Wednesday June 6 2018, Daily News Digest

Marcus future plans

News Comments Today’s main news: N26 reaches 1 million customers. Prospa postpones float. Transferwise could be working with Monzo. Ant Financial shifts away from finance. Goldman Sachs backs Marqeta. BlueVine raises $60M. Today’s main analysis: Capitalists invest in Chinese companies. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Goldman shares its vision for Marcus. 10x Banking founder discusses the future of fintech. Indonesia’s looming digital disruption. United […]

Marcus future plans

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United States

Goldman Sachs backs card issuing, processing startup Marqeta (Reuters) Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) has joined a $45 million investment round in Marqeta, a U.S. fintech company offering technology businesses can use to issue payment cards, the startup said on Tuesday.

The round, which brings Marqeta’s total funding raised to $116 million, was led by venture capital firm ICONIQ Capital, according to a statement from the companies. Marqeta is also backed by Visa Inc (V.N).

Goldman Sachs Shares Their Vision for the Future of the Marcus Platform (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Source: Lend Academy

In the presentation Solomon did not address everything on this slide directly but much of it is self-explanatory. First, Goldman is breaking down their vision for their consumer platform into four key areas: Borrow, Spend, Save, Protect with 12 separate products listed. It is also interesting that Clarity Money is front and center on this slide. They clearly view the personal financial management app as a critical piece of the puzzle.

Let’s look at the future products in the Borrow space beyond personal loans:

  1. Credit Cards – we have already heard about their deal with Apple but there will likely be a Marcus branded credit card at some point.
  2. Mortgage – This is a huge market and one that still has plenty of room for disruption. While it won’t be easy to displace the banks or large non-bank lenders like Quicken Loans and loanDepot there is a huge market to go after.
  3. Auto – Another big market with no clear fintech leader. The banks still dominate auto lending, particularly for new cars. LendingClub has started in the auto space focused on auto refinancing and I expect that will be the area Marcus would go to first.

When disaster strikes, digital banking can become a lifeline (American Banker) Rated: A

As chief information and digital officer at Popular Inc., Burckhart’s role is mostly in the office and boardroom. But in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm, she and her team spent days in the field, figuring out how to get banking services to those who needed them.

Their efforts cannot be overstated, since the company occupies a key role in the island’s economy: Its Banco Popular claims to have 56% of the deposits in Puerto Rico and 49% of the net loans, as of year-end.

A week after Hurricane Maria, despite islandwide communication and electrical outages, Popular had 53 of 168 branches and 150 of 635 ATMs in service, as well as all digital channels.

Digital Banker of the Year: Fifth Third’s Tim Spence (American Banker) Rated: A

Last year, Spence oversaw the configuration of so-called Agile teams to work on Fifth Third’s online banking channels and mobile apps. This resulted in a revamped bill pay experience, along with the addition of online branch appointment scheduling and the ability to withdraw cash at ATMs using the bank’s mobile app. In months, it was also able to launch Zelle peer-to-peer payments and Momentum, a proprietary app that helps millennials pay off student loans faster through micro payments from rounding up purchases.

The plumber to US fintechs branches out (Financial Times) Rated: A

Apex Clearing helps to power leading fintech firms like Robinhood, Betterment and Stash, acting as the plumbing and operating in the background; as these digital platforms begin to slow their growth Apex has started to look beyond the startups for bigger clients; Bill Capuzzi, CEO of Apex Clearing, says there is more than $500bn of addressable market with larger firms who want to digitize; the effort is not easy as some traditional players still use fax machine technology; making progress slow but firms know they need to digitize and Apex is hoping to take a big share of those making the shift.

The Woz: Blockchain might be a bubble, but it’s on the right track (AltFi News) Rated: A

The ‘Woz’ also offered thoughts on digital banking and artificial intelligence.

He said that online banks ‘just aren’t as secure’ as their incumbent rivals, referencing a time that his own crypto-currency holdings, or a portion of them, were stolen from a digital bank.

Real Estate Startup FlyHomes Raises $ 17m in Series A Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

FlyHomes, a Seattle, WA-based real estate startup, raised $17m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Mark Vadon and Shasta Ventures, among others.

The company intends to use the funds to increase deployment of its Cash Offers program, accelerate hiring, invest in further product development, and drive new market expansion in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.

IDology Study Reveals Consumer Insights on Digital Identity Fraud (IDology) Rated: B

Key consumer behavior trends and other major findings identified in the IDology Consumer Digital Identity Studyinclude:

  • Fraud concerns are impacting consumer choices online, with 83 percent surveyed having extreme to moderate concern that their identities will be used to fraudulently open accounts.
  • Consumers view biometrics, knowledge-based authentication and one-time passcodes as the most secure methods of authentication. Overall, 90 percent of consumers are comfortable answering knowledge-based authentication questions to verify their identities but prefer demographic-based questions over credit-based questions two to one.
  • Fifty-six percent of consumers report that they are more likely to choose a financial institution if they know it offers advanced identity verification methods.
  • When opening an account online, consumers place a premium on security (88 percent) and ease (72 percent), with 31 percent reporting they have abandoned signing up because it was too difficult or took too long. This reveals that more than ever, consumers are looking to do business with companies and financial institutions that have minimal friction as part of their overall service experience, along with assurance that their transactions and identities are secure.

Despite worries, America’s small business owners bullish on economy (Bankless Times) Rated: A

According to the survey, 53 per cent and 52 per cent respectively of small business owners named (1) the cost of providing health insurance for employees and (2) the effect of changes in the new tax law as key business considerations. What’s more, 35 per cent of respondents report the new tax plan has already caused them to make changes in their business, with 10 per cent reporting that they are actively investing in new equipment or staffing.

Cross River Hires Veteran Banker To Lead SBA Loan Practice (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Cross River, a leader in the emerging Fintech industry, has hired Kevin Gallagher, an accomplished small business lending specialist, to head its Small Business Administration loan division.

Gallagher joins Cross River from Empire State CDC: The 504 Company, where he led business development efforts around various SBA loan products and community lending products. Prior to that, he served as national sales director for SBA-related programs at Customers Bank and Citibank.

United Kingdom

TransferWise’s next partnership could be with U.K. challenger bank Monzo (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

According to sources, the international money transfer service and European unicorn is working with the fast-growing U.K. challenger bank Monzo.

The tie-in will likely see TransferWise functionality offered within Monzo’s mobile banking app, courtesy of the TransferWise API. It will give Monzo’s 700,000 customers the ability to send money in various supported currencies at the ‘mid market’ rate in addition to TransferWise’s low and transparent fees.

A partnership with U.K. challenger bank Starling was also announced last year, but integration with the bank’s app never materialised and TechCrunch learned last week that the partnership has now dissolved entirely. That is particularly noteworthy given that Monzo and Starling are direct competitors with an interesting shared history, shall we say.

10x Banking Founder on Why FinTech Is the Future (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Sphonic to partner with Paysafe on digital wallet services (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

DATA and risk management specialist Sphonic has been chosen to provide digital wallet services to global payments provider Paysafe Group.

Sphonic, which works with peer-to-peer lenders including Funding Circle and Zopa, supplies data networking services.

These include customer on-boarding, anti-money laundering, know your customer, fraud detection and monitoring as well as authentication.

Automated financial advisor Multiply raises £1.75 million (Finextra) Rated: A

Multiply, the UK’s first fully-automated independent financial advice service, has secured investments totaling £1.75 million, led by Octopus Ventures.

Octopus Ventures, the early stage investor, invested £1 million, and was joined by Portag3 Ventures LP and Entrepreneur First to support Multiply’s development and roll-out of their beta consumer facing product. Angel investors include Nick Hungerford, former CEO of Nutmeg, Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and co-founder of TransferWise, Peter Rading, Michael Orland and Toby Moore.

China

Ant Financial is shifting its focus from finance to tech services (CNBC) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial Services, the dominant Chinese fintech company, is shifting its main focus to technology services and away from payments and consumer finance as Beijing’s crackdown on financial risk deepens, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.

But in five years, technology services will make up 65 percent of Ant Financial’s revenue, compared with an estimated 34 percent in 2017, according to confidential company projections viewed by Reuters. That would involve helping banks and other institutions with services like online risk management and fraud prevention.

Mao is Laughing: Capitalists Pour Money into Chinese Companies (Nasdaq) Rated: AAA

Over the past week, two private Chinese technology unicorns, Xiaohongshu (“Little Red Book”) and Sensetime, announced that they had raised nearly $1 billion, adding to the ranks of large Chinese enterprises thinking about going public. Another Chinese company is scheduled to IPO in June, 3 recently selected bankers (a key step for launching an IPO) and 11 have already gone public for a total of 15 year to date, compared to 15 in all of 2017.

Year to date, the 11 Chinese companies are up 39%, compared to only 3% for last year’s vintage. HUYA, a leading live streaming platform for video games, is up 147% since its May 10, 2018 IPO, followed by another video streamer, IQIYI, up 62%. Last year’s big winner was tiny filter maker Newater, up 177%, followed by online lender Lexin Fintech, up 73%, while more than half of its 2017 comrades are under water.

China’s fintech startup Caogen Touzi secures $ 358m Series D round (Deal Street Asia) Rated: A

Hangzhou-based fintech platform Caogen Touzi has closed an RMB 2.3 billion ($357.8 million) Series D round led by Shanghai-listed Geo-Jade Petroleum, a property development and oil and gas firm, and other investors.

In a security filing, Geo-Jade Petroleum said it will invest no more than RMB 500 million ($78 million) in Caogen Touzi.

Caogen Touzi told Kr36 that the firm will focus on tapping the rural finance market in the future and use the funds for business development.

Fintech Company Pintec Raises $ 103M in Equity Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

Pintec, a Beijing, China-baased independent technology platform enabling financial services, raised US$103m in financing.

The round was led by Mandra Capital and SINA Corp., with participation from STI Financial Group, Shunwei Capital Partners and ZHONG Capital Holding Group, among others.

The company intends to use the funds to increase investment in R&D, traffic integration, risk management and operations.

European Union

N26 passes million customer milestone (Finextra) Rated: AAA

We are very excited to announce that N26, that’s us, now has over a million customers.

To celebrate we put together a look at how customers help us transact €1 billion a month. Before continuing though, we’d like to mention that while we do look at aggregated data, we never look at individual data unless explicitly asked to do so.

ING pushes for open banking with SME financing platform and Yolt expansion (Fintech Futures) Rated: AAA

ING is launching a marketplace for SME financing in the Netherlands, which will open to other external financing providers, becoming the first Dutch bank in doing so.ING is keen to maximise the possibilities of open banking and is working with Yolt and Funding Options on bringing new features to customers across Europe.

ING is also expanding its money management capabilities offered to consumers with the launch of Yolt in France and Italy.

Fintech Company FinCompare Raises €10M in Series A Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

FinCompare, a Berlin, Germany-based fintech company, raised €10m in Series A funding.

The round was led by ING Ventures with participation from Speedinvest and Uniaq Ventures.

The company intends to use the funds for the expansion of the team, investment in IT and further growth.

Challenger bank Banco BNI Europa selects Alterestfor effortless loan data management (Banco BNI Europa Email) Rated: B

Banco BNI Europa and Alterest, an innovative loan data and intelligence platform, publicly announced today their partnership to streamline investment analytics and risk management between the bank and its credit originating partners. Initiated in Oct, 2017, the partnership comprised of data-feeds integration with tech-enabled lending platforms, implementation of a reconciliation process between operations and nostro accounts, and configuration of an IFRS9-compliant impairment calculation model.

Euro MPLs growing, but securitization a ways off (GlobalCapital) Rated: A

The marketplace lending sector in Europe is growing, with a sharp focus on the small to medium sized enterprise segment, but it is still lagging UK and the US markets and lenders will need to ramp up scale and educate investors before a meaningful pipeline of securitization can build

A panel on focused on European marketplace lenders on day one highlighted the risks and the challenges facing the sector. Speakers hit on some well tread talking points, such as the availability of data on underlying loan portfolios and the lack of performance history.

International

FusionFabric.cloud platform changes the way software is developed, deployed and consumed in the financial world (Finastra) Rated: A

Finastra announced the availability of the three core components within its FusionFabric.cloud platformfor open innovation:

  • FusionCreator – A rapid development environment for financial applications with low-code capabilities and integrated API management tools
  • FusionOperate – A management system to deploy and operate applications in a secure cloud infrastructure
  • FusionStore – An online marketplace for banks to search, try and buy applications

FusionFabric.cloud already has over 60 Fintechs and providers signed up.

The AI and robo-advice questions you should be asking (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

Automated advice, robo-adviser, machine learning, AI-enabled expert advice, robo-advice digital journey, hybrid machine/adviser solution … in a very short space of time the advisory sector has coined a significant amount of terminology for robo-advice.

Being properly informed about these issues and asking the right questions of a provider can make an enormous difference in levels of investment.

Australia

Prospa float postponed as ASIC queries small business loan terms (Australian Financial Review) Rated: AAA

Small business lender Prospa says it has taken a conservative approach in delaying its $576 million ASX float by two days, in order to respond to renewed concerns from the corporate regulator that its standard form contracts may contain unfair clauses in breach of consumer laws.

New build financing gap boosts Southern Cross (Good Returns) Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lender Southern Cross Partners has seen an increase in investor demand as first time buyers struggle to finance new-build properties.

The lender says it experienced a 10-20% increase in investor demand last year amid a lack of available funding for the construction and sale of new homes.

Mortgage group’s “mortgage hell” billboard above CBA (Australian Broker) Rated: A

Online mortgage startup HashChing is advertising with a billboard above a Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) branch.

The home loan marketplace has launched a campaign against the big banks, which includes this billboard in the Melbourne CBD. The slogan reads, “Our brokers will go to mortgage hell, so you don’t have to”.

MENA

Israeli fintech co BlueVine Raises $ 60m (Globes) Rated: AAA

Israeli alternative business lending company BlueVine today announced that it has closed $60 million iSeries E financing round led by Menlo Ventures, and including new investors, such as SVB Capital. All major existing investors also participated. Including this financing round, the company has raised $533 million to date including $128 million in equity financing and $405 million in debt financing. This latter figure included $200 million raised from Credit Suisse two months ago.

The new financing will support BlueVine’s plan to expand its highly-successful invoice factoring and business line of credit products, and to explore new products catering to small and medium-sized businesses. BlueVine also plans to use the funding to accelerate R&D hiring.

Asia

Indonesia’s coming digital disruption (The Business Times) Rated: AAA

INDONESIA’S digital economy is set to boom, helping its overall economy expand from US$1 trillion in 2017 to US$2.7 trillion by 2027.

Over the next 10 years, we expect online retail in Indonesia to increase 14-fold from just US$4.4 billion in 2017 to US$63.2 billion, or 19 per cent of total retail sales versus 3 per cent currently.

To support this growth, as well as the rise in e-services such as ride hailing, travel bookings and food delivery, we expect an equally rapid adoption of e-money from just 2 per cent of nation-wide transactions in 2017 to 24 per cent by 2027.

We are also seeing the emergence of fintech solutions such as peer-to-peer lending targeting the 44 per cent of the population who do not have access to banking services today.

Thierry Sanders, CEO Of Mekar (Indonesia Expat) Rated: A

We’ve shifted our activities and are now mainly financing women’s businesses. Lending to women is safer in Indonesia. Statistics show that five percent of male borrowers, on average, will not pay back. With our female borrowers, it’s only 0.5 percent. Which is why we chose to focus on women. They also have a harder time getting financed. Now, 95 percent of the businesses we finance are women’s businesses.

Caribbean

ECCB advises caution regarding non-traditional financial services (St. Lucia Times) Rated: AAA

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is aware of the emergence of several initiatives which compete directly with traditional financial services. These include but are not limited to: peer to peer lending, digital wallets, crowd funding ventures, crypto-assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday June 7 2017, Daily News Digest

Ranking by average gross yield

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to add 400 Delaware workers by 2018. KBRA rates Upstart Securitization Trust 2017-1. RateSetter, MarketInvoice, LendInvest make Fintech50 list. China P2P lenders face tighter disclosure rules. Danish fashion tycoon invests in Klarna. Today’s main analysis: RentRange identifies 25 markets with highest average gross yield. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Did someone cancel the fintech revolution? Innovators […]

Ranking by average gross yield

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Canada

News Summary

United States

FinTech company SoFi to add 400 Delaware workers by 2018 (Delaware Online), Rated: AAA

SoFi, an online provider of personal loans, will add 400 workers to its Claymont office by the end of 2018.

SoFi entered Delaware in February when it acquired Claymont-based Zenbanx for an undisclosed sum. The Zenbanx purchase bolstered SoFi’s portfolio of online personal finance offerings. Among the former Zenbanx products that now belong to SoFi are software that enables customers to transfer international currency through mobile devices and an app that allows users to transfer money through the sound of their voice.

SoFi has vowed to ramp up the former Zenbanx office with an aggressive hiring plan that will see it add 100 workers by August, 200 workers by the end of the year and 400 employees by the end of 2018.

The majority of the openings are call center jobs, but SoFi is also looking to fill IT, business development and management positions. Of the first 200 openings, 130 will be call center positions, 30 will be mortgage operations jobs and the remaining 40 will be IT, business development and office staff.

KBRA Rates Upstart Securitization Trust 2017-1 (KBRA Email), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Upstart Securitization Trust 2017-1 (“UPST 2017-1”). This is a $163.107 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on June 21, 2017.

This transaction is Upstart Network, Inc.’s (“Upstart” or the “Company”) first securitization of prime and near prime unsecured consumer loans. The loans are facilitated by Upstart’s proprietary models supporting an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors by offering consumer loans originated by Cross River Bank (“CRB”) through the platform, www.upstart.com (the “Upstart Platform” or the “Platform”).

RentRange Identifies 25 Markets with the Highest Average Gross Yield (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

RentRange, one of the premier providers of market data and analytics for the housing industry, today released data ranking the top 25 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) by highest average gross yield for singlefamily1 homes during the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. The data analysis also identified the average rental rate increase between the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 and the same quarter in 2016, average vacancy rate in Q1 2017 and investor purchases over the past 12 months.

The Q1 2017 RentRange® data shows that the highest yielding markets are dominated by older metro areas in the Midwest and Northeast.

Analyzing the average vacancy rates, which is the percentage of rental properties that are vacant or unoccupied at a particular time, the lowest rates from the list are in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Canton. Lower vacancy rates generally mean properties stay vacant for less time, limiting the loss of rent.

Source: Markets Insider

Lenders Seeking to Provide Real-Time Credit Offers Online Can Cut Implementation from Months to Weeks with TransUnion Find My Offer Solution (Globe Newswire), Rated: A

As financial institutions seek to improve customer experiences online, TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) today announced the launch of Find My Offer to help lenders deliver relevant credit offers to consumers online. Find My Offer is a set of configurable white-label web screens that support a lender’s consumer prequalification and digital prescreen initiatives.

Lenders can use Find My Offer to acquire new customers and expand existing relationships online. The site automatically integrates with TransUnion’s DecisionEdge suite, allowing lenders to use their existing underwriting criteria for their online marketing.

A top 20 national bank recently utilized Find My Offer to increase online acquisitions. Its IT team estimated a six month development cycle to build a customer-facing site to initiate credit offers online. Using Find My Offer, the bank saved more than 40% in development costs and was able to present relevant, tailored offers to consumers within three weeks – approximately 20 weeks earlier than what was projected using internal IT resources.

Sharestates Launches Auto-Invest Tool for Highly-Tailored Investments While Surpassing $ 500M in Loan Originations (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Sharestates, an online real estate investment marketplace, announced today the launch of its new Auto-Invest tool, a feature that will maximize the investor’s chances of investing in the platform’s highly sought after real estate debt opportunities. The new feature will allow investors to choose from multiple strategies, including a custom investment strategy that includes 12 underwriting filters to choose from. The launch of this new tool coincides with the company reaching a major milestone of $500 million in loan volume.

With the Auto-Invest tool, the investor will have the ability to increase the frequency at which their funds are deployed. These automatic investments will give the investor a better chance of eliminating “cash drag,” which occurs when the investor does not have a chance to log in, review the new loan and manually make their investment before the loan sells-out.

The interface provides a user-friendly and client-focused tool, making investing in real estate loans hassle-free. Additionally, after every auto-invest transaction, the investor will receive a confirmation email with loan and investment details, where they will then have a 24-hour window to opt out or increase participation.

In order to tailor the best possible loan selection for each individual, Sharestates uses a multitude of adjustable measurements for each investor to meet their investment goals. These measurements include; investment totals per loan, maximum investment frequency and limit, interest rate requirements, risk ratings, property types and more.

Sharestates continues to outperform the online real estate lending industry with originations exceeding $500 million since inception in 2014. Current run rates have Sharestates exceeding $1 billion in total originations before the end of 2017, with current monthly totals hovering around $60 million. Sharestates has funded more than 520 individual loans, providing an average return on investment of 10.62%.

Kuber’s Fluid App that Allows Students to Borrow Money Interest Free Now Live on iTunes (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Kuber Inc, a Southern California based Fintech company, has launched it’s personal finance product targeting the more than 22 million university students in United States. Fluid App is now live on Apple iTunes store and free to download. This is first of its kind finance product is designed specifically to build credit for college students in America.

Using the app, users may borrow up to $500 dollars interest free and without and other associated fees. The lending and repayment activities are then reported to major U.S. credit bureaus to start building credit from day one.

Direct Online Loans: Support That Works For You (NuWire Investor), Rated: A

Direct lenders have streamlined their rules and regulations to help those typically overlooked by conventional lenders. They still review you application carefully, but they don’t necessarily use subprime credit scores to reject your application. If you speak with the representatives at MoneyKey, they’ll you know what you need to provide. These reps may review your rating through other channels, but it’s not the only way they’ll determine your candidacy. It’s just one number amongst many factors they use to review your application.

They also don’t rely on in-person meetings to determine your candidacy, as they do most of their business online. All they require is basic contact and financial information submitted in an online application, and they’ll notify you if you qualify within minutes. For those that do, you’ll receive a phone call from a representative to verify the information that you supplied. If everything checks out, direct payday lenders like MoneyKey deposit your approved short term loan into the account that you supplied on your application. In some cases, you’ll receive your cash in as little as one business day.

Robo-Advice Is Not Your Differentiator (FA Magazine), Rated:  AAA

Increasingly, robo-advice technology will become bare necessities for any retail financial advice firm that wants to grow by adding value to financial advisors and their clients.

How to Get Small Business Loans: Part 2 (FX Daily Report), Rated: B

At some point, bank is one of the most reputable lenders. Banks usually have lower interest rates and the credit duration may be longer. However, large banks usually have more requirements and slower process.

These banks may have slightly higher interest rates. However, local community banks offer simpler procedures, as they always want to be the partners for small business. Local banks commonly offers shorter credit period.

They are the most welcoming partners for quick loan. Direct online lenders usually apply a relatively easy loan process. They are also supported by reputable lenders. Another advantage is that the lenders may not require you to provide collateral. Some lenders do not even check your credit record before making approval. Some lenders even offer overnight credit process. Once you send the application today, you will get the money in your account tomorrow.

The disadvantages include higher interest rates, shorter duration, and lower credit limit. Direct online lenders can be easily found on internet. Some of them have only online presence, but some are online divisions of a conventional lending agency.

They also have online presence. However, peer-to-peer lending sites are not the true lenders. Instead, they act as the middlemen between the clients and the lenders.

Merrill Lynch, Betterment Execs Agree On Financial Advice For New Grads (FA Magazine), Rated: B

Joe DePaulo, CEO and co-founder of College Ave Student Loans, had this advice for grads starting a job on how to ease the burden of the ball and chain of college debt weighing on their finances:

1. Organize all your student loans to make sure you know when your monthly payments start, the amount due for each one and your various due dates so you don’t accidentally miss any payments or pay late.
2. Get to know your loan servicers — the companies handling the billing and payment services for your loans — and make sure each of them have your current contact information, including both your e-mail and mailing address.
3. Consider signing up for auto-pay for each loan through your student loan servicers. You’ll often get a discount on your interest rate when you’re making automatic payments, and you’ll know that your payments are being made on time each month. It’s a great way to save money and build good credit.
4. Know your grace period for your student loans, or how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment. This can vary by loan depending which types of loans you have. The grace period is usually six or nine months, and it’s designed to give you time after you graduate to find a job and get on your feet before payments are due. Interest continues to accrue during the grace period on most loans though, so if you have the ability to start making payments before the grace period ends, you should. This will help you save money in the long run.
5. Pay attention to the interest rate on each loan. When you can afford to pay a little extra, you’ll usually save the most money by paying down the loan with the highest interest rate first.

United Kingdom

RateSetter, MarketInvoice and LendInvest make this year’s Fintech50 list (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER, MarketInvoice and LendInvest have made this year’s Fintech50 list, while Funding Circle and Zopa have been awarded a place in the Fintech50 Hall of Fame.

The annual Fintech50 list, which was first launched in 2013, selects the 50 European fintechs that are transforming financial services and recognises innovation rather than revenue. The companies are selected by a panel of more than 60 industry experts, following extensive year-round research from the Fintech50 team.

This year’s list, unveiled at a launch event at Silicon Valley Bank in London on Tuesday night, was chosen out of 1,500 companies. As well as an impressive presence from a raft of UK peer-to-peer lenders, the list includes business finance provider Iwoca, crowdfunding platform Seedrs, challenger lender Atom Bank and cryptocurrency Ethereum.

The Fintech50 2017:

  • Action.ai (London, UK)
  • Advice Robo (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Aire (London, UK)
  • Algomi (London, UK)
  • AQMetrics (Kildare, Ireland)
  • Atom Bank (London, UK)
  • Azimo (London, UK)
  • Behaviosec (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Bonify (Berlin, Germany)
  • Clearmatics (London, UK)
  • Clearscore (London, UK)
  • ComplyAdvantage (London, UK)
  • Contego (London, UK)
  • Credit Benchmark (London, UK)
  • Curve (London, UK)
  • Cuvva (Scotland, UK)
  • DarkTrace (Cambridge, UK)
  • Digital Shadows (London, UK)
  • Ethereum (worldwide)
  • FeatureSpace (London, UK)
  • Fenergo (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Figo (Hamburg, Germany)
  • FundApps (London, UK)
  • Iwoca (London, UK)
  • Kantox (London, UK)
  • LendInvest (London, UK)
  • Mambu (Berlin, Germany)
  • MarketInvoice (London, UK)
  • Meniga (Rejkyavik, Iceland)
  • Monzo (London, UK)
  • N26 (Berlin, Germany)
  • NetGuardians (Switzerland)
  • Onfido (London, UK)
  • OpenGamma (London, UK)
  • PayKey (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Privitar (London, UK)
  • Qumram (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Railsbank (London, UK)
  • Raisin (Berlin, Germany)
  • RateSetter (London, UK)
  • Revolut (London, UK)
  • Scalable Capital (Munich, Germany / London, UK)
  • Seedrs (London, UK)
  • SETL (London, UK)
  • solarisBank AG (Berlin, Germany)
  • Suade (London, UK)
  • Thought Machine (London, UK)
  • Traxpay (Berlin, Germany)
  • Trussle (London, UK)
  • WeFox (Switzerland)

The FinTech50 Hall of Fame:

  • Adyen (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Currencycloud (London, UK)
  • eToro (Limassol, Cyprus)
  • Funding Circle (London, UK)
  • iZettle (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Klarna (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Nutmeg (London, UK)
  • Transferwise (London, UK)
  • WorldRemit (London, UK)
  • Zopa (London, UK)

The Hot Ten – this year’s ones to watch:

  • Bud (London, UK)
  • ClearBank (London, UK)
  • Cleo (London, UK)
  • Datasine (London, UK)
  • Deposify (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Governance.io (Luxembourg)
  • Meteo Project (Paris, France)
  • Nxchange (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Post Quantum (London, UK)
  • 10xBanking (London, UK)
China

China P2P lenders facing tighter disclosure rules (China Economic Review), Rated: AAA

Efforts to clean up China’s scandal-plagued peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector are taking another step forward with a pilot program that imposes tighter information disclosure requirements to protect customers from being swindled, Caixin reports.  Under an initiative announced on Monday, companies will have to give people who use their P2P platforms a range of information including their registration address, shareholders, who provides custodian services, how many investors they have, their bad loan ratio and their outstanding loans. Altogether 47 separate pieces of information will need to be disclosed, 32 of which are mandatory, according to the National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA), which is in charge of the pilot.

Chinese banks boost offshore lending in Asia-Pacific (The Asset), Rated: A

Chinese banks have been increasing their offshore lending volume in Asia-Pacific, outside of Japan, since 2014. Based on the pro-rata mandated lead arranger (MLA) role, China’s offshore lending amounted to US$70.5 billion via 300 deals in 2016, or nearly double the 2015 figure of US$36.3 billion, and nearly three times the 2014 volume of US$24 billion in 2014.

Figures released by Thomson Reuters on June 5 show that the bulk of China’s offshore lending has been concentrated in Northeast Asia. In 2016, Chinese banks accounted for US$52.7 billion through 172 transactions on a pro-rata basis at the MLA lender level, representing an increase of 83% from 2015.

European Union

Danish fashion tycoon invests in Swedish payments firm Klarna (Daily Mail), Rated: AAA

Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of Danish fashion retailer Bestseller, is buying a stake in payments firm Klarna, one of Europe’s most highly valued tech startups, the firm said on Wednesday.

A Klarna spokeswoman declined to comment on the precise size of the stake, but said it would be at least 10 percent.

Klarna said Povlsen’s company Brightfolk would buy shares from General Atlantic, DST Global and Niklas Adalberth, who will all still retain stakes in the firm.

Doing KYC on International Investors and the Potential of Automation (P2P Banking), Rated: A

On the majority of p2p lending marketplaces that accept non-resident international investors, the necessary process to comply with ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) rules involves multiple manual steps both on the side of the investor and on the side of the marketplace. After filling in details in forms the investor typically needs to submit scans (or photos) of an ID or a passport. As an investor  I balk at the very few marketplaces that ask me to submit these via unsecured email. The better ones offer an upload inside the SSL secured website after login. The British marketplace typically also require a recent utility bill to confirm address.

In continental Europe a few marketplaces are doing video ident. Recently when I registered at Paskoluklubas, aside from entering details in forms I needed to schedule a Skype video call in which I answered several questions and had to show my ID live. While it was straightforward, it is not more time efficient (both for investor and for marketplace). And I was lost for words for a split second when asked for my zodiac. How many non-native-english speakers can answer that question without hesitating for the right word (luckily mine is easy to translate).

Another example of outsoucing is the process Lenndy uses. When registering, all an investor is asked by Lenndy is his email address, nothing else. Then the investor is required to link an Paysera account with at least level 3.

Last week British Relendex moved from a manual document upload process to an automated process for investors of 7 countries; Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland. Relendex uses the Call Validate solution and checks (in case of Germany) first , middle, last name, gender, phone, address, city and postal code with the data coming from three different data sources and which Relendex says has high match accuracy. Relendex’s criteria was that the data available should be of equal quality and accuracy to that of the UK database.

Irish fintech start-up Plynk raises €25m in fundraising round (The Irish Times), Rated: A

Dublin-based financial payments start-up Plynk has raised €25 million in a Series A fundraising round as it looks to roll out its money-messaging app globally.

The investment, which has been led by Swiss Privee, is one of the largest-ever Irish Series A rounds.

The company has also announced plans to increase headcount from eight to 28 over the next 12 to 18 months as the number of users it has in Ireland this week reached 6,000, easily surpassing its initial target of 4,000.

Plynk has a licence to operate across the European Economic Area, which includes the EU along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. While only available in Ireland, the start-up intends to roll out its app in Spain over the summer with Portugal to follow shortly after.

German fintech platform Fincompare raises €2.5 million to provide financing for SMEs (Tech.EU), Rated: A

The German fintech startup Fincompare has raised €2.5 million in seed financing. The funding comes from the VC Speedinvest and Uniqa insurance, both from Austria. Several business angels from Berlin also participated in the round.

The Fincompare platform allows SMEs to receive and compare various offers for loans – anywhere from €10,000 to €5 million.

Grundag Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform Launches Powered by CrowdDesk (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

A new real estate crowdfunding platform has launched in Germany. Grundag GmbH & Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CrowdDesk, has launched to provide debt based crowdfunding for German real estate projects. CrowdDesk is a white label crowdfunding platform that powers several well established platforms in Germany. The new site was launched in partnership with ERGE Miet- & Finanzvermittlung GmbH & Co. KG.

International

FINTECH – DID SOMEONE CANCEL THE REVOLUTION? (Finextra), Rated: AAA

There are indications the Fintech revolution has stalled. It promised to change market structure, to radically improve products and services, and to save the incumbent banking sector from a slow slide to invisible utility status.

But these promises are yet to come to pass. Yet the revolution could still be completed – the underlying technologies are real and, deployed in the right way, they can still have a transformative effect on the financial services industry.

Source: FinTech – Did Someone Cancel the Revolution, Accenture

Read the full report.

FinTech Innovators vs. Incumbents: Understanding the Odds (Morgan Stanley), Rated: AAA

How can investors navigate this next chapter in FinTech? In a recent global collaborative report, “FinTech: A Gauntlet to Riches,” Faucette and his colleagues offer an investment framework for understanding where FinTech companies are likely to disrupt—and where established players are poised to get ahead.

Indeed, the pace of venture capital funding in FinTechs has slowed recently, suggesting that early-stage investors are coming to grips with the challenges of this space, and that established financial services firms are likely to take a more meaningful role in funding and developing new technology.

To understand which trends favor startups and which bode well for incumbents, investors should ask some key questions:

  1. What is the existing infrastructure? Innovators have the best shot at success in areas that lack established infrastructure. One area that is particularly poised for growth is B2B payments, a large and underserved corner of the market, with roughly 50% of payments still made via checks.
  2. Is consumer behavior changing? Early adopters in a nascent market tend to be more receptive to a new technology or provider, giving innovators a first-mover advantage. This bodes well for FinTech disruptors focused on small-business insurance (a.k.a. InsurTech).
  3. Does government help or hinder innovation? 
  4. How important is access to data? Investors should take note of the role of data, which can limit a small firm’s ability to scale without partnering with a data owner.
  5. Does success hinge on collaboration? 
  6. How important is access to capital markets? Companies that require continuous access to capital markets are subject to a high degree of market volatility, which can put an entire business model in jeopardy if still early in its formation, says Faucette. For fledgling U.S. marketplace lenders (a.k.a. peer-to-peer lending) and mortgage originators, access to capital markets could be a limiting factor, especially now that established players are investing in the space.
  7. Is the industry concentrated?

TransferWise CEO: ‘There is a huge fight to be the fintech capital of the world’ (Business Insider), Rated: A

The CEO and cofounder of TransferWise says cities around the world are becoming increasingly competitive in attempts to attract tech companies.

Luxembourg earlier this year set up a public-private partnership called the “House of Fintech,” aimed at attracting more companies to set up in the country. Lobbyists from Paris have made multiple trips to the UK in recent months in a bid to tempt financial services, including fintech, to set up in the French capital in the wake of Brexit. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has also copied the UK regulator in setting up a regulatory “sandbox,” which allows innovative companies to experiment with new products in a safe environment.

Why Trustly CEO Oscar Berglund Is Offering An Alternative To Credit Cards (Forbes), Rated: A

Excitement over fintech remains high even though investor enthusiasm has been curbing in recent months. According to a KPMG report, the flow of investments has started to ease. Global investments dropped to $3.2 billion in Q1 of 2017 from $4.15 billion in Q4 of the previous year. Indeed, investors seem to have made their wagers and are now more focused on ensuring that existing fintech companies start delivering.

More mature segments, such as payments, are also seeing saturation, as new competitors seek to maximize opportunities in markets keen on going cashless.

Having processed a whopping €3.2 billion in transactions in 2016, payment startup Trustly has recently emerged as a leader in the global fintech scene. Based in Stockholm, Trustly offers a fresh perspective on payments by putting the bank account at the center of digital payments instead of credit cards. The company is now used in 29 European countries, enabling merchants to perform cross-border business easily.

Berglund: We aren’t really going head to head against big banks. We see the bank account as the hub of people’s financial lives, and it’s what most other payment methods depend on. Trustly’s service is built around the relevance of the bank account and as such around the relevance of banks.

In Europe banks focused on the online channel are at the forefront of the adoption of new technology and I believe more banks will no doubt make use of our services going forward.

Berglund: Credit cards were invented to make payments easier in the physical world, but they may not have the same raison d’être as people move to online and mobile platforms. The truth is, it’s a pain to dig for your credit card and key in a long string of numbers, especially if you’re on the go and trying to make a purchase from a tiny smartphone screen. With Trustly, users can make a payment in just a few steps using only information they know top of mind. And our product is optimized for mobile and other devices to make it even more convenient. So while credit cards won’t be going anywhere for a while, it’s important to offer other user-friendly alternatives too.

India

CIOs Will No Longer be the Most Influential Technology Decision Makers (BW Disrupt), Rated: AAA

The year 2016 registered an impressive impact on the Indian economy and therefore was a landmark year for fintech and banking industries. This year, 2017 started out to be an exciting one for Financial Technology which will spell out a future of continued scale and disruption for the industry, especially after India’s digitalisation movement. With the proliferation of cloud and mobile technologies advancing and customer demand for better digital banking experiences growing, Fintech firms will continue to innovate faster and offer new services with richer user experiences.

Top 5 Trends to watch out for: 

  1. Mobile Everything
  2. Chatbots, machine learning & AI
  3. Banks & Fintech firms to partnerAccording to a recent Business Insider report, 87% of banks that have partnered with financial service providers (fintech companies) have been able to cut costs. Additionally, the same study found that 54% of partnerships increased revenue.
  4. Blockchain moves out of the labs into the real world
  5. Reforming Digital Leadership: CIOs will no longer be the most influential technology decision makers. With the continued rise of the Chief Digital Officer and in many cases the Chief Marketing Officer will help financial institutions usurp the IT team in implementing ‘digital’ throughout the organisation.

FinMomenta Plans to Expand Footprint of P2P Lending Model ‘Tachyloans’ to Other Asian Nations (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

FinMomenta founders believe that they are the Next Moment in FinTech industry. With their latest product TachyLoans, they plan to build a digital lending marketplace that connects people (Investors/Lenders) who wants to invest/lend their incomes, with people (Borrowers) who are looking to borrow funds to meet their financial requirements. The platform caters to both Individuals and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

How does the platform FinMomenta work?

Investors can earn returns as high as 25% per annum and borrowers can avail loan at lower interest rates starting from 11.5% per annum. Interest rates are charged based on borrower’s creditworthiness. Lenders and borrowers can negotiate on the loan amount, interest rates and loan tenor through a two-way bidding process available on their dashboard.

Please elaborate key features/services of Tachyloans?

The platform uses a unique proprietary credit scoring model enabled by Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to assess the creditworthiness of applicants. It also uses e-KYC and Aadhaar for verification of the borrowers that helps lenders to automatically invest in the recommended list of borrowers.

Tachyloans not just focuses on cutting down the transaction time for lenders and borrowers but also reduces the overhead costs associated with the traditional lending process and enables us to pass on the cost savings to lenders in the form of higher returns and to borrowers in the form of lower interest rates. Lenders and borrowers can negotiate on the interest rates through Tachyloans platform.

What is the Monetization model of FinMomenta?

FinMomenta charges a service fee to both lenders and borrowers for having loans enabled on the platform.

What is the market size and opportunities for companies operating in Fintech industry in India?

Consumer credit market in India is currently at $300bn out of which $98bn is the personal loans market. The market is currently growing at 14% year on year. The SME business loan market is currently at $600bn and is expected to grow to $3.4 trillion by 2022. In terms of the population, out of 1.2bn population only 150mn population has their history in credit bureaus and 20mn has scores acceptable to banks. There is a very small population that is being serviced by the banks. Around 10mn citizens are entering jobs every year and with more than 55% less than 45 years, the population would have huge aspiration to grow in life which would require access to credit for them.

Canada

Aztec Exchange Launches PayMe in Canada with EDI Gateway (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Aztec Exchange, a global supplier of invoice finance products and services, and Canadian EDI provider EDI Gateway today announced a partnership to deliver Aztec’s breakthrough early e-invoice payment service PayMe (payme.cloud) to EDI Gateway’s (edigateway.com) Canadian supplier and corporate clients.

PayMe is unique in the early payment market because, unlike with factoring firms, creditworthiness is based on that of the buyer, not the supplier.  There is complete pricing transparency, meaning there are no hidden fees or interest charges.  Suppliers are only required to pay a minimal invoice discount charge and a standard transaction fee.  For customers on the EDI Gateway platform using PayMe, this means they’ll typically receive payment within 24 hours.  Furthermore, because it’s entirely online, they can submit for early payment any time from any internet-connected device.  There are also no restrictive long-term contracts and suppliers can sell as many approved invoices as they want.

This partnership with EDI Gateway is the latest for PayMe, which launched in May 2016.  Over the course of the past year, PayMe has had tremendous growth and is now available to more than 100,000 SMEs globally via e-invoice providers as a white label solution for traditional banks.  It will soon be launched directly through corporates. For EDI Gateway, PayMe complements their existing e-invoicing solution, enabling them to offer an integrated payment and financing service.  The firm looks to continue this approach going forward to attract and retain their retail and vendor clients.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor