pegged stablecoins, or investable tokenized asset baskets. The existing DeFi market is still at an early stage so we can expect more decentralized financial services that operate on a permissionless, transparent, and efficient manner on the blockchain to materialize soon.

Decentralised Finance in a centralised world (Business Times), Rated: A

THE growth of global financial markets has created enormous wealth, especially benefitting a few players who are closely connected to the world’s main financial centres.

The centralised nature of the industry has enabled these powerful intermediaries to position themselves in the middle of the system and thus extract rents from other participants.

This oligopolistic structure has stifled competition and decreased efficiency, while increasing the cost of financial services.

Time for a rethink? (Securities Lending Times), Rated: A

David Lewis of FIS discusses the dip in the securities finance industry’s global revenues and explains the factors changing the dynamics of the industry

Finacity Facilitates the Addition of UK Entities to USD $ 115 Million Receivables Securitization (Virtual Strategy Magazine), Rated: A

Finacity Corporation (“Finacity”), a member of the Greensill family of companies, and DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank (“DZ Bank”) announces the addition of Volt Information Sciences, Inc. (“Volt”) United Kingdom subsidiaries as sellers of receivables to Volt’s existing trade receivables securitization. The 2-year facility supported by Volt’s US and UK receivables allows for up to USD $115 million in funding with a $35 million sublimit for letters of credit.

Australia

Harmoney makes maiden profit (MSN), Rated: AAA

The company, which is partly owned by Heartland Bank (17 percent share) and Trade Me (15 percent), made a net profit of $7.2 million in the year ended in March, compared with a loss of $1.8m the year earlier.

Its revenue was up 25 percent to $32.9m, with net interest income of $728,000 – nearly 10 times more than the year before.

Why bank hybrids are far too expensive (Cuffelinks), Rated: AAA

Yield chasing has spilled into nearly every asset class, with Australian listed bank hybrids no exception. The current average margin of bank bills at +2.40% is close to the lowest level for at least seven years.

Source: Cuffelinks

Alternatives to bank hybrids

2. Marketplace lending

Institutional and retail investors can both access marketplace lending (also known as peer-to-peer lending) via a growing number of online platforms. There’s a mixture of residential and commercial property secured loans available, as well as unsecured business and personal loans. For more conservative investors, loans backed by residential property with an LVR of 60% or less typically yield 5-7%. Commercial property loans, business loans and personal loans usually come with higher yields. Investors in riskier loans should be expecting to lose a portion of their total return when some of the borrowers default and should set their return expectations accordingly.

India

India’s FinTech Cube Wealth expands asset management biz in UK, Hong Kong (IBS Intelligence), Rated: AAA

Cube Wealth, an Indian FinTech start-up for financial planning and wealth management, is entering the global markets in this quarter (July-September) of 2019. The plan is to set up a tech-enabled asset management company in the UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland to start with so that customers in those markets can get an access to some leading fund managers in the emerging markets, including India.

Southeast Asia

Hedge Funds Help Fuel Southeast Asia Consumer Lending Boom (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

A small but rising number of hedge funds are being established to help finance the boom in online and peer-to-peer lending across Southeast Asia.

Pilgrim Asia Consumer Finance Fund, founded by Brian Yonghui Tan and Paul Sheng, aims to raise up to $20 million in its first year and generate a return for investors of around 8% per annum. It will charge a 2% management fee.

OJK Condemns Fintech Lender over Indecent Post of Debtor (Tempo), Rated: A

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) condemns fintech lender Incash for posting a photo of one of its debtors online, with captions saying she was willing to have sex for money so she could pay her debts to the online lender.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday July 25 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

How QuantmRE Tokenizes Real Estate on the Blockchain

blockchain real estate eqre

Though the 2008-09 crisis scarred a lot of real estate investors, the fact is that the US real estate sector has been on a secular growth spree in this decade. The sector plays an integral role in the US economy and contributed $1.15 trillion to the country’s economic output in 2018, which is 6.2% of the nation’s […]

The post How QuantmRE Tokenizes Real Estate on the Blockchain appeared first on Lending Times.

blockchain real estate eqre

Though the 2008-09 crisis scarred a lot of real estate investors, the fact is that the US real estate sector has been on a secular growth spree in this decade. The sector plays an integral role in the US economy and contributed $1.15 trillion to the country’s economic output in 2018, which is 6.2% of the nation’s GDP. As a matter of fact, till Q3 2018, individuals owned US$25.6 trillion in real estate, and total mortgages amounted to US$10.3 trillion, which implies that home equity stood at US$15.2 trillion until Q3 2018. That’s a record in itself. Approximately 14.7 million homes have 50% or more of their total equity in their houses.

This represents a massive untapped financial asset for American homeowners. But wary of piling on more debt and with selling the house not an option, homeowners need a new solution to monetize their homes. QuantmRE has brought to market a win-win framework with its shared equity contract agreements. In conversation with Matthew Sullivan, founder/CEO of the company, Lending Times gets a front seat view on how the blockchain-powered solution will help millions of homeowners generate additional liquidity without taking on debt.

The QuantmRE Solution

The fundamental concept behind the company’s platform is “the home owner has equity and wants cash, whereas, the investor has money and wants equity.” QuantmRE’s solutions enable an individual to realize the value of their home’s equity without incurring any further debt. QuantmRE’s funds will purchase a fraction of the owner’s home equity and then tokenize it, building a marketplace for both owners and investors, with new financial opportunities. How?

The explanation lies ahead.

Structure of the Contracts

The QuantmRE contracts are flexible to cater to the needs of different stakeholders and are built to suit varied interests of the homeowners – with some contracts having a 10-year commitment attached to them and some contracts committing for 20-30 years. Along with this, the equity ownership framework will rely on risk profiles of the different contracts.

To illustrate, when the owner wants to part with 10% of the current value of their home, they are selling the future rights to its appreciation. When the owner sells the house in the future, they will provide the investor with a 15%-18% of the value of house. Thus, the company is buying 15%-18% of the future value of the owner’s house at 10% of the present value. This 10% is the shared equity. The company will cap the return in the initial years and the ROI will also be capped at 18%-20% per year.

These are strictly real estate contracts and not loans; here the homeowners simply agree to share the present or future appreciation or depreciation of the value of their real estate. The investor is investing in a real estate option and not investing in any debt.

Under the scenario where the house owner does not sell the house, the contract shall either be refinanced under the same terms as before or shall be renewed on new agreeable terms on all sides.

What are the returns for the investors?

Investor in the funds: The fund will buy the equity instruments from individual homeowners, and the investors will benefit from the overall diversification of the fund. The returns are usually asymmetric and are geared for strong positive alpha and downside protection (due to the structure where it pays for 10% on Day One but receives 15%-18% of future value). Even in the scenario where the house prices remain flat or fall marginally, the funds shall still deliver positive returns. But there is still risk involved, as the downside buffer is limited to an extent.

EQRE Tokens

The company is developing a cryptocurrency token with real intrinsic value: EQRE. These tokens shall be backed by audited pooled real estate assets; the tokens derive their value from the equity interests in the single-family owner-occupied homes. These tokens will be launched in the near future.

It provides a platform to the owners and investors to tap the previously illiquid real estate asset class in a stock market environment enabling the fractional interests in the real estate investments to be traded on the blockchain. The tokenization of real estate will allow small mom and pop investors to diversify their real estate holdings and provide institutional players a platform for liquidity in their real estate investments.

QuantmRE To Date

QuantmRE was founded in December 2017 and has successfully originated close to 100 transactions of over $25 million across a few states. Albeit, currently these transactions are not all QuantmRE contracts. Since its inception, the company has developed its technology, contracts, and design. and is just a few weeks away from launching its EQRE token.

As far as funding goes, the company raised close to US$2 million in 2018 in a seed round. The company plans to raise $5 million for working capital and expansion.

Conclusion

The company offers homeowners an opportunity to liquidate a part of their house without taking on more debt. Investors get to partake in the growth of single-family residential units. This is structured through a shared equity contract. These contracts will further back the token of the company that can be traded. The token of the company (EQRE) is being developed and shall be soon launched. QuantmRE plans to integrate the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology with the real estate sector allowing for liquid profitable real estate investments. The company has its eyes on the $15 trillion unmortgaged equity in US homes and is poised to leverage blockchain tech to make it a strong investment proposition.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

The post How QuantmRE Tokenizes Real Estate on the Blockchain appeared first on Lending Times.

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

Money 20/20

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

Money 20/20

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

Themes included :

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

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

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

Day One

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

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

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

Day Two

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

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

Day Three

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

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

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

Day Four

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

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

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

Focus on Alternative Lending and Credit Cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Noteworthy Announcements

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

The Payments Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author:

Written by Paul Keenan.

The Rise of Crypto Lending, a Natural Progression of Peer-to-Peer Financing

Nexo

The rise of new technologies often give rise to new business models. The peer-to-peer lending space is just over a decade old and still have much to grow into. However, not long after the first P2P lender–Zopa in 2005–opened its doors, a new technology that promises to challenge traditional ways to deliver financial services emerged. […]

Nexo

The rise of new technologies often give rise to new business models. The peer-to-peer lending space is just over a decade old and still have much to grow into. However, not long after the first P2P lender–Zopa in 2005–opened its doors, a new technology that promises to challenge traditional ways to deliver financial services emerged. That technology was the blockchain, a distributed ledger that underlies the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Since then, other blockchains have been created along with new business models to suit. As it stands in 2018, crypto lending has not made a big dent in P2P lending services, but the potential is there. This article will highlight some of the more significant blockchain-based P2P lenders, which we hope will inspire a new look at technological innovation in this space.

Think of crypto lending like you would the banking industry: Even if Capital One provided perfect products at every turn, there would still be plenty of room for JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America. There would still be room for the hundreds of other banks that compete for customers.

The companies listed here are not ranked in any manner. Rather, they=se are just some of the choices available for consumers in the market for cryptocurrency loans.

1. SALT (Secured Automated Lending Technology) Lending

One of the best benefits crypto-based lending has to offer is that a lessened importance on traditional credit scores as a factor for risk assessment. SALT Lending touts blockchain-based assets as “the perfect form of collateral.” The company is using this fact to “dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of the loan process.” SALT operates under Regulation D and, in lieu of credit checks, the company does AML and KYC verifications.

Offering three tiers of product, SALT’s loans start at $5,000 and go as high as $250 million. Loan percentages run between 12 and 22 percent APR, but the borrower retains the value of the collateral currency claiming any gains and losses that happen over the life of the loan. SALT accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin as collateral, and funds loans in USD.

One fact that could be a significant factor when deciding to use the SALT Lending platform is that loans are not transferable on the blockchain, but through existing financial channels. Thus, they become securities.

It’s not foolish to base a good bit of faith in a company that has proven players on its team. Founder Erik Voorhees was also involved in founding several other crypto websites prior to starting SALT Lending. Among these include Satoshi Dice, which he later sold, Coinapult, and ShapeShift.

2. ETHlend

Unlike SALT Lending, Estonia-based ETHlend is a fully decentralized P2P platform built on the Ethereum blockchain for lending Ether as tokens for collateral. Some insiders fear that platforms that allow their loans to become securities might run the risk of being swallowed up by banks.

ETHlend lends Ethereum, Bitcoin, their own LEND tokens, and DAI tokens, as well as 180+ other Ethereum-based tokens. The company offers address-to-address loans that are sent within minutes, with no middle men, assuring that no one, not even Ethlend, can stop one’s lending or borrowing. The company plans to expand beyond Ethereum to other distributed ledger platforms in Q3 of 2019.

The company’s interest rates range from .25 to five percent MPR, and all transactions are carried out on digital wallets. Borrowers that transact in the LEND token can get a no-fee loan.

Announced earlier this week, Aave is a tech-based company designed to expand on the offerings of centralized fintech companies like PayPal and Coinbase. Aave Pocket, Aave Gaming, and Aave Lending (SaaS) are among the offerings this expansion adds to the platform.

Unfortunately, the service is not yet available everywhere including a block to U.S. citizens.

3. Nexo

A new kid on this block is Nexo, and being a new kid means that they are doing things in a new manner. Founded in Zug, Switzerland—even more of an “EF Hutton” mention than Estonia—in 2017, Nexo promises the world’s first instant crypto-backed loans. Available worldwide, Nexo loans start at $1,000 and top out at $2 million.

The process is an easy one.

  • Log on to the website.
  • Verify your account
  • Deposit crypto assets into Nexo wallet
  • Withdraw loan to your bank account

There will be brief pauses while the borrower is verified—the company complies with the highest AML and KYC (provided by Onfido) standards—and while your deposit is confirmed on the blockchain. Overall, the Nexo process reads like a rather quick and seamless process.

The platform loans Euros, USD, and Tether while accepting Ether, bitcoin, Bincance coin (BNB), and Nexo as collateral currency. The interest rate is eight percent if the collateral currency is Nexo and 16 percent for all others. Nexo assets are stored in multi-signature wallets, more than one multiple cryptographic keys are necessary to gain access, and cold storage (wallets not connected to the Internet) at BitGo and PrimeTrust.

4. LendingBlock

LendingBlock predicts that, as digital assets grow as an asset class, demand for hedging, swaps, repurchases, and short selling will increase. The currency crypto market has more than $500 billion in assets circulating with less than one percent used as collateral. That leaves lots of room for growth.

Touted as the first cross-chain lending platform for the crypto economy, the company promises a product that will help its customers access secure, transparent, and fair crypto-to-crypto loans. Not a lender itself, LendingBlock provides the platform upon which parties can enter P2P contracts. The company acts as agent for both lender and borrower, as well as security trustee of the collateral. This ensures that the borrower doesn’t face any uncovered credit risk to the lender.

All collateral deposits are held in cold storage. Those who think regulation will be necessary before the crypto market can fully mature can take comfort in the fact that the company is focused on becoming a regulated business. They have submitted the full regulatory application to the country of Gibraltar and await the regulator’s response. They have also begun regulatory processes with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission in the United States.

Basing the platform on its own token (LND), which is used to make payments and receive interest on loans, allows the company to reduce the cost of exchange fees and makes it easier to manage interest payments. The use of smart contracts reduces expenses, risks, and complexity, which makes for lower costs for borrowers and higher returns for the lenders.

5. BlockFi

New York-based BlockFi might be the ideal platform for Americans who want to secure USD loans with Bitcoin and Ethereum, provided that said Americans live in any of the 44 states where the company is currently conducting business.

The attractive thing about the BlockFi platform is that it seems easy enough for a lay person to understand without any kind of financial advice. A borrower needs to meet only two requirements to qualify for a loan: They can have no liens or bankruptcies on their record, and they must have at least $15,000 of crypto assets between their Bitcoin and Ethereum portfolios.

If those criteria are met, the customer can borrow up to 35 percent of their crypto asset value, with loans ranging from $2,000 to $10 million. Interest rates go from 12 to 14 percent APR, and there is an added fee of one to four percent of the loan value. Borrowers can take a loan in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.

Unlike other crypto-based lenders on this list, BlockFi does not have its own coin or token.

6. Unchained Capital

Texas-based Unchained Capital could very well be the platform of choice for those who want to liquidate their Bitcoin while maintaining it and seeing it go to work in the world.

Not only is the team at Unchained Capital in the market to make money as a lender, they have an idealistic side as well. Noting that 60 percent of Bitcoin sits around and does nothing, they have a goal to circulate it and use it to strengthen the platform. The company was founded by people who believe cryptocurrencies can change the world only if they’re useful.

The Unchained Capital team has designed its personal loans to be ideal for people who are looking to make large purchases, who hope to avoid tax events, and who want to invest. Their commercial loans are geared to companies that want to free up capital, expand their businesses, buy expensive equipment, and balance their portfolios.

Unchained Capital does not have its own cryptocurrency.

7. Other Companies to Consider

The crypto lending space is expanding. New lenders seem to be popping up quite often, which means that some people in the cryptocurrency space, at least, see a market for crypto-backed lending. Despite the market having taken a downturn in 2018, rebounding from the bull run last year that catapulted Bitcoin to $20,000 in December, this space is expanding. Lately, Bitcoin has been holding around the $6,500 mark. Since the majority altcoins tend to follow Bitcoin’s price, that means the market as  whole is down, yet more crypto lenders are ambling to get in the door.

Some of the other companies in the crypto lending space that might be worth checking out include BitBond, Credible Friends, Bitfinex (a crypto exchange that facilitates crypto financing transactions between parties), Celsius, Poloniex (another cryptocurrency exchange that allows traders to lend to other users), CoinLoan, Nebeus, GetLine, and BTCpop.

Authors:

Written by Paul Keenan and Allen Taylor.

Allen Taylor

Wednesday June 13 2018, Daily News Digest

Financial Strain by category

News Comments Today’s main news: Money360 surpasses $750M in commercial real estate loans closed. Attorneys defend $16M LendingClub fee. Funding Circle lending unlocked 75K jobs in 2017. Westpac ends Prospa relationship. Today’s main analysis: Should financial advice be tailored along credit and gender lines? Today’s thought-provoking articles: GreenSky look fairly valued, but there are competitive risks. 4 companies driving […]

Financial Strain by category

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United Kingdom

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United States

Money360 Surpasses $ 750 Million in Commercial Real Estate Loans Closed (Globe Newswire), Rated: AAA

Money360, a technology-enabled direct lender specializing in commercial real estate loans, today announced it has surpassed $750 million in loans closed since inception. This includes $82.5 million in loans closed in May 2018.

Notable loans closed in 2018 include:

  • A $26 million bridge loan for a specialty retail center in Punta Gorda, FL, brought to Money360 by Mark Reichter at Q10 / Triad Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • A $15.6 million bridge loan for an office building in Houston, TX, brought to Money360 by Rich Perry at Churchill Commercial Capital
  • A $17.25 million bridge loan for a medical office in Newport Beach, CA, brought to Money360 by Scott Monroe at NorthMarq Capital, Inc.
  • A $7.9 million bridge loan for Raytheon’s industrial space in Albuquerque, NM, brought to Money360 by Jake Clopton at Clopton Capital
  • A $9.2 million bridge loan for a neighborhood center in Tulsa, OK, brought to Money360 by Mark Reichter at Q10 / Triad Capital Advisors, Inc.
  • A $5 million bridge loan for an office park property in South Bend, IN, brought to Money360 by Dean Giannakopoulos at Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.
  • A $5 million bridge loan for a manufactured housing property and park in West Sacramento, CA, brought to Money360 by Jake Clopton at Clopton Capital
  • A $3 million bridge loan for a mid/high rise multifamily building in Detroit, MI, brought to Money360 by Robert Krupka at Gelt Financial
  • A $2.3 million bridge loan to a self-storage building in Panama City Beach, FL, brought to Money360 by Doug Brooks at Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation
  • A $1.6 million bridge loan to a multifamily building in Macon, GA, brought to Money360 by Naveed Khan

Attys Defend $ 16M LendingClub Fee Bid That ‘Shocked’ Judge (Law360) Rated: AAA

Attorneys seeking $16 million for representing LendingClub Corp. investors in securities class actions against the peer-to-peer lending company defended their fee bid Monday to a California federal judge who previously said the amount “shocked” him, saying their work produced an “outstanding result under any measure.”

The 28-page motion filed by attorneys for Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, lead counsel for the lead plaintiff, argues that the requested 13.1 percent cut of the $125 million settlement is reasonable in light of the results achieved, the risks…

GreenSky Looks Fairly Valued, But Competitive Risks Remain (Forbes) Rated: AAA

GreenSky followed through with its plans to go public within weeks of confidentially filing with the SEC last month – making it the largest fintech IPO in the country since LendingClub and OnDeck went public nearly four years ago. The company offered 38 million shares at $23 per share to raise $874 million (with the actual proceeds being $830 million after underwriting fees). The company’s shares have largely traded around this level since then. This points to a valuation of $4.4 billion for GreenSky – around the figure .

GreenSky’s role as an intermediary between lenders and potential borrowers with strong credit histories makes its overall business model a risk-averse one, as it bears negligible credit risk. At the same time, the relationships it has built with banks, home improvement companies and healthcare providers promise to drive growth at a steady pace over the foreseeable future, even as the company explores other growth segments.

Four companies driving the bank tech discussion, with only one a FAANG (American Banker) Rated: AAA

Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google garner so much attention that they have their own collective shorthand, FAANG. But at American Banker’s Digital Banking conference this week, a mostly different set of companies were top of mind: Call them SASA, or Starbucks, Amazon, Sears and Acorns.

More than 40% of the 55 million U.S. smartphone users will have made an in-store mobile payment through Starbucks’s app, and that just over 23 million consumers over the age of 14 will use the Starbucks app to make a point-of-sale purchase at least once every six months, according to Gavin Michael, head of technology for Citigroup’s Global Consumer Bank, citing data from research firm eMarketer.

Should financial advice be tailored along credit and gender lines? (American Banker) Rated: AAA

Women with credit scores below 700, according to an analysis conducted by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class, an independent research arm of the online lender.

Source: American Banker/Elevate

Fifty-six percent of women with subprime scores say their finances cause them significant stress. About 45% of men with subprime credit scores say the same, as well as only 23% of women with prime ratings and 16% of men with prime ratings.

Seventy percent of women with subprime credit scores work full time, versus 62% of women with prime scores.

The woman with subprime credit is 41% more likely to have children in her home than a prime woman. She is also 79% more likely to have an elderly parent living with her.

Only 39% of Non-Prime Women Believe They Have the Skills to Manage Their Finances (SC Now) Rated: A

Most surprisingly, only 39% of this group believe they have the skills to manage their finances, despite the fact that ongoing research from myriad sources have found women to be the primary financial stewards of their households.

Key findings in the research include:

  • Two-thirds of non-prime women live paycheck to paycheck.
  • They are 3x more likely to have lost a job in the last year compared to prime women
  • Only 34% of non-prime women hold salaried jobs
  • They are 4x more likely to have trouble predicting next month’s income compared to prime women
  • More than 4 out of 5 non-prime women admit to running out of money at least once a year
  • More than one quarter admit to running out of money every month
  • They are 24% more likely to say their finances cause them stress compared to non-prime men
  • Only 13% of non-prime women would have money on-hand to cover an emergency of $1200
  • Non-prime women are 6x more likely to have used a payday loan

But another myth persists: Seasonal businesses suffer most of all. SBA’s data doesn’t bear this out, showing companies across varied industries tend to follow similar patterns in terms of failure. Manufacturing-based businesses, for example, are no more protected from failure than seasonally driven businesses like restaurants and retail stores, meaning other factors determine companies’ likelihood of long-term success.

An Ohio State University study indicated that  of restaurants don’t make it past the first year. Another 2005 study amended that, saying that the 60 percent figure applied to the first three years.

With CB Insights finding that  of small business failures can be attributed to cash flow problems, it’s imperative that seasonal business owners find ways to “spread the wealth.”

Kabbage, for example, ties its line of credit to a small business’s live data, allowing the company to adjust lines of credit in real time to match a business’s seasonal needs.

Why Digital Lenders Are Tightening Their Lending Criteria (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

In the early days of online lending, the big appeal was access to funds for potential borrowers with few, if any, options for securing capital.

According to recent reports, some of the largest marketplace lending players in the field — SoFi, LendingClub, AvantProsper — are being pushed by their investors to batten down their credit hatches and demand better credit scores from their borrowers, as well as shorter maturities so they can make more attractive offerings to investors as they look to repackage those loans into asset-backed securities.

According to KBRA, the weighted average of FICO credit scores of Prosper’s loans, packaged in ABS, increased to 717 in a March 2018 deal from 704 in a sale two years earlier. And they weren’t the only lender to see its average score go up — SoFi, increased the weighted average of its FICO credit scores to 744 in a sale earlier this year from 732 in a deal at the start of last year.

Overlooked Millionaires: Finding A Home In The Democratized Family Office Model Of Financial Advice (Forbes) Rated: A

Over the last 20 years, the number of American investors with between $2 million and $20 million in investible assets has grown remarkably. According to 

Optimal Blue, Finastra partner for pricing integration (Mortgage Professional America) Rated: B

Optimal Blue and Finastra have announced an expansion of their relationship under which Optimal Blue will be integrated Finastra’s Fusion MortgagebotPOS product.

The new integration enables banks and credit unions to provide mortgage applicants with Optimal Blue’s live pricing searches via any point-of-sale channel. Fusion MortgagebotPOS is a web-based platform that allows lenders to receive applications through every point-of-sale channel: consumer-direct via the internet, in the branch or call center, or through professional loan officers.

Direct 1031 Exchange Launches New Online Platform for Accredited Investors (Sys-Con Media) Rated: A

A new online platform is now available for accredited investors seeking direct access to Section 1031 exchange investment opportunities with the launch of real estate investment sponsor Direct 1031 Exchange. The company provides Section 1031 exchange offerings directly to investors using the Delaware statutory trust structure under SEC Rule 506(c).

Through Direct 1031 Exchange’s online investment portal, accredited investors can participate in 506(c) DST offerings sponsored by the firm with no upfront load or commission paid by the investor.

LendStreet and Its Unique Approach to the Debt Settlement Space (Lend Academy) Rated: A

LendStreet is a lender that works with consumers who are experiencing financial difficulties. These are people who have taken on too much debt and find themselves in a hole, unable to pay it all back. But rather than declaring bankruptcy, these people want to work things out and reduce their debt through a debt settlement.

This is the point when the debt settlement companies come in. LendStreet lends only to customers whose debt is being or will be negotiated by a debt settlement company. Most of LendStreet’s customers are already enrolled with debt settlement companies before getting to LendStreet. Those who come directly to LendStreet are paired with a debt settlement company to negotiate down their debt, which will be funded by a LendStreet loan.

Chris Sugden of Edison Partners (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Chris Sugden is the Managing Partner of Edison Partners, a growth equity firm based in Princeton, New Jersey. They provide growth capital for small business doing $5 million to $20 million in annual revenue, typically based on the east coast between DC and Boston. They have never invested in a Silicon Valley startup.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The history of Edison Partners and their unique New Jersey location.
  • The difference between East Coast and West Coast entrepreneurs.
  • The three different verticals they cover.
  • The impact that Marcus will have on the broader fintech space.
  • The shift Chris has seen with the banks as they embrace fintech.
  • The interesting fintech trends Chris is focused on right now.

Radius in Boston working with fintech firm on online business checking platform (American Banker) Rated: A

Radius Bank in Boston has lined up its next fintech project.

The $1.2 billion-asset online bank is working with a Treasury Prime, a San Francisco startup, to create a business checking account. The Tailored Checking Account will allow business owners around the country to quickly open accounts online.

SME smartphone lending set to take off (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Fintech platform Kabbage predicts that 20 per cent of US dollars lent to SMEs will be via smartphone apps by the end of 2018.

Kabbage analysed nearly 150,000 US small businesses and found an increasing trend towards lending organised via mobile devices, with the number of loans increasing more than 300 per cent.

Online Lender Accused Of Using Tribe To Shield Illegal Loans (Law 360) Rated: A

An internet lending company and others have engaged in a plot to charge illegally high interest rates on loans while attempting to use a Michigan tribe’s sovereign immunity as a shield from suit, a group of borrowers said in a proposed class action filed in California federal court Monday.

Four plaintiffs from various states claimed in their complaint that even though Big Picture Loans LLC said it was owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, loans made in Big…

Nobel laureate Kahneman says human financial advisors are still crucial (CNBC) Rated: A

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, said Tuesday financial advisors still play a major role in the finance world — despite recent technological disruptions in the industry — as they act as therapists for investors.

Robo-advisors are growing at a very fast rate, surpassing $200 billion in assets under management last year, according to BackEnd Benchmarking, which releases quarterly data on robo-advisors.

Lending Express Opens Shop in Silicon Valley & Adds Moshe Kazimirsky to Team (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Lending Express, an AI-powered marketplace for business loans, has opened a new Silicon Valley office in San Mateo, as well as the appointment of Moshe Kazimirsky to VP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development to support the West Coast team. The announcement comes on the heels of Lending Express’ May $2.7 million seed funding round led by Entrée Capital, iAngels, and existing investors.

PeerStreet’s CEO Brew Johnson and Leadership Team Wins Comparably’s 2018 Culture Awards in Multiple Categories (Business Wire) Rated: B

PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is honored to announce that it has won Comparably’s 2018 Culture Awards in the following categories:

  • Best CEOs for Diversity
  • Best CEOs for Women
  • Best Managers
  • Best Leadership Team

Robots could replace as many as 10,000 jobs at Citi’s investment bank (Business Insider) Rated: A

Robots could replace as many as 10,000 human jobs at the banking giant Citi within five years, its president told the Financial Times.

Wells Fargo bans cryptocurrency purchases on its credit cards (Payments Source) Rated: B

Wells Fargo & Co. customers hoping to use their credit cards to buy Bitcoin will have to look elsewhere.

United Kingdom

Lending through Funding Circle unlocked 75,000 jobs in 2017 (Pr Newswire) Rated: AAA

A new report published today by Oxford Economics reveals that lending through Funding Circle, the global small business loans platform, unlocked 75,000 jobs in the United States and Europe in 2017.

Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle to create 200 UK jobs (B Daily) Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle is creating 200 jobs in the UK.

The London-headquartered firm has this morning (June 13) confirmed plans to take on 400 new employees in 2018, half of whom will be recruited in the UK.

LendInvest’s path from adversity to opportunity (City A.M.) Rated: A

Although the online marketplace model had been proven to work – Amazon and eBay had been established over a decade earlier – LendInvest was initially both “offline” and “pretty uninteresting”. It wasn’t until 2012, with £30m investors’ capital under management, that the founders became intrigued by the role tech could play.

The path to success is littered with unforeseen obstacles, good days can follow bad, tailwinds become headwinds. LendInvest is no exception. When the company was young, raising debt finance often felt like an uphill struggle. It took many air miles and international calls, but eventually an eastern European bank offered a £2m funding line, later increased to £6m.

Ranger Direct shares end higher after bowing to activist pressure to wind up (Financial Times) Rated: A

Ranger Direct Lending operates a £128 million investment company which has faced pressure from activist investors who own almost 30% of the company.

The board proposed yesterday of winding down the company as Ares Management withdrew itself from consideration to manage the trust. Ranger’s board also suggested shareholders vote against newly nominated directors by activist investors.

Ranger Direct Lending has struggled as defaults have crept up in the sector.

Monzo launches task automation with IFTTT (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Personal finance apps offer customers insights into their budgeting and spending habits, but U.K.-based digital bank Monzo is taking that a step further by letting its customers design their own rules on how they want to interact with their money.

Monzo’s tie-up with If This Then That, rolled out in early June, lets customers automate tasks using their financial data through personalized rules. IFTTT is a web and app-based platform to help customers get apps and devices to work together. It lets users set up “if, then” rules; for example, “if I post an Instagram, post it as a native photo on Twitter,” or “if I add a new task to an Amazon Alexa to-do list, add it to the iPhone reminders app,” and so on. IFTTT’s integration with consumer financial data lets them experiment with new use cases for financial data and lets the bank learn more about customer preferences and behavior.

Collateral investors may have to join queue of creditors (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

COLLATERAL investors may end up having to recoup any unpaid interest owed as a creditor of the company, the administrator of the closed peer-to-peer lending platform has revealed.

An update from BDO said its initial view was that due to section 26 of the Financial Services and Markets Act – which deems that agreements with unregulated parties are unenforceable – investors would be treated as creditors.

This means they would have to submit documentation to BDO on what they are owed and wait to see what funds can be recouped through the administration.

European Union

B2B FinTech Could Earn Index Ventures $ 2 Billion This Year (PYMNTS) Rated: A

Venture capitalist (VC) firm Index Ventures is on its way to earn $1.6 billion from its early investments in B2B FinTech, according to Forbesreports Monday (June 11). Index Ventures’ portfolio includes iZettle and Adyen, with unconfirmed reports of a Funding Circle initial public offering (IPO) that could push Index Ventures into the $2 billion mark.

LendInvest joins Luxembourg fintech hub (Finextra) Rated: B

LendInvest, the UK’s leading online marketplace platform for property finance, has become a fellow of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT), the country’s leading FinTech innovation hub.

LendInvest has had a presence in Luxembourg since 2014 when it established its first Luxembourg-domiciled fund.

Fintech threatens to eclipse banks that do not adapt digitally (Financial Times) Rated: A

Writing an opinion piece for the FT BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco Gonzalez talks about the rise of fintech and big tech in banking. He explains that banks still have an advantage when it comes to security, privacy and compliance.

A new regulatory model is needed for the new era of digital banking and data. Banks need to build on what they do best and evolve to ensure they stay relevant. He believes there is a paradigm shift occurring in banking and that banks need to find a new way to support customers and build out their assets

Australia

Westpac Ends Prospa Collaboration After IPO Postponement (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Days after Australian alternative lending platform Prospa delayed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) indefinitely, one of its bank partners, Westpac, announced it was ending its relationship with the FinTech.

Reports in The Australian Financial Review (AFR) on Monday (June 11) said Westpac is ending its referral program that sees small business owners rejected for a bank loan linked to the Prospa platform.

Dover Financial Group calls in outstanding debts from financial planners (Australian Financial Review) Rated: A

Dover Financial Group lured financial advisers by offering to postpone payment of annual licence fees for a year or more, but the collapsed company is now calling for immediate payments of those debts, leaving planners, who are already worried about their future, furious.

India

With Rs 35 cr in disbursals, Lendbox is creating a new asset class for investors (Your Story) Rated: AAA

Basing only 20 percent of its risk assessment engine on the CIBIL score, the platform assesses a borrower’s credit-worthiness based on their social, professional, behavioural analysis, including their salary expenditure trends and limits on credit card. The founders claim that the platform takes close to 130 data points into consideration before deciding on a suitable interest rate.

The borrowers are then classified between A1 (A2 and A3) and B3, with the rate of interest ranging from 12 to 36 percent.

Ekmeet says that close to 85 percent of loan requests are denied by the platform, and only 20 percent of their total users are from Tier II towns and cities.

Asia

Kakao Bank’s chatbot will answer up to 80% of requests (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Kakao Bank, South Korea’s largest internet-only bank, is already showing the beta version of its customer support chatbot, which is scheduled to be launched sometime this month.

The bank says that the tech will help relieve the stress on its customer services department, which receives up to 80% of requests that could be automated.

Canada

Luge Capital goes huge with $ 75m fintech funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

Initially, $50 million of the raised capital was announced in October 2017 by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Desjardins Group, two of the fund’s major investors.

Sun Life Financial, the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ and La Capitale are also “significant” participants. Luge says it may expand the fund up to $100 million in the coming months.

Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18 (IT Business Blog) Rated: A

Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025.

Latin America

Defaults the largest driver of Brazil banking spreads -cenbank (Reuters) Rated: AAA

Credit defaults have been the main factor keeping Brazilian banks from cutting interest rates to households and companies, the central bank said on Tuesday, even as benchmark rates have fallen to all-time lows.

The average cost of credit fell 1.3 percentage points in 2017 to 21.3 percent, according to a central bank report, compared with a 6.75 percentage point decline in the benchmark Selic interest rate. Spreads fell 3.8 percentage points to 18.9 percentage points.

Defaults, which reached 3.2 percent at the end of 2017 according to a widely used metric, forced banks to keep interest rates high to account for potential losses, the central bank said.

Defaults were behind an average 37.4 percent of banking spreads in 2015-2017, the largest contributor to bumping up credit costs to consumers. Other reasons were administrative expenses, taxes and financial margins, a central bank report showed.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday May 31 2018, Daily News Digest

places that owe the most in student debt

News Comments Today’s main news: Online lenders tighten rules against default wave. UK P2P lenders join effort to overturn Brexit. Consumer credit sees the most financial complaints in UK. Today’s main analysis: Where is the most student debt? Today’s thought-provoking articles: How regulations will impact Ant Financial. The 7 most innovative fintech companies. Where is the fintech innovation right […]

places that owe the most in student debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

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News Summary

United States

Online lenders tighten rules as default wave rattles investors (American Banker) Rated: AAA

It’s gotten a lot harder to borrow money from the raft of fintech firms looking to bring online lending into the mainstream.

Besieged by a wave of defaults after several years of rapid growth, the biggest online lenders have been forced by bond investors to tighten underwriting standards. Social Finance, Prosper, LendingClub and Avant now demand higher average credit scores and offer shorter maturities to boost the quality of loans they repackage into asset-backed securities.

The shift in the $30 billion market comes after a swarm of borrower defaults in the past three years rattled ABS investors. It also marks a coming of age of sorts for the fintech startups that offered cut-rate loans to build a customer base. Now, with rates rising and a potential economic slowdown looming, the move toward higher-quality from the push for quantity has taken on added urgency.

According to Kroll, the weighted average of FICO credit scores of Prosper’s loans packaged in ABS increased to 717 in a March 2018 deal from 704 in a sale two years earlier.

LendingTree Study: Which Places Have the Most Student Debt? (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released its study on the places with the most student debt. To determine whether there are geographic variations in student debt, LendingTree analysts looked at a sample of anonymized users who logged into My LendingTree in the first quarter of 2018 and calculated how many had student loans, as well as the other reported statistics related to their balances.

Source: Lending Tree

Wells Fargo Plans to Expand Auto Lending Again (Lend EDU) Rated: A

Wells Fargo & Co. expects to increase its auto lending again. In mid-2017, Wells Fargo decided to reduce car financing and tighten its underwriting standards. In February 2018, the firm said it intended to finish consolidating its regional car loan centers by April, and that lending would expand within two quarters, reported Bloomberg.

For lenders in a $1.2 trillion U.S. auto loan market, they face a landscape with falling vehicle resale prices, making it difficult for them to soften losses from repossessing cars when borrowers default.

Principal Financial acquires digital advice startup RobustWealth (Investment News) Rated: A

Principal Financial Group is acquiring financial technology startup RobustWealth to improve its own technology offering and expand distribution capabilities among the banking, broker-dealer and registered investment adviser channels.

Principal also sees the RobustWealth’s platform — which includes digital advice, goal-based investment tools and client onboarding — as providing the foundation for a direct-to-consumer robo-adviser in the future.

What to Do When You Lend Family Money But They Can’t Pay You Back (Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Like many people, Entrepreneur Network partner Jeff Rose once has convinced himself it was a good idea to loan money to a family member. In reality, the situation can get messy when this close personal connection cannot return the investment. This does not mean Rose has given up on peer-to-peer lending, which is a helpful tool that can streamline the loan process.

OppLoans Named One of the Country’s Best Workplaces by Inc. Magazine (Markets Insider) Rated: A

Online lender and service provider OppLoans has been listed as one of the country’s 2018 Best Workplaces by Inc. Magazine. The award determination was based on employee survey results in areas like benefits, perks, executive leadership and opportunities for career development.

OppLoans enjoys a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor as well as a 98 percent retention rate and 99 percent approval rating for CEO Jared Kaplan. Last December, Glassdoor rated the Chicago-based startup as the sixth-best place to work nationally for small-to medium-sized businesses. The firm was named #219 on the 2017 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies and the third-fastest growing technology company in Chicago by Built in Chicago.

Autoloans Company Lendbuzz Secures $ 30 Million in Funding (CTech) Rated: A

Boston-headquartered car financing service Lendbuzz Funding LLC has raised $30 million in financing, the company announced Tuesday. The round was led by BHI, the U.S. division of Israel-based Bank Hapoalim, by Viola credit, the growth and venture lending arm of Israel-based Viola Group, and by U.S.-based ConnectOne Bank.

The company, which currently offers its services in most U.S. states, says it reviews loan requests within 24 hours and transfers money immediately upon approval. Since its establishment, the company raised $43 million in both debt and equity funding.

Fifth Third Bank eBus offers free financial advice (The Blade) Rated: B

For the next week, a large bus operated by Fifth Third Bank will travel throughout Toledo, offering residents free money management advice and job-searching services.

The bus, called the Fifth Third Bank Financial Empowerment Mobile, or eBus, was located at the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority on Wednesday, and though it’s operated by Fifth Third, its services can be used by any residents no matter which bank they use, said Loretta Humphrey-Cruz, community development relationship manager.

PLI 23rd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute (JD Supra) Rated: B

The third location of PLI’s 23rd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute will take place in PLI’s San Francisco Conference facility and via concurrent live Webcast on June 25-26, 2018.  This will be the first time in many years that the Institute will take place in San Francisco.  Since the first location of this event in NYC on March 26-27 was well-attended, and the second location in Chicago on May 7-8 was sold-out, anyone interested in attending the program in San Francisco is encouraged to act quickly to register.

United Kingdom

Tech Entrepreneurs Launch Campaign to Reverse Brexit Vote (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Could Britain’s leading technology entrepreneurs derail Brexit? More than 80 innovators and investors from across the UK’s tech sector have launched a new group, Tech for UK, which will campaign for a meaningful vote on the final terms of the Brexit agreement that the British Government is currently negotiating with the European Union. Such a vote should give Britons the option to vote for the UK to remain in the EU, Tech for UK argues.

The group boasts a string of high-profile business leaders from the tech sector, including Martha Lane-Fox, best-known as the co-founder of Lastminute.com, Giles Andrews, one of the founders of peer-to-peer lending pioneer Zopa, and George Bevis, the CEO of Tide Bank. It also features leading venture capital and private equity investors, such as Simon Murdoch, the managing partner of Episode 1 Ventures.

Consumer credit made up the bulk of financial complaints last year (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

The FOS annual report for 2017/2018 found consumer credit products, which includes some peer-to-peer lending as well as payment protection insurance, accounted for the most complaints at 36,349 last year, up 40 per cent.

The Ombudsman upheld 47 per cent of complaints, up from 45 per cent a year before.

There was also an eight per cent increase in complaints about unsecured loans to 6,909, while credit card complaints were up 15 per cent to 11,073.

How to invest in property without buying a home (City A.M.) Rated: A

Over the past few years, property-oriented investment companies have been coming in thick and fast, bolstered partly by the launch of the Innovative Finance Isa (IFISA).

The minimum investment can be as little as £10, which isn’t a patch on the huge deposits needed to buy a house (the average deposit in London is more than £90,000).

Robo-rumble: Will FCA scrutiny stop digital services moving further towards advice? (Money Marketing) Rated: A

The FCA reviewed seven firms offering online discretionary investment management services and three firms giving automated advice.

It found service and fee-related disclosures at most online discretionary investment management firms in its sample were unclear.

Some firms did not make clear whether their service was advised, non-advised, discretionary or non-discretionary. Others also compared their fee levels with their peers in a “potentially misleading way”. For example, they compared a non-advised, non-discretionary service with a discretionary service solely on a cost basis without explaining the difference in the nature of the service.

FIVE SPEAKERS JOIN ‘FUTURE OF FINTECH’ EVENT LINE-UP (Business Cloud) Rated: B

Five speakers from the world of FinTech have been confirmed for BusinessCloud’s The Future of FinTech event in London on 12 July.

Nicola Horlick, a former investment banker turned high-profile player in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market, is the headline speaker for the breakfast event.

China

How Will Ant Financial, China’s Fintech Giant, Be Impacted By New Regulations? (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Regulations are expected to be implemented on money market funds. Ant Financial’s main money market fund, Yu’e Bao, has been rated as much weaker than its 

GXChain (GXS) Review – A Blockchain-based Commercialized Data Marketplace (Chain Bits) Rated: A

With the proliferation of data on the internet, there are many pain points for individuals. Since you do not own your data, someone can sell you information and personal data without sharing profits. In addition, data is often scattered among multiple platforms, making it difficult to manage. Finally, data is difficult, if not impossible, for individuals seeks to monetize and earn from it. They don’t know how the blockchain could be applied in this scenario to better their lives.

GXChain solves these pain points by obtaining user consent before collecting and storing user data on a blockchain.

GXChain wants to be the data trading network that protects user privacy and offers copyright protection and usability at the same time. It has real-world applications in insurance, online lending, consumer loans and banks.

International

7 most innovative Fintech companies right now (Forex News Now) Rated: AAA

Stripe-is one of the most valuable Fintech startups. It was worth over $9 billion in 2016.

Ant Financial-has a market capitalization of $60 billion, which makes it the most valuable Fintech company in the world.

Atom Bank-has raised over $290 million in financing.

Robinhood-Valued at $5.6 billion, offers its customers a mobile wallet that allows trading shares and exchange-traded funds without paying commissions.

Lufax-is an online peer-to-peer lending platform. It matches borrowers with investors for a fee of 4% and is valued at over $18.5 million.

SoFi-is valued at over $4.4 billion.

Coinbase-has over 13 million users and makes more than $1 billion in revenue a year.

Where In the World Is Fintech Innovation? (Bank Innovations) Rated: AAA

China is also at the forefront of innovation. The government is actively cultivating fintech there.

Fintech companies like Qudian, LuFax, and ZhongAn (owned by Ant Financial), China’s first online-only insurer, are now emerging. Investment bank CLSA ranks ZhongAn as the sixth most valuable e-finance company in the world. The Chinese government has also designated development zones, such as Zhongguancun and Shenzhen, for innovation industries.

Source: Bank Innovation
Australia

Banks’ $ 220m bill for dudding customers to rise ‘significantly’ (The Canberra Times) Rated: A

Banks are set to refund “significantly” more than the $220 million already set aside for financial advice clients who were charged for services that were never provided, as institutions search their files for customers who were ripped off.

What you should look for when buying a partially renovated house (Domain) Rated: A

A recent survey by online lender State Custodians found 52 per cent of people would be open to a renovation project for their next purchase but only 19 per cent of people would be keen on tackling a full fixer-upper.

On the other hand, a quarter of respondents would prefer taking on a partially renovated home as a project, with Millennials in particular more open to the idea of buying a half-renovated house.

India

ICICI Bank also wants to be a fintech (The Ken) Rated: A

In mid-2017, B Madhivanan, the chief technology and digital officer of ICICI Bank, met Rohan Angrish, the chief technology officer of online lender Capital Float. Madhivanan had questions about online lenders’ small-ticket loans. Fintechs like Capital Float lend to underserved segments like kirana stores that banks don’t normally touch.

Asia

Funding Societies partners with UOB Malaysia to accelerate small business growth (Deal Street Asia) Rated: AAA

United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd has partnered with regional peer-to-peer financing platform Modalku Ventures Sdn Bhd (Funding Societies) to connect startups and small businesses with alternative financing solutions.

Through the partnership, startups and UOB Malaysia’s small business customers will be able to raise up to RM500,000 directly from individual and institutional investors using Funding Societies’ platform without the need to pledge collateral.

Fintech firms need support from banks: SBV (Vietnam News) Rated: A

The fintech (financial technology) sector is facing difficulties of capital mobilisation shortage, inadequate legal framework and banks’ hesitance in co-operation, said Lê Minh Hưng, Governor of State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV).

Hưng told the Việt Nam fintech forum 2018 held in Hà Nội on Wednesday that fintech and banks could contribute to expand financial universalisation, and promoting hunger eradication and poverty reduction while enhancing social equality and sustainable economic development.

Japan’s Gumi Games Founder Launches $ 30M Crypto Fund (Blockchain News) Rated: A

Japanese mobile games publisher gumi today launches a fund to invest in promising global cryptocurrency companies. With USD 30 million in initial investment secured, the venture capital fund is moving to open up the Japanese crypto startup market to international investors, honing in on a target that has, up to now, been a struggle to access and understand.

While the Japanese yen accounts for over 56 percent of Bitcoin volume, gumi believes that there is lack of understanding of Japan’s crypto market and the project’s leaders are keen to fill a void in the country that was also the first to legalize bitcoin.

He has helped to raise over USD 250 million to date for companies such as Bee Token, the Decentralized AirBnB and crypto lending platform Celsius Network.

Africa

Fintech in Africa: what investors are looking for (Fin24) Rated: AAA

According to EcoBank, more than 57% of all mobile money accounts globally can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, with the African fintech market set to grow from $200m currently to $3bn by 2020.

A recent study by McKinsey found room for growth in meeting unmet banking needs in Africa. These include borrowing, saving, and investing across the continent. South Africa alone is set to see an increase in banking revenues of $4bn over the next five years.

Kenya calls for regulation of fintech lenders (IT Web) Rated: A

A boom in  by fintech firms in Kenya has led to an increase in predatory lending practices, the country’s central bank governor said yesterday, calling for the sector to be regulated.

Kenya built a reputation as a pioneer of financial inclusion through its early adoption of a mobile money system that enables people to transfer cash and make payments on cellphones without a bank account.

Canada

One set of borrowers at greater risk are Canada’s 1.14 million small businesses, defined as companies that employ up to 99 workers. Statistics Canada reports that small businesses represented 98 per cent of all businesses, employed 70 per cent of workers, and generated 30 per cent of each province’s GDP on average. This category includes startups and high-growth firms, which represent Canada’s best hope for job creation and economic growth.

Fortunately, small businesses now have an alternative source for loans called peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. These online platforms match borrowers and investors directly and can provide loans cheaper and faster than traditional sources. How can that be? The answer is technology.

Fintech Select Records a Net Profit of $ 986k for Q1 Ending March 31 2018  (GlobeNewswire) Rated: A

Fintech Select Ltd. is pleased to announce that its financial statements for the Q1 ending March 31 2018 have resulted in a net profit of $986k. Q1 2018 Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) have been filed on SEDAR.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 29 2018, Daily News Digest

alternative loans

News Comments Today’s main news: How SoFi, Robinhood trick investors into saving money. The highest paying green IFISAs. Ant Financial’s $10B fundraising is oversubscribed. HashChing gets $700K loan. Today’s main analysis: Alternative loan borrowers may be traditional prospects. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The challenges online lenders would face in a recession. Crowdfunding in Switzerland is at a record high. Only 4% […]

alternative loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

Designers at SoFi, Robinhood explain how they trick users into saving (and making) money (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

  • Personal finance apps have gained traction with customers — especially millennials — thanks to the ease with which they let users sock money away, save towards big goals, and make big purchases more possible.
  • From the loan refinancing company SoFi to the stock trading platform Robinhood, many of these companies are now worth billions of dollars thanks to enthusiastic investors.
  • At the heart of their success: A good product which combines smart design with financial psychology to convince users to meet the goals they set for themselves.
  • Here’s how the best companies in fintech design their apps to convince users to save and make money.

Alternative loan borrowers may be traditional prospects (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

The latest example of this comes from a new study by TransUnion that indicates that some borrowers who use “alternative loans” may actually be good candidates for traditional consumer credit products.

Alternative loans typically don’t appear in traditional credit bureau files. These services include short-term debt, such as “payday loans”; point-of-sale finance offered by retailers or third-party lenders; virtual “rent-to-own” finance; and auto-title loans.

Release coincides with OCC announcement

Elizabeth Pagel, vice-president, market strategy, consumer lending at TransUnion, notes that while many consumers in the FactorTrust database of alternative loan users skew subprime, nearly 40% are not subprime credits, and 12% are actually prime or above.

One example given by TransUnion demonstrating the general pattern concerns near-prime borrowers (those with VantageScore 3.0 credit scores of 601-660):

• About 14% of those borrowers with only one short-term loan went 90 days or more past due on a traditional account 12 months later.

• The delinquency level fell to less than 12% when a consumer possessed two alternative loans.

• The delinquency level fell to about 9% when a consumer had eight or more alternative loans over the course of seven years.

Source: Banking Exchange
Source: Banking Exchange

The Unique Challenges Online Lenders Would Face In A Recession (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Technology has reshaped the lending industry over the last decade. Companies like Lending Club, Prosper and SoFi built billion dollar business (even if valuations have come down from their respective peaks) by better connecting lenders to borrowers and streamlining what was previously a slow and bloated consumer lending process. Dozens more companies have launched in their wake and are contributing to this wave of change. In fact, TransUnion data shows that fintech lenders now account for over a third of personal loan origination by volume. That Goldman Sachs launched their own online lending business, Marcus, shows that much of this change is here to stay.

But these businesses have all come of age during an unprecedented period of economic expansion and low default rates. Low defaults have helped performance, while low yields in other asset classes have driven up investor demand for higher yielding personal loans.

If the market needed a warning sign, look no further than auto loans. Delinquencies in the subprime auto market have 

PeerStreet Review 2018 – Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform (Dough Roller) Rated: A

Some real estate investors come to the platform looking for financing, while others come looking for above average returns on their money.

The difference is that while other P2P platforms provide personal loans to individuals, PeerStreet supplies financing for real estate transactions. The purpose of the platform is to make these sophisticated investments in commercial real estate available to ordinary investors.

The loans are generally short-term, between six months and 24 months. They also have conservative loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, of not more than 75% of the value of the underlying property.

Types of loan investments include:

  • Single-family residential buy-to-rent properties
  • Single-family refinances
  • Single-family Value Add (This is a property that is purchased then renovated for sale, sometimes referred to as a fix-and-flip loan.)
  • Bridge loans

Kabbage Sees More Mobile Lending, Women and Minority Owned Businesses Seeking Funds (Small Business Trends) Rated: A

Online lending platform Kabbage says it sees more mobile lending, more women and minority owned businesses seeking loans and more businesses from rural and lower to middle income communities too.

Today 140,000 small businesses use Kabbage. Today, Kabbage has delivered over $4.5 billion in funding, moving the loan process from long lines at a physical bank to a  shorter wait on mobile or the web.

Expect More Bank Mergers After Dodd-Frank Rollback (Barrons) Rated: A

But the legislation known as the Crapo bill (named after Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo), which President Donald Trump signed into law on Thursday, could provide another boost to bank investors by unleashing mergers, dividend increases, and buybacks among regional and local banks.

By raising the threshold for stricter supervision under Dodd-Frank from $50 million in assets to $250 million, the new law effectively removes a disincentive for mergers and acquisitions.

Banks had been wary of doing deals that would put them over the $50 billion level, which required more capital and more stringent supervision. CIT Group’s (CIT) deal for OneWest was a rare case where an acquisition broke that barrier since Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010.

Vermont Passes First-of-Its-Kind Law to Regulate Data Brokers (Gizmodo) Rated: A

Earlier this week, Vermont became the first state in the nation to enact a law that will regulate data brokers that buy and sell personal information in an attempt to add a new layer of accountability to the massive, data-trading companies that often operate without much oversight.

As TechCrunch noted, under the guidelines of the bill—which passed into law Tuesday without the signature of Republican Governor Phil Scott—data brokers will have to pay a $100 annual fee to register with the state, and will have to comply with new rules meant to protect Vermonters from suffering at the hands of another data breach like the one that befell Equifax last year and exposed the data of 145 million (and counting) Americans.

United Kingdom

The highest paying green IFISAs of 2018/19 (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

Earlier this year, Assetz Capital closed its Green Energy Account due to a lack of deal flow, while Trillion Fund closed in 2015 after the government scaled back its green energy subsidies.

So in alphabetical order, here are the highest-paying P2P green IFISAs available right now…

Abundance

  • Target returns for IFISA: 3-15 per cent

Downing Crowd

  • Target returns for IFISA: 3-7.6 per cent

Goji and Prestige-Prime Group

  • Target returns for ISA: 6.5-8.3 per cent

Triodos Crowdfunding

  • Target returns for IFISA: 5-7 per cent

Ethical bank Triodos launched its own P2P platform earlier this year, named Triodos Crowdfunding. Within the first few months of the year it had already funded seven projects, four of which were IFISA eligible.

Could savers be given access to multiple IFISAs each tax year? (Peer2Peer Finace) Rated: A

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) – an independent adviser to the government on simplifying the tax system – has said ISA rules should be made more simple for investors to administer.

It suggests changing the rule where only one type of ISA can be opened at a time and instead letting savers hold multiple products, such as more than one Innovative Finance ISA from different peer-to-peer lenders or a variety of cash ISAs, as long as they remain within the annual allowance.

Rage against robo-advice machines (FT Adviser) Rated: A

Despite the FCA offering this assistance now the regulator has found several causes for concern in the robo-advice that is being given to clients.

The watchdog revealed some robo-advice firms were failing to properly disclose prices and services, and crucially, the regulator flagged risks clients were not receiving suitable advice.

As a result, the FCA has required many of the robo-advisers which took part in the study to make “significant changes” to their businesses.

Christian Faes of LendInvest (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How the financial crisis formed the backdrop for the founding of LendInvest.
  • How their first foray into raising capital online transformed their business.
  • The kinds of loans that LendInvest offers today.
  • The typical borrower who uses LendInvest today.
  • How they have applied technology to the borrowing process.
  • How they attract these kinds of borrowers.
  • The four different channels for investors.
  • Details of their London Stock Exchange listed bond.
  • What is being done in the UK to address the housing shortage there.
  • How Brexit has affected their business over the past two years.
  • Who has provided equity capital for LendInvest.
  • Christian’s thoughts on international expansion for LendInvest.
  • How he feels about a potential LendInvest IPO.

Crowdfunding faces withholding tax clampdown (The Times) Rated: A

Revenue has tightened the rules on peer-to-peer lending by requiring businesses that raise money through crowdfunding to deduct a 20% withholding tax on the interest they pay.

The move will make it harder for individuals to avoid tax when they use crowdfunding to lend spare cash to small businesses rather than earning paltry returns by leaving it on deposit.

Can this lending buy-to-let startup help agents sell more homes? (The Negotiator) Rated: A

A buy-to-let finance start-up founded by the entrepreneur behind crowd-funding mortgage firm Landbay says it wants to help agents sell properties faster and in greater volumes.

Officially launched this week after being set-up in November last year, Dot offers agents and developers a one-click buy-to-let purchase button for their ‘properties for sale’ listings (see mock-up above) which, the company’s claims suggest, could offer an antidote to the current sluggish sales market.

After clicking the button, investors will be offered the opportunity to buy the property on the spot if they put down a 30% cash deposit via Dot.

FCA urged to extend cap on payday loan fees to other forms of credit (The Guardian) Rated: B

The City watchdog is facing mounting pressure to extend its cap on payday lending fees and interest to a broader range of high-cost financial products before a major review of lending practices this week.

Likely to result in a series of new rules for banks and finance companies, the review comes as hard-pressed Britons increase their personal borrowing to levels unseen since the financial crisis.

China

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial’s $10-billion fund-raising faced oversubscription

The ongoing $10-billion fund-raising of Ant Financial Services has attracted the attention of multiple investors.

According to informed sources, investors expected to participate in this round of financing include private equity group Carlyle, General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Sequoia Capital China, Warburg Pincus, sovereign wealth fund Temasek, institutional funds Canada Pension Plan Investment Committee (CPPIB) and BlackRock; while many other investors were rejected.

According to a person involved in the funding, this round of financing will value Ant Financial at more than US$150 billion. 

Traditional banks can be the ‘trusted face’ of fintech and online finance firms (South China Morning Post) Rated: A

While banks see fintech as their biggest threat, they can use their trusted position among customers and regulators to collaborate in the shift to digital banking, software firm Temenos says

In a recent survey of 400 banking executives, Temenos said more than 53 per cent of respondents cited e-financial services like PayPal, Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay as their biggest non-traditional competition in the next two years.

European Union

Crowdfunding in Switzerland at Record High: CHF 375 Million (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

The Swiss crowdfunding market has reached a record high volume of CHF 374.5 million in 2017, almost three times more than in the previous year. This has been revealed by the latest Crowdfunding Monitoring report issued by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The financing of SMEs and investments in real estate are key drivers of the strong growth. The authors of the report are expecting a further marked increase to about CHF 1 billion this year. Compared to the more advanced markets in the United Kingdom and the United StatesSwitzerland is two to three years behind, but catching up rapidly.

Hungary ready to join the global blockchain market (Budapest Business Journal) Rated: B

Europe is starting to take blockchain-based solutions seriously, and Hungarian players seem ready to be part of the game. The largest international blockchain summit in the CEE region, Blockchaineum 2.0, gathered major stakeholders in Budapest to discuss the hottest issues on the global agenda.

Peer-to-peer lending is considered another blockchain target area. Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful gave the example of Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa, where high inflation and foreign currency restrictions push many people towards finding shelter in cryptocurrencies.

International

Mobile ventures to take on payments (Daily Sabah) Rated: A

Square, one of the most popular payment solutions Visa invested on, allows street vendors the opportunity to accept credit cards. It brings the convenience of payment for consumers, who can shop safely anywhere in the world.

Klarna is another venture that has received Visa investments. It is one of Europe’s leading payment providers, aiming to make the payment process simple, smooth and secure for customers and trading partners. Klarna offers payment solutions for over 60 million users in Europe and North America.

Cryptocurrency Cap Waiting to be Unlocked by Lenders (The Merkle) Rated: A

Today, cryptocurrency has an estimated market cap of $300 to $800 billion USD. Asset-backed tokens have been expected to reach $5 trillion USD by 2025.

Now, Depository Network (DEPO) has made it even easier for digital asset owners to cash in on their holdings while offering peace of mind to lenders.

DEPO is developing the world’s first decentralized, multi-platform collateral network. The depository will be a secure place for borrowers to deposit their coins or tokens as a collateral for loans while offering lenders full control over the details of the loan agreement.

Australia

Mortgage marketplace receives $ 700k loan (Australian Broker) Rated: AAA

An online home loan marketplace has received a $700,000 loan from Jobs for NSW, which is set to help the business create 46 jobs over the next five years.

HashChing reports it now has over $900million settled through their platform from more than 1,950 loans. It also says it has 586 mortgage brokers on the platform and is growing at 700% year-on-year.

India

Only 4% Indians get easy personal loans from banks and NBFCs (Sify Finance) Rated: AAA

27 public sector banks, 93 commercial banks, over 10,000 non banking financial and Gold companies and several micro-finance institutions, but ask any entrepreneur the ease of getting a loan. A mixed response is most likely, with majority opting for diplomatic correctness over factual accuracy.

Getting a loan is certainly a monumental feat in this era of digitisation. And this is the exact demand that peer-to-peer companies such as LenDen, i2i Funding, Faircent, Lendbox are keen to fulfill.

i2i Funding is India’s second largest p2p lending platform, with a size of 50,000 customers. The company aspires to cross Rs 2 crores in monthly disbursal by October 2018.

How do Investors Invest in Startups – From a Venture Capitalist’s Point of View (Entrepreneur India) Rated: A

In this regard, to decode what goes on in the minds of leading venture capitalists, Entrepreneur India interacted with Bhaskar Majumdar who is Managing Partner at Mumbai-based Unicorn India Ventures. At this point in time, Unicorn India has dedicated equity funds worth INR 100 crores under deployment, while another INR 600 crores worth debt fund has been launched.

He also states that with aspects such as credit scoring, data collection, and even lending to MSMEs having now received the digital touch, Fintech is exciting considering the fact that startups in the sector could effectively collaborate with banks to bring more people into the formal banking system.

Xiaomi Launches Mi Credit, A Lending Marketplace Exclusively for MIUI Users (BW Disrupt) Rated: B

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced Mi Credit which aims to deliver instant loans exclusively to MIUI users.

Mi Credit provides a hassle-free approach to avail loans instantly.

MIUI users can apply for a loan anytime and from anywhere. The company is offering loans starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 Lakh.

According to a report published by ET, the loan will be extended at 3% interest per month and focuses on salaried professionals.

Africa

Kenya moves to regulate fintech-fuelled lending craze (Reuters) Rated: AAA

Kenya built a reputation as a pioneer of financial inclusion through its early adoption of a mobile money system that enables people to transfer cash and make payments on cellphones without a bank account.

Now, a proliferation of lenders are using the same technology to extend credit to the banked and unbanked alike, saddling borrowers with high interest rates and leaving regulators scrambling to keep up.

This week, the finance ministry published a draft bill on financial regulation which covers digital lenders for the first time. A key aim is to ensure that providers treat retail customers fairly, it said.

Eurasia

Russia Has Significant Opportunity to Advance Financial Tech Services – Analyst (Sputnik International) Rated: AAA

Bob Contri: I think that in financial services, which is where I work, digital is very important. I would say for our clients globally it’s probably the most important topic right now. I think it’s very important from a client perspective so how do they provide financial services to their clients in a very efficient way. And I think it’s also very important how they manage their business so how can they use their technologies to create more efficiency in the middle and back office. So it’s probably the biggest topic right now in our practice globally with working with our clients.

Sputnik: Do you think there’s big potential for new approaches in banking such as peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding?

Bob Contri: Sure, I think that the face of financial services is changing pretty dramatically. I think that obviously automated money transfers and cross-border payments will change dramatically. I think peer-to-peer lending has a big opportunity to grow significantly. So I think the whole face of financial services is changing pretty dramatically. That’s not to say that the market leaders of today won’t be the market leaders of the future.

MENA

RentSher — a firm with a hire purpose (Gulf News) Rated: AAA

Founders Vaibhav and Purvashi Doshi and Harsh Dhand originally conceived of RentSher as a peer-to-peer lending platform, the Airbnb of stuff.

But after they launched the firm in Bengaluru in 2015 (Dubai followed in 2016), they noticed a problem.

“We figured out that peer-to-peer alone is not scalable enough,” said Vaibhav, the firm’s CEO, in an interview at his and Purvashi’s Dubai villa.
That forced a rethink, and a move towards a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) model, a centralised one-stop rental platform for companies already offering rental services to connect with a pool of customers through an easy-to-use interface.

Reaping the fruits of hard work (Khaleej Times) Rated: B

It was while discussing a common problem that Marie-Christine Luijckx and three friends came up with a successful business model. Luijckx and her friends were doing long working hours in their corporate jobs with very few healthy food choices resulting in loss of productivity at the workplace. They thus decided to establish Fruitful Day, a business that delivers curated selections of fresh fruit to workplaces and homes across the UAE in 2015.

Luijckx says all partners believe passionately in the business and they funded it with their personal savings. “Our only external funding to date has been through Beehive, which is a debt crowdfunding platform,” she says.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor