Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest

neobanks

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingPoint closes $178M personal loans securitization. OnDeck hits $879M in online financing in Texas alone. RateSetter adds three products. Funding Circle lenders face longer cash out waits. Yirendai files Form 6-K. Today’s main analysis: International P2P lending volumes for August 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Silicon Valley is building a social […]

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

neobanks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

LendingPoint : Closes $ 178 Million Personal Loans Securitization (MarketScreener), Rated: AAA

LendingPoint, the company revolutionizing and democratizing commerce, announced today that it closed its inaugural securitization of consumer loans. LendingPoint Receivables Trust 2019-1 (“LDPT 2019-1”) issued $177.85 million of notes backed by a pool of $187.22 million of direct-to-consumer loans originated on the LendingPoint platform.

The LendingPoint Receivables Trust securitization was rated by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. and includes $117.76 million of Class A notes rated “A-“, $24.74 million of Class B notes rated “BBB-“, $23.68 million of Class C notes rated “BB-” and $10.67 million of Class D notes rated “B-.” The notes priced at a blended yield of 4.05% per annum and provided for a 95% advance rate. The transaction has a 5% overcollateralization Deposit and a 5% overcollateralization Target. The risk adjusted yield of the receivables securing the notes is expected to be 13.14% per annum.

TyMac Electric Powers Business Success with Online Financing from OnDeck (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced that TyMac Electric of Plano, Texas is its Small Business of the Month for August, 2019.  The 30-person company serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area with high-quality, professionally managed electrical services.

Over the last two years, OnDeck has provided additional financing to TyMac Electric as the business grew to meet demand in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial marketplace.

Overall, OnDeck has provided more than $879 million in financing online to small business owners in the State of Texas.

2019’s Best & Worst Places to Retire (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

Best Retirement Cities

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
City Total Score ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Activities’ Rank ‘Quality of Life’ Rank ‘Health Care’ Rank
1 Orlando, FL 60.87 9 11 68 48
2 Tampa, FL 59.06 10 19 45 95
3 Scottsdale, AZ 58.35 98 22 3 58
4 Charleston, SC 58.30 42 21 56 51
5 Miami, FL 57.21 51 5 105 74
6 Denver, CO 57.08 113 17 43 17
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL 56.58 65 18 82 56
8 Cape Coral, FL 56.50 19 51 15 109
9 Minneapolis, MN 56.46 145 3 58 5
10 Cheyenne, WY 56.06 2 142 50 33

Source: WalletHub

Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system (Fast Company), Rated: AAA

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Fundrise Opportunity Zone Fund Has Raised Over $ 22 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Real estate investment platform Fundrise has raised over $22 million for their Opportunity Fund. The information was revealed in a recent Form D 5o6c filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Kabbage acquires Radius Intelligence, the marketing tech firm with a database of 20M small businesses (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Data is the new oil, as the saying goes, and today Kabbage — a fintech startup backed by SoftBank that has built a business around lending up to $250,000 to small and medium enterprises, using AI-based algorithms to help determine the terms of the loan — is picking up an asset to expand its own data trove as it looks to expand into further SMB financial services. The company has acquired Radius Intelligence, the marketing technology firm that has built a database of information on some 20 million small and medium businesses in the U.S.

Here is a list of the top nonbank and alternative lenders in 2019 (Business Insider), Rated: A

Nonbanks and alternative lenders have garnered attention in the banking industry due to their ability to partner with legacy banks and utilize technology to make financial transactions more efficient and convenient for users.

Source: Business Insider

Chime now has 5 million customers and introduces overdraft alternative (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises fewer fees.

Back in March, Chime  said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months.

Zac Prince of BlockFi (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Even Financial raises $ 25 million to connect banks with channel partners (VentureBeat), Rated: A

Even Financial, a four-year-old New York-based provider of APIs for financial services search, acquisition, and monetization, today announced that it’s raised $25 million in a strategic round of investment co-led by Citi Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with additional participation from LendingClub. Existing backers American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and Goldman Sachs also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total raised to $50 million.

Credit Sesame, a platform for managing loans and credit scores, picks up $ 43M en route to IPO (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Credit Sesame — which lets consumers check their credit scores and evaluate options to rebalance existing debts and loans to improve that score and thus their overall “financial health,” in the words of CEO and founder Adrian Nazari — has raised $43 million. With the company already profitable and growing revenues 90% each year for the last five, Nazari said that this round is likely to be the last round the company raises before it goes public.

Household debt in the U.S. continues to rise and as of this year now stands at nearly $14 trillion.

Fintech startup CrowdBureau closes $ 1.1 million Series A equity funding with $ 9.7M valuation (Tech Startups), Rated: A

CrowdBureau Corporation, a fintech startup and index provider, has closed $1.1 million Series A equity funding to expand its series of benchmarks and launch a pilot program for its patent-pending regulatory technology product. The round, which values the company at $9.7 million, was led by Clydagh Limited, Estuary Holdings Ltd. and Alpama Limited along with existing investors.

Some Companies Offer a New Benefit: Payroll Advances and Loans (WSJ), Rated: A

A growing number of companies are helping workers gain access to payroll advances and loans, reflecting concern over the impact money problems are having on productivity levels and worker retention.

Employers including Walmart Inc. and Pima County, Ariz., have recently added these services. The aim is to help cash-strapped employees, many with damaged credit, cover unexpected expenses without resorting to high-cost debt.

Lendingblock Launches Institutional Crypto Lending Platform (Lendingblock), Rated: A

Lendingblock, the regulated, open exchange for institutional borrowing and lending of digital assets, today announces the launch of its institutional lending platform on September 3, 2019. The lending product, which is a reinvented version of securities lending from traditional capital markets, is the first exchange fully dedicated to pure crypto lending and aims to support the needs of the broader cryptocurrency market by providing a secure and liquid venue for lending and borrowing needs of institutional market participants.

Upon launch, Lendingblock platform users will be able to borrow and lend BTC, ETH, PAX and USDT on a fully collateralized basis, for loan terms of 1, 7, 14 and 30 days, with a minimum trade size of $100,000 equivalent of a specified digital asset.

How American Express uses machine learning to detect fraud (American Banker), Rated: A


A financial planner says there’s a ‘huge opportunity’ to build wealth during a recession (Business Insider), Rated: A

As long as you have a cash safety net to fall back on should you lose your job or face an unexpected expense, there’s little reason to panic, says Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal-finance company.

Are P2P Loans A Viable Investment for Your Portfolio? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Peer to peer (P2P) loans allow you to act as a bank, providing loans directly to other individuals or businesses in exchange for a return on your investment via interest payments. Investing in P2P loans, which are typically smaller than a traditional bank loan, has proven to be reliable no matter the economic climate.

Judge Rejects States’ Fintech Charter Challenge, Again (Bloomberg Law), Rated: A

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was able to beat back a challenge by state regulators to its proposed charter for financial technology firms for a second time, but the charter remains in limbo due to other litigation.

White Oak Global Advisors Announces Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC (“White Oak”) is pleased to announce the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (“CSCDA”) has named White Oak as a commercial PACE Program Administrator for the CSCDA’s Open PACE Program.  As a Program Administrator, White Oak will provide up to 100% financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and seismic retrofit projects on commercial real estate.

White Oak is seeking to fund projects ranging in size from $500,000 to $150 million.

United Kingdom

RateSetter revamps investment products (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER is rejigging its investment products, to boost liquidity and give the peer-to-peer lender more control over market rates.

The three new products, which will be available on 3 October, will be called Access, Plus and Max. Access will offer three per cent interest and no fees to access money; Plus will offer four per cent interest and cost 30 days’ interest to access money; and Max will offer a five per cent interest rate, with a fee of 90 days’ interest to access money.

Funding Circle Amateur Lenders Facing Longer Waits To Cash Out (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Amateur lenders on peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle Holdings PLC are facing waits of 100 days to cash out of their loans, it has emerged.

Investors who provide funding for small businesses through the platform can list old loans for resale to other investors if they wish to withdraw all their money.

But the PA news agency understands that the amount of time taken to re-sell the loan parts has risen from just a few days in January to up to three months in recent transactions.

Funding Circle reveals inclusion in FTSE4Good Index Series (Funding Circle), Rated: A

Funding Circle today reveals its inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index Series, which recognises companies that demonstrate the highest standards of corporate governance and sustainability.

Woodford trust is on the FTSE 250 casualty list (The Times), Rated: B

The investment trust, which focuses on early-stage companies, was one of six companies to be relegated from the second tier of quoted stocks.

Among them is Funding Circle, the online peer-to-peer lender aimed at small and medium-sized companies, which floated at 440p a year ago. Last night its shares closed at 110¼p.

P2PGI blames writedowns and Funding Circle bad debts for poor July (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

P2P GLOBAL Investments has blamed writedowns in the value of two equity stakes and bad debts from Funding Circle for a “disappointing” performance in July.

The alternative finance-focused investment trust delivered a 0.33 per cent NAV return for the month of July, down from 0.48 per cent the previous month. This brought the trust’s year to date return to 2.88 per cent, and 23.93 per cent since inception.

Investors ‘nearly’ double IFISA holdings (AltFi), Rated: A

Small investors have parked £588m across 40,400 accounts by the end of the second quarter of this year, according to trade body the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA).

The compares with around £300m invested in this product 12 months ago across major platforms such as Funding Circle, Ratesetter, Zopa, said the trade body.

Lending Works targets profitability and £10m turnover in 2019 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer consumer lender reported a loss of just over £2.1m for the year ended 31 December 2018, up from £1.41m the previous year, which chief executive Nick Harding (pictured) attributed to a larger wage bill.

There is no requirement for businesses to report revenues in small company accounts, but Harding revealed that the firm saw revenues rise to £6.2m last year and is targeting £10m this year.

Peer to Peer Lender Folk2Folk Tops £300 Million in Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer lender for local, rural and SME businesses, has now surpassed £300 million in lending, according to a company release. Folk2Folk notes that it is the 3rd largest P2P Lender to UK businesses in terms of money lent.

P2PFA boss Paul Smee: ‘Lendy was an outlier that should not have been authorised’ (AltFi), Rated: A

The collapse of Portsmouth-based property peer-to-peer firm Lendy, with outstanding loans of more than £160m, and some £90m in default, prompted the new rules from the FCA. The watchdog is also carrying out an in-depth report into the firm’s failure, which affected with some 21,500 investors. Critics argue that Lendy under competitive pressure wrote poor quality loans to swell its balance sheet, which then turned bad.

However, the Lendy crash, taken together with the poor float of the sector’s biggest firm Funding Circle last October, which languishes 75 per cent below its 440p float price at around 112p this week, has tarnished the sector.

UK Fintech Curve fastest startup ever to reach £4m Crowdfunding on Crowdcube (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

Last month, Curve announced plans to launch a seven figure crowdfunding campaign for early September, with plans to raise £1million. However, just 42 Minutes after launching to pre-registered customers, Curve had raised four times that figure, breaking records in the process. The current overfunding amount stands at £5million.

China

Form 6-K Yirendai Ltd. For: Sep 30 (Street Insider), Rated: AAA

  • Cumulative number of investors served reached 2,185,513, representing an increase of 1% from 2,159,490 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 1,974,984 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of active investors in the second quarter of 2019 was 671,957, representing a decrease of 13% from 768,514 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 928,251 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Total assets under management (“AUM”) for Yiren Wealth was RMB 43,604.2 million (US$ 6,351.7 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 7% from RMB 46,663.1 million as of March 31, 2019. Average AUM per investor reached RMB 149,480 (US$ 21,774) as of June 30, 2019, representing an increase of 7% from RMB 139,473 as of March 31, 2019.
  • AUM of non-P2P products amounted to RMB 354.3 million (US$ 51.6 million) in the second quarter of 2019, representing a decrease of 23% from RMB 457.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 951.0 million in the second quarter of 2018. Non-P2P products include money market funds, mutual funds and insurance.

Consumer Credit—Yiren Credit

  • Total loan originations in the second quarter of 2019 reached RMB 9.7 billion (US$1.4 billion), representing a decrease of 12% from RMB 10.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to RMB 18.2 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Cumulative number of borrowers served reached 4,491,466, representing an increase of 2% from 4,404,812 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 4,027,254 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Number of borrowers in the second quarter of 2019 was 135,246, representing a decrease of 10% from 149,715 in the first quarter of 2019 and compared to 267,628 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • The percentage of loan volume generated by repeat borrowers was 35.9% in the second quarter of 2019.
  • 52.5% of loan originations were generated online in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Remaining principal of performing loans reached RMB 58,071.3 million (US$8,459.0 million) as of June 30, 2019, representing a decrease of 8% from RMB 63,213.8 million as of March 31, 2019.

Yirendai Ltd. (YRD) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

As of September 2019, the line of credit we have obtained from our institutional partners has increased from RMB19 billion in Q1 2019 to close to RMB30 billion. We are now working with approximately 10 partners, including leading joint stock and city commercial banks. We expect loan origination funded by institutional partners to reach approximately 30% by the end of this year.

China Rapid Finance Retains China Merchants Bank New York and Pangaea Finance as Co-Financial Advisors for Recapitalization and Restructuring (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (XRF) (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors has retained China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd., New York Branch (CMBNY), and Pangaea Finance as separate Co-Financial Advisors, and Pangaea Finance as Structuring Agent, to advise it for strategic alternatives, including but not limited to potential strategic partnerships, recapitalization of certain operating companies, and for a related reconfiguration of the Cayman company as a listed investment vehicle for China credit.

Central bank to include troubled P2P lending industry in credit system (Technode), Rated: A

China’s central bank will include the country’s troubled online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in its credit reference system as the clampdown on illegal financial services continues, Chinese state-run media reported on Wednesday.

China’s credit system to cover P2P lending in tightening regulation (Xinhua), Rated: A

P2P lending platforms in operation will provide certain information such as online lending interest rates to credit reference agencies such as operators of financial credit information basic databases and Baihang Credit, China’s only licensed and market-oriented personal credit agency, according to an official guideline.

China Central Bank’s Credit System to include P2P Lending Platforms amidst tightening regulations (China Knowledge), Rated: A

Credit information of P2P lending platforms will be collected, regardless of their operational status. New penalties will also be imposed on defaulting borrowers of P2P online lending. Some of the penalties include higher loan interest rates and restriction limits to loan and insurance services.

Chinese entrepreneur among 41 arrested over illegal P2P platform (CGTN), Rated: A

Property mogul and founder of a leading Shanghai contemporary art museum Dai Zhikang has turned himself into police following the collapse of a peer-to-peer lending platform, as China continues to crackdown on illegal online lending.

Shanghai police confirmed Monday that Dai, the founder and head of Zendai Group, was among 41 people being investigated over illegal fundraising through an online P2P platform called Laocaibao.

European Union

Revolut is looking to hire 400 customer support staff following compliance complaints (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Revolut is looking to hire up to 400 staff at a new base in Portugal, a move that will increase its employee headcount by almost a third.

Source: Business Insider

German online bank N26 expands to Switzerland (Verdict), Rated: A

German online bank N26 has launched its services in Switzerland, as it continues to build up its footprint across the globe.

Binance Crypto Lending Program expansion – a bad idea for traders (FX Street), Rated: A

Binance is one of the latest entries in launching its crypto lending platform on August 28. In the first phase, it began with a short period fixed return on Binance (BNB), USDT (Tether) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). It provides an annual return of 15%, 10%, and 7% respectively, beginning with a 14-Day fixed period. Binance starts with about $30 million in crypto-lending. Moreover, the annual interest offered is higher than the return from banks.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes August 2019 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Milestones in culumulative volume lent crossed this month:

  • Bondora: 250M EUR
  • Fellow Finance: 500M EUR
  • Mintos: 3000M EUR
  • Thincats: 500M GBP

The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 634 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets.

Source: P2P-Banking

Fall Conference Season for Fintech Kicks Into Gear This Month (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

ABS East

When: Sept 22-24, 2019
Where: Miami, FL
Link:  /> Discount code: LEND10

Lend360

When: Sept 25-27, 2019
Where: Dallas, TX
Link: 

LendIt Fintech Europe

When: Sept 26-27, 2019
Where: London, UK
Link: 
/> Discount code: LENDACADEMYVIP

Moneyconf

When: Nov 4-7, 2019
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Link: 

Money2020 China

When: Dec 4-6, 2019
Where: Hangzhou, China
Link: 

I WISH I’D BOUGHT IT WITH KLARNA (The Drum), Rated: B

The Swedish ‘pay later’ service, Klarna has launched its first international campaign – ‘I wish I’d bought it with Klarna’ – with the internet sensation Celesta Barber as its leading lady.

Australia

Ethereum lossless lottery PoolTogether is still innately flawed despite updates (finder), Rated: A

How do you encourage people to practice responsible saving? Easy. You shake it up with a dose of randomness and call it a lottery instead. This is the basic principle behind Pool Together, a lossless lottery designed in such a way that there are no losers. The idea is that everyone always gets back the price of their ticket, but one lucky person walks away with a lot more than that.

Pool Together is built on Ethereum, and utilises the Dai stablecoin in combination with the Compound crypto lending system.

India

Online lender Namaste Credit launches digital-only bank (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Online lending marketplace Namaste Credit today said that it is launching its Neobanking solutions for MSMEs, becoming a full-fledged “Digital-Only Bank” with a foundational SaaS play.

IndiaMoneyMart opens the first East-India branch for NBFC-P2P Lending (United News of India), Rated: A

Making sense of regulatory sandbox for Fintech startups (Vantage Asia), Rated: A

Over the past few years India has seen rapid development in the financial technology sector and it has the second highest number of Fintech startups in the world. According to certain estimates, India’s Fintech sector added about 1,300 startups from 2015 to 2018. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, India’s Fintech market is expected to be worth US$2.4 billion by 2020.

India Government Panel Pushes for Fintech, Regtech Adoption (Regulation Asia), Rated: A

The panel has also proposed the development of a marketplace model for P2P lending, and the introduction of virtual banking in India.

Why fintech panel believes P2P platforms can ease credit supply (India Times), Rated: A

While the importance of P2P lending sector in India is understood by all stakeholders, and a lot has been done over the last few years to encourage the sector, a lot more needs to be done to accelerate its growth.

APAC

Leading Southeast Asian Peer to Peer Lender Funding Societies Revamps with New Executive Team (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Funding Societies, one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in Southeast Asia, has revamped its executive team with new hires.

Matt Lambie joins as the Chief Technical Officer, Dheeraj Chowdhry as the Chief Executive Officer and Jared Goldberg as the Chief Data Officer.

Top 10 APAC Startups Reigning the Future Finance Industry (Banking CIO Outlook), Rated: A

Africa

AlphaCode of South Africa Invests $ 1.5 Million in Three Domestic Fintech Startups (CryptoNewsZ), Rated: AAA

AlphaCode is the incubation and investment arm of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings, and in a new development, the company has decided to invest a combined $1.5 million in three separate Fintech startups in South Africa. The companies in question are Zande Africa, which is a platform meant for merchant finance, while the others are Bright On Capital, a peer to peer lending firm and Livestock Wealth, an agricultural investment startup. AlphaCode invested $655,000 each on Bright On Capital and Zande Africa, while Livestock Wealth got an injection of $131, 000.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday September 5 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday November 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Major European Neobanks Customers

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper to introduce HELOCs. Affirm to rebrand, get into travel. Elevate Credit misses earnings estimates. Zopa says parents borrow from children’s piggy banks. Revolut wants to raise $500M through SoftBank. LexinFintech shares jump 8% on 363% earnings increase. Fintonic, Amazon partner in Spain. Today’s main analysis: Are we in an online lending bubble? Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Major European Neobanks Customers

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Prosper Announces HELOCs, Releases Q3 2018 Earnings (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Prosper noted that according to a 2017 TransUnion Study an estimated 10 million consumers will take out HELOCs between 2018 and 2022 which would be more than double the number originated from 2012-2016.

The new HELOC product will launch officially in early 2019.

Prosper also reported their Q3 2018 results today. Originations were $640.3 million, down 22% over the prior year period. Prosper attributed the decrease to credit tightening as well as the increase of interest rates to borrowers. The company has now originated $13.4 billion since inception. Net revenues also decreased as a result of decreased originations, with net revenue falling from $28.8 million in Q3 2017 to 20.6 million in Q3 2018. Below is a summary of Prosper’s other financial highlights that are availing in the company’s 10-Q.

Source: Lend Academy

Funding Circle US: Consumers will eschew Amazon to support small firms (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle US has found that the majority of US consumers still make the effort to shop at independent small businesses and would be willing to pay more for the same item than it costs at e-commerce giant Amazon.

The peer-to-peer business lender, which recently floated on the London Stock Exchange, published the results of a survey on US consumers’ support for small businesses.

It found that 77 per cent of 2,171 US adults surveyed said they were willing to pay more for items at small businesses in order to keep money within their communities and support local jobs.

60 per cent of respondents said they would pay a 10 per cent premium or more on Amazon prices.

PayPal co-founder’s installments firm, Affirm, rebrands, gets into travel (Payments Source) Rated: AAA

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has built a $1.8 billion business offering installment plans to American consumers. The problem: most shoppers have no idea they’re using his company, Affirm, when they choose how to pay at checkout.

Now, in an effort to make its name synonymous with online installment plans, Affirm is rebranding. Besides a new logo, the firm will list all the retailers it works with on its website. Affirm will also focus on travel, letting consumers pay for vacations over time.

Levchin Says Crypto Not a Good Currency But He Likes the Tech (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Estimates By $0.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA

.23 EPS (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.13 by ($0.23), MarketWatch Earnings reports. Elevate Credit had a positive return on equity of 12.69% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The business had revenue of $201.48 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $201.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.01 EPS. Elevate Credit’s quarterly revenue was up 16.6% on a year-over-year basis. Elevate Credit updated its FY18 guidance to $0.23-0.32 EPS.

Source: Fairfield Current

Amazon: Fundrise Allows You to Invest in Property Near Amazon’s DC Headquarters with New eFund (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Real estate investment platform Fundrise says it has been quietly accumulating property near the area Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has just announced they will be establishing a new headquarters. Amazon’s east coast headquarters will create a huge economic impact for the DC/Northern Virginia market, not to mention increased demand for housing and apartments. Fundrise says it has invested in 30 different buildings in expectation of rising demand. Fundrise is offering a new investment fund for this purpose: HQ2 DC eFund.

According to Fundrise, the fund already features residential properties – ranging from houses, townhomes and condominiums – with plans to invest as much as $50 million in the area. This eFund, issued under Reg A+,  allows any investor the opportunity to capitalize on expected local real estate growth in the wake of Amazon’s announcement.

RealtyShares starting to crumble after lack of venture capital (Born2Invest) Rated: A

The website started out strong. From 2014 to 2016, venture capital was pouring in from crowdfunding firms. However, investors became less interested in the portal as the investment minimum started to ramp up steadily. Company founder Nav Athwal, who had left the company’s board earlier this year, is still a minority shareholder. He also has no idea what happened to the company he helped found.

He, however, has a few words for startups. “Don’t let your burn rates get really large, strive for cash-efficiency or profitability sooner rather than later. Build a resilient business that can continue growing, regardless of where the venture capital markets are.” He adds that a startup should understand its investors and its growth limit as well.

Are we in an online lending bubble? (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

We’re in an interesting time in online lending. After years of fits and starts and boatloads of money flowing into the sector, record originations are being set all over the industry. We recently explored online lending trends going into 2019 and what participants in the sector are expecting in the near future.

Both consumer and business lenders are tracking strongly:

While personal loans have surged to a record as the fastest-growing U.S. consumer-lending category, according to data from credit bureau TransUnion, it’s fintech firms that are driving a lot of that growth.

Source: Tearsheet

Amalgamated Bank joins $ 26 million closing of Insikt social bond securitization (Impact Alpha) Rated: A

The fintech firm packages up the loans the into securities, which it then issues as bonds to financial institutions, foundations and private investors. Its latest $26 million securitizationattracted Amalgamated Bank, a B-corp-certified commercial bank that went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in June.

The issuance marks Insikt’s fifth securitization this year, backed by 21,000 loans. INSIKT’s total securitization volume across 16 issuances reached $273 million.

If Recession Comes in 2020, What Will Innovation Look Like? (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase last month predicted a 60% chance of recession by 2020, and that increases to an 80% chance by 2021. It’s not clear how traumatic an event it would be for the U.S. economy, but considering all the new players that have jumped onto the financial scene since the last downturn a decade ago.

CrowdOut Funds More “Eatertainment” (Business Wire) Rated: A

CrowdOut Capital announced the completion of a $20 million facility to Punch Bowl Social, the L Catterton–backed restaurant group that is defining the evolving category of experiential dining. The proceeds will enable the leader in the “eatertainment movement” to open multiple new locations throughout the U.S. This marks the second time Punch Bowl Social has worked with CrowdOut, choosing its flexible debt over traditional loans from financial institutions.

Sell Your House Without Making a Move – Figure Introduces a Smart Alternative for Baby Boomers to Secure Their Retirement (Corp Magazine) Rated: A

Figure Technologies, Inc. (Figure), a FinTech company creating innovative products and tools that empower homeowners to improve their finances, announced today Figure Home Advantage, a smart sell-and-leaseback alternative to reverse mortgages for retirees and a new way for Baby Boomers to lock in record housing prices as they plan their retirement. With Figure Home Advantage, homeowners convert their home equity into cash they can put to use now while continuing to enjoy life at home without the ongoing burden of property taxes, repairs, and maintenance.

Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old in the U.S. every day. A study by the National Conference of State Legislators and AARP found that 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as absolutely possible. Yet, most older Americans don’t have enough savings to cover retirement expenses or realize the lifestyle they’d imagined. According to a survey by the Insured Research Institute (IRI), only 25 percent of Baby Boomers believe they will have enough money in retirement.

Lenders Extending More Loans to Subprime Consumers as Credit Market Continues to Exhibit Signs of Strength (AP News) Rated: A

Auto loans, credit cards and personal loans all saw year-over-year growth in subprime originations this past quarter, a sign that lenders are returning to this space following several consecutive quarters of declining originations. The latest TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Industry Insights Report includes insights into consumer credit trends around personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and mortgage loans through the third quarter of 2018.

TransUnion’s report found that origination growth in the subprime risk tier grew at a significant rate across auto, personal loans and credit cards following declines in 2017. Subprime originations in the personal loan category grew 28% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 (originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag), compared to a yearly decline of 7.1% over the prior year. Auto showcased a similar trend, as independent lenders began issuing new loans to subprime consumers following industry pullback in 2016 and 2017. Subprime auto originations increased 7.3% year-over-year, after falling 7.8% year-over-year in Q2 2017.

Are you a minority borrower? You might want to think twice about using an online lender. (The Washington Post) Rated: A

It’s not just bank loan officers with racial biases who discriminate against black and Latino borrowers. Computer algorithms do, too.

That is the groundbreaking conclusion of University of California at Berkeley researchers who found that algorithmic credit scoring using big data is no better than humans at evening the playing field when it comes to determining home mortgage interest rates.

Both online and human lenders earn 11 to 17 percent higher profits off minority borrowers by charging African Americans and Latinos steeper rates, the study said. Black and Latino consumers pay 5.6 to 8.6 basis points higher interest on home purchase loans than their white or Asian counterparts with similar credit profiles — no matter whether they obtained their loans through a face-to-face process or online. The effect is smaller when it comes to refinancing, with black and Latino borrowers paying 3 basis points more.

Read the full report here.

AI-Driven Lead Distribution for Mortgage Lending Helps Loan Officers Deliver Faster Results (Verb Factory Email) Rated: A

ProPair, an innovative mortgage-industry technology start-up based in Silicon Valley, today launched an AI-based lead distribution solution that eliminates the uncertainty of the lead assignment process while optimizing results and ensuring fairness in the assignment process. Using artificial intelligence to correlate lead data with information about individual loan officers, ProPair facilitates the lead assignment process to allow lenders to distribute leads to maximize the performance of the entire loan team.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Provides $ 190 Million Financing for BM Eagle’s 17 SNF Portfolio (Business Wire) Rated: B

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC (“White Oak”), today announced it acted as administrative agent and lead lender on the funding of a $190 million senior credit facility of 17 skilled nursing facilities for BM Eagle Holdings, LLC (“BM Eagle”), a joint venture led by affiliates of BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC (“BlueMountain”). The facilities are located in Northern California and New England.

United Kingdom

Zopa: Parents borrowing from children’s piggy banks (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

ZOPA research has found that two fifths of parents have admitted to raiding their children’s piggy banks to borrow cash.

Parents surveyed by the peer-to-peer consumer lender confessed to borrowing money from their kids with a fifth taking over £250 a year.

However, 80 per cent of parents said they will also be giving their children cash as a Christmas present this year.

Nearly a quarter of children can look forward to a gift of up to £100, whilst a lucky three per cent will be receiving more than £500 in cash.

Revolut is in talks with Softbank to raise $ 500 million (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

UK neobank Revolut is currently in talks with the Softbank fund, which is worth $92 billion, for its next funding round, according to City AM. The talks are still early on, but the funding round could be as high as $500 million. It’s not clear whether existing investors, including Draper Esprit and Index Ventures, would participate in the next round.

Source: Business Insider

Monzo to offer cash deposits via PayPoint (FinExtra) Rated: A

PayPoint has announced today that challenger bank, Monzo, has chosen PayPoint’s cash payments solution for its current account holders. Beginning Wednesday 21 November, customers will be able to deposit up to £300 cash directly into their Monzo account in a single transaction at any of PayPoint’s 28,000 convenience stores nationwide.

Starling Bank’s £10m funding helps it make a stand to Monzo (Fintech Future) Rated: A

Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank, has secured £10 million of new capital from Bahamas-based hedge fund manager Harald McPike.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the funding is in preparation for a £80 million round to keep up, or perhaps surpass, other mobile challengers like Monzo, which recently raised £85 millionto reach a £1.5 billion valuation, and getting over 1.1 million customers.

Why data scientists solve irrelevant problems (Bobs Guide) Rated: A

In today’s challenging financial market businesses need to utilize every available resource and technology to reduce risk when processing payments and credit applications. One area in particular that is often talked about, but still either under or incorrectly utilized, is data science.

While many financial institutions are working towards implementing data science within their risk decisioning processes many are still working on creating an environment and culture that allows data scientists to be fully effective.

In a recent webinar Ken Schultz, VP of data science at Elevate Credit – better known under their brand Sunny in the UK -discussed the benefits data science can bring to a financial services organization, including the opportunity to increase accuracy, expand your market, and reduce fraud, all of which can be used to drive business growth.

Lending Works Appoints Three New Board Members, Targets P2P Growth (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Peer to peer lender Lending Works has selected three new members for their Board of Directors. The online lender has appointed; Simon Waugh, former Chairman of CMC Markets, Deputy CEO of British Gas, Paul Noble, CEO of Honeycomb Finance, a Pollen Street Capital business, and Melanie Goward, Investment Director of Maven Capital Partners.

Barclays partners with MarketInvoice (The MarketInvoice Blog) Rated: B

MarketInvoice and Barclays today announced a partnership deal that is set to transform the way small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth.

The bank has committed to a significant minority stake in MarketInvoice to give Barclays’ SME clients seamless access to innovative forms of finance. The new partnership is a key part of Barclays’ plans to invest in new business models for growth, and MarketInvoice’s ambition to broaden its reach across the UK.

China

Shares of LexinFintech Jump 8% In Early Trading as Earnings Soar 363% (Capital Watch) Rated: AAA

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: LX) saw its shares jump more than 8 percent in early trading Wednesday after the company, an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter with net income increasing more than fourfold.

Despite recent market uncertainty, the Shenzhen-based lender said its operating revenue for the third three months increased more than 13 percent year-over-year to $246.7 million thanks to a 404 percent jump in income from its loan facilitation and servicing fees.

Net income for the quarter was $46 million, or 25 cents per fully diluted ADS, up from $9.93 million a year ago.

Source: Capital Watch

Tencent reboots profits as growth picks up beyond games (Nikkei Asian Review) Rated: AAA

China’s Tencent Holdings handed investors a much-needed profit recovery in the third quarter as revenue rose beyond online games, but the company warned that stricter regulation by Beijing on online advertising could sap growth.

The social media and online game group, which has lost about 40% of its market value since March as China has stalled approval of new games, beat market forecasts thanks to contributions from ads and cloud computing.

Source: Nikkei

China Rapid Finance to Announce Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results on November 20, 2018 (Acrofan) Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE: XRF), operator of one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, today announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, after U.S. market closes.

China Rapid Finance’s management will host an earnings conference call at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 20, 2018, (9:00 a.m. Beijing/Hong Kong Time on November 21, 2018).

Why China’s online lending crisis makes liberalisation of bank interest rates more urgent (South China Morning Post) Rated: A

How big is China’s fintech sector? I would say, Britain’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Circle plus payday lender Wonga times 100. In addition to giants such as Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Pingan’s Lufax and Tencent’s WeBank, a dozen mid-size operators have gone public in the US and Hong Kong in the past 18 months alone. There are also 40 to 50 serious players that are waiting in the wings to go public. However, as the year-long official clampdown has revealed, there are far too many also-ran operators and Ponzi schemes about.

In just five to six years, fintech has surged to levels over US$200 billion in terms of total assets.

Cash-Strapped Online Lenders Ordered to Repay Investors (Caixin Global) Rated: A

Some local governments have ordered cash-strapped peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms to begin repaying their investors to head off growing turmoil in the industry.

Hangzhou-based P2P lending platform Yucaiyuan recently announced that the company “did not meet regulatory requirements and was ordered to start repaying (investors),” according to a post on the lender’s website (link in Chinese). The firm will have to repay the principal and interest on all outstanding loans until investors are fully repaid. It has 12 months to do so.

Regulators in the eastern city want to rein in what had once been runaway growth in the industry. They plan to do this by clearing out small and midsize platforms one step at a time, a P2P lender told Caixin.

European Union

Fintonic Links Up with Amazon (Finovate) Rated: AAA

Personal finance app Fintonic announced today it will collaborate with Amazon in Spain. Starting next week, Fintonic customers in Spain will be able to finance their Amazon.es purchases ranging from $225 to $1,100 (€200 to €1,000) at a rate of 0% interest for up to four months.

Mintos to Provide Debit Cards and IBAN Accounts to Investors (P2P Banking) Rated: AAA

P2P lending marketplace Mintos has raised 5 million EUR in a Series A. The money is earmarked to provide new features for investors.

Crowdlending campaign raises total of €1.5 million for the first time (The Brussels Times) Rated: A

A crowdlending campaign has, for the first time, raised a total of €1.5 million in Belgium.

The announcement came on Wednesday from the platform Look&Fin, which specialises in such participative finance loans. The company, Carimat Matériaux, based in Braine-le-Château and active in construction, has raised this record amount.

In total, 483 individuals have invested in Carimat Matériaux, for a global total of €1.5 million. The group, which has specialised in construction since 1988, recorded a turnover of €56 million in 2017 and employs more than 170 people.

Berlin-based fintech startup Bonify raises funding to provide free credit scores and financial advice (EU Startups) Rated: A

Want to apply for a loan, but you’re unsure about your credit score? The Berlin-based startup Bonify provides free, easy-to-read credit reports. Users can use the startup’s platform or app to check and correct their scores, monitor changes, and receive tips on personal finance and how to optimise their scores.

Bonify evaluates consumers real-time creditworthiness, enabling them to improve their financial wellbeing through tailored financial and non-financial recommendations. The app delivers recommendations for how consumers can save money, for instance by switching to a different loan or energy provider. Bonify is also able to predict six to eight weeks in advance when its users might go into their overdraft, and provide personalised suggestions for how to avoid this.

Italian lendtech Credimi feeling dreamy with €10m funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

The investment funds came via United Ventures and Vertis, as well as some of the (unnamed) investors who took part in the first round of €8.5 million in September 2015.

Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, Credimi founder and CEO, and cool name winner, says: “Credimi’s initial start-up phase has been exhilarating, with results that have far exceeded our expectations.

SME Online Lender Creditshelf Names Fabian Brügmann New CFO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Creditshelf Aktiengesellschaft, a Germany based online lender, announced on Wednesday it has appointed Fabian Brügmann as its new CFO, effective on January 15, 2019. The lender reported that this appointment continues its planned expansion of its management team and in the newly formed position, Brügmann will be responsible for Finance and Investor Relations and directly report to Dr. Tim Thabe, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Creditshelf. He will not serve as a member of the Management Board himself.

According to Creditshelf, Brügmann previously worked as Director of Investor Relations at Commerzbank AG, where he was the contact for shareholders, fixed-income investors, and sell-side analysts. He joined the bank’s Corporate Development and Corporate Finance team in 2012. As IR Manager, Brügmann worked on the capital market communication for the “Commerzbank 4.0” strategy. He previously spent six years with the U.S. bank Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt and London.

Small Business Lender iwoca Appoints Seema Desai as COO (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Online lender iwoca has selected Seema Desai as their new Chief Operations Officer (COO). iwoca provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany, and Poland via its website and through partner integrations using its proprietary Lending API.

Desai joined iwoca in January 2017 as Head of People, developing the company’s organizational capabilities. Prior to joining iwoca, Seema led the development of the Innovative Finance ISA at peer-to-peer lender Zopa as Head of Product.

As COO, Desai is expected to help scale customer service that has helped propel iwoca to become one of the fastest growing business lender in the UK.

International

Prodigy Finance Launches Refinance Product for International Working Graduates Looking to Reduce Financial Costs (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Prodigy Finance, the pioneer in cross-border finance, announces the launch of a loan refinance product for international working graduates looking to reduce their student debt. The product will allow these alumni, who previously had limited options available to them, to save at least US$20,0001 over the life of the loan, by accessing lower rates and choices of terms.

The edge a serial entrepreneur sees in challenger banks (American Banker) Rated: A

Challenger bank entrepreneur Anthony Thomson has had several lives in banking and fintech.

In 2010, with Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill, he co-founded Metro Bank, which started with one location in London and now has more than 56 branches and 2,800 employees. Thomson founded a second challenger bank in 2014 called Atom Bank, the first mobile-only bank in the U.K. As of March, it had 1.3 billion pounds of deposits and lent 1.2 billion pounds in mortgages and small-business loans.

Thomson is currently working on his third institution, called 86,400, a mobile-first challenger bank slated to launch in Australia in early 2019.

So it’s fair to say Thomson has learned a lot about what it takes to raise money and how to make it as a neobank entrepreneur.

The Ripple Effect: Crypto Backed Lending Platform Exploring XRP-Powered xRapid (The Daily Hodl) Rated: A

The crypto lending platform Nexo says it’s exploring Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP to boost the speed and lower the cost of cross-border payments. The announcement comes from Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder and managing partner of Nexo.

The company is backed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and calls itself a “decentralized lending ecosystem that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime.” It uses a long list of banking and exchange partners to deliver loans.

Nexo follows the payment company and Ripple partner TransferGo, which also revealed its interest in xRapid this week. Nexo recently added XRP to its platform, becoming one of the first lenders to use XRP as collateral.

MSTS Makes B2B Commerce Effortless for SMBs with Credit as a Service (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

MSTS, a global B2B payment and credit solutions provider, today announced that its innovative Credit as a Service solution is now available to mid-market and small businesses.

The original enterprise product, with a record of accelerating sales growth for companies by as much as 500 percent, has been optimized to meet the needs of businesses with simpler payment and credit processes. The cloud-based Credit as a Service solution for mid-market businesses can issue credit lines in less than a minute, automate the customer onboarding process and apply unique B2B customer invoicing, accounts payable and payment term requirements – providing customers flexibility and an enhanced experience.

MSTS works with B2B companies across transportation, manufacturing, retail and eCommerce.

Australia

Advice demand soaring in Australia despite trust issues (International Investment) Rated: AAA

The 2018 Financial Advice Report from Investment Trends found that an estimated 2.1 million adults intend to turn to a financial planner for advice, up from 1.6 million in 2017.

However, trust levels in banks and financial planners fell severely over that same period. On a scale of 0 to 10, banks fell from a trust rating of 5.5 to 4.8, while financial planners fell from 5.1 to 4.8.

The report found more than 40% of Australians do not believe the financial services and banking industries are meeting their obligations to everyday citizens.

Big banks welcome government competition for small end of town (Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: A

Australia’s biggest banks insist they welcome the prospect of looming lending competition from the federal government’s proposed $2 billion small business loan plan.

Under the policy unveiled by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday the government will establish a $2 billion securitisation fund which it will use to buy pools of small business loans from smaller banks and non-bank lenders.

Small business cheer $ 2b end to funding drought (Australian Financial Review) Rated: A

Small business and non-bank lenders have endorsed the Morrison government’s plans to inject $2 billion into the small and medium enterprise loan market.

But regulatory experts warned the government must avoid taking too much financial risk and not weaken bank rules in its quest to stimulate SME funding via a separate proposed bank-financed Australian Business Growth Fund.

Piper Alderman brings in financial services team (Australasian Lawyer) Rated: B

A national firm has added a financial services team, including a new partner in Sydney.

Andrea Beatty has commenced at Piper Alderman as a partner. She brought to the firm two other lawyers and an administrative assistant from NewLaw outfit Keypoint Law, where she was a consulting principal since 2016.

With more than 20 years’ experience in financial services regulation and corporate finance, Beatty is a former partner at legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques and then at K&L Gates.

Asia

New securities law sparks concerns from expert (Vietnam News) Rated: AAA

Under the revised draft Law on Securities, the foreign ownership ratio in a public company is expanded up to 100 per cent. Previous regulations had capped foreign ownership at 49 per cent. However, this ratio in commercial banks, which is a much-concerned issue recently, was not mentioned in the draft. Why?

The draft has removed limits on how many voting shares foreign investors can buy in public Vietnamese companies. This indicates that the Government has sped up the equitisation process in State-owned enterprises, especially in non-essential sectors that are not too sensitive to the economy. However, under the draft, some conditional business lines, such as commercial banks, would retain their existing 30 per cent limit. I agree with this provision of the drafting agency.

How Standard Chartered Bank is tackling digital disruption (Tech in Asia) Rated: A

While banks have not been immune to the technology bug that has spread in the last few decades, digitization in the industry has only largely been implemented “for purpose in the back end,” according to Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer at Standard Chartered Bank.

“Fifty years ago, we introduced mainframes. We took paper ledgers and put them into computers,” the CIO explains.

But the emergence of a tech-savvy millennial generation is bringing about “the first real massive change in banks since the inception of banking,” he says. As such, banks like Standard Chartered have to digitize front-facing processes or risk losing their customers.

Eurasia

Russian Online Lender MFC Zaymer Joins Robo.cash (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Automated peer to peer platform Robo.cash has issued a note saying Russian microfinance company MFC Zaymer is joining their platform. The company operates Zaymer.ru that offers short-term (payday) loans with interest rates for investors of 14% in Euros and up to 18% for loans originated in Rubles.

Africa

Nigeria dials up mobile banking revolution (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Nigeria’s central bank is looking to increase access to millions of people by opening up the banking system to non-financial companies for the first time; South African telecom operator MTN is set to be the biggest beneficiary with more than 50 million customers located in Nigeria; MTN is planning to apply for a banking license soon with the hopes of having their Mobile Money product available in country by Q2 2019; more than 60 million people in Nigeria do not have bank accounts, showing there is an enormous opportunity for telcos to expand the banking footprint.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday August 20 2018, Daily News Digest

transition states

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi is shopping for $1B credit line. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018.2. Monzo headed to unicorn status. China Rapid Finance debuts up to $20M share repurchase program. Today’s main analysis: Forcasting cash flows using machine learning. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Report sheds light on early success of real […]

transition states

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Eyes $ 1B Credit Line, Post Q2 Loss (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Student loan refinancing company Social Finance (SoFi) is looking for a loan of its own: The company is in talks with banks to secure a revolving credit line of as much as $1 billion after posting a second-quarter loss.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018-2 (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Prosper Marketplace Lending Issuance Trust 2018-2 (“PMIT 2018-2”). This is a $500.5 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings: Prosper Marketplace Issuance Trust, Series 2018-2

Class Preliminary Rating Initial Class Principal
A A+ (sf) $335,500,000
B BBB (sf) $59,950,000
C B+ (sf) $105,050,000

Forecasting Cashflows using Machine Learning, Strong Retail Sales Report (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The price of a loan is the present value of the loan’s cashflows (after accounting for losses and prepayments), discounted by an appropriate discount rate:

Source: PeerIQ

Cashflow Modeling with Credit Models

The inputs of a credit model are loan attributes and borrower factors such as:

  • Originator of the Loan
  • Term of the Loan
  • Interest Rate on the Loan
  • Original Principal of the Loan
  • Age of the Loan (Months on Book)
  • Loan Grade
  • Prior Loan Status
  • Borrower’s Credit Score at Origination

The sparse transition model assumes 7 possible loan statuses which describe the performance of the loan:

  1. Current (or Status C)
  2. 1 Month Delinquent (or Status 1)
  3. 2 Month Delinquent (or Status 2)
  4. 3 Month Delinquent (or Status 3)
  5. 4 Month Delinquent (or Status 4)
  6. Default (or Status D)
  7. Paid Off (or Status P)
Source: PeerIQ

Once a loan arrives at a terminal absorbing state (“Defaulted” or “Paid Off”) there is no future possible transition as there are no further cashflows. Therefore, the probability of a loan remaining defaulted is 100%.

Source: PeerIQ

Model Calibration

Source: PeerIQ

PeerIQ CEO Ram Ahluwalia on OCC Fintech Charter: Consumers Win if it is Implemented Correctly (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

We asked Ahluwalia who will benefit from the OCC Fintech Charter and whether it was big tech, Fintechs or other.

“The long-term winner of the charter is the US consumer who will benefit from greater competition, innovation, and access to the financial system. New technology and entrants will also promote the dynamism and resilience of the US financial system,” stated Ahluwalia. “Payments companies that seek to compete with Visa / Mastercard also stand to benefit. Payments arms of firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and PayPal would fit the profile, as well as large non-bank lenders that can demonstrate sustainable profitability de-risked their business models. Fintech lenders are a major winner as well as they’ll be able to compete on a more level playing field. Big technology firms have an opportunity to expand their role in financial services as well.”

New Research Sheds Light on Early Successes  of Real Estate Crowdfunding (EquityMultiple Email), Rated: AAA

Some of the survey’s key findings include:

  • A full 65 percent of respondents plan to allocate at least 10 percent of their portfolios to real estate crowdfunding sites, with nearly 40 percent expecting to allocate at least 20 percent
  • More than 60 percent of respondents report typical annual returns of at least 8 percent
  • Respondents considered “transparency and details with respect to investment opportunities” the most critical factor in a crowdfunding platform, exceeding all other choices, including “attentive customer service” and “diversity of investment opportunities”
  • With respect to individual investments, “geographic focus” (i.e. where a property is located) matters less to investors than “sponsor/lender experience”, the property’s upside potential or several other factors
Source: Real Estate Crowdfunding Investor Preferences

Read the full report here.

Key Facts About the SBA (Email from SmartBiz Loans ) Rated: AAA

Source: SmartBiz Loans

Many Fintech Names on the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Of the 5,000 companies on this year’s list exactly 233 are in the financial services category. Below is a screenshot of the top 10 companies in this category. Leading the list is Fundrise, the real estate platform for individual investors, a name that would be familiar to Lend Academy readers (I interviewed CEO Ben Miller on the podcast last year). Another well known name is Fundera, the small business lending marketplace, who were the third fastest growing company in our category. I encourage you to explore the complete list here where you can search for specific companies or filter by industry, state and many other criteria.

Source: Lend Academy

Treasury’s plan to legitimize online lenders is good for small businesses (The Guardian) Rated: A

Companies in this industry such as KabbageLending Club and BlueVine have grown significantly over the past few years by offering financing to many small businesses that otherwise would not be able to get loans. Their deals are quick to approve, rarely require collateral and are usually tied in to a customer’s financial systems for close monitoring.

Last month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that it was moving ahead with its plan to allow online lenders to apply for banking charters. When recognized as a bank, those types of financiers would no longer have to comply with state laws and would instead be subject to federal banking regulations. “Companies that provide banking services in innovative ways deserve the opportunity to pursue that business on a national scale as a federally chartered, regulated bank,” Joseph Otting, the comptroller of the currency, one of the country’s top financial regulators, told the Los Angeles Times.

RPT-‘Fintechs’ sound cautious note on offer of U.S. bank charter (Rueters) Rated: A

Financial technology companies that lend online are sounding a cautious note on a U.S. banking regulator’s plan to offer them special federal charters because of concerns over legal challenges and requirements that are more onerous than expected.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said last month it would accept applications for banking licenses from the likes of LendingClub and OnDeck Capital Inc, online lenders that do business outside the traditional banking system. They then could operate nationwide under one banking license rather than a patchwork of state-specific regulations.

Fintech executives lobbied for the license and applauded the OCC’s decision, but they are not immediately rushing in, they told Reuters.

CRA-like standards for fintechs could reduce access to credit (American Banker) Rated: A

As reported in American Banker, consumer advocacy groups are concerned that financial inclusion expectations for fintechs chartered as special-purpose national banks may not perfectly mirror the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act.

This possibility exists because the final version of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s licensing manual supplement for fintechs lacks the same level of specificity as the draft manual that was published for comment last March. Consumer advocates have been steadfast in their insistence that the substance of the CRA, which by its terms applies only to depository institutions, be applied to nondepository fintech national banks. Yet imposing CRA-like requirements on these institutions would likely result in reduced credit opportunities for low-income communities.

Walmart And Others Offer Workers Payday Loan Alternative (NPR) Rated: A

So when Loving heard about a company called PayActiv, a tech startup that helps companies get their workers emergency cash for very small fees, “I thought to myself, now that’s a good idea,” he says. And he signed up.

“Our data analysis showed that it was close to $150 a month being paid by the working poor — per employee or per hourly worker in this country,” says Shah. “That’s a substantial sum of money because it’s about $1,800 or $2,000 a year.”

Venmo competitor Zelle wants to let you pay businesses, too (Payment Source) Rated: A

Zelle, a Venmo-style app that lets consumers send money to friends, roommates and babysitters, is working on ways to ensure that customers can safely pay small businesses as well, according to people familiar with the situation.

Zelle, backed by Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks, is beefing up its risk-assessment tools as part of the effort, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the feature hasn’t been announced. The idea is to help protect users when they’re paying businesses like gardeners and hairdressers.

TransUnion Unveils Solution to Extend Real-Time Credit Offers (DSNews) Rated: A

To meet the evolving needs of consumers, Chicago-based TransUnion has announced the launch of credit offers through a simplified, SMS-initiated, mobile experience. The technology seamlessly integrates real-time credit decisioning with consumer and device authentication, creating a secure, personalized, and dynamic user experience.

Credit Karma acquires US lendtech Approved (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

Credit Karma, based in San Francisco, has 80 million members across North America, almost half of which are millennials and 80% of which access the service via their mobile devices.

Andy Taylor, founder and CEO of Approved, says it started the firm with a “vision that borrowers could visit an open house not having even talked with a lender, find the home of their dreams, and get fully pre-qualified on their mobile device before a listing agent offered them a business card”.

With this joint mobile mentality, both firms will be looking to cash in from the crowded US mortgage market. Approved says it has done nearly $5 billion in loan originations.

RealtyShares and Novaya Real Estate Ventures Exit Industrial Property Investment (Herald Courier), Rated: B

RealtyShares, an online platform for commercial real estate investing, has announced that one of its investment syndicates recently exited an industrial investment property—1 Distribution Center Circle in Littleton, Massachusetts—in partnership with Novaya Real Estate Ventures, an established Boston-based operator of commercial real estate throughout New England.

United Kingdom

Monzo poised to join ranks of Europe’s fintech ‘unicorns’ (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Monzo, the British digital bank popular with millennials, is set to become the latest European fintech “unicorn” with a fresh round of fundraising expected to put a valuation on the company of up to $1.5bn.

The east London-based online bank, known for its distinctive pink cards, is signing up 18,000 customers a week and aims to reach as many as 4m customers in the next couple of years, according to Tom Blomfield, its chief executive.

Seven out of 10 people in UK now bank online (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

While email is still the most common reason people use the internet, online banking is the fastest-growing use. According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics — looking at the UK population, not just internet users — 69 per cent said they banked online, almost double the proportion recorded 10 years ago (35 per cent).

The ONS began running its survey in 1998. In the case of internet usage, people were asked about their use in the January, February and April before the survey.

Source: Financial Times

How P2P plugged the funding gap for small businesses (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

BEFORE the global financial crisis, banks were the lender of choice for Britain’s small businesses, and perhaps the only option they would consider.

Since then, banks have become more risk averse and are pulling back from lending in some parts of the market, especially since the EU referendum. Peer-to-peer, or rather peer-to-business (P2B), lending has stepped in to fill the gap.

The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) says the industry provided £660m of new lending to businesses in the first quarter of 2018 and, since the third quarter of 2017, there has been a 35 per cent increase in net lending.

US-based payday loan giants Curo, QuickQuid and Lending Stream could face legal action in ‘bigger scandal than PPI’ (Daily Mail Online) Rated: A

Giant American payday lenders could face legal action in the UK today after they were accused of mis-selling loans to up to a million Britons.

Paydayrefunds.co.uk are preparing legal action against Quickquid, Curo and Lending Stream after the US-payday lending giants have so far refused to disclose information on customers who could be due tens of millions of pounds back in compensation.

The company issued a letter of action six months ago, which is due to run out next Friday. Paydayrefunds.co.uk revealed they have already appointed a barrister in preparation for issuing an injunction at the High Court against the lenders.

Income investing, inflation and P2P lending (Investors Chronicle), Rated: A

Emma Aygemang gives us a report on the Financial Conduct Authority’s study on peer-to-peer (P2P) investing, and there’s a discussion on the implications of restricting the sector to private investors, and where P2P providers need to up their game.

Crypto Lending App Lndr, Adds PayPal Integration to Increase Adoption Rates (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

A new cryptocurrency lending app called Lndr is planning integration with one of the most popular financial services in the world: PayPal. This integration will open the ownership to digital assets to 100 million people around the world, which can cause an unseen widespread of cryptocurrency usage even for people who never before considered using cryptocurrencies.

China

China Rapid Finance Debuts Up to $ 20 Million Share Repurchase Program (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE: XRF), one of China’s largest consumer lending marketplaces, announced earlier this week the launch of its new share repurchase program, which allows the lender to authorized the repurchase of its ordinary shares in the form of American depositary shares with an aggregate value of up to $20 million.

China regulator orders bailout of peer-to-peer lenders by managers of distressed assets (SCMP), Rated: A

During a Wednesday meeting in Beijing, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asked four managers of distressed assets – Huarong, Cinda, Great Wall and Orient – to extend their mandate to non-performing loans owed by peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, according to a source familiar with the matter. The meeting was first reported by Reuters on Thursday.

Regulations help resolve P2P plight in China (Global Times) Rated: A

In July, a total of 165 platforms reported problems, among which 65 percent had difficulties in investments withdrawal, while executives of 8.72 percent of those firms stole money and ran away, according to a report released by domestic industry website wdzj.com on August 1.

Accumulated transactions in the domestic P2P industry had reached 7.48 trillion yuan by the end of July, the report said.

On Wednesday, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asked the country’s four State-owned asset management companies to help address rising risks in the P2P sector, according to media reports.

China orders bad-loan managers to help failing P2P lenders (Financial Times), Rated: A

China’s banking regulator has instructed the country’s four state-owned bad loan managers to deal with failing peer-to-peer lending platforms, a sign of Beijing’s concern about possible financial and social instability from the shadow banking sector.

Hundreds of P2P platforms have collapsed in recent months due to borrower defaults and fraud by platform operators. The defaults have sparked panic among investors, some of whom have sought early redemption of their investments.

European Union

European IPOs may shake off sluggish start with a fall bonanza (Gulf Times) Rated: AAA

European markets are set to see a slew of big initial public offerings this fall. Potential mega listings – from companies such as Aston Martin, Volvo Cars and Spanish oil firm Cepsa Trading – could help Europe overcome a relatively slow first half. IPOs there have raised about $31bn in 2018 so far, compared with almost $38bn in the same period last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Still, volatile markets threaten to spook investors and owners away from new share sales. Concerns that turmoil in Turkey could hurt the region’s lenders has added to pressure on European stocks from the US-China trade spat. Commodities have tumbled along with US equities, fuelling fears that the sell- off may be the start of a broader market correction.

International

Disruption or evolution? Why blockchain is the future of global lending (IT Pro Portal), Rated: AAA

Global spending on blockchain solutions is estimated to reach $2.1 billion this year, but for there to be a blockchain revolution, many barriers – technological, political, organisational and societal – need to be overcome first.

Currently, citizens in Europe have the lowest levels of ‘complete trust’ in traditional banks. This is worrying, given money is simply a means of exchange, built on the trust bestowed upon it.

However, some bankers will tell you the traditional financial system is ‘global’ and ‘efficient’ as it is, despite being fully aware of its flaws. In our industry, lending, if you’re currently a non-bank lender who would like to diversify your global lending potential, you will find that it is punitively expensive, time-consuming and exclusive to large funds and traders. This ultimately reduces the potential reward for non-bank lenders through fees.

Given the astonishing fact 39 percent of the world’s population are unbanked, blockchain technologies and associated crypto currencies could open the door for anyone, anywhere to lend, borrow and invest. All you need is internet access.

Australia

Aussies borrow money not knowing how personal loans are assessed, study finds (Daily Telegraph) Rated: AAA

AUSTRALIANS have borrowed $46.6 billion in personal loans over the past 12 months, research has found, but experts claim many are unaware of how loan applications are assessed and how they may affect their own credit scores.

RateCity analysed Australian Bureau of Statistics data from the past 12 months and found personal loan numbers were up 6.4 per cent year on year, with more than half a million Australians using them to buy cars in that period. The total borrowing for new cars was $8.33 billion at an average loan size of $36,341; while a further $5.88 billion was borrowed for used cars.

On top of this, we borrowed $6.05 billion for debt consolidation and $2.54 billion for household goods, but despite the huge outlay, many borrowers are confused about how personal loans work and why they may not be offered the low interest rates they see on advertisements.

India

P2P has great potential, but too early to compare with equities (India Times), Rated: A

People with zero or poor credit score find it hard to get a loan from NBFCs and banks. P2P aims to serve such unbanked and underbanked population. Tell us how do you do it?
NBFCs and banks also lend to people ‘new to credit’. These people typically have a financial transaction whether in form of a bank account or income data, whether salaried or self-employed, and can be validated on the risk ratios, basis the information.

Asia

Cambodia Establishes New Fintech Association (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Cambodia Fintech Association also reported it undertakes four major streams of work on behalf of its members, which are the following:

  • Champion: Advise government and regulators on policy change that supports Fintech innovation and growth
  • Assist: Provide research, legal/regulatory help, service provider discounts and other benefits that help our members build and scale their Startups
  • Match: Get customers to buy, investors to invest, and talent to get involved in Fintech solutions
  • Bridging: Connect ventures (capital), talents (education) and other stakeholders within the Cambodia Fintech ecosystem and provide connections to overseas hubs through our network Events and Partners

According to the Phnom Penh Post, CFA Vice President, Eddie Lee, stated that Cambodia is currently progressing in its fintech, but startups are slowly starting to surface in the country. Lee also explained that CFA has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Fintech Association, Thailand Fintech Association and Singapore Fintech Association to establish bridges with similar groups in the region. He added that the next step is to register the CFA with the Asian Fintech Network.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday April 19 2018, Daily News Digest

Personal Loan providers

News Comments Today’s main news: Tala raises $65M for international expansion. The House Crowd hits 1M GBP in one day. Silicon Valley investment into UK hits $1B. 100Credit gets $159M from state-owned fund in China. Mintos adds ID Finance loans issued in Kazakhstan. Today’s main analysis: The 5 best personal loans for good credit. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendIt Fintech […]

Personal Loan providers

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Fintech lender raises $ 65M to expand in developing nations (American Banker) Rated: AAA

A U.S.-based lender that targets borrowers in developing nations where credit scores are often hard to come by has raised $50 million in new equity funding.

Tala, based in Santa Monica, Calif., plans to use the latest round of funding to develop new products for its customers in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, India and Mexico.

It also raised $15 million in debt capital that it will use to fund loans.

Wrap-Up of LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Last week the sixth annual LendIt USA conference took place in San Francisco. Officially known as LendIt Fintech USA 2018 this event was, in my opinion, the best we have ever produced.

The opening keynote, for the second year in a row, was delivered by Scott Sanborn, the CEO of LendingClub. He gave a different kind of presentation this year. He didn’t talk much about LendingClub at all, instead choosing to focus his keynote on financial health and the looming crisis that maybe coming. He gave us all something to consider beyond just disruption, he said we should think about three key areas: financial inclusion, regulatory innovation and customer alignment. He ended with a call to action for the industry. He wanted everyone to focus on what problem you are solving and what you can do to help restore financial health to all Americans.

The 5 Best Personal Loans for Good Credit (Student Loan Hero) Rated: AAA

The average credit score of Americans is 700, based on April 2017 data from Fair Isaac Corp., an analytics company that issues the FICO credit score.

If your score meets or beats that average, it’s enough to put you in the good credit score range, which goes from 670 to 739. As a result, you should have a good chance of getting approved for some of the best personal loans for good credit.

Source: Student Loan Hero

Your Best Options If You Need a Personal Loan With a Cosigner (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

As you compare, you’ll find LendingClubCitizens Bank, and FreedomPlus— all online lenders that accept cosigners. They all accept FICO scores under 700, with LendingClub accepting FICO scores as low as 600.

Here’s a list of some online lenders that accept cosigners for personal loans:

  • LendingClub
  • Citizens Bank
  • FreedomPlus
  • Backed
  • OneMain Financial
  • LightStream

Avant vs. LendUp: Which Is Right for You? (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

Not only will Avant consider your application even if you have a low credit score, but working with this lender has other benefits.

  • You can get your money after one business day.
  • There are no prepayment fees.
  • Although the average customer has a credit score between 600 and 700, those with poor credit are also considered.
  • The company has a 95% customer satisfaction rate.
  • The lender offers self-service tools and live support seven days a week.

The biggest benefit of LendUp is the ability to get money fast. In certain states, you could even have your funds in 15 minutes. But there are some other positives as well.

  • There are multiple options if you’re having trouble paying back the loan.
  • Repeat customers can borrow more and at lower rates.
  • There’s an education platform with free videos and articles breaking down complex financial matters. It also teaches you how to make better money decisions.

Wunder Capital Raises $ 112 Million in Financing To Fuel Commercial Solar Growth in the U.S. (Crowdfunder Insider) Rated: A

Wunder Capital, a firm that develops and manages solar investment funds through partnerships, test processes, underwriting framework and its investment portal, announced on Wednesday it secured $112 million in equity and debt financing to accelerate the growth of the company.

9 Ways To Invest In Real Estate Without Buying Property (Forbes) Rated: A

Goldman Sachs Has Big Plans for Marcus and the Future of Retail Banking (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Blankfein commented on the other obvious strategic advantage. Their cost of capital is super low.  Unlike many of the early entrants into the online lending sector, Marcus has access to deposits via their acquisition of GE Capital Bank several years back – something no other US based online lender can claim. Even with their industry leading interest rate for current accounts (now 1.6% when most banks pay a fraction of that), Marcus can crush the competition in loan originations.

Goldman Sachs’ hot new business is lending to subprime consumers, and Wall Street’s starting to ask questions (Business Insider) Rated: B

Marcus has originated more than $3bn of loans since inception, recently it has become know that more than 10 percent of the loans were sub prime; they have said this is a natural evolution of the loan business and they are being very selective in approving of applications.

GreenSky Personal Loans Review: Low-Interest Loans for Home Improvement (Student Loan Hero) Rated: A

As an online loan servicer, GreenSky works with borrowers and merchants to provide low-cost personal loans for home improvement, specialty retail, and healthcare expenses. It’s funded more than $10 billion in loans to over 1.3 million customers, according to the lender.

Individual borrowers can apply for home improvement loans, which can be used for flooring, windows, landscaping, or other projects. Home improvement loans come with fixed APRs between 3.99% and 23.99%, as of April 18, 2018. You can choose terms of 42, 66, or 90 months. For the most up-to-date rates, check GreenSky’s website.

Real estate crowdfunding: What you need to know (Bankless Times) Rated: A

Right now, real estate crowdfunding companies are becoming very popular because they allow you to pool your resources in order to buy property or to finance real estate companies who are looking to build properties.

48 Million Detailed Psychometric Records on Individuals Leaked (InfoSecurity Magazine) Rated: B

About 48 million records of detailed personal information on tens of millions of individuals have been leaked, containing Cambridge Analytica–style information gathered and scraped from multiple sources.

The culprit, as is the case all too often, is a misconfigured cloud storage repository, in this case belonging to a company called LocalBlox. LocalBlox bills itself as a personal and business data search service, but it’s bread and butter is data-harvesting and the creation of psychometric profiles of individuals.

Point Initiates Forward Flow Purchase Program with Atalaya: Unlocking Home Equity Wealth (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Point, a fintech platform that allows homeowners to unlock home equity wealth without taking on new debt, has agreed to a forward flow purchase program with investment firm Atalaya Capital Management to purchase up to $150 million of Point’s structured home equity investment instruments.

StreetShares Appoints Mohan A. Rao New Chief Product & Technology Officer (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Financing military veteran-owned small businesses lender StreetShares announced on Wednesday it has appointed Mohan A. Rao as Chief Product and Technology Officer. According to the online lender,  Rao is the former Chief Technology Officer of Hobsons, Inc., and brings more than 25 years of experience with building software products, R&D, and management consulting to the StreetShares team.

Millennium Trust Recognized as “Professional Services Company of the Year” at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire) Rated: B

Millennium Trust Company, LLC, was honored at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 as the “Professional Services Company of the Year,” which is awarded to the service provider that has demonstrated deep expertise, unique value, strong ROI, commitment to clients, and the fostering of a deeper understanding of fintech. Organizations such as Cloud Lending Solutions, Deloitte, First Associates, Manatt and Salesforce also received nominations for the award.

Capsilon Expands Digital Mortgage Platform, Automating up to 80% of Manual Data Auditing & Processing Across Back Office (Capsilon) Rated: B

Capsilon, an enterprise SaaS digital mortgage solution partner to the mortgage industry, today announced the expansion of its digital mortgage platform through the addition of big data capabilities and a new set of smart tools designed to radically improve back office workflows and accelerate loan production. With this new data audit functionality, Capsilon can reduce manual data entry and speed up data auditing across the loan process, enabling companies to automate up to 80% of manual processing functions.

 

United Kingdom

Crowdfunding platform hits £1 million in a day (Growth Business) Rated: AAA

Property crowdfunding platform The House Crowd have raised just over £1.3 million over a 24-hour period to support housing developments in Greater Manchester. This is the first time the business has broken the £1 million mark in a day.

Most of the money – £1.2 million – was for its Egyptian Mill Development of 42 house and 15 apartments in Lees, just outside of Manchester. Attracted by a typical return of 10 per cent each year over a 15 month investment term, investors have clambered to raise funds and support new build houses and flats as the UK housing crisis continues.

Silicon Valley investment into the UK breaks $ 1BN for the first time (Information Age) Rated: AAA

UK law firm Pennington Manches has today revealed that British companies are enjoying an unprecedented period of investment from West Coast-based US firms, with 74 deals contributing to a total value of £1.08 billion in 2017 – the first time Silicon Valley investment into the UK has broken the billion-dollar mark.

​The new report found that software companies take the lion’s share of this investment, benefiting from £2.2 billion in funds since 2011. The number of deals from Silicon Valley into UK firms has increased by 252% over that period.

P2P lending set to pass £9bn milestone (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

LENDING at the UK’s largest peer-to-peer finance platforms is fast approaching £9bn.

Data from the industry’s trade body the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), released on Thursday, showed its eight members – Crowdstacker, Folk2Folk, Funding Circle, Landbay, LendingWorks, MarketInvoice, ThinCats and Zopa – reached cumulative lending of £8.96bn at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

The figure is up 11.5 per cent on the fourth quarter and 57 per cent higher year on year.

Transferwise becomes first non-bank to join BoE payments system (AltFi News) Rated: A

TransferWise has become the first non-bank payment services provider to hold a settlement account in the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

The new access should lower costs for Transferwise, one of the UK’s largest fintech start-ups, as TransferWise joins the Faster Payments Scheme (FPS also).

 

Alternative funding for SMEs demystified (Business Matters) Rated: A

However, as Business Matters reported back in December, over 40 per cent of companies say they would have to put their expansion plans on hold if they could not attain funding.

Research shows that most SMEs turn to traditional sources of funding – such as overdrafts, credit cards and bank loans – when they need a cash injection. What’s more, many are unaware of – or are unclear about – the recent expansion in alternative forms of business financing such as crowdfunding or P2P lending. That’s a shame, because many of these new funding options are very well suited to the needs of SMEs and start-ups.

Crowd2Fund prepares to cross fintech bridge to Australia (Finextra) Rated: B

Leading P2P lending platform Crowd2Fund are launching an Australian office by becoming one the first UK-based companies to utilise the new ‘FinTech Bridge’ between the UK and Australia.

Mechanics Cooperative Bank chooses Finastra for core banking system (Real Wire) Rated: B

Mechanics Cooperative Bank has selected the Fusion Phoenix core banking system from Finastra, as well as a full suite of ancillary offerings, to provide its new technology foundation. The solution will bring together a wide-range of proven, specialized software into a single environment that is more easily managed in the back-office, providing greater workflow and interface efficiencies for the bank’s staff, and ultimately customers.

China

CreditEase Wins Major Awards at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

As the exclusive “Global Leader” partner of LendIt Fintech USA 2018, Yirendai was awarded “Top Consumer Lending Platform” and was the only Chinese enterprise to receive a LendIt Fintech industry award, which demonstrates high recognition of its outstanding contributions to the innovation of the financial services industry. In addition, Ms. Yihan Fang, CEO of Yirendai was nominated for “Executive of the Year” and CEFIF was nominated for “Top Fintech Equity Investor”. Both nominations are strong recognition of the great achievements CreditEase has made in both wealth management and Fintech investment fields.

Fintech Start-up 100Credit Gets $ 159M From State-owned China Reform Fund (China Money Network) Rated: AAA

China Reform Fund Management Co.,Ltd, a private equity firm backed by China Reform Holdings Corporation Ltd and other central state-owned enterprises, has led a RMB1 billion (US$159 million) series C round in 100Credit, a fintech start-up that uses big data to provide credit services.

Existing investor Sequoia Capital China also participated in the round, according to 100Credit’s announcement on its official WeChat account.

Softbank leads $ 25m Modalku round, while 500 Startups backs HelloGold (TechinAsia) Rated: B

Alipay pilots digitized national ID cards (China). The digital payments app run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is testing out integration of the Chinese government’s pilot digital ID card scheme, which could one day replace physical ID cards.

European Union

Orange’s entry into digital banking forces old guard to react (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Orange Bank has already onboarded more than 100,000 customers since launch, only Revolut and Boursorama, Société Générale’s digital banking arm have made more progress in the same timeframe; this continues the wider trend across Europe as digital banking becomes a bigger part of the financial services ecosystem.

Swedish startup Tink just smashed open the floodgates to 300 banks’ data – and it’s a game-changer for Nordic fintech (Business Insider Nordic) Rated: A

Last year, after raising €14 million in funding from a consortium of traditional and online banks, Tink pivoted to licensing its technology to banks so they can build their own apps and fintech services.

The startup is now doubling down on its B2B business by launching a third-party developer platform. This means that the same technology that Tink has provided to banks like Nordea and SEB, will now be open to any company that wants to gain access to a given consumer’s account data (with the consumer’s permission).

The Crowdfunding Trend – Threat or Opportunity? (Eureka) Rated: A

There are some concerns that the rise of crowdfunding will cause major disruption across industries. According to the world bank, 2016 saw more money raised from crowdfunding than from venture capital.

In Finland, for example, there is no requirement for crowdfunders to have an MiFID licence, which means that companies who have obtained a licence are more strictly regulated than their unlicensed competitors. Other nations have been quicker to adapt – in France and the UK existing legislation has been brought smoothly up to date to be compatible with crowdfunding.

GDPR and financial advice: Special categories of personal data (Professional Adviser) Rated: A

The difference between ‘data’ and ‘sensitive data’ – that is, between Article 6, which we considered in more detail here, and Article 9 – is that the individual must give explicit consent to the processing of each type of special category of data.

If, for example, a firm will be asking someone whether they are a smoker and will also be recording they are a member of a specific trade union, then the firm would to need capture explicit consent from the individual that they are happy for the firm to collect and process this data about their health and their trade union membership.

For financial advisers, this consent will need to be gathered early in the customer engagement process, with it being made clear the data will be processed and what it will be processed for.

International

Mintos Marketplace Adds ID Finance Loans Issued in Kazakhstan (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Mintos, an online marketplace that provides individuals with a simplified way to invest in loans originated by a variety of alternative lending companies, announced on Wednesday that fintech firm ID Finance has further diversified investment opportunities on the Mintos marketplace by launching personal loans listed in Euro (EUR) and Kazakhstani tenge (KZT) under its Solva brand in Kazakhstan.

According to the companies, Solva uses a scoring system built around machine learning, advanced risk assessment techniques, multiple search technologies, big data and text mining. The system also evaluates the device on which the loan application is being filled out and the user’s behaviour when filling out the application.

Mo money, mo cash (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

But according to a new report published by G4S, the massive 117-year-old global security firm, we’re actually still moving in the other direction — at least in most countries.

Poor old cheques. And cryptocurrencies don’t fare too well either.

India

US-based fintech firm announces its expansion in India’s lending space (Medianama) Rated: AAA

California-based fintech company Tala said that it is bringing its lending app to India. This expansion was announced along with a new $50 million Series C funding led by Revolution Growth its operations in the country which is already in progress. In addition to Revolution Growth, Tala’s Series C round includes existing investors IVP, Data Collective, Lowercase Capital, Ribbit Capital, and Female Founders Fund. Steve Murray, managing partner at Revolution Growth, will join Tala’s board of directors.

Asia

 

Singapore Fintech Association established Marketplace Lending Committee (Finextra) Rated: AAA

The Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) today announces the launch of the Marketplace Lending committee and website, in response to the rapid growth in the sector.

In 2016, Southeast Asia’s alternative finance market reached a record US$215.94 million, a growth of 362% compared with 2015. Data for 2016 showed that Singapore’s alternative finance market size was valued at US$163.75 million, more than double the entire value from 2013-2015. This upward trend is reflected internationally. The global lending market valued at US$3.5 billion in 2013, expecting to reach US$1 trillion by 2050, according to Statista, a market research company.

Revolut empire-builder seeking to tame “the Asian dragon” (AltFi News) Rated: A

Rishi Stocker, head of partnerships at Revolut, is currently focused on coordinating the banking challenger’s entry into Japan. Speaking to AltFi, Stocker said that the Japanese market, unlike others in Asia, is a tough nut to crack.

He said that regulators are “very keen on local presence and very concerned about international companies entering and then suddenly changing their strategy and leaving”.

To allow Revolut to set up shop in Japan, regulators have insisted that the fintech firm appoint an experienced local Japanese expert as a director of the entity. “That’s quite an interesting nuance of Japan whereas a lot of other markets are a lot more open – so long as there’s a strong compliance team based in our head office in London,” explained Stocker.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday March 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Thursday March 22 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingTree launches free credit monitoring. Paytm gets into P2P lending. EquityMultiple stops promoting Reg D 506c offerings. Trusted Quid customer info stolen in data breach. PPDai grows revenue as stock rises. Today’s main analysis: Why China Rapid Finance’s ownership structure is important. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Are Amazon, Costco, and Target inching into wealth management? Open banking […]

Thursday March 22 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

Other

News Summary

United States

LendingTree Launches Free Credit Monitoring Service (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced the launch of a free credit monitoring service within the My LendingTree platform. In partnership with TransUnion, LendingTree monitors users’ credit profiles daily and sends alerts of any changes or potential suspicious activity within 30 minutes of the credit report being updated.

Real Estate Investment Platform EquityMultiple Gives up on Reg D 506c (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

No longer will EquityMultiple publicly promote its real estate offerings online and elsewhere. Previously, EquityMultiple has leveraged Reg D 506c – a new securities exemption created by the JOBS Act of 2012. This rule allowed issuers and platforms to promote offerings on the internet – via social media and elsewhere  – in contrast to old Reg D (506b) that was barred from any advertising. And why on earth would EquityMultiple not want to promote unique and compelling investment opportunities? Because of the broken nature regarding the general solicitation rule.

Amazon in wealth management? What about Costco or Target? (Financial Planning), Rated: AAA

With Amazon inching closer to financial services, industry observers say its a worthy exercise to think about other potential retail competitors.

“People may roll their eyes in the land of wealth management and financial services, but it’s no longer a place for just banks. They don’t own it anymore,” said Doug Fritz, CEO and founder of F2 Strategy, a technology and marketing consulting firm to the wealth management industry based in the San Francisco Bay area.

Costco seems like the most obvious candidate to get into the wealth management space, said Fritz.

Incumbents such as Charles Schwab have already boxed in robos with products and are not being shy about advertising them, he adds.

5 Savvy Ways To Invest $ 10,000 In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

Online Real Estate Investing

Poll of SMBs Reveal Plans to Make Tech Investments Amid Strong Sales Growth (WWD), Rated: A

In a recent poll of small- to medium-sized businesses, financial and technology firm Kabbage Inc. found high expectations for sales growth this year as well as plans to make investments aimed at automation.

Kabbage, which offers lines of credit of up to $250,000 and cites retail as its top vertical, said more than 67 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailers polled expect revenue growth of over 20 percent this year. More than 73 percent of the online retailer respondents expect the same. The survey was based on responses from 800 businesses.

Regarding automation technology, nearly 44 percent of physical store retailers have plans to make investments in this area compared with 60 percent of online retailers. With cyber security and similar fraud prevention technologies, about 44 percent of both online and physical store retailers have plans to make investments in these solutions.

 

 

 

Hundreds of Start-Ups Tell Investors: Diversify, or Keep Your Money (New York Times), Rated: A

The American venture capital industry, which invested $84 billion in more than 8,000 companies last year, has long faced little to no impetus to alter its demographics. Venture firms are usually small private companies made up of former tech executives or financial types, who are mostly male and white. And because venture firms operate with long-term horizons — their funds generally invest over a 10-year period — the industry’s pace of change is often glacial.

In 2016, 11 percent of venture capital firms’ investment partners were women, according to a survey by the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte. The survey found no black investment partners at venture firms, while 2 percent of investment partners were Latino.

Buyers acquire taste for deposit-rich banks (American Banker), Rated: A

Total loans at banks with less than $10 billion in assets rose by nearly 17% between 2012 and 2017, surpassing the roughly 5% increase in deposits over that time, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

 

NYDFS sends survey request to online lenders (National Law Review), Rated: B

The New York Department of Financial Services has sent a letter directed to businesses that the DFS “understands…may be involved in online lending in the State of New York” and that asks recipients to complete a “New York Marketplace Lending Survey” that they can access online.

The letter states that the DFS is conducting the survey to gather information for a public report that it is required to issue by July 1, 2018 and which must include information about online lenders operating in New York and their business practices, including lending practices, interest rates and costs charged, and consumer complaints and investigations about the industry.

United Kingdom

Open Banking prompts UK fintechs to reassess collaboration partners (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

A report from accountancy firm EY, released on Thursday, found that 59 per cent of UK fintech firms see Open Banking as an opportunity to review their collaboration strategies.

The survey of 31 UK fintech firms also found that 74 per cent of respondents believe that new competitors such as tech firms will become increasingly important over time.

The new data rules, which mandate high street banks to share anonymised customer data with approved third parties, came into effect in January 2018. Peer-to-peer lenders such as Zopa and Lending Works have already announced their plans to capitalise on the new initiative.

94 per cent of fintech firms said they were focused on enhancing their current products and services and 81 per cent said they are planning to use Open Banking to build new services.

Early Returns From Open Banking Show a Mixed Picture (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Banks have not really stepped into the new world until recently as HSBC has stated they will be set to go live with a product by early May, RaboBank is creating a mobile ecosystem and RBS has explained they are working on solutions which includes a stand alone digital bank.

Digital banks Monzo and Starling Bank have already established themselves as early leaders in the market with their open APIs. Both have created financial marketplaces to allow for easy integration and access to different banking services.

Payday lender Trusted Quid admits 66,000 customers details were stolen in data breach (The Sun), Rated: AAA

Details of 66,000 customers including phone numbers, dates of birth, addresses, loan details, employment status and bank account information, were all taken from the website.

In a statement the company said: “There has been a theft of data from unauthorised access to the Trusted Quid website.”

“The incident relates to data directly entered by people applying for a loan only on the Trusted Quid website between 1 July 2016 and 17 February 2018.”

Trusted Quid say they have made three previous attempts to contact customers affected by the data breach.

 

Feature: Is London cooling? (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

Research from online estate agent HouseSimple in January showed only 387 properties for sale in zones 1–2 below the magic £300,000 level, rising to just 1,235 in zone 3. For homes valued at £300,001–£500,000, there were just 7,687 in zones 1-3 that were eligible for a stamp duty cut.

BUSINESS SHOWCASE : LOANBIT (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

LoanBit is a multi-currency platform that supports everything from fiat currencies to the latest cryptocurrencies. It allows you to send money in an encrypted format and secure it with state-of-the art security measures.

LoanBit offers an armor of a protection for the lenders. It safeguards the interests of the lenders in the community by covering up to 75% of the loan.

With LoanBit you can:

  • Keep money in a multi-currency wallet,
  • Trade on the integrated exchange,
  • Invest money in cryptocurrencies, and
  • Get a loan in the currency of your choice

ISAs 2018: Innovative Finance Isa can offer rates from 5 to 10 per cent (Express), Rated: A

The Innovative Finance Isa, or Ifisa, was announced by the Government in April 2016, giving ordinary savers the opportunity to invest in growing British businesses free of tax through the growing peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market, sometimes called crowdlending.

Landbay targets 3.54 per cent, Zopa aims for 4.6 per cent a year, Ratesetter offers between3and 6 per cent and Money&Co an average of 8.6 per cent.At the riskier end of the scale the RebuildingSociety is aiming for 9.7 per cent.
China

Is Ping An China’s Most Valuable Insurer or a Tech-Investing Fad? (The Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA

The $100 billion question for the world’s second-largest insurer: is it an insurance firm or is it a technology firm?

Shares of China’s Ping An Insurance—the biggest insurer by market value after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway—have more than doubled in the past year, far outpacing peers. The increase in its market capitalization—of more than $100 billion—is partly due to the fast growth of its life- and health-insurance business. The value of new business last year grew 33% from 2016.

Shares Rise as PPDai Reports Revenue Growth, Stock Buyback (Capital Watch), Rated: AAA

PPDai Group Inc., an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, reported today that its operating revenues for the fourth quarter increased more than 85 percent compared with a year earlier.

The Shanghai-based company, which completed its initial public offering in November, said during the quarter, it had a net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of $200.4 million, or 89 cents per American depositary share. That was in contrast to income of $2.8 million a year earlier. Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $140.2 million, up from $75.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Why China Rapid Finance Limited’s (NYSE:XRF) Ownership Structure Is Important (Simply Wall St News), Rated: AAA

I am going to take a deep dive into China Rapid Finance Limited’s (NYSE:XRF) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. When it comes to ownership structure of a company, the impact has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Therefore, I will take a look at XRF’s shareholders in more detail.

Source Simple Wall Strett

Institutional Ownership

In XRF’s case, institutional ownership stands at 18.79%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade.

Insider Ownership

Another important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 42.76% stake in XRF, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 16.12% stake in XRF.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in XRF should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 5.44%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests.

China toughens supervision on third party payment (xinhuane), Rated: B

Agricultural Bank of China announced in a recent notice that it would cut off the payment channel for Internet finance businesses such as peer-to-peer lending, the Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily reported.

The move followed a series of penalties levied at banks and online payment companies, which analysts said were aimed at curbing risks arising from direct clearance agreements between them.

European Union

 

Danish online lender basisbank to implement Fico Blaze Advisor (Finextra), Rated: B

With FICO Blaze Advisor decision rules management system, Basisbank risk analysts will be able to quickly make changes to credit strategies for unsecured consumer loans and point-of-sale financing in order to increase profitability and reduce the risk of loans going unpaid. Basisbank receives more than 75 percent of its credit applications from mobile devices.

International

How digital banks are raising the bar for customer experience (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Challenger bank N26 raised $160 million in Series C funding this week to fuel its expansion to the U.S., and other markets, later this year. Revolut, another U.K. challenger, has been planning a U.S. launch this year too and Monzo is rumored to follow.

Digital-only challenger banks have changed customer expectations, including customer service and how customers want to use financial products. Big banks are taking notice, with companies developing sub-brands to hook younger, digital-savvy customers or others — the most recent of which is rumored to be the Royal Bank of Scotland.

For Monzo, which just crossed 500,000 current account holders, the absence of physical branches doesn’t mean a lack of interaction with customers. Monzo’s approach is to release early versions of products to a group of customers and get customer feedback from within the app and through an online forum. It’s an approach that gives customers a sense of ownership and excitement about the brand. For Monzo’s marketplace beta, it sought out feedback from 3,000 customers.

India

Digital payments player paytm wants slice of P2P lending (The Economic Times), Rated:AAA

Paytm, the country’s largest digital payments company, is trying to enter the lending space and is seeking a licence from RBI to become a peer-to-peer lending platform.

According to documents sourced by ET from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the company moved a board resolution on February 7 saying it intends to “carry on the business of non-banking financial company — peer-to-peer”.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday February 22 2018, Daily News Digest

Servicing portfolio recurring revenue

News Comments Today’s main news: LendingClub spared from sharing underwriting docs with investors. Wealthsimple raises $65M. Zopa warns investors of increased defaults. Raisin now operates in UK. RaboDirect to bow out of Ireland. Today’s main analysis: LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: LendingClub’s CIO issues an update on Q4 results. LendingTree ranks best places for fresh start. Faster payments mean […]

Servicing portfolio recurring revenue

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Fourth Quarter 2017 Results (LendingClub), Rated: AAA

Source: LendingClub

View the reported Q4 2017 earnings results from LendingClub right here.

Q4 2017: An update from our CIO (Lending Club), Rated: AAA

A core strength of LendingClub’s marketplace model is the ability to incorporate data insights quickly in order to responsibly adapt for the benefit of borrowers and investors.

From 2009 to 2014, credit supply was tight, so consumer loans experienced better-than-average loss rates. Since then, credit supply has increased, and the industry has seen a return to long-term average delinquency rates and higher losses in higher risk populations.

As a result of cumulative actions taken, our loss forecast for newly originated loans remains unchanged in aggregate compared to last quarter.

Economic backdrop

U.S. economic growth remains slow but steady, with annual GDP growth rate increasing to 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. A primary driver of GDP growth since the financial crisis has been a historically low unemployment rate, which is down to 4.1% from its peak of 10% in 2009.

Updated pricing and return forecast

We continuously refine our methodology and recalibrate interest rates based on shifts in risk across the portfolio. This quarter, interest rates are increasing for certain subgrades in grades D and E.

Loss forecasts are remaining stable in aggregate for the platform relative to last quarter.

Platform Summary and Projections as of February 20, 2018

Source: LendingClub

Judge Nixes LendingClub Investor Bid For Underwriter Docs (Law360), Rated: AAA

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and the other underwriters of LendingClub Corp.’s $1 billion initial public offering for now don’t have to produce roughly a thousand documents sought by a class of investors suing the peer-to-peer lending company for alleged stock fraud, a California federal judge ruled Tuesday.

 

 

LendingTree Ranks Best Places for a Fresh Start in 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released the findings of its study on the best cities for those seeking a fresh start.

First, the study looked at eight elements to consider when going through a financial recovery, such as the local median income and rents, and if the state has laws to protect debtors from aggressive collections and penalties, in case methods like debt consolidation or refinancing to lower rates aren’t enough to manage liabilities.

Next, to determine what opportunities there might be for people seeking a solid job and income, the study looked at the percentage of people in these metros who are between the ages of 35 and 64, single, employed, have health insurance coverage and are currently enrolled in school.

Lastly, to get an idea of how well people in an area are recovering from financial calamity, LendingTree calculated how quickly credit scores are rising after a bankruptcy by using proprietary data on the average credit score, on a geographic basis, of LendingTree customers who declared bankruptcy between three to four years earlier.

1. Buffalo, N.Y. – 67.6
At $738Buffalo has the lowest median rent among the 50 cities reviewed, and 94 percent of adults over the age of 35 are insured (second highest). Residents who declare bankruptcy have an average credit score of 664 three years on, tied for the second highest score for the cities reviewed, suggesting that conditions are favorable for financial recovery. However, Buffalo ranks poorly in two metrics: at $52,303, median income is the seventh lowest, and only one other city has fewer students over the age the 35.

2. Minneapolis – 62.9
At just 3.7 percent, the exceedingly low unemployment rate for citizens in Minneapolis between the ages of 35 and 64 helps push the city to the No. 2 spot. Not only are most over-35s employed, but they also earn a median salary of $70,915, the eighth highest in the cities reviewed, 94 percent have health insurance and median rents are relatively low at $963.

3. Salt Lake City – 62.6
Only two other cities have more over-35s enrolled in school (Virginia Beach and Washington), and only five have more unmarried over-35s (New Orleans has the most). That could be due to the lowest unemployment rate for over-35s of any city reviewed (3.6%), and higher-than-average median income of $64,564 for that same group. That combines nicely with a moderate median rent of $967.

Source: LendingTree

The full report is available here: 

Why faster payments mean faster fraud (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Less than a month ago Early Warning Services, the network that powers peer-to-peer payments platform Zelle, touted $75 billion in funds moved through its bank-supported platform with plans to expand its member network. One member bank, however, also reported a fraud rate of 90 percent shortly after implementing Zelle last year, said someone familiar with the statistics who wished to remain anonymous.

Fraud detection in banks, however, is no longer just about building a wall to keep outsiders out; cybersecurity teams need to install a filter that can identify who can and should enter the system.

Bank of America will spend $600 million this year on cyber defense alone, its chief operations and technology officer Cathy Bessant recently told Tearsheet. In December Menlo Security, a company that provides malware isolation solutions, raised $40 million in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to $85 million. JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and American Express Ventures are among its investors.

Greenlight raises $ 16m for kids’ debit card (Finextra), Rated: A

Greenlight Financial Technology, the startup behind an app and debit card for kids and college students, has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round joined by SunTrust Bank, Ally Financial and the Amazon Alexa Fund.

 

7 COMPANIES REIMAGINING REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND FINANCE (Builder Online), Rated: A

Companies like Better Mortgage, Blend and LendingHome are reengineering the way mortgages are applied for and underwritten. While Cadre and Fundrise are moving real estate investments from Excel spreadsheets to the digital world.

GreenSky offers on-the-spot loans of up to $65,000 for home improvement projects with generous zero-interest promotional periods. Lemonade offers urban renters and homeowners insurance for as little as $5 and $25, respectively. LendingHome provides financing for house flippers, and more recently, homeowners.

Enodo delivers quantifiable insights for property investors (Realty Biz News), Rated: A

With the Enodo platform investors can cut to the chase with a platform that supports their decision-making through acquisition all the way to renovation, with features including rent price forecasting. In other words, Enodo is a real estate investing platform that provides quantifiable data, meaning investors no longer have to rely on hunches alone.

Enodo allows investors to carefully analyze any property in the country using basic physical and investment parameters. Users can also identify comparable properties, predict operating expenses and more. Parameters include things such as the year the home was built, number of units, amenities, market demographics and more.

Savings and Deposit Rates in a Rising Rate Environment (Lend Academy), Rated: A

This thread called Cash Parking on the Lend Academy Forum was created back in December 2016 and since then, forum members have discussed opportunities at banks and credit unions.

The discussion caught my eye when one user posted a 3% 5 year CD which happened to be offered by my local credit union.

Signing Up for a Savings Account at Marcus

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has been near the top of the list since I began checking. We last did a piece on savings account rates back in June 2017 when Goldman Sachs’ deposit accounts were still branded under GS Bank. Rates are now 30 basis points higher at 1.5% on Marcus accounts.

Their investment has paid off and it was recently reported that they had $17 billion of deposits. Since Goldman Sachs acquired GE Capital’s retail deposits, deposits have grown a whopping 90%.

 

Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia Talks Small Business Loans (LendEDU), Rated: A

She’s been hailed by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world, and TechCrunch recognized her for “crushing it” last year. Both sources refer to her success as a leader at Kabbage, Inc. which has financed over $4 billion to more than 130,000 businesses to date.

Q: What sets Kabbage apart from other online small business lenders?

A: Our focus on real-time access to third-party data and our ability to stay connected to our customer’s data all the time. This technology allows us to provide an automated experience.

Q: So, user experience seems to be a big advantage for non-traditional lending sources. While that’s an advantage, what disadvantages does a lender like Kabbage have against a traditional lender?

A: There are lots of things. First, traditional lenders like banks have well-known brands; they have access to really cheap capital. They have a lot of customers already. They already have access to a framework which they operate with the ability to move funds. 

The only thing they don’t have is the ability to serve the market, because it’s too expensive for them to serve our customers with the type of product they need.

Q: Was there a typical small business customer that you would lend to? Do you lend to certain business more often than others today?

A: Well, we got our start making loans to eBay sellers which you may or may not know. The reason we started there was because that’s where the first API was available, so we could get information on a business’ performance. Then as more APIs became available, we were able to expand our business. So for a long time, all of our customers were eCommerce businesses.

But about three years ago, we began expanding to service brick & mortar businesses, and today, about 85% of our customers are brick & mortar businesses. 

Q: Over the last 5 years, fintech lending has grown to take up more of the small business lending market. Where do you see the market share in 5 years? Where’s Kabbage in this equation?

A: If you’re talking about businesses seeking less than half or a quarter million dollars, I think it’ll stay the way it is with largely non-traditional players, like Kabbage, filling that space. And I think banks could serve that market through partnerships, but overall, I think it’s going to look much the same as it is now.

The Expanded Military Lending Act Regulations (The National Law Review), Rated: A

The Military Lending Act’s (“MLA”) lending restrictions are expanded to apply to consumer credit card issuers and unsecured consumer lenders. Compliance in most areas was mandatory as of October 3, 2016, but as to credit cards the mandatory compliance date is October 3, 2017.

The MLA applies to active-duty military personnel, active Reserve and National Guard personnel serving on Title 10 orders, and their dependents with a valid military identification card.

How to Invest in Private Loans (The Student Loan Report), Rated: A

The $1.45 trillion student loan market is made up of public and private student loans.

We now live in a world where crowdfunding and P2P investment opportunities are everywhere. The student loan market is no different. Companies like Sofi are shaking up what it looks like for both students and investors alike.

Sofi (short for Social Finance) has funded over $25 billion in student loans, with over 437,000 members around the country.

As challenger banks seek to enter the US, the business model still faces hurdles  (Tearsheet), Rated: A

European digital banks N26 and Revolut will launch in the U.S. later this year, and there are reports that U.K. challenger bank Monzo is mulling a move into the U.S. market. Meanwhile, three U.S. banking startups — Varo Money, Square and Moven — recently announced plans to apply for or acquire U.S. banking licenses.

For N26, winning means customers loving N26 like in Europe. U.K.-based Revolut, which plans to launch in the U.S. later this year with a multi-currency bank account, said winning means acquiring millions of customers, particularly those who travel often; and to San Francisco-based Chime, a win is to bring large numbers of customers away from traditional institutions.

Why BankMobile has launched an online magazine (Tearsheet), Rated: B

BankMobile has launched a content marketing website called Paradigm Money to help customers navigate personal finance.

The site, which launched this month, includes news, opinion pieces, interviews and advice.

BankMobile, which was born as the mobile-only offshoot of Customers Bank which sold it last year, has 1.8 million customers to date and opens about 300,000 new accounts each year.

WHAT FAMILY OFFICES WANT FROM ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT MANAGERS (All About Alpha), Rated: A

Competition within the alternatives sector for family office investments is at an all-time high, as these investors get more comfortable with the range of assets available to them and their general understanding of alternatives rises. Fund managers want to win these wealthy investors over, but often find they are unsure of how best to pursue them. The family office client is increasingly demanding a more tailored approach to wooing them over. Managers who can adapt their prospecting tactics stand a better chance of winning a partnership with these prized investors.

A Q4 2017 research study, “Single-Family Offices and Alternative Investments,” by Institutional Capital Network, provides a framework for the changing dynamics in family office activity within the alternatives space. Some of the research findings that stand out in particular include:

First-generation founders have a “stay-rich” mentality, while second-generation are more likely to have a “get-richer” perspective.

About 40% of second generation single-family offices are investing 15% or more of their total portfolios into alternatives, compared to 20% of first generation single-family offices that are investing at similar levels. In 2017, 71% increased their direct allocations relative to 2016, and 82% intend to do so in the future.

33% of Americans do not have more savings than credit card debt (KHOU), Rated: A

In the latest survey by personal finance site Bankrate.com, 33% of Americans say they do not have more emergency savings than credit card debt. That includes 21% who say their credit card debt exceeds their emergency savings and 12% who indicate they have no savings or credit card debt.

While one in three Americans are financially ill-equipped for an emergency, that is down from 41% in 2017 and 43% in 2016 and is the lowest level in the eight years of the survey.

Fifty-eight percent say their emergency savings fund exceeds their credit card debt, which is up from 52% in the last two years and ties 2015 as the best seen in eight years.

US Mobile Payment Market to Reach $ 3 Trillion by 2020, Fintech Stocks Lead the Way (Investing News), Rated: A

A new Market Research Reports Search Engine report states the US mobile payments will grow from $550 billion in 2015 to reach $2.8 trillion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.1 percent over the course of that period.

Marlette Funding Named a Finalist in Top Consumer Lending Platform in LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Competition (Business Wire), Rated: B

LendIt Fintech, the world’s leading event in financial services innovation, announced today that they have selected the Best Egg Personal Loan Platform provided by Marlette Funding, LLC, as a finalist in the Top Consumer Lending Platform category for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards. The Top Consumer Lending Platform finalists were selected from companies that demonstrate a combination of loan performance, volume, growth, product diversity and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Klarna North America to Highlight “Smoooth” Payment Products at eTail West 2018 (Klarna Email), Rated: B

Klarna, a global payments provider, is a sponsor of and will be exhibiting at next week’s eTail West 2018 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Carl Gish Joins Varo Money as Chief Marketing Officer (PRWeb), Rated: B

Mobile banking startup Varo Money, Inc. today announced the hire of Carl Gish as Chief Marketing Officer. Gish is a marketing and general management executive with more than 20 years of experience across well-known, high-growth consumer brands and e-commerce businesses, including Amazon, Unilever, Dyson, eBay and Affirm. He will lead all aspects of the company’s branding and marketing, and will work directly with CEO Colin Walsh to drive large growth in Varo’s customer base across multiple marketing channels and partnerships.

United Kingdom

Zopa warns over defaults as investor returns decline (Financial Times), Rated: AAA 

The UK’s oldest peer-to-peer service is warning investors that defaults on its recent loans will be running at a higher rate than during the financial crisis.

Fintech Raisin Crosses the Channel to Offer Services to UK Savers (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Savings marketplace Raisin has launched in the UK.

Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky on long hours and high staff turnover (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Over the past three years, and with the backing of Balderton Capital and Index Ventures, two European venture capital firms, Mr Storonsky’s company has raised about £60m and had a valuation of £300m last year.

How Startups Can Gain Traction In The Financial Services Market (Forbes), Rated: A

The United Kingdom’s financial technology sector attracted a record £1.34bn in venture capital  investment in 2017, with 90% of that money going to startup and early stage businesses based in London.

Those raising cash last year included peer2peer lending platform Funding Circle (£81.9m); payments company, Transferwise (£211m) and challenger bank, Monzo (£71m).

Last week I spoke to two fintech entrepreneurs – Ollie Purdue of online bank account provider, Loot and Jared Jesner, CEO of currency exchange, WeSwap – about their reasons for entering the fintech arena and how they hope to carve out a niche in a crowded market.

Lloyds Bank Marks $ 4.1B for Digital Strategy (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

British bank Lloyds has put aside £3 billion ($4.1 billion) for digital development and growth, the bank announced today.

The  £3 billion is a 40% increase on the spend Lloyd marked for its previous three-year expansion plan.

P2P lending to form part of inquiry into SME finance (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

POLITICIANS are going to consider the availability and uptake of peer-to-peer lending as part of an inquiry into finance for small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

 

Ultimate guide to Innovative Finance ISAs: Part two (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has soared in recent years. Members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association have cumulatively lent a total of £5bn to businesses versus £3bn to individuals, as of the end of 2017.

Loans to SMEs tend to produce a higher rate of return than loans to consumers, but they can also be riskier in some cases. The average size of loan is also much higher.

How Short Term Lender Wonga Went Worldwide (Silicon India), Rated: A

Today the brand eclipses its competition, with many of its 400 failing to survive in 2016 as fresh price caps on loan and repayment charges came into action.

With UK-domination taken care of, the lender has been expanding rapidly overseas, starting its journey by launching in Canada, South Africa and Poland, before going on to purchase and assimilate a number of foreign short term lenders as part of its global growth.

To launch Wonga Spain, the lender purchased Spanish credit agency Credito Pocket in 2013, going on to purchase German “pay later” payment firm BillPay (with two million users to its name) and a stake in Indian firm Nahar Credits Private in October of the same year.

China

China tries to bring order to sprawling online finance sector (Asian Review), Rated: A

China’s 1.2 trillion yuan ($189 billion) internet finance industry has reached a turning point as regulators tighten regulations after one too many cases of bankruptcy and fraud.

European Union

RaboDirect to quit Irish market in May (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

RaboDirect Ireland, an online savings bank owned by the Dutch lender Rabobank, will quit the Irish market in May. The bank has up to 90,000 Irish customer accounts with a total of €3 billion on deposit.

The bank says it has decided to withdraw from the Irish market after 13 years following “moves by our parent, the Rabobank Group, to simplify its business model across the world and reduce costs”.

Bizarre Buybacks and Expensive Takeovers (The Washington Post), Rated: AAA

In November, Swiss fintech company Temenos Group AG spent 150 million Swiss francs ($160 million) buying back its shares at an average price of 122 francs each. Weeks later, with the stock at 115 francs, it’s preparing to sell shares to fund a $1.9 billion takeover of British rival Fidessa Group Plc.

The return on invested capital looks set to be just over 6 percent in 2020, based on the stated cost synergies plus Fidessa’s forecast operating performance. That’s well below the target’s 9 percent cost of capital.

Anyfin raises €4.8 million to refinance loans with a statement selfie (Finextra), Rated: A

Anyfin, a Swedish startup that offers to refinance consumer loans and credit card debt using a combination of artificial intelligence and a photo of the current statement and repayment terms, has bagged €4.8 million in Series A funding led by Accel and Northzone.

BNI Europa and Code for All partner to train new generation of IT developers (Finextra), Rated: A

BNI Europa, through Puzzle, its online credit brand, created a partnership with <Code for All_> to provide financial aid to anyone who wants to learn to become a IT developer.

This partnership provides an intensive code training program of 14 weeks supported by an online credit solution that offers special payment conditions to the program’s students.

International

What Is the Ripio Credit Network? (The Merkle), Rated: A

The Ripio Credit Network wants to offer a real global credit ecosystem which is more suitable than traditional solutions and even than similar peer-to-peer lending services. While that sounds like a tall order, the RCN protocol will connect lenders and borrowers all over the world via the native RCN token.

As is the case with any blockchain ecosystem, the Ripio Credit Network has its own native RCN token. It is the network’s payment channel first and foremost. Although credit transactions can be settled in any local currency, one does need RCN tokens to access the network and facilitate transactions.

Etherty launches blockchain-based, real estate trading platform (Construction Business News), Rated: A

A new investment portal, Etherty, has launched offering a real estate linked-crypto currency that enables investors to seize property investment opportunities all over the world, primarily in key markets such as Dubai, Mexico, and Australia.

500 Startups, Huobi Labs to Incubate Blockchain Projects (CoinDesk), Rated: B

500 Startups, the Silicon Valley startup accelerator, announced Tuesday it is partnering with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi’s incubator wing, Huobi Labs.

The two companies will support startups in various areas, including developing business plans, focusing on elements such as white papers, marketing strategies, community engagement and fundraising efforts, the accelerator said in a press release.

Australia/New Zealand

FMA opens applications for personalised digital advice (Scoop), Rated: AAA

The FMA is now open for applications from providers seeking to offer personalised financial advice to consumers through digital tools and platforms (so-called robo-advice).

India

P2P lending, payments platform JaldiCash to merge with parent firm Weizmann Forex (Financial Express), Rated: A

Weizmann Forex Limited (WFL), a foreign exchange and inward remittances platform, has approved the acquisition of its unit Weizmann Impex Enterprises Ltd (WISE). The proposed deal is supposed to take place on April 1st and will be done through a Scheme of Amalgamation, the company said in a press release. WISE is authorized by the Reserve bank of India to issue and operate semi-closed prepaid payment systems in India. The company owns ‘JaldiCash’, a payments platform that claims to have a network of more than 18,000 channel partners across 29 Indian states and more than 520 districts through their B2B model. JaldiCash works on a P2P model lending model, enabling loans for retailers, hotels and other services

APAC

ALAMI is on a journey to popularise sharia-based finance in Indonesia. (e27), Rated: A

Islamic banking assets is only 5.03 per cent of the total banking sector’s assets in the country, with a market share of IDR356.5 trillion (US$26.7 billion).

According to ALAMI CEO Bembi Juniar, this is due to the lack of infrastructure, support from key opinion leaders, and education on the benefits of sharia-based financial services.

So ALAMI offers a platform that serves as an aggregator for sharia-based financing for SMEs.

Canada

Wealthsimple raises $ 65 million in funding from Power Financial group of companies (Cision), Rated: AAA

Canada’s digital investor has raised a $65 million investment from the Power Financial group of companies, bringing their total investment in Wealthsimple to $165 million. Wealthsimple manages approximately $1.9 billion for over 65,000 clients in Canadathe United States, and the United KingdomMore than 80 per cent of people who use digital investing in Canada use Wealthsimple.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Tayl

Wednesday February 21 2018, Daily News Digest

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments Today’s main news: Lending Club losses extend to Q4 2017. LendingClub to settle lawsuit for $125M. Groundfloor launches online public offering. Even Financial gets backing from American Express. LendInvest launches buy-to-let calculator online. Today’s main analysis: Lend Academy reviews LendingClub’s Q4 2017 results. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Equity sharing and home ownership. How millennials move emerging markets. Why Australia needs […]

LendingClub originations by funding source

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Lending Club extends losses for fourth straight year (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Lending Club lost money for a fourth year in a row last year, as it wrote a big cheque to settle class-action lawsuits connected to its governance glitches of 2016.

The San Francisco-based company, the biggest listed online lender in America, said on Tuesday that net losses for the fourth quarter almost tripled from a year earlier, to $92m, as it agreed a $125m settlement to resolve civil suits stemming from the loan-mis-selling scandal that blew up almost two years ago. About $48m of the sum would be covered by insurance, the company said, with the remainder to be paid from liquid assets of about $650m.

The loss for the full year came to $154m, wider than the previous year’s $146m.

LendingClub agrees to settle shareholder litigation for 5M (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Under the agreement, which was announced Tuesday, the San Francisco-based online lender expects to pay $77.25 million. An additional $47.75 million is expected to be covered by LendingClub’s insurance, bringing the total payout to $125 million. The deal is subject to court approval.

LendingClub Corp (LC) Shares Sink on Q4 Earnings Miss (InvestorPlace), Rated: A

Lending Club also underwhelmed in its revenue as the company raked in $156.5 million during its fourth quarter, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $157.6 million, according to FactSet. The figure did increase 20% compared to the year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of a penny per share, compared to a loss of 2 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company also experienced a 23% annual growth in originations, which reached over $2.4 billion.

LendingClub Q4 2017 Earnings Results Review (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

LendingClub delivered another record quarter of $156.5 million in revenue up slightly from their previous quarter. Originations were slightly down from the third quarter at $2.436 billion. They reported a GAAP net loss of $92.1 million in the fourth quarter which was affected by the class action litigation settlement expense.

Source: Lend Academy
Source: Lend Academy

LendingClub provided the below guidance for Q1 2018 and reaffirmed their guidance for 2018:

First Quarter 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $145 million to $155 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(25) million to $(20) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5 million to $10 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $19 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $11 million

Full Year 2018

  • Total Net Revenue in the range of $680 million to $705 million
  • Net Income (Loss) in the range of $(53) million to $(38) million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $75 million to $90 million
  • Reconciling Items between net loss and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA consisting of stock-based compensation of approximately $77 million, and depreciation and amortization and other net adjustments of approximately $51 million

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours (CNBC), Rated: B

LendingClub stock plunged 10 percent after the bell. The peer-to-peer lending company reported earnings and revenues that missed Wall Street estimates.

Groundfloor Launches Online Public Offering Amidst Increased Stock Market Volatility (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced that it has raised a total of $4.3 million from 687 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity. In each case, the company kicked off the invitation-only raises to customers and friends of the company with a $1M target, surpassing that in under 48 hours. Due to increased growth opportunities and strong demand, the company has today expanded the equity raise to the public.

Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of Common Stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include: no investor fees for life2; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.

Recently increased expectations that the Fed may raise interest rates in the future has investors rebalancing their portfolios, with a shift out of equity into debt, as bond yields are expected to increase. Twelve-month bond yields have recently inched up to 1.97 percent.

By comparison, Groundfloor investors have earned an average of 13.6 percent per year over the past three years, which represents over 6x the yield of a current one year Treasury note, and over 1,000 percent more than they would have made if their money had been in a CD or savings account over this period.1 Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.

Real Estate Equity Crowdfunding: A New Investment Opportunity for the Investors (EIN News), Rated: A

Talking in context of real estate, there are 3 ways to invest in a crowdfunded real-estate property:

• Equity crowdfunding
• Syndicated debt crowdfunding
• Platform-issued (‘pre-filled’) debt crowdfunding

Following are the pros and cons of going for equity crowdfunding in real estate:

Pros

• High yield potential
• Lower barrier to entry: Even if you have a very less amount of money, you can still invest even in large commercial real estate projects through equity crowdfunding and enjoy the benefits of the real estate i.e., strong returns and lower volatility.
• No self-employment taxes
• Higher returns

Cons

• The risks. An investor should know how to evaluate the risk factors like local economy volatility and chances of higher than expected construction costs. Due diligence is what is required.
• Liquidity constraint: These investments need to be held up for a period of five years or so, and hence one should go for this option if this much bandwidth is available, lack of liquidity is not there, and an investor is comfortable with the invested amount to be tied up for several years.
• It’s still an early option: It is still an early option to be considered as the performance track record and validation is still not complete and individual investors are still trying to figure it out.
• Lack of control: Since it is a passive investment, the investors are not involved in the day to day activities and therefore have limited ability and control over the operations required.

RealyInvest App Empowers Beginners to Invest in Commercial Real Estate (PR Newswire), Rated: A

In a rising tide of fintech apps, RealyInvest is emerging as a new way for beginning investors to access the high-priced world of premier commercial real estate right from their smartphones.

RealyInvestors can purchase fractional shares of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) for as little as $5. Investors can also own shares of commercial real estate NNN Assets, such as a building long-term leased to Starbucks, for as little as $20.

All investments, rental income and dividend earnings can be managed right on your smartphone. Fees range from $1 to $3 per month, depending on investment options.

Silicon Valley Explores a New Investment: Your Home (WSJ), Rated: AAA

A handful of companies, including those backed by marquee Silicon Valley names such as Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization, are experimenting with a product that essentially lets them take an ownership position in a house along with the homeowner. The agreements, called shared-equity contracts, provide a new way for investors to get exposure to rising home prices across the U.S.

Shared-equity products are aimed at new buyers who need help with a down payment, or current homeowners looking for an alternative to a cash-out mortgage refinancing or a home-equity loan. The first use has caught the attention of mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac ,which recently agreed to buy loans on properties where one firm,Unison Agreement Corp. , contributes to the down payment.

Landed Inc. offers these down-payment contracts to teachers and other educators. Last year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative , a philanthropy co-founded by Facebook Inc.’s chief executive, gave Landed $5 million to start a new fund.

The length of the contracts can vary from a few years to 30. Homeowners can repay early, including if they sell their house before the term ends. How much they end up owing depends on how the value of their home changes. Because the funds are equity, not a borrowing, they don’t require monthly payments.

Even Financial inks $ 3 mln (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

Even Financial, the technology platform powering financial services online, has secured a strategic investment round totaling $3 million. The round includes an investment from American Express Ventures, the strategic investment unit of American Express, as well as Plug & Play and Arab Angels.

With this investment, Even Financial will expand its team and advance its proprietary technology, which allows financial institutions and other partners to scale customer acquisition and remain competitive in the growing online financial services industry.

Fundrise Reports 2017 Performance. Total Return for the Year Stands at 11.44% (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In brief, this is what Fundrise reported;

“In 2017, Fundrise investments earned an 11.44%* total return on investment, including over $16 million in dividends paid out to investors. Delivering attractive, consistent cash flow is a core part of our mission to offer you a better way to invest.”

Online SMB lending platform Yalber closes $ 20M senior credit facility (Bankless Times), Rated: A

SMB lending platform Yalber closed a $20 million senior credit facility this week, the company announced today.

Blinker Joins With Ally To Enhance The Auto Industry’s Only Peer-To-Peer E-Commerce Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Award winner and 2018 LendIt Fintech Industry Award finalist Blinker, the only peer-to-peer e-commerce platform that provides an end-to-end solution for anyone buying, selling or financing cars, announced two major milestones for its business today:

  • Blinker is now available in the largest car markets in the US – Beginning today, Blinker is expanding its proprietary e-commerce and loan origination platform from Texas and Colorado to California and Florida, allowing millions of customers to buy, sell and finance vehicles easier, quicker and safer with other people. Thirty percent of vehicle sales across the US every year are between people, yet private-party marketplaces including Craigslist, Letgo, Autotrader, Cars.com and Facebook Marketplace don’t have services such as integrated financing or lien payoff support. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, Blinker customers get guidance and tools to complete the entire purchase process themselves, from instant vehicle valuation to real-time auto loan approval to e-signing documents to secure funds transfer, all for free within Blinker’s mobile app.
  • Blinker joins with Ally to offer best-in-class auto protection products – Blinker will now give customers the option to add Ally’s vehicle protection coverage, including Ally Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Ally Premier Protection vehicle service contracts, for their vehicle purchases in the app. GAP covers the difference between the cash value of a vehicle and what Blinker customers still owe on their loan if the vehicle is totaled or stolen. Ally vehicle service contracts cover the repair cost for over 7,400 mechanical, electrical, safety or digital components, as well as some related expenses like trip interruption, rental car coverage, towing and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Zelle users are finding out the hard way there’s no fraud protection (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Scammers have taken to Zelle, the Venmo alternative backed by U.S. banks, to defraud consumers who believe the service includes the same protections they’ve come to expect from PayPal. A number of customers report having lost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over Zelle, when they used it for transactions with people they didn’t know – like tickets bought off a Craigslist posting, for example.

Cyberattacks took $ 56B from U.S. economy in ’16 (American Banker), Rated: A

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House said Friday.

The estimate comes in a Council of Economic Advisers report on the impact of cyberattacks on U.S. government and industry. The report details the range of threats that U.S. entities face from actors including corporations and countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The council’s estimate represents between 0.31% and 0.58% of the 2016 U.S. gross domestic product. For comparison, the report cites a Center for Strategic and International Studies report that estimated the cost of malicious cyber activities against U.S. entities at $107 billion in 2013, 0.64% of GDP that year.

BlockFi Raises 1.55M in Seed Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

BlockFi, a New York-based fintech company whose first product is a loan for cryptoasset owners, raised $1.55m in seed funding.

Backers included ConsenSys Ventures, Kenetic Capital, PJC, SoFi, Purple Arch Ventures and Lumenary.

The 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies (Fast Company), Rated: A

03 Square

For extending the benefits of banking

19 Social Capital

For putting values into its ventures

26 Kakao Bank

For marrying social messaging with banking

31 Paytm

For pioneering the cashless economy

42 Stripe

For writing the new startup manual

47 CommonBond

For offering payback

‘Pinterest will get even bigger for us’ says fintech lender Elevate Credit (The Drum), Rated: A

Speaking to The Drum in the final instalment of a four-part video series with Falcon.io exploring social media strategies, she admitted that while it can be a challenge, using data to understand her audience’s wants and needs has helped her shape content which is likely to resonate.

Fox says she has been finding success on the unlikeliest of social media platforms – Pinterest.

“All our content is more lifestyle focused than finance focused,” she explained.

OpenClose Bolsters Software Integration and Support Teams (Send2Press), Rated: B

OpenClose, an industry-leading multi-channel loan origination system (LOS) and mortgage fintech provider, announced that it has added staff to its integration and customer support departments. The new hires will help enhance OpenClose’s existing software products, facilitate digital mortgage processes, produce fintech-level innovation and provide excellence in customer support. The company also recently added three senior software engineers to its development team.

3 Loans for Students You Should Avoid Like the Plague (Student Loan Hero), Rated: B

1. Payday loans

You usually have only a couple of weeks to repay the loan, and the typical APR is almost 400.00%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you can’t pay it back and have to take out a new payday loan to pay off the first, you could end up stuck in a vicious cycle of predatory debt.

What you should try instead: payday alternative loan (PAL).

2. Auto title loans

The reality is these short-term loans also have three-digit APRs, and you typically have between 15 and 30 days to repay the loan.

What you should try instead: A short-term campus loan.

$20 / $2,000 = 1%
1% x 365 days = 3.65
3.65 / 60 = 6.08% APR

3. Cash advances

This type of loan isn’t as costly as a payday loan or an auto title loan, but it’s not ideal for two reasons:

  1. Credit cards charge a fee, typically 5% of the advance amount. So, if you withdraw $500, you’ll have to pay $25 upfront.
  2. There’s no grace period with cash advances, so interest starts accruing immediately.

What you should try instead: A 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer a 0% APR promotion on new purchases for a period.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle to launch two new mobile apps this year (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

The business lender, which currently only has an iPhone app for investors to access, monitor and manage their accounts, is now advertising for a global mobile apps product manager and for an Android developer.

Both positions are based in the UK.

“We have an ambitious roadmap for this year and want to launch two new apps (Android and iOS) for our investors,” the job advert on the Funding Circle website said.

LendInvest Announces Launch of Buy-to-Let Online Calculator for Intermediaries (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, LendInvest announced the launch of its new buy-to-let (BTL) online calculator for intermediaries.

 

P2P business lending up 51% (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The value of P2P business lending grew by 51% during 2017, according to new research from the British Business Bank (BBB).

The report also found that the value of SME asset finance deals was up 12%.

Although net bank lending volumes remained positive (£700m in 2017), it was weaker than in both 2016 (£3bn) and 2015 (£2bn).

The BBB found that there had been a significant increase in both the value and number of SME equity deals, up 79% and 12% respectively.

Online lenders and banks may operate as ‘joint ventures’ (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ONLINE lending platforms may partner with banks to fund and market credit products in the future, even sharing the approval process and compliance, in one scenario outlined by global banking regulators.

A number of peer-to-peer lenders have already partnered with banks on a smaller scale. For example, Metro Bank has lent through Zopa’s platform and Santander has referred borrowers to Funding Circle. However, these tie-ups have not gone as far as the report’s scenario suggests in terms of becoming a joint venture.

Crowdfund sites ‘are not explaining the dangers’ (The Times), Rated: A

Square Pie, which started life as a stall in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, expanded with the help of a “pie bond” that promised 8% annual interest over four years. The bond was offered through one of Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platforms, Crowdcube.

A total of 324 investors signed up, lending more than £650,000 to fund Square Pie restaurants and its efforts to improve supermarket sales. Square Pie has gone into administration — the first failure of a business that issued a mini bond on a crowdfunding site.…

Crypto lending platform nears launch (AltFi), Rated: A

Lendingblock is one such business. The soon-to-launch platform is, in its founder Steve Swain’s words, “an open exchange for cryptocurrency loans”.

Lendingblock is in the middle of a three-stage Initial Coin Offering that will conclude in March. The first phase has already been completed, raising the equivalent of $500,000. The offering has a hard cap of $10m.

Number of farming building conversions falls 20 percent in a year (FarmingUK), Rated: B

The number of conversions of farm buildings into new homes dropped 20% in the last year, denting hopes that these conversions could help solve the rural housing crisis.

According to Lendy, one of Europe’s largest peer-to-peer lending platforms, only 1,511 agricultural-to-residential conversion applications were approved in 2016/17.

China

The New Year to Bring a New Flood of IPOs (CapitalWatch), Rated: A

Golden Bull Ltd., an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China, plans to offer up to $9 million in shares on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DNJR.” The Shanghai-based company, which was founded in 2015, provides borrowers access to short-term loans.
European Union

Finnest Expands Online Financing to Larger Corporations, Adds Institutional Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finnest is an interesting online lender operating in the DACH countries. The peer to peer platform was launched to provide SME funding supported by individual investors but the company is now expanding by providing loans of €10 million and higher. Institutional investors such as insurance companies, funds, family offices and banks will now be able to invest in large SMEs on “FinnestPro.”

Why it’s OK that the majority of consumers don’t know about Open Banking – for now (AltFi), Rated: A

The new EU legislation on payment services – PSD2 – and the introduction of Open Banking in the UK seem to have passed the vast majority of people in the country by, according to an AltFi News article last month.

This referred to a report by Which saying that 92 per cent of consumers hadn’t even heard of Open Banking.

International

How Millennials are Moving Emerging Markets (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Millennials in advanced economies have come under pressure in recent years, thanks to stagnating wages, rising house prices and escalating student debt. But an altogether different trend is taking place in many emerging markets where millennials are seeing their prospects rapidly improve. This in turn is creating an investment opportunity, as millennials in these countries are becoming hugely influential on the prospects for emerging market equities.

Millennials will account for half of the global workforce by 2020, meaning they will be one of the most influential groups in shaping the economy and society, including consumption habits, policy and how companies may want to market and brand themselves. They are disrupting traditional industries and companies are having to adapt. This presents investment opportunities, but it also presents new investment risks.

Latest ICO Updates on VLR Token – Valorem Foundation ICO is LIVE! (TechBullion), Rated: A

Based on ERC-20, the multilayered cryptocurrency platform will host a marketplace that allows developmental phases. The first phase focuses on micro loans (small loans), rent payments, student loans and peer-to-peer payment processing.

As trust grows on the platform, phase 2 will be implemented to cater to sales distribution, global small business investing and global commercial and residential real estate crowdfunding while the third stage will serve charity and insurance. The final phase will be dedicated to maintenance and future developments that may include additional currency adoption, feature adding etc.

Valorem (VLR) is the token offered. The exchange rate stands at 1 ETH= 1000 VLR. There is a total supply of 200 million tokens of which 150 million are available during the ICO and 50 million will be kept in reserve. Valorem will not be mined.

Wealth managers must go digital (Raconteur), Rated: B

People born between roughly 1982 and 2002 are set to receive the biggest inheritance boom of any post-war generation. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated the figure will be around $4 trillion in the UK, Canada and United States.

An Interview with Kirill Suslov – The CEO at Finom and TabTrader Founder (NewsBTC), Rated: B

NewsBTC: Now it seems that you have no experience with banking services yet. How do you plan to cover this area?

Now I can say we understand confidently how banking works and how it should work in the crypto industry. By 2020, we’re going to have a licensed bank and transform it into a crypto one with a network of crypto terminals.

A bit sooner, in 2018, we plan to release crypto e-wallets with linked debit cards. Miners will be able to use recently mined coins right away, transferring them to their wallets immediately. We’re also designing a platform for peer-to-peer lending.

Australia

Peer To Peer Lending Increasingly Popular In Australia (compare dinkum), Rated: AAA

Australian investors and borrowers are increasingly adopting peer to peer lending platforms according to the results of survey undertaken by ASIC. The results of the survey suggest that as much as $300 million of personal and business loans were underwritten by peer to peer lenders over the course of the last fiscal year. That represents a doubling in the amount that was lent on such platforms during the 2015/2016 financial year.

Why Australia needs a better system for credit scores (The Converstion), Rated: AAA

Australia’s credit rating system is failing both borrowers and lenders. Many borrowers are unaware of their own credit scores and our research shows they have trouble applying for suitable loans. Lenders are also struggling with too little information, causing them to extend loans to those they shouldn’t and restrict loans to worthy borrowers.

Upcoming changes to Australia’s credit reporting system could remedy these issues.

Under the new credit reporting regime, both lenders and borrowers will have access to more data, such as monthly payment histories on loans and credit cards.

More innovation ahead in mortgage lending

For higher-risk borrowers, novel techniques to assess credit risk (such as analysis of social media accounts) may be the answer to distinguish good borrowers from bad.

But prior experience from an over-reliance on credit scores in the United States shows that careful assessment of borrowers remains vital.

India

Refer to these fintech startups for range of medical loans (Business Standard), Rated: A

Among all the personal the medical loan is the most crucial one which is often required on an urgent basis by the applicants.

Recently a host of Financial technology(Fintech) and Non-financing related start-ups have been launched in providing a variety of medical to the clients.

Canada

They couldn’t get loans from their banks so turned to a legitimate-looking lender online (The Star), Rated: AAA

Unable to qualify for a loan from her bank, Johnston searched online for private lenders and found a website for what appeared to be a legitimate company calling itself North Clear Credit.

Everything about it — the variety of loans offered, the glowing testimonials, the company description — seemed professional. In fact, a customer who later reported North Clear Credit to police says an officer told her the website looked legitimate.

For Johnston and Mood, the terms were appealing. The money could be paid back monthly over five years at an interest rate substantially lower than what they would be charged elsewhere.

Johnston completed an online application and was approved for a $20,000 loan.

Within a few days, Johnston and Mood had lost $3,500, and two North Clear Credit “representatives” with whom Johnston had been corresponding had disappeared.

Blackchain Announces Private Placement (Stockhouse), Rated: A

Blackchain Solutions Inc. (the “Company” or “Blackchain”) (CSE: BIS), announces a private placement of up to 3,400,000 units at a price of $0.18 per unit, for gross proceeds of $612,000.  Each unit consists of one common share and one share purchase warrant.  Each warrant is exercisable at a price of $0.22 per share for a term of two years.

Proceeds generated from this financing will be used to initiate and support the filing of multiple patents and trademarks related to the Blackchain Crypto Credit Rating API and P2P Lending Platform.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday February 1 2018, Daily News Digest

software hacks

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi lays off 5% of workforce. BlueVine doubles invoice financing credit lines. Chime reaches 750K bank accounts, $2.5B transaction volume. SoftBank injects funding into Moven, who could be buying a bank. Zopa hits 3B GBP in lending. Crowd Genie kicks off ICO. Today’s main analysis: Coincheck’s recent hack could mean big changes in crypto lending, […]

software hacks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Bermuda

News Summary

United States

SoFi Lays Off 5% of Staff (WSJ), Rated: AAA

The San Francisco-based financial-technology company told staffers on Tuesday it is cutting around 65 jobs, roughly 5% of its 1,300-person workforce, the people said. The layoffs are centered in SoFi’s mortgage-operations centers in Healdsburg, Calif., and Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

He added that SoFi is currently looking to fill more than 175 open jobs.

‘A 401(k) of the future’: How SoFi wants to grow student loan refinancing with WeWork (Tearsheet), Rated: A

SoFi wants to sell its loan refinancing products to WeWork and its member companies by offering them an additional 0.125 percent discount.

growing number of companies have been adding student loan repayment as a workplace benefit. With $1.4 trillion in outstanding federal and private student loans, it’s a huge market.

SoFi’s Top 20 Law Schools Producing the Highest Salary Averages (JDJournal), Rated: A

SoFi examined the salary earned upon graduation from different law schools compared to the cost of the education. They looked at 60,000 student loan refinancing applications that had been submitted to them between January 2014 and December 2016. They took that data and formed SoFi’s Return on Education (ROED) Law School Rankings. The ranking uses the average salary and student debt load of the graduates three years out of law school that is reported to them by graduates looking to refinance their loans.

The top 20 law schools with the highest average salaries are:

  1. Cornell University – $183,377
  2. Columbia University – $177,962
  3. New York University – $177,203
  4. University of Chicago – $174,238
  5. Harvard University – $173,578
  6. Georgetown University – $173,464
  7. Northwestern University – $173,204
  8. Yale University – $171,779
  9. University of Pennsylvania – $170,954
  10. Duke University – $169,096
  11. University of Virginia – $166,396
  12. University of Michigan Ann Arbor – $164,713
  13. University of California Berkeley – $163,940
  14. University of Southern California – $161,823
  15. Fordham University – $160,590
  16. Stanford University – $158,088
  17. George Washington University – $153,302
  18. University of California Los Angeles – $152,469
  19. Vanderbilt University – $149,475
  20. University of Texas at Austin – $147,444

BlueVine doubles invoice financing credit lines to up to $ 5 million (Finextra), Rated: AAA

BlueVine has doubled the credit line size for its invoice factoring product to up to $5 million, underscoring the online business lender’s push to offer fast and flexible working capital financing to small and medium-sized businesses.

BlueVine also increased the limit for its business line of credit product to $200,000 from $150,000, making its Flex Credit product an even more attractive financing option for larger or fast-growing companies.

Court upholds constitutionality of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Politico), Rated: A

A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s structure, a decision that preserves the agency’s independence in the face of challenges from business interests and conservatives.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-3 on Wednesday that a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that limits the president’s ability to remove the CFPB director during his or her five-year term does not violate the president’s authority to appoint and remove executive branch officers.

Chime Reaches 750,000 Bank Accounts, $ 2.5 Billion Transaction Volume (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Chime is on track to open more than 100,000 bank accounts per month and expects to reach 1 million total this quarter. With more than 750,000 bank accounts opened to date and over $2.5 billion in total transaction volume, Chime has emerged as the clear leader in the challenger banking segment.

While most Americans pay more than $27 a month on average in bank fees, Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees, monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. With its award-winning mobile banking app, Chime members avoided more than $225 million in potential overdraft fees from traditional banks in 2017 alone, while putting over $72 million into savings accounts with help from Chime’s automated savings tools.

Moven to receive funding from SoftBank, plans to buy bank (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Moven, the mobile-first “neobank” founded by Brett King in 2011, is getting a multi-million dollar infusion from the Japanese company SBI Group, owner of SoftBank. At the same time, Moven says it is pursuing the acquisition of a bank.

SBI Group will hold one of the six seats on Moven’s board, and the two companies will set up a joint venture in Japan.

At the same time, Moven is making major changes to its overall business, including splitting the company in two.

On one side will be the software provider that already develops digital banking software for TD Bank in Canada and Westpac in New Zealand.

On the other side will be the neobank, which will be called MovenBank.

Is Marcus Going to Launch a Credit Card? (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Ainsley Harris reported in Fast Company today that Goldman Sachs is acquiring the employees who built Final, a credit card startup based in Oakland. Final offered a unique kind of credit card, one that would create a different virtual card number for every merchant, thereby reducing the risk of credit card fraud.

It has been a busy couple of years for Goldman Sachs when it comes to their consumer facing business. This latest deal follows a long list of acquisitions for Goldman recently:

  1. Acquisition of GE Capital Bank – this jumpstarted GS Bank giving it a huge deposit base.
  2. Acquisition of Honest Dollar – the digital retirement savings app was acquired in March 2016.
  3. Launch of Marcus with debt consolidation loans.
  4. Acquisition of Genesis Capital – not really consumer facing but could add a real estate development arm to the bank.
  5. Bond Street – employees of the online small business lender moved to Goldman Sachs.
  6. Addition of home improvement loans to the Marcus offerings.

Why big financial firms are building robos instead of white labeling (Tearsheet), Rated: A

In November, Wells Fargo launched Intuitive Investor, its digital-human hybrid offering from Wells Fargo Advisors. The following month Morgan Stanley launched Access Investing and JPMorgan Chase launched JPMorgan Digital Investing. Goldman Sachs, Raymond James, YF Financial and ICBC are all currently developing their own.

The start of the robo phenomenon was meant to address small, do-it-yourself investors, said Tom Streiff, special consultant to HBW Partners.

“A lot of these big firms have a lot more small accounts than they’re willing to admit,” he said. “Robos were one answer to that. Now they want to have something that has more of their own mark on it … not just to get the technology but to get the smart people inside.”

Typically, the white label provider will take 15 basis points of the total and leave the rest to the bank for distribution, Saxena said. Pricing from independent players, like Betterment or Wealthfront, is competitive.

SmartBiz Loans Launches AI-powered Digital Advisor Tool for Small Business Owners (Digital Journal), Rated: A

SmartBiz Loans, the SBA loan marketplace and bank-enabling technology platform, today announced the launch of SmartBiz Advisor, the first, AI-driven, online education tool that makes the financial insights and analysis provided by a typical CFO available to small businesses at no cost.

SmartBiz Advisor is an intelligent online platform that allows small business owners to easily and quickly learn how banks typically evaluate their business on key criteria before applying for a loan.

The Future of Real Estate, Part 2: A Crowdfunding Revolution? (GuruFocus), Rated: A

A well-managed crowdfunding platform should provide a range of deals, after having done sufficient due diligence itself so as to not place potential investors in financial jeopardy, and itself in legal jeopardy. When dealing in investment assets, whether equity or real estate, investors are still expected to be sophisticated and have the means to weather losses that are part and parcel with any private investment deal.

A growing cast of players

Interestingly, even as equity crowdfunding in startup companies has been slow to take off (Indiegogo’s platform raised just $7.53 million in equity investments during its first year of operation), real estate crowdfunding platforms have been popping up like weeds. RealtyMogul.com, for example, has an investor community of 150,000 people that have invested $318 million through its platform since it went live in 2012. The crowdfunder claims to have returned $70 million to investors thus far. RealtyShares, founded in 2013, has also posted big numbers, with platform users reportedly investing $700 million across more than a thousand deals.

A new breed of of private REIT

Private REITs are obviously opaque and potentially dangerous, but the crowdfunding platform has forged ahead all the same. Perhaps, with their interactive dashboards and high levels of investor transparency, these crowdfunded REITs will be able to correct some of the ills of their less technologically sophisticated forebears.

This College Grad Found an Affordable Way to Start Investing in Real Estate (The Penny Hoarder), Rated: A

The Fundrise Starter Portfolio would invest her money into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States. It would do all the heavy lifting for her — and play landlord on her behalf.

She didn’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed away, either. She could get started with a minimum investment of just $500.

Fundrise lists an average annualized return of 11.44% in 2017. Investors pay 1% in annual fees — a 0.85% asset-management fee and a 0.15% investment advisory fee.

Breaking down the barriers of real estate investment: A Q&A with Peter Vekselman from WeLend (AtlantaAgent), Rated: A

Q: What sort of problems were you experiencing when it came to financing real estate projects?

The problem is that behind the scenes the money is handled by hedge funds. All of the hedge funds on Wall Street do their own thing and no one knows who they are. So what happens is you have a potential investor and the first problem for them is finding the financing.

Q: How exactly does We Lend work, and how does it help solve some of the problems previously mentioned?

I’ve consolidated and cut deals to put all the hedge funds under one roof, so now investors don’t have to go through this huge undertaking to find the funds. They can came to us, and we can underwrite them and then figure out on the back end the best match.

It’s like LendingTree for the investor world.

Q: What types of projects and people does We Lend work with?

We work with small developers or a mom-and-pop builder that does five properties a year. And we mainly work with residential properties only because there are more residential opportunities than anything else.

In terms of price points, we try to stay as low as $50,000 per project.

On Deck Welcomes Paul Rosen & James Hobson As Two New Senior Vice Presidents (OnDeck), Rated: A

Today, On Deck announced the appointments of Paul Rosen as Senior Vice President of Sales and James Hobson as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Platform Solutions.

Santander Consumer USA And AutoFi Team Up To Provide Car Buyers And Dealers With Fast And Easy Online Sales And Financing (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC, or the Company) today announced that it will work with automotive technology leader AutoFi to streamline and simplify the car-buying process for consumers, while giving dealers a robust digital sales channel.

Climb Credit Reveals A Solution To Student Lending Crisis (Climb Credit Email), Rated: A

A few key findings include:

  • The median student saw a 66.7% salary increase
  • For Climb students who have held two different jobs since attending their program, there is a median pay increase of 38.9% from the first to the second job
  • Nearly three out of four students surveyed said they would not have been able to attend their education program if they didn’t have Climb Credit as a financing option

House Approves New Payday Loan With 200 Percent Interest Rate (Indiana Public Media), Rated B

The Indiana House approved legislation Wednesday to create a new type of payday loan – with interest rates of up to 200 percent – that opponents argue amounts to predatory lending.

The legislation creates a loan of between about $600 and $1,500, with a term of up to 12 months.

Consumers warned not to borrow from unlicensed online lenders (International Falls Journal), Rated: B

The Minnesota Commerce Department warns Minnesota consumers not to borrow money from unlicensed lenders that advertise and offer short-term, payday or installment loans through the internet.

United Kingdom

Zopa hits £3bn lending landmark (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA said that it now has more than 60,000 active investors and more than 300,000 borrowers.

It has now lent out more than £3bn since inception, Zopa said on its website on Wednesday, having lent more than £985m in the past 12 months.

Investors are lending on average £13,000 while the average loan amount is £6,000.

China

Chinese internet users grow to 772 million (Technode), Rated: AAA

China now has 772 million internet users according to a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) today (in Chinese).

Growth rates of internet users have remained steady. During 2017, a total of 40.74 million new netizens were added with a growth rate of 5.6%. Internet penetration rates have reached 55.8% in China, more than the global average (51.7%) and the average rates for Asia (46.7%).

The number of mobile phone users in China has reached an impressive 753 million. The proportion of internet users using mobile phones rose from 95.1% in 2016 to 97.5% in 2017.

Since the end of 2016, the proportion of internet users that pay with their phones rose from 50.3% to 65.5%.

There was another number that went up at an impressive rate. The number of internet users buying internet financial products in China has reached 129 million, up 30.2% from the same period last year.

Alibaba-backed online lender MYbank owes cost-savings to home-made tech (Reuters), Rated: A

MYbank expects double-digit increases in all growth measures in 2017 due to lower costs enabled by technology, the bank’s president, Huang Hao, said in an interview at his office in Hangzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

As a result, the cost of approving a small business loan can be as little as 2 yuan, compared to at least 2,000 yuan ($317.97) at a traditional bank, according to data provided by the bank.

European Union

Remarks by Vice-President Dombrovskis at the European Financial Forum 2018 in Dublin (Europa.eu), Rated: AAA

 

Our immediate priority is to complete the Banking Union. For this, we should move in parallel on risk reduction and risk sharing. All elements are on the table. On risk reduction, this includes our November 2016 bank reform package and our ongoing work to reduce Non-Performing Loans. On the risk sharing side, we recently came with ideas on how to unblock negotiations on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. And we have broad support to finalise the work on the backstop for the Single Resolution Fund. So the time is ripe to move at political level on completing the Banking Union.

The second immediate priority for deepening the EMU is setting up the Capital Markets Union. Deeper capital markets across Europe will increase risk-sharing among private investors and improve the shock-absorption capacity of the economy. In the past three years, we have taken fundamental steps towards deeper and more integrated EU capital markets. Of the 33 actions we announced in 2015, 25 have now been completed.

One strength of Ireland’s financial sector is asset management. As of September last year, Irish fund managers had more than €4.2 trillion assets under management. A true Capital Markets Union would enable Irish fund managers to further benefit from the full scale of the single market. In March of this year, revised rules for the EU venture capital label – EuVECA – will enter into application. Large managers can then run EuVECA funds, providing economies of scale and trusted brands. We have also expanded the range of eligible assets, and decreased the costs associated with cross-border marketing.

We are also looking more broadly at the rules for offering funds across the EU. This market is still predominantly organised along national lines. For example, 70% of the assets under management are held by funds available for sale in only one EU country. The share of alternative investment funds that is marketed in more than three countries is very low – only 3%.

Europe has what it takes to develop a globally competitive Fintech sector. We can rely on our strengths in research and engineering. For example, we have 32 artificial intelligence research institutions in the world top 100, which is more than the US or China. I also see great Fintech potential here in Ireland, with its strong information technology culture.

We will also present a legislative proposal to enable EU-wide crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

The future of finance will not only be digital, it will also have to be green.

• Third, we could boost green investments and loans by introducing a so-called green supporting factor. This could be done at first stage by lowering capital requirements for certain climate-friendly investments, such as energy-efficient mortgages or low-carbon cars. However, this exercise would be delicate. Green does not mean risk-free. Any measures would have to be carefully calibrated, and based on a clear EU classification.

CreditEase Founder, CEO Ning Tang Spoke at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

CreditEase, a Beijing-based leading financial technology conglomerate specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, announced that its Founder and CEO, Mr Ning Tang, participated and spoke at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

Under the central theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, this year’s meeting has drawn an estimated 2,500 participants, including a record number of heads of state and leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society.

“Technology has greatly improved access to financial services for Chinese consumers and small businesses in the past decade, and we expect more progress to be made in the SME lending space with the help of FinTech in coming years,” said Mr Tang. “Financial services like angel investing and VC/PE, powered by technology, will bring more high-quality growth to the Chinese economy.”

International

IOU Financial partners with CDE solutions in funding CDE’S network of 26,000 convenience store owners (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV: IOU), an online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Marietta, GA-based POS solutions provider CDE (CDEsolutions.com).  Through this strategic partnership, CDE’s network of 26,000 convenience store owners nationwide will be able to access IOU’s fast, convenient, non-collateral funding solutions.

Crebit: Blockchain DLT in wave of transforming P2P financing (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Adopting Blockchain and DLT for P2P lending system can facilitate capital mobilization within the financial system through flat-out transfer of monetary values from parties unrestricted by barriers-to-entry. Thus, the potential for P2P lending in support of free international financial flows remains vastly untapped.

Ipsos MORI veracity Index shows 75% of investors complain about banks data provision, but rather P2P investment groups maintain a credible and transparent operation.

Crebit is a blockchain-empowered network provider that offers global microfinance lending collateralized by crypto assets, based on the artificial intelligence credit scoring system. This microfinancing solution leverages blockchain technology to finance through top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple against up to 80% of investors collateralized crypto assets value. Crebit leads the way into crypto financing by building P2P lending agreements on smart contracts in the secured and decentralized Ethereum blockchain. The platform matches funding gaps for crypto holders, traders as well as multiple exchanges and transaction solutions. Crebit aims to provide businesses and individuals a decentralized credit scoring database for innovative and trustless transaction solutions unrestricted by geographical boundaries.

Australia

Trial by fire in an untested market (CMO.com.au), Rated: AAA

But this is precisely why Rebecca James, Prospa’s new chief marketing and enterprise officer, took the job almost five months ago.

“In just five years, the team has lent over $500m. But there are 2.1 million small businesses in Australia, and over half need cashflow support to take advantage of opportunities, to grow, or to cover an unexpected cost. My hope is to take the Prospa proposition and meet the growing needs of this audience. We’re just getting started.”

Launched six years ago, Prospa is now Australia’s number one online lender for small business, providing loans to more than 12,000 small businesses across the country. In November, it placed second in the AFRFast 100 for 2017 thanks to a 239 per cent average revenue growth since 2013-14. Last year, Prospa secured over $50m in equity and debt funding, and doubled the size of its loan book.

Online Cash Flow Loans Australia Announces Unsecured Cash Flows Loans Up To $ 500k (PRWire), Rated: A

Online Cash Flow Loans is a fast emerging player in the online cash flow loans marketplace. The organization is an arm of Magnolia Finance that specializes in offering low cost business loans to small businesses in Australia.

These cash flow loans are tailored to meet the growing business finance needs of businesses operating in the hospitality, retail, construction, medical and agribusiness. Basically any small business operating in Australian and in need of unsecured business loans can apply for business loan online on the company website.

Loan terms from 3 to 24 months
Same day funding
Flexible repayment options
Redraw facility available
India

Budget Reaction Rajat Gandhi, Founder & CEO, Faircent. com (Faircent Email), Rated: AAA

Hon. Finance minister budget speech reflects the government’s intent to increase the credit access for the MSME sector and women entrepreneurs under MUDRA scheme. P2P lending is using technology and new-age data and diligently working towards taking organised credit to the non and under-banked segments of the Indian economy. This is an opportunity for the government to directly invest or co-fund through registered P2P Lending Platforms and ensure credit access for MSMEs, New-To-Credit as well as female entrepreneurs. P2P lending is an asset class ensuring flow of investments from those with surplus to those in need. Hence it’s important that the lenders are supported through tax incentives. We look forward to working with the govt towards common goal of financial inclusion.

The popular FinTech platforms serving MSMEs in India (KNN India), Rated: A

Keeping in view the credit crunch faced by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in India due to various reasons, new FinTech platforms are coming up to improve loan disbursal to the sector.

According to a media report, there are four popular FinTech platforms that are helping in robust loan disbursal – CreditMantri, Aye Finance, CoinTribe and Faircent.

P2P Lending Set to Explode in 2018 And Beyond (CXO Today), Rated: B

RBI’s much awaited official guidelines for Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platforms to bring them into the ambit of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is set to boost online lending. It is fast emerging as an investment option for retail lenders.

Asia

MAS Regulated Peer to Peer Lender Crowd Genie Announces Initial Coin Offering (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte Ltd, regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has announced an initial coin offering (ICO) via their related entity CGSPV Pte. Ltd. The peer to peer lender states that it intends on issuing 60 million Crowd Genie Coins, or CGCoins, for a soft cap of USD $5 million. The public sale commences today and 400 CGCoins may be purchased for a single ETH. Bonus CGCOINs, between an additional 5% and 25%, will be given to early buyers as an incentive.

Coincheck’s recent hack could mean big changes in the crypto space (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck revealed on Friday that its 

Source: Business Insider

Online lenders join gold rush into SE Asia (Ecns.cn), Rated: A

Chinese online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies have been rushing into Southeast Asian countries in recent months to cash in on untapped and lightly regulated markets that feature huge potential, as growth in the domestic market slows amid tightening regulations.

While much of Southeast Asia offers a promising future for these lenders given its huge population and underdeveloped financial services industry, most of the Chinese companies are betting on short-term gains rather than long-term growth, an industry expert noted on Wednesday.

Over 50 Chinese online lenders have launched overseas operations, with Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia being the top destinations, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Wednesday.

In Indonesia alone, there are more than 50 Chinese consumer lending apps at the moment, up from 30 just a month ago, the report said.

Here are the new services launched by startups in Indonesia this week (e27), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Investree on Tuesday officially launched a sharia-based P2P lending programme.

The programme has been tested since November 2017. The startup claied that by January it has managed to channel IDR2.7 billion (US$200,000) worth of loan from 1,340 lenders to 313 borrowers.

Bermuda

Peer-to-Peer Lending & Equity Crowdfunding (Bernews), Rated: AAA

A Bermudian expert on information technology, asset and risk management tools is today celebrating the global launch of her book on peer-to-peer lending and the securities crowd funding industry.

“The book, entitled ‘Peer-to-Peer Lending and Equity Crowdfunding: A Guide to the New Capital Markets for Job Creators, Investors and Entrepreneurs,’ highlights the inequality gap is widening and persists worldwide,” a spokesperson said.

“The book not only describes how debt and equity crowdfunding works but also explains investment approaches, secondary markets, governance and compliance, transparency, and risk models that are necessary for investors to make informed decisions.

The book is available here.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday January 19 2018, Daily News Digest

data breaches

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi Professional Loan Program hits $720M on first offering. Roofstock reaches $1B in transactions. When Zopa will open to new investors. PPDai to invest in research. Linked Finance sees profitability. Revolut launches geolocation-powered travel insurance. Harmoney partners with DataRobot. Today’s main analysis: The most and least competitive homebuyer markets. Fundrise or Vanguard: Which is the better investment? […]

data breaches

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

SoFi’s Professional Loan Program at $ 720 Million for First Offering (LendEDU), Rated: AAA

Social Finance’s Professional Loan Program 2018-A has reached $720.1 million, which is just a bit lower than the final deal it had in 2017.

In this latest program, three portions of senior Class A notes worth $677.3 million will be issued. Of that figure, one $55 million Class A-1 portion is mostly secured by floating-rate loans, and it has a variable-rate interest rate, which will be calculated based on one-month Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

Fixed-rate student loans will mostly back the $358.5 million in Class A-2A notes, as well as the $236.8 million in Class A-2 notes.

Why open banking and cybersecurity need each other (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

The industry’s desire for greater security and protection of customer data seems at odds with its desire for more open banking; by definition, open banking requires banks to share data with third party service providers.

In the U.S. banks are striving to get ahead of their own regulators by creating data exchange standards. API-based data sharing agreements like the deals Fincity signed with Wells Fargo and Chase last year are evidence of those efforts. But banks need to move beyond those one-on-one agreements if they’re going to create a full suite of financial services to offer customers through a true open banking platform.

Source: Tearsheet

PeerIQ CEO Ram Ahluwalia: 2017 Saw a Resurgence of Growth in Online Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ahluwalia told me;

“2017 has seen a resurgence in investor growth and confidence in online lending. ABS issuance is up about 83%.  Execution spreads have tightened substantially. This performance is all on the ABS loan side but has not translated yet into the equity valuations. “

He added that he expects to see continued attention on credit performance in 2018 as they are still seeing normalization of credit performance.

He expects 30% growth in ABS issuance for next year while adding that PeerIQ underestimated the growth for 2017.

LendingTree Ranks Most Competitive Homebuyer Markets (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, has released the findings of its study on where homebuyers will face the fiercest competition to achieve their dream of homeownership in 2018.

LendingTree looked at 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests that came through the LendingTree marketplace in the 100 largest cities in 2017. The study ranks cities using three criteria:

  • The share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they want. Buyers with financing in place are more appealing to sellers and can compete with cash buyers.
  • Average down payment percentage. Having a higher amount of money saved for a down payment can enable you to borrow more money or be offered a lower interest rate, allowing you to make a stronger offer.
  • Percentage of buyers who have prime credit (above 680). Borrowers with higher scores have more financing options to make more competitive offers. The cities/markets below are ranked for 2018 using the criteria noted above, including the relative data used to determine the ranking along with the market’s overall rank from the prior year.

California markets dominate the top 10.

Six of the top 10 most competitive housing markets are in CaliforniaSan Francisco and San Jose lead the rankings in 2018, with a vast number of credit-worthy and well-heeled borrowers making it one of the most challenging markets for prospective home shoppers.

Real Estate Marketplace Roofstock Hits $ 1 Billion in Transactions (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Thursday, real estate marketplace Roofstock announced it has surpassed $1 billion in property transactions since the launching of its marketplace in 2016.

Roofstock Announces $ 7 Million In Additional Funding (Benzinga), Rated: A

Roofstock announced Thursday that the venture capital arm of Silicon Valley Bank had joined its latest funding round, bringing the property investing startup’s funding total to $42 million.

Gary Beasley, CEO: Roofstock is the first online marketplace created exclusively for buyers and sellers of cash-flowing, single-family rental homes that already have tenants.

Who are your investors, if any?

Roofstock has raised $68,250,000 to date, with a recent $35M Series C investment led by Canvas Ventures in October 2017. Other investors since Roofstock’s launch include Lightspeed Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Hone Capital, QED Investors, Nyca Partners, and several angel investors.

Vanguard vs. Fundrise: Which is the Better Investment Option? (Fundrise), Rated: AAA

We often get the question, “What makes a Fundrise eREIT worth investing in over the Vanguard REIT ETF?” It’s a fair question that we expected when we created the eREIT. The short answer is that Fundrise eREIT investments are lower in cost for investors than those of the Vanguard REIT ETF and also come with the potential for better returns — how our costs are lower than Vanguard requires a longer answer.

Source: Fundrise

Some of the largest REITs in which the Vanguard REIT ETF owns shares are Simon Property Group(shopping malls, worth approximately $50 billion), Equinix (office buildings, worth approximately $34 billion), and AvalonBay Communities (apartment buildings, worth $25 billion).

Vanguard charges no brokerage commissions and carries only a low investment advisory fee of 0.30%, which it reports to be lower than the industry standard of 1.02%. In addition to the advisory fee, Vanguard charges its REIT ETF investors an asset management fee of 0.11% as well as reimbursement of “expenses.”

The Fundrise Approach

Where public market investments rely on several financial organizations to perform various services from acquisition and development to offering diversified portfolios of REITs, Fundrise uses technology to consolidate these functions and reduce the number of intermediaries in the value chain.

Source: Fundrise

The real estate investment trust designation of the eREIT does not equate the services or value creation offered by the eREIT with that of a public REIT — it simply allows Fundrise to pass at least 90% of the eREIT’s earned income to investors without paying taxes at the corporate level.

Fundrise investors can invest directly into an eREIT and only pay an 0.85% asset management fee at the eREIT level. Investors who want to diversify across multiple Fundrise investments, including eFunds, can do so through one of the investment portfolios. For example, rather than choosing one eREIT or more, investors can invest in the Starter Portfolio with a minimum investment of $500. For this service, investors are charged an investment advisory fee.

Chase joins AutoFi platform (Asset Finance International), Rated: A

Chase, the US consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, has become the first US national bank to partner with fintech company AutoFi to help customers select and finance vehicles through dealers’ websites.

The move comes after the bank’s research showed that nearly half of consumers would purchase and finance vehicles online if they had the opportunity.

ForUsAll Reaches $ 500m in Assets and Raises $ 21m in Venture Capital (Business Insider), Rated: A

ForUsAll, the technology-driven 401(k) advisor to small and mid-sized businesses, today announced it has reached $500m in retirement assets under management and secured $21 million in second round financing led by Ribbit Capital, a leading global investor in financial technology. Existing investor Foundation Capital joined the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $34 million. ForUsAll will use the funds to grow the company’s customer base, accelerate technology development and hire additional staff.

CFPB Signals Shift by Dropping Payday Lender Lawsuit (Bloomberg), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is dropping a lawsuit against a group of payday lenders associated with an American Indian tribe in a sign the regulator is changing direction under Mick Mulvaney, the acting director appointed by the Trump administration.

The agency had accused the lenders of deceiving consumers and failing to disclose the true cost of the loans, which carried interest rates as high as 950 percent a year. The agency asked for the case in federal court in Kansas to be dismissed in a court filing on Thursday, giving no details about its reasoning.

The CFPB lawsuit had targeted four companies owned by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake tribe.

Foreign and Domestic Condo Buyers Tap $ 300 Million Fund To Close On New Condo Purchases (PRWeb), Rated: A

Three leading South Florida real estate-related companies with robust real estate experience, deep capital markets relationships, and a proven track record of originating and servicing end-user loans have joined forces to provide senior mortgage loans to non-traditional real estate buyers. The joint venture, named Pebb Yale Truss Lending, (“PYT Lending”) is comprised of Pebb Capital, GPC Truss, and Yale Mortgage. Already the enterprise has commenced loan closings for approximately 20% of the units at Echo Brickell, a luxury condominium development by Property Markets Group (“PMG”) in Miami, FL.

The First Blockchain ETFs Launched on Nasdaq, NYSE Today (coindesk), Rated: A

Reality Shares Advisors and Amplify Trust ETF launched the first blockchain-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange Arca today.

Both funds went live on their respective exchanges at 9:30 a.m. EST. Reality Shares’ Nasdaq NextGen Economy ETF (BLCN) opened at $24.20, while Amplify’s Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK) started closer to $20.

What are some of the crowdfunding basics you need to know about? (Born2Invest), Rated: A

Crowdfunding is the opposite approach to business finance.

Crowdfunding is defined as a way of raising capital with the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors.

While crowdfunding is the umbrella term for this new way of investing and doing business, there are several types of crowdfunding.

  • Reward-based crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer lending – People who are risking to lend out money to strangers can create loan portfolios.
  • Donation-based crowdfunding
  • Equity crowdfunding – Equity crowdfunding has the most room for change in terms of how people invest their money.
  • Real estate crowdfunding
  • Human capital – If investors want to put in money on top athletes, there are crowdfunding available for this purpose. For instance, Fantex said it would offer an IPO on investments that track the brand value of top sports stars. Another crowdfunding site named Upstart provides money for college without piling on debt.

AI, blockchain, enhanced encryption: The fintech trends Chicago’s top techies are watching (Built in Chicago), Rated: A

Here’s what Chicago’s fintech leaders are watching in 2018.

Morningstar

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

Security technologies around encryption and voice will start to take shape. Investor and consumer trust in the markets, credit and technology suggest people aren’t satisfied with the norm. There aren’t enough heuristics used to encrypt data at rest and in transit, and the emergence of unique voice pattern activation — led by Amazon and Google — will start to drive changes in the industry.

Enova

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

AI and machine learning continue to grab headlines, and for good reason: they have the potential to improve every aspect of business.

PEAK6 Investments

Which emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2018?

Luke Peeler, software engineer: Blockchain technology.

The Future of Financial Services for the Underbanked: Tradition, Innovation, Regulation (LendIt), Rated: B

Traditional services used by the underbanked include check cashing, cash advance loans, and money transfers. Many view these services as overly expensive and behind the times, and an emerging ecosystem is leveraging fintech innovation to provide improved offerings. However, there’s a strong case made by industry researchers that the traditional, non-bank financial providers remain attractive to their customers, especially compared to the costs of a using a bank account.

  • Joe Coleman, CEO of RiteCheck
  • Rishi Kumar, Founder of Kashable
  • Cathy Mahon, President & CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
  • Lisa Servon, Professor of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania

Guidewire Partners With Plug and Play to Foster Innovation in P&C Insurance (Business Insider), Rated: B

Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers, today announced it has joined Plug and Play’s ecosystem to advance P&C insurance innovation and collaboration. Plug and Play is a global startup ecosystem and venture fund specializing in the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups in 12 verticals. Guidewire joins as a Corporate Partner focused on the Insurance vertical.

VPC recruits Kushman as principal and capital markets head (PE Hub Network), Rated: B

Victory Park Capital (VPC), an investment firm focused on middle-market debt and equity investments, announced today that Todd Kushman joins as a principal and head of capital markets. Kushman is based in New York.

Kushman will lead the firm’s capital markets initiatives, which includes optimizing and identifying new alternative investment product offerings.

BB&T creates $ 50m fintech investment fund (Retail Banker), Rated: B

BB&T, a US-based bank holding company, has decided to set aside $50m to invest in or buy emerging digital technology firms as part of its strategy to boost its competitive profile and trim operational expenses.

United Kingdom

ZOPA LENDING QUEUE: WHEN WILL ZOPA RE-OPEN TO NEW INVESTORS? (Orca), Rated: AAA

There was extensive media coverage in October of last year surrounding Zopa, the largest consumer-focused peer to peer lender in the UK, and when it will re-open its doors to new investors who have been waiting in the Zopa lending queue – some since early 2017. It’s the turn of 2018, and some members in the queue may be seeing signs of promise.

There are 26,000 people in the Zopa “wait list” (as of 9th January). With approximately 60,000 active customers, this influx will represent a 43% increase in lenders at the platform; impressive, given the time it’s taken the platform which was founded in 2005 to acquire its existing customer-base.

U.K. Fintech Nuvo Launches Facebook Chatbot For Financial Advice on Mortgages (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

AI-powered fintech Nuvo today launched a Facebook chatbot that helps people find the best mortgage deal.

Network ROI completes employee buy-out thanks to ThinCats £1m funding (Insider.co.uk), Rated: A

A Midlothian-based IT firm has completed an employee buy-out after receiving £1m in funding from alternative finance specialist ThinCats.

Founded in 2003 by Sean Elliot, Network ROI employs 32 people providing managed IT and connectivity services to organisations throughout the UK.

Fintech to help first-time buyers with Rent Recognition Challenge for startups (City A.M.), Rated: A

A new competition has been launched to get innovative startups using technology to help renters use this payments history as a record of credit worthiness. The idea is that a tool or service can be used by lenders and credit reference agencies as part of an assessment for a mortgage.

First announced in the Autumn Budget, the Rent Recognition Challenge is now open for entries, with a potential prize of £2m for fintechs working on this idea.

Six proposals will get £100,000 each to get started on a prototype between March and October, after which that will be narrowed down to three by a panel of judges with more cash up for grabs.

 

IFA launches investment service for dormant clients (FT Adviser), Rated: A

IFA firm Symphony is offering a white-label version of provider FinchTech’s non-advised robo-service to allow its clients to invest through its website without having to pay for advice.

For a platform fee of 0.25 per cent, investors are given access to four mainstream investment portfolios and four socially responsible investment portfolios via FinchTech, with equity/non-equity weightings ranging from a ‘cautious’ 35/65 split to the ‘adventurous’ 85/15.

BUSINESS SHOWCASE : IGNITION WEALTH IRELAND (Irish Tech News), Rated: B

Ignition Wealth Ireland is the European subsidiary of Australia’s leading digital financial advice provider Ignition Wealth. We assist large financial institutions integrating new technology into their current processes and systems  and we help them to reimagine how their customers navigate the financial advice experience.

China

PPDai to invest in research institute (Shanghai Daily), Rated: AAA

PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said yesterday that it will invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute.

The money invested in the new PPDai Smart Finance Institute will be used to fund artificial intelligence, blockchain, finance cloud and Big Data sectors, said Zhang Jun, co-founder and chief executive of Shanghai-based PPDai.

European Union

Linked Finance eyes profitability as revenue and lending levels jump (The Irish Times), Rated: AAA

Linked Finance, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform which has signed over 1,200 loans for Irish businesses, has said it is on track to be profitable this year.

The company, which is seeking to become the biggest non-bank lender to SMEs in Ireland, recorded a €1.1 million net loss in the 12 months to the end of April 2017, compared to a €1.2 million loss in the previous year.

Shareholders’ deficit amounted to €2.7 million at the end of the reporting period, as against €1.7 million a year earlier as accumulated losses increased from €2.2 million to €3.3 million.

FinTech, Robo Advisers, and the Soul of Swiss Banking (Mises Institute), Rated: AAA

As one Swiss economics journal put it, the most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between “startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations and total disruption of established technology & processes”. That is to say:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks will always retain the cachet of security and stability. Online-only banks, however, are asserting themselves more aggressively in claiming to offer the same services with higher rates and lower fees.
  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful
  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Companies like Betterment feature robo-advisors offer lower fees and lower minimums; meanwhile, the larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of personalized attention for which high net worth clients are willing to pay quite generously.
  • Traditional Wealth Management vs. Automated Advice: a plethora of new software platforms and apps feature digital options, including mobile telephone payment services, automated wealth management advice, price comparison apps, tailored social media groups and crowdfunding systems. On the other side, the exclusivity of one-on-one attention is forever and very possibly will take on even more cachet as the somewhat sterile egalitarianism of digital banking erodes the cultural hierarchy of status.
  • Traditional Clearing Systems vs. Blockchain. This latter can store and distribute crypto-currencies (such as Bitcoin) and digital contracts (such as land deeds) without the need for banks or formal clearing systems. Proponents of Blockchain maintain that it promises “to reduce fees, improve security and bypass the volatility of central bank controlled fiat currencies”. Major technology firms such as Google, Amazon and Alibaba are also joining this trend.

CoinLoan ICO Reaches Major Milestones as it Launches MVP and Enables Direct Fiat Investment (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Peer to peer fintech startup, CoinLoan, recently rolled out the first version of their peer-to-peer lending platform. Investors were thrilled with the results (try it for yourself here, and are eagerly awaiting the end of the ICO and listing on exchanges soon after.

CoinLoan has also recently enabled direct fiat investment in their ICO. This unique option enables investments of $5,000 or more in USD or EUR in exchange for CLT tokens.

CoinLoan has created a system of secured peer-to-peer lending, where borrowers deposit various crypto assets for a loan in their preferred fiat currency.

International

Revolut launches geolocation-powered travel insurance (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup Revolut is launching international medical and dental insurance. You can subscribe using the company’s app for £1 per day or more depending on the options.

By default, insurance coverage costs £1 per day for medical and dental insurance. You can add an option for winter sports and you can also cover your friends and family.

Australia/New Zealand

AI helps Harmoney improve ability to assess credit risk (CIO), Rated: AAA

Harmoney is working with DataRobot to improve the performance of its credit risk assessment process.

“With our deployment of DataRobot, we’re now using artificial intelligence to reduce risk for our lenders,” says Brad Hagstrom, joint-CEO of Harmoney.

Nine launches financial advice website 9Saver.com.au (Mumbrella), Rated: A

9Saver.com.au will aggregate the cost of living and shopping segments run across Nine News, Today, Today Extra, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes every week.

India

Startup eco-system looks forward to the budget for addressing tax dilemma (ET Rise), Rated: A

The Indian startup eco-system is looking forward to the union budget eagerly for addressing the tax dilemma. With high-quality entrepreneurs, good ideas and the very important funding ecosystem, startups have become an integral part of the India’s economic growth and job creation.

Asia

Banks, regulators lack skills to cope with pace of fintech innovation (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

Both regulators and industry officials lack the right analytical and data skills to cope with the wave of disruption washing over the financial industry, according to the technology officers at leading financial companies at Thursday’s Nikkei Asia300 Summit in Singapore.

Jonathan Larsen, chief innovation officer of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, said there are “definitely no” people with up-to-date skills among the regulators, which is slowing down the pace of change for traditional institutions.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday January 8 2018, Daily News Digest

marketplace banking

News Comments Today’s main news: Texas regulator sends cease & desist order to BitConnect. UK wins race for tech investment. Tencent licensed to sell mutual funds to WeChat users. Wishfin to raise $50M. FINTQ goes beyond lending. Today’s main analysis: Strategies banks, credit unions must implement this year (a must-read). Today’s thought-provoking articles: How the tech giants are going […]

marketplace banking

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

Securities Regulator Issues C&D to UK Based Cryptocurrency Marketplace BitConnect & Planned ICO (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The Texas State Securities Boardhas issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order targeting BiConnect, a UK based cryptocurrency platform. BitConnect is planning a new initial coin offering (ICO) later this month and Texas is stating the tokens are unregistered securities.

The Texas regulators say BitConnecthas placed 9.4 million of the coins into the online cryptocurrency marketplace, representing a market value of $4.1 billion as of Jan. 3 and expects to issue a maximum of 28 million coins.

The tech giants are coming for your customers (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Lost in all this was an inescapable fact: Big tech firms like Amazon don’t need a charter to disrupt the banking industry. Indeed, they are already changing it.

Amazon has done more than $1 billion in small-business lending since it first started offering loans. In 2017, it launched Amazon Cash, which effectively allows it to take cash deposits from customers via ubiquitous convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Sheetz. Other tech firms, including Apple and Samsung, offer their own payment apps.

If banks effectively end up as utilities to larger tech firms, they will lose out. McKinsey forecasts manufacturing will produce only 35% of profits in finance, a return on equity of 4.4%. Distribution, meanwhile, will produce 65% of profits, with a return on equity of 20%.

It’s not clear what tech giants have in store next, but they will likely push the limits of traditional finance. It’s not hard to imagine the Bank of Alexa, enabling customers to move money and pay bills just by shouting at the Amazon Echo in their living rooms.

The year of digital is upon us (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

With that, these are our top 10 market structure trends to watch in 2018:

MiFID II soft launches

You’re probably thinking, “It’s not a soft launch—MiFID II is the law of the land now!” That is technically true, of course. And for better or worse, even though the SEC has provided U.S. firms with “no-action relief” from some European rules, Europe’s regulators don’t have the no-action relief lever that U.S. regulators became so fond of using as they implemented Dodd-Frank. However, MiFID II is so wide-reaching and impactful, it is unreasonable to think European regulators can or will crack down on imperfect compliance as the year gets underway.

Active investing is still huge, but passive keeps growing

However, Greenwich Associates research in 2017 found that most portfolio managers see 40% of assets in passive as the limit, compared to today’s 22%—that is a huge opportunity for growth.

Alternative data becomes less alternative

Ninety percent of investors using alternative data today tell Greenwich Associates they’ve see a positive return on their investment.

And while the alpha to be captured via alternative data is set to grow, the sheer quantity of data available to drive investment decisions is growing exponentially faster.

Data matters more than trading

But even in these and other cases where some data is made public, individual market participants can only find real value when also examining trades that failed, RFQs that were lost and orders that never left the blotter. Even equity exchanges will need to up their game, as the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) reporting requirements finally become a reality and MiFID II makes the market more transparent than ever before. Selling data is great, but helping clients to understand what it really means to them is even better. Inject the growing focus on indices (following several notable acquisitions in 2017) as passive investing grows, and things really start to get interesting.

Wealth management comes out of retirement

Robo-advisors are an opportunity, not a threat.

The move to fee-based accounts couldn’t have come at a better time, with this never-ending bull market generating wealth for investors that, in turn, generate fees for their managers. However, if the market decides to correct, as baby boomers pull out more money than millennials put in, this party might not last forever.

Podcast 133: Rosemary Kelley of Kroll Bond Rating Agency (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How KBRA got started and how their focus has evolved.
  • When marketplace lending first got on Rosemary’s radar.
  • What made KBRA comfortable enough to be able to provide their first rating in the space.
  • How KBRA has become the leader in rating unsecured consumer lending deals.
  • What has been driving the growth of securitization in marketplace lending.
  • What does the tightening of spreads tell us about investor appetite.
  • How platforms creating their own shelf has changed how these deals get done.
  • Why the deals that have breached their triggers have not tempered investor demand.
  • Some best practices for a platform doing their first securitization.
  • What leads to KBRA deciding to upgrade a deal.
  • Rosemary’s thoughts on the macro environment and how it will impact consumer credit.
  • What platforms can do to mitigate a slow down in securitization markets.
  • What Rosemary thinks about the competitive environment in marketplace lending.

Roostify’s Rajesh Bhat: ‘We’re still in the first quarter of the online mortgage game’ (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Why did you enter the digital mortgage space?
That first year, we spent the entire year looking for a home to buy and it was an entirely painful and traumatic experience. Born out of that was the idea behind Roostify. That’s where we began building out the solution we have today.

Why are mortgages so hard to digitize?
The eligibility aspect is complex. Once eligibility is determined, the fulfillment process is equally complex — if not more. Those two things coupled with the fact that on a normal year over half the mortgages issued have a real estate transaction integrally tied to the mortgage transaction make it very complex.

Where are we in the evolution of the digital mortgage?
If this is a four quarter game, we’re still in the first quarter. The evolution has been, and will continue to be, driven by the consumer. Banks recognize that consumers are willing to do certain tasks themselves to drive this process. Companies are launching now that really understand the consumer pain points and they’re delivering to that as opposed to banks’ pain points.

YieldStreet brings new opportunities to smaller investors (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Rather than cut a $20,000 check to access one opportunity, what if you could use that amount to diversify across 30 deals? Mr. Mehere asked himself that question back in 2014 when consumer P2Ps, small business financing platforms and real estate companies were gaining footholds online.

YieldStreet launched in April 2015 with 80 investments across various asset classes. The idea has proven attractive to retail investors, from whom they have raised $240 million.

They have returned more than 100,000 individual payments and in excess of $80 million in principal and interest to investors. 15 of the original 80 investments have fully matured without a loss.

Wells Fargo’s 2017 Silver Lining Is Drop in CFPB Complaints (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Complaints lodged against the lender with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through Dec. 15 dropped 18 percent from the same period of 2016, the steepest decline among major banks, federal figures show. Still, it remained first among that group in total complaints.

Source: Bloomberg

Seven of the 10 biggest banks by U.S. deposits experienced a drop in CFPB complaints compared with the 2016 period, including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America Corp.

10 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans (Quicken Loans), Rated: A

You might have a million questions running through your head. Luckily, we reached out to the experts at RocketLoans to answer these 10 frequently asked questions about personal loans.

What Is a Personal Loan?

Also known as an “unsecured loan,” a personal loan isn’t backed by collateral like a mortgage or car loan.

What Is a Personal Loan with Collateral?

If you don’t have a credit score that’s between the 600 and 700+ range that most personal lenders look for, some lenders might offer you a secured personal loan, also known as a collateral loan.

How Much Can I Borrow and How Long Can I Borrow?

Depending on the lender and your personal financial situation, personal loans can average between $5,000 and $15,000, with a maximum of $35,000 and terms between 24 and 60 months.

What Is an Origination Fee, and How Much Is It?

An origination fee can range from 1% to 6% depending on the lender and, like your interest rate, is based on your credit and length of the loan. Like the interest rate, the higher the credit score, the lower the origination fee.

Chord of Confidence: Making Real Estate Agents Look Like Rock Stars (RISMedia), Rated: A

Quicken Loans is the largest online mortgage lender and the second-largest retail mortgage lender in the United States, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

Putting Agents at the Center of the Transaction
To make the mortgage process better for consumers, Quicken Loans executives turned their attention to working hand-in-hand with real estate agents, their most powerful ally, says Tom Dempsey, divisional vice president of Business Development with Quicken Loans.

The centerpiece of this effort: MyQL Agent Insight, a custom back-end platform that increases loan visibility by letting agents see exactly where their client stands in the loan approval process.

Service, Technology Part of a Broader Culture
What exactly makes Quicken Loans different from its competitors? It starts with the company’s culture of service and the many “ISMs,” or ideals, the company strives to work and live by, Dempsey says.

Some of the standout ISMs include “Do the right thing,” “Every second counts,” and “Simplicity is genius.”

Q-text
A texting service that allows agents to receive text updates on the status of their clients’ loans, keeping agents up-to-date on each step in the process while they’re on-the-go.

Elevating the Consumer Experience
Quicken Loans has evolved in its 33-year history as a direct lender.

In its first full year of operation, Rocket Mortgage funded more than $7 billion of the record $96 billion in total closed loan volume in 2016 for Quicken Loans.

Rocket Mortgage clients have gone from application to closing in as little as eight days on refinance loans, and 16 days on the purchase side, according to internal data. In contrast, the industry’s average closing time on new purchase loans is about 45 days.

President of the Jason Mitchell Group at My Home Group Real Estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mitchell has closed more than 900 transactions and over $215 million in sales volume since 2012. More than 65 percent of that business came from clients who used Quicken Loans, Mitchell says.

Source: RISMedia

FormFree’s AccountChek Asset Report Meets Underwriting Guidelines for VA Loans (PR Newswire), Rated: A

FormFree today announced that asset reports generated by its AccountChek® automated asset verification service meet all underwriting guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for loans guaranteed by its Loan Guaranty Service. The announcement follows the VA’s December 29, 2017 release of Circular 26-17-43, which was issued in response to increasing lender interest in automated verification of borrower assets for VA loans.

AccountChek eliminates the burden of gathering asset documents for loans by letting consumers easily and securely transmit their online banking, retirement and investment account data for automated analysis. In just minutes, AccountChek delivers asset data to lenders in a standardized report along with a ReIssueKey that enables secure and streamlined sharing with the secondary market. The result is an easier, safer and more accurate process that closes loans up to 20 days faster, provides a better borrower experience and circumvents a host of common “hiccups” that plague manual asset verification.

4 Best Investments To Make In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

#1: The Stock Market

One company I always suggest is Betterment. With Betterment, your money can be invested in ETFs and they don’t charge a fee for managing these for you. Plus, they actually pick the ETFs you invest in based on your appetite for risk, investing goals, and other factors.

Plus, there are a multitude of other “robo-advisors” to choose from.

#2: Peer-to-Peer Lending

A second place to stash some of your excess cash this year is in peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper. With these companies, you’re able to loan money to individuals in small increments as if you were the bank. The best part is, you get to earn a pretty decent rate of return – usually upward of 6% or more.

#3: Real Estate

One option I’m really excited about is a company called Fundrise. Fundriseoffers an investing scenario similar to the one above. They buy commercial properties and allow investors to invest small sums of money. Obviously, this is yet another hands-off investment. You may own part of a commercial real estate project, but you don’t even see or deal with the property itself.

Like Lending Club, Fundrise requires an upfront sum of around $1,000 to get started.

Fundrise claims its returns have averaged between 8.76% up to 12.42% over the last five years.

Payday Loan Mogul Trades Ferrari-Racing Life for Prison Term (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Scott Tucker says he’s a pioneering self-made man who, without a college degree, founded successful businesses in a variety of fields and contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. A judge says he’s an unrepentant fraud and sentenced him to almost 17 years in prison.

Jurors found the men guilty of collecting unlawful debts, using misleading contracts and falsely stating that the businesses were owned and operated by Native American tribes. That bogus claim helped them get around state laws that prohibited the business practices, the U.S. said. The scam ran from 1997 to 2013, Castel said.

From 2008 to 2012 alone, Tucker victimized 4.65 million people, according to prosecutors, collecting $1.3 billion in illegal interest payments as some people paid a total of almost $1,000 to settle a $300 loan.

Ad Valorem! The Future of Niche Reserve Based Value Investing and Lending is Here (Huffington Post), Rated: A

Valorem Foundation, the community peer-to-peer platform for multi-party transactions, is launching soon. It is a new blockchain-based platform that allows users to exchange value via smart contracts. Once on the platform, users can borrow, lend, invest, transfer, and exchange money between each other, creating a trust-based platform that removes the need for 3rd-party services or external vendors.

One of Valorem’s products, the Microloan, has been quite successful because of the platform’s risk distribution system and foundation on smart contract-based functionality. Its feature of spreading loan default risk over multiple people forces people in the Valorem community to make smarter choices about buying products like cars, student loans, and insurance.

Marine Corps Vet Earns OnDeck Small Business Spotlight (Guru Focus), Rated: B

OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), the leader in online lending to small business, today announced that digital agency Majestyk Apps, led by Marine Corps veteran Donald Coolidge, has been selected as the OnDeck Small Business of the Month for January 2018.

United Kingdom

UK shrugs off Brexit worries by winning race for technology investment (Express.co.uk), Rated: AAA

Venture capital funding in UK technology firms was nearly £3billion, more than double the amount invested in Germany and France combined.

London technology drew the most. Its £2.45billion was more than the other top 10 cities put together, according to funding database Pitchbook for London & Partners figures.

Fintech, or financial technology, attracted £1.34billion in venture capital funding, with TransferWise and Funding Circle investment, while artificial intelligence companies raised a record £488million, more than double 2016.

Brexit cynics were wrong about London’s fintech companies (Quartz), Rated: A

Below the surface there are reasons to be concerned, but the data so far looks positive. UK companies raised $7.7 billion last year, more than double that of 2016, according to Dealroom. Fintech companies raked in $2.9 billion, the biggest share. TransferWise raised £211 million ($286 million) while Funding Circle took in £81.9 million, according to lobby group London & Partners.

Source: Quartz

Attitudes across Europe are diverging. While the UK is the No. 1 destination for investment, entrepreneurs in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) are substantially more positive about the future of Europe’s tech scene than their peers in Britain: 70% of the former are more optimistic than they were 12 months ago, compared with 42% in the UK and Ireland, according to a survey by venture capital firm Atomico.

Olivier Goy, founder of crowd-lending platform Lendix, says he’s even more positive about France’s potential than he was after the poll.

A risky P2P opportunity for 2018 (MoneyWeek), Rated: A

Returns from investing directly in the biggest platforms, including Zopa, Ratesetter and Funding Circle, averaged 5.4% including losses from defaults, according to analytics firm AltFi Data.

For example, P2PGI moved from a premium of 15% to a discount of 15% – ie, the share price now trades at 15% below the net asset value (NAV) of the fund’s investments.

Funding Circle’s SME Income fund trades at a small premium (around 2%) to NAV, and has delivered returns equivalent to a 5.6% yield on the current share price.

As for bonds, Lendinvest – a property lending platform – issued the first listed retail bond from a P2P platform, raising £50m at a yield of 5.25%. This was well received and is now trading at a small premium of 2%.

China

Tencent gets a licence to sell mutual funds to WeChat’s 1 billion users in China (SCMP), Rated: AAA

The Shenzhen Bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the nation’s top securities watchdog, has given Tencent subsidiary Tengan Funds Sales (Shenzhen) the licence to sell funds directly.

Before gaining the licence, the tech giant was only able to act as a platform for fund houses and third-party fund sales companies to sell their products through qian.qq.com, its online wealth managing platform and its popular instant messaging tool, WeChat. Qian.qq.com is for users to access the service on PC, while a similar service on WeChat is for mobile users.

Also on Thursday, the tech giant launched the promotion of a new service that will allow users to pay their credit card bills via using the money-market funds available on Licaitong, or WeChat’s wealth management app.

Users will avoid having to pay a 0.1 per cent charge on a credit card payment of more than 5,000 yuan (US$770) monthly. Tencent is also offering users cash incentives, capped at 88.88 yuan, for those who use the promotal service until February.

Chinese social network’s stock jumps 47% after it says it’s raising money through cryptocurrency (CNBC), Rated: A

The share price of Chinese social network Renren has almost doubled after the company said it was raising money through a digital currency sale.

The company, headquartered in China and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, saw its stock climb 47.39 percent to $18.32 a share by the close of the U.S. trading session Wednesday.

Renren is looking to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO), according to a white paper released Tuesday.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On January 2, 2018, the Shenzhen Securities Regulatory Bureau issued this year’s first fund sales license to internet giant Tencent Holdings, or more specifically Teng An Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

The Nansha District Government Affairs Service Center in Guangzhou introduced “WeChat Police Certified” face recognition technology and issued China’s first WeChat ID card on December 26, 2017.

According to Bloomberg News, insiders said some loans on HNA’s P2P platform Jbh.com have been faced with deferred payment since last November. Jbh.com offers products like fixed income, P2P lending, insurance and funds on its app.

European Union

20 of Europe’s hottest fintech start-ups to watch in 2018 (The Finanser), Rated: AAA

Advanon is an online platform for invoice-financing SMEs. The platform enables SMEs to better manage their cash flows and focus on their core business. Founded in 2015 by Philip Kornmann, Phil Lojacono and Stijn Pieper, Advanon has raised $3.9m in funding so far, including a $3.5m Series A round from Btov Partners, VI Partners and Swisscom Ventures.


Circle is a P2P payments platform founded by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire. Using the technology – available as an app on iOS and Android devices or even through a Circle app for iMessage – users can send and receive P2P payments with native euro support. Circle also claims to be the first and only cross-border payments platform in the world to make it possible to beam cash from an app into a US bank account at no cost.

Founded by Marc Murphy, Fenergo offers solutions for client life-cycle management, anti-money laundering, regulatory compliance and client data management.

A fast-growing fintech company, ID Finance specialises in online lending in emerging and growing markets.

Regarded as one of Europe’s most valuable fintech firms, Klarnaprovides online payment services for e-commerce sites in order to eliminate the risk for buyer and seller.

Monzo has more than 20,000 current-account holders and the start-up bank has amassed something of a cult-like following in the UK, with almost 500,000 people using its distinctive hot coral cards and thousands more on the waiting list. It was founded in 2015 by Gary Dolman, Tom Blomfield, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein and Paul Rippon. Stripe, the payments company founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in San Francisco, joined Goodwater Capital and investor Michael Moritz (through his charitable investment vehicles) in a recent £71m investment round, joining existing investors Eileen Burbidge’s Passion Capital as well as Orange Digital Ventures and Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital in the round.

Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut is an app-based banking alternative with a multi-currency card.

TransferMate was founded in 2010 to reduce international payments costs for business customers and has since developed a wide regulatory footprint in Europe. So far, more than $10bn has been sent to more than 100 countries over the TransferMate platform.

TransferWise was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, and provides international money transfer.

Wefox, also known as FinanceFox, is a next-generation insurance app built entirely on the Salesforce platform.

Younited Credit wants to build the biggest crowd-lending platform in continental Europe. Currently live in Spain, France and Italy, consumers can borrow between $1,200 and $48,000 without the need to talk to a bank. So far, it has managed more than $600m in loans. Founded by Charles Egly, Geoffroy Guigou and Thomas Beylot, Younited recently raised $47.8m in a Series F funding round led by Zencap Asset Management.

International

33 Strategies Banks and Credit Unions Must Implement in 2018 (The Financial Brand), Rated: AAA

Below are the top 10 trends identified in the Digital Banking Report entitled, “2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions,” sponsored by Kony, Inc.. The comprehensive 106-page report is now available here.

1. Improve the Consumer Experience

2. Expand Use of Data and Analytics

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Break down the barriers within your organization that perpetuate data silos. Only after silos are eliminated can advanced analytics be the most effective.
  2. Establish a data analytics function or partner with an outside organization to provide help in improving the actionability of your data.
  3. Replace timed marketing ‘programs’ with ongoing marketing ‘processes,’ leveraging real-time data to take advantage of immediate opportunities.
  4. Test the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) beyond risk and fraud analysis, including offer generation and bundling of services.

4. Embrace Open Banking

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Review existing data privacy mandates and potential changes, determining the risk/benefit appetite for new marketplace opportunities.
  2. Explore data-sharing possibility with fintech and non-financial services firms to be prepared for imminent changes.
  3. Build an API strategy for both third-party data access and potential service offerings outside traditional banking ecosystem.

5. Build Fintech Partnerships

Immediate Strategies:

  1. Foster a top-down culture of innovation, testing and understanding the digital consumer.
  2. Investigate partnerships and/or collaboration with fintech firms for products and processes not currently possible within the banking organization.
  3. Replace all or a portion of legacy systems, integrating new technologies while embracing an agile IT culture. This action step has been put on the back burner for years which is hurting many organizations.
  4. Consider having an online lender power the organization’s online loan application, to using an online lender’s credit model to better underwrite and service bank loan applications.

Marketplace Lending News Roundup – January 6 (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Funding Circle poised for £1bn float from Peer2Peer Finance News – We begin the year with news that Funding Circle is preparing to go public, possibly in Q3.

The Tech Majors are coming? Really? from AltFi – Interesting take from David Stevenson on why Amazon and Google may not come to dominate finance.

How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Invoice-Backed Financing from Let’s Talk Payments – We’re going to hear a lot about blockchain disrupting industries in 2018, here is a take on invoice finance.

Can blockchain technology revive peer-to-peer lending? from American Banker – Blockchain has given rise to a new breed of online lending platforms. Penny Crosman delves into this phenomenon.

VPC continues shift away from P2P with sale of Prosper loans from P2P Finance News – The publicly traded Victory Park fund in the UK has divested its portfolio of Prosper loans.

Finastra bolsters global capital markets team (Asset Servicing Times), Rated: B

Finastra has appointed Pedro Porfirio as global head of capital markets.

Pedro will be responsible for driving the growth of Finastra’s capital markets business line, focusing on treasury, capital markets, and investment management.

Australia/New Zealand

Would you take money advice from a computer? (NZ Herald), Rated: A

Kiwis are set to start getting financial “robo-advice” this year — a move tipped to help those on lower incomes but which some are warning comes with risks.

Investment watchdog the Financial Markets Authority is expected to open applications for exemptions to provide digital advice around KiwiSaver, insurance and mortgages early this year.

Research by the FMA has found most of those who get financial advice in New Zealand have assets of more than $200,000, raising concerns that people with lower incomes and assets are missing out.

India

Consumer loans marketplace Wishfin looks to raise up to $ 50m (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Online marketplace for consumer loans and other financial products Wishfin will raise up to $50 million in its next round of funding as it looks to make acquisitions in niche segments, a top company official said.

The company claims to have 9 million customers and $3 billion worth of disbursals to date.

Plan to save in 2018? Refer to these new age investment options (siasat.com), Rated: B

The quick returns that one gets through investments in cryptocurrencies have caught everyone’s attention.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in India currently gives a net return of 18-22 percent to lenders.

People are becoming investors and expanding investment portfolio by investing small ticket size in different startups. Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, emerging as largest investor of the year with closing 33 investment in this year.

APAC

PLDT’s fintech unit going beyond lending (Inquirer.net), Rated: AAA

FINTQ, the financial technology (fintech) arm of PLDT and Smart’s Voyager Innovations, disbursed more than P12 billion in new loans through its digital lending platform, Lendr, last year or nearly a third higher than the year-ago level.

With more than the P12 billion disbursed last year, total disbursement has reached about P27 billion since Lendr came to market in 2015, Villanueva said.

With Fintech, Pakistan set to dismantle barriers to branchless banking (Tribune), Rated: A

In an effort to promote fintech, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) – the telecom regulator – has decided to award Third Party Service Providers’ licences by June or July 2018, which will pave way for inter-operability between cellular mobile operators and ramp up financial inclusion all over the country.

At present, Telenor’s Easypaisa, Jazz’s Mobicash and United Bank Limited’s Omni are providing mobile-based branchless banking services. However, their customers cannot transfer money from one service to another.

The new platform will help dismantle existing barriers that prevent digital wallets (branchless bank account-holders) from sending money to different bank accounts. Users will be able to make transactions from wallet to wallet or wallet to the bank account.

Fintech firm Avaloq’s chairman streamlines his role to focus on China expansion and possible listing (SCMP), Rated: B

The chairman of Switzerland-based financial technology company Avaloq will focus on expanding business in China and Asia as well as preparing for a possible stock exchange listing, after handing over his chief executive duties.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor