Tuesday March 6 2018, Daily News Digest

credit card charge offs

News Comments Today’s main news: Is Amazon about to partner with JP Morgan Chase? Elevate saves customers $3B over payday loan alternatives. LendInvest hosts a roadshow. Folk2Folk lenders provide 200M GBP to UK rural businesses. China issues first personal credit rating license. Today’s main analysis: Credit card losses surge at small banks. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FT Partners’ CEO monthly […]

credit card charge offs

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United States

United Kingdom

China

International

News Summary

United States

Amazon wants to make it easier to shop its website without a credit card (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Amazon is in early talks with financial institutions including J.P. Morgan Chase to help launch checking account-like products, aimed at younger customers and those without bank accounts, The Wall Street Journalreported Monday.

More than a quarter of U.S. households have no or limited access to checking and savings accounts. Unbanked doesn’t necessarily mean unconnected, about 6 in 10 unbanked consumers have a smartphone, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

New prime subscriptions flattened in the third quarter of 2017, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Another survey by Piper Jaffray in June said that 82 percent of U.S. households with more than $112,000 in annual income are already Prime members. Its reach is the lowest among those that make less than $41,000 a year.

In November, it announced that shoppers at 7-Eleven stores nationwide could deposit as little as $15 and as much as $500 into an Amazon account through its “Amazon cash” program. Shoppers can then use that cash to shop on Amazon. Nearly one-half of the U.S. population lives within one mile of a 7-Eleven store.

Will Amazon Pitch Financial Advice To Millennials? (Financial Advisor), Rated: A

If Amazon is successful in creating a banking relationship with its vast customer base of millennials, can an investment advice platform be far behind?

Stich predicts that Amazon, a company with a $700 billion market cap, will offer three levels of investment accounts to millennials and interested customers: It could offer do-it-yourself accounts and robo-advisory accounts; and for those who want a personal advisor, Amazon could create and refer customers to a state-by-state network of select investment professionals.

Consumers interested in idea of Amazon-created cryptocurrency, survey reveals (The Block), Rated: A

More than half of consumers would be open to using an Amazon-created cryptocurrency, with Amazon Prime users even keener, according to poll findings from student loan marketplace LendEDU.

The study, which polled 1,000 consumers who had purchased a product from Amazon in the past 30 days, found 51.7% would be interested in an ‘Amazon Coin’, with the number increasing to 58.27% for Prime members, and only one in five (21.9%) saying no.

Only 17% of those polled said they would trust Amazon more than a traditional bank, compared with 23% who disagreed and 38% who said levels of trust would be about the same. Nine in 10 respondents however said that overall, they trusted Amazon to have their best interests in mind, with 52.49% answering ‘yes, very much so’ and 37.56% opting for ‘somewhat.’

Elevate Milestone: Customers Have Saved More Than $ 3 Billion Over PayDay Loan Alternatives (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (Elevate), a tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, announced on Monday its customers have saved more than $3 billion to date, versus what they would have paid for payday loans. $1.3 billion was saved in 2017 alone.

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

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Keith Smith, Co-founder and CEO of Payability, a platform that provides friction-free financing to sellers operating on digital marketplaces. In our conversation with Keith, he delves into the vision behind founding Payability and the unique opportunities and strategies of lending to online marketplace sellers.

M&A
Financings
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)
 (FT Partners Advised)

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

A Dialogue with Peter Renton: Cryptocurrency and Beyond (deBanked), Rated: AAA

deBanked: Why did you decide to rebrand LendIt as LendItFintech?

Renton: The main reason is that we have moved beyond the online lending space.

deBanked: What about online lending? The industry has gone through a lot of changes in its relatively short history. How do you expect to see the competitive landscape change in the next year or so? What about farther out?

Renton: The online lending space has gone through a lot of changes in its short history. I feel like the biggest trend we’re seeing right now is banks launching their own platforms. Take Goldman Sachs with the Marcus online lending platform, for example. More than anything else that has happened in the history of online lending that is among the most telling for the future, I think.

deBanked: What do you see as the biggest risks for online lenders today? How can they best overcome these challenges?

Renton: As an industry, we have to focus on profitability.

Credit-Card Losses Surge at Small Banks (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Missed payments on credit cards at small banks have risen sharply over the past year, a sign that their cardholders are taking on more debt than they can handle. Their charge-off rate, or the share of outstanding card balances written off as a loss after consumers failed to pay, hit 7.2% in the fourth quarter, up from 4.5% a year ago, according to Federal Reserve data.

But they’ve especially surged at smaller banks, those outside the 100 largest by assets that have less than around $10.4 billion in assets. There, the average charge-off rate is near an eight-year high, while the 3.5% loss rate at large banks remains well below the 10.6% seen in 2010.

tZero Has Acquired VerifyInvestor for Million in Cash (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Buried within the tZero Offering Memorandum for its ongoing initial coin offering were several interesting items of note. The first was the fact the SEC was in the process of reviewing the offering. Another interesting bit of information was the fact tZero has acquired a majority stake in VerifyInvestor.

 

Gina Harman of Accion (Lend Academy), Rated: A

My next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Gina Harman, the CEO of the U.S. Network for Accion. They are a non-profit lender with 14 regional offices around the country focused on providing funding to underserved businesses. Accion has a very consultative approach to lending so their work often involves face to face meetings with the potential borrowers. But they are also serving the entire country through online means today.

LendingPoint Launches Merchant Solutions Platform (BusinessWire), Rated: A

LendingPoint, the company working to revolutionize access to consumer credit, today unveiled LendingPoint Merchant Solutions to provide merchants and other service providers a fully integrated one-stop retail financing platform to convert more consumers at the point of sale.

LendingPoint Merchant Solutions combines the LoanHero merchant onboarding, program management and reporting technology with LendingPoint’s industry-leading credit underwriting, risk management, and customer service expertise.

Grameen America eyes banks in ambitious push to expand microlending effort (American Banker), Rated: A

Grameen America is looking for banks and social impact investors to help fuel significant growth in its microlending effort.

The plan is to double the size of its loan portfolio, and lend a cumulative total of $2 billion, over the next five years, David Gough, its chief financial officer, said in an interview.

RICO suit filed against Great Plains Lending over allegations of predatory online lending scheme (Legal NewLine), Rated: A

Vanessa C. Grainger, Beverly Kristina Miller and Lilya J. McAtee, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against Great Plains Lending LLC, Kenneth E. Rees, Victory Part Capitol Advisors LLC, et al. over alleged violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

THE SEC’S ICO SUBPOENA EXPLAINED (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

“The SEC typically sends a subpoena for one of two reasons: you are either a direct target of a new or ongoing investigation or you are involved somehow with an entity or individual that is under investigation,” notes William Skelley, Co-founder of William Chris, a Dubai-based consulting firm founded by David Drake and Simon Cocking.

Clayton had stated that most ICOs need to register with SEC because, like other securities that the agency regulates, they trade coins in secondary markets. However, ICO companies have shown reluctance in subjecting themselves to SEC’s oversight despite the fact that up to $8.7 billion has been raised through ICOs, based on CoinDesk data.

How Stash Invest is trying to reach the underserved (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Stash is letting its customers invest in single stocks, the company’s latest major investment product launch beyond theme-based exchange-traded funds.

Stash lets customers buy portions of shares (called fractional shares) with a minimum balance of $5.

Core Upgrade Brings Orion’s Dynamic, Time-Saving Reporting to Private Assets (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), the premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors, today announced the release of its Alternative Investment Platform (“AIP”), a tool that lets Orion advisors show their clients’ private assets as easily as their public holdings at no additional cost.

AIP lets financial advisors track and maintain alternative investment data for client assets held in private equity, direct investments, venture capital, hedge funds, private real estate, REITs, and more, with ease and efficiency. AIP lets advisors aggregate and update committed capital amounts, total cash distributions, return of capital, and commitment amounts for alternative investments of all types into client reports alongside publicly-traded assets to create a cohesive picture of the client’s net worth.

Is there a sandbox in the US’s future? (Euromoney), Rated: A

The cooperation between the FCA and the CFTC will cover information sharing, referrals and learning from proofs of concept, trials or innovation competitions.

Various agencies – including the CFTC, SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) – oversee specific segments of the market, and for a US sandbox regime to be successful there would need to be substantial collaboration and coordination between all of these agencies.

Shinnecock Partners Publishes “How to” for Private Investors on Direct Lending (PRWeb), Rated: B

Direct lending is a new category that is reshaping the asset management and investment landscape, yet most investors see the arena as a “black box.” Shinnecock Partners, a 28-year old family office boutique with significant expertise in alternative finance and fintech, offers investors insights into the category with its recently published report: High Yield for Investors in Specialty Finance: Exploring Opportunities in Factoring and Merchant Cash Advance. Written and researched by the firm’s founding partner, Alan C. Snyder and co-author Marla Harkness, the 37-page report is a virtual blueprint for investors, RIAs, advisory firms and the new generation of innovators who have started alternative lending companies to serve a vacuum left by large banks and community banks that used to serve small and mid-size business pre-recession.

The paper covers:

  •     In-depth descriptions of both factoring and merchant cash advance (MCA) loan originators
  •     Insider lingo, so investors are up to speed when reviewing documents
  •     Regulatory history and framework
  •     Detailed investor evaluation checklists

You can access the report here: High Yield For Investors in Specialty Finance.

Fintech firms are gobbling up Manhattan office space (The Real Deal), Rated: B

Fintech firms and units of larger companies accounted for roughly 877,000 square feet of Manhattan office leasing last year, according to JLL data reported by the Wall Street Journal. That’s almost triple the sector’s total for 2014.

Venture capital funding for fintech firms has roughly doubled from 2014 to $2.2 billion in 2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Albuquerque ranks among 10 best places for new small businesses (Biz Journals), Rated: B

Albuquerque ranked No. 8 on LendingTree’s list of the best cities for new small businesses released Feb. 27.

United Kingdom

Roadshow Announcement (London South East), Rated: AAA

LendInvest Limited, the specialist mortgage provider, announces that it has mandated Peel Hunt to arrange a series of meetings with fixed income investors in the UK and Channel Islands, commencing the week of 5 March 2018, to discuss a possible second issue of sterling denominated bonds.

Folk2Folk Lenders Provide £200 Million to Rural Businesses in the UK (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Folk2Folk, a peer-to-peer (P2P0 lending platform for local and rural businesses, announced on Monday it has now lent £200 million, providing a valuable source of capital to hundreds of local businesses across the UK. According to the online lending, this milestone demonstrates the strong demand in the company’s Local Lending Movement as Lenders and Borrowers are attracted by Folk2Folk’s platform, providing a fair exchange that sees no difference between what Borrowers repay and Lenders receive on a monthly basis.

Folk2Folk’s lending milestone was reached thanks to a growing community of local Lenders who have placed £20,000 or above on the lender’s platform. The average lent per Lender now exceeds £65,000. Lenders receive 6.5%pa interest which is paid monthly, helping them achieve their financial goals, whether it be an additional income for retirement or funding a life event like a once in a lifetime holiday.

Exchange Platform LendingBlock Boosts the Development of the Crypto Sphere (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Lendingblock is an outstanding representative of the “picks and shovel” business of the crypto economy. The recent announcement of an ICO by this company raises an important issue: can these followers of Gold Rush traditions achieve the same success?

Lendingblock is an open exchange platform for both borrowers and lenders of crypto currencies. The platform enables owners of digital assets to earn passive, low risk interest income, while borrowers get an opportunity get assets needed to support trading, hedging and working capital needs.

Tales of failed peer-to-peer lenders (AltFi), Rated: A

A little-known pawnbroking and property-backed peer-to-peer lending platform named Collateral has gone into administration, according to reports. Its investors are in limbo, unable to access their money or even view their accounts.

Be The Lender folded in August 2014. It was a tiny peer-to-peer platform with a focus on lending to small businesses.

GraduRates was a very small peer-to-peer lender specialising in loans to post-graduate students. In 2014, with a new regulatory regime for P2P firms looming, its founder Jonathan Webb decided to close down operations.

TrustBuddy was a peer-to-peer firm specialising in short-term loans for consumers. It is perhaps the best-known example of a P2P blow-up because it was the first big platform to go belly-up.

Finally, the complete comedy that was the Ezubao blow-up. There are many, many examples of failed Chinese P2P platforms, but Ezubao takes the biscuit.

FOS tells adviser to pay client over £30k loss through unsecured Sipp loan (Money Marketing), Rated: A

The Financial Ombudsman Service has told an adviser to compensate a client who they told to make an unsecured loan to a third party with money from their Sipp.

Mr H says O’Rourke Partnership recommended and arranged for him to make an unsecured loan of £29,325 to the third party from funds he held in his Sipp.

The loan was to be over a short-term at a high rate of interest but the loan has not been repaid and Mr H has lost his money.

An investigator reviewed the complaint, thought the advice was unsuitable and recommended that it should be upheld.

P2P lending “high  up the scale of respectability” for non-standard investments (AltFi), Rated: A

BondMason boss warns that recent FSCS fines are likely make SIPP providers extra cautious in reviewing non-standard investments.  

An estimated one million people are said to have taken up a SIPP (self-investment pension plan) since the wrapper was first introduced as part of the government’s Pension Freedom Reforms in April 2015. But squeezing non-standard investments into the still relatively-new tax wrapper hasn’t been easy.

Archover announces new non-exec director, nears profitability (AltFi), Rated: A

The peer-to-peer business lender is turning dissenters into directors with its latest hire, after hitting £60m in lending.

ArchOver, the p2p business lending platform, has announced it will be appointing Bill Johnston to its board as a non-executive director. Johnston previously was an outspoken critic of p2p lending and alternative finance in general, but says he has been swayed after seeing ArchOver succeed.

Beauty marketplace founder joins Blend Network management team (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A FORMER Morgan Stanley banker turned beauty marketplace founder is among two appointments to the board of a new peer-to-peer lending platform aiming to become the “Goldman Sachs of P2P”.

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, a former Morgan Stanley vice president and founder of Zeebba – which arranges at-home beauty services – has joined asset-backed property lender Blend Network as business development manager.

Metro Loans Presents Unsecured Business Start up Loans for Unemployed in UK (MENAFN), Rated: B

The UK based direct lending company has come up with unsecured business start up loans to build up new entrepreneurs.

China

China Issues its First Personal Credit Rating License (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On February 22, the People’s Bank of China published an announcement about setting up personal credit rating agencies. According to the document, Baihang Credit Rating Co., Ltd., was granted the first personal credit rating license in China, and the qualifications of its management team (including board member, supervisors and senior management) has all received approval.

A New Ransomware Virus Could Steal All Your Alipay Balance

Recently, a ransomware virus called “unicorn 2.1” raged online. It spreads through QQ and other Instant Messengers.

Once the virus hacks the computer, it will lock all the files in the computer and requires the victim to pay ¥3 yuan by scanning with his / her Alipay. As long as the victim scans the QR code, the hacker will be able to get access to the Alipay account and steal all the balance.

International

Marketplace lending platform Maliyya scores EUR1.3 million in seed funding (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Maliyya, a fintech company engaged in development of a P2P lending and borrowing platform, has just closed the first seed investment round of USD$1.3 million from Ground1 Ventures, a private investment firm based out of UK.

Targeting to become a primary P2P lending and borrowing platform for the Middle East, North African and Asian Region, Maliyya is working on to roll out its MVP in the coming months.

How can today’s generation of lenders fight global financial crime? (LendIt), Rated: AAA

What if you lent money to someone who used it to finance an act of terrorism? Or to disguise the proceeds of drug dealing. How would this make you feel and what would it mean for the reputation of your growing business?

Today’s generation of FinTechs however, face huge technology and operational challenges – they interface with banks and therefore need ‘bank-grade’ solutions for KYC/AML but existing technology solutions struggle to fit with their unique needs. Increasingly, they are looking to new technology to help them comply with global KYC/AML standards, maintain banking relationships and ultimately fight financial crime.

What are the financial crime risks for lenders and FinTechs?

Lenders spend billions of dollars a year on compliance solutions trying to combat their financial crime risk, which broadly fall into two categories: anti-money laundering / terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risk and fraud.

Crypto’s missing pieces: Building a sustainable financial ecosystem (International Business Times), Rated: AAA

Centralized, “off-chain” cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex and Poloniex, support margin-lending. Although limited to certain customer groups, and a limited number of assets, they generally fit the definition of money markets. The downside is that investors have to trust that the exchange won’t get hacked or abscond with assets. That’s a big risk. The recent $530 million heist from the Japanese exchange, Coincheck, isn’t likely to be the last, and many customers feel that the incremental returns aren’t worth the risk. That may change as exchanges move toward adoption by the existing financial system.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Peer to peer lending protocols, including ETHLend and Lendroid, eliminate the risk of centralization by allowing users to lend to each other directly. But to an outside observer, they hardly resemble money markets with a uniform interest rate.

Profile Software’s innovative solutions for banking and wealth industry (Hubbis), Rated: B

The company today has a presence in Europe, the Middle East, America, Asia and Africa, throughout those regions delivering innovative solutions to both start-ups and established banking and finance institutions, through direct communication or a reliable partners network.

Profile’s leading platform, Axia is an omnichannel wealth management  platform covering all aspects of the investment operations that modularly, and with flexibility, embrace the whole spectrum of portfolio management, with continuous updates on client onboarding, online trading, compliance issues (such as MiFID II), instruments, custodian links and bank interfaces, financial planning, and so forth. The investment management solution also supports operations in insurance firms, private banking, custody, brokerage needs and more, with a successful track record.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday February 5 2018, Daily News Digest

Nav financing

News Comments Today’s main news: Banco BNI starts lending through Fellow Finance. eBay drops PayPal for Adyen. Aviva exec backs robos. OneConnect secures $650M funding. Stripe sets up engineering hub in Dublin. EBANX gets $30M in funding from FTV Capital. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ Alternative Lending Market Analysis for January, and an interview with Nav CEO. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Nav financing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

APAC

MENA

Latin America

News Summary

United States

eBay ditches PayPal for Adyen (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

What the good fintech can giveth, it can taketh away. eBay has given PayPal the boot and turned to Dutch firm Adyen as its primary processing partner.

Looking to sweeten this bitter pill, eBay says PayPal, a “long-time” partner, will be an option at the checkout for its buyers.

PayPal powers BofA Merrill digital payments (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofA Merrill) US-based commercial clients can now make payments in local currencies to payees who hold PayPal accounts.

Strong Job Gains, Marcus Acquihires, MLA Testimony (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Janet Yellen chaired her last Fed meeting as the committee kept interest rates on hold in January. Futures are pricing in a 93% probability of a rate hike in March and 3 rate hikes for 2018. The recent sell off on the long end of the curve has seen 10-year treasury yields edge past 2.85%, providing respite to banks who were seeing their loan margins compress as the curve flattened.

In securitization news, Marlette completed its largest securitization to date, with MFT 2018-1 coming in at $464 Mn. The deal was significantly over subscribed and eventually upsized continuing the trend of larger deal size that we pointed out in ourQ4 securitization trackerThe senior tranches were rated AA by Kroll. The collateral pool has 40,303 loans with an average loan balance of $12k, weighted average coupon of 14.3% and a FICO score of 703. All the loans were originated by Cross River Bank.

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

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Levi King, Co-founder and CEO of Nav, which is a data aggregation platform and marketplace that bridges the gap between small businesses and financial institutions. In the interview, Levi discusses the motivation behind founding Nav and how the company solves the challenges small businesses face managing their credit and securing financing solutions, among other topics.

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

Open banking’s early adopters bet on ‘tremendous gains in value’ (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Only a few banks have embraced open banking and offer APIs to almost anyone. But they are betting on having a head start on competitors, as trends in the industry, such as increased bank-fintech partnership and evolving regulation, will push the banking-as-a-platform movement toward reality.

Operating as BBVA Compass in the U.S. in Birmingham, Ala., in 2016 it named a head of open APIs, and has engaged in several data-sharing agreements with fintechs. It is one of a handful of U.S. banks engaged in open banking — Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Citi and CBW Bank in Weir, Kan., also have such programs.

Last May, BBVA opened up its API Marketplace and made commercially available eight APIs so companies, startups and developers would be able to build new products and services by accessing and integrating customer’s banking data — with their permission — into their applications.

Source: American Banker

Fiserv Has Largest U.S. Marketshare of Top Bank Core Processors (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

According to data gathered by FedFis.com, the top processor is Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv. With more than 37% of the market share, Fiserv is well ahead of its competitors. The second, Monett, Mo.-based Jack Henry & Associates, has just half Fiserv’s market share with 17.6%. Close behind JHA is Fidelity National Information Services Inc., better known as FIS.

Enova Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Enova International (NYSE: ENVA), a financial technology company offering consumer and small business loans and financing, today announced financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $243.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 20.4% from $202.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 47.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 51.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, driven by growth in the installment loan and receivables purchase agreement segment as well as a higher mix of new customers, which requires higher loan loss provisions.
  • Net income was $6.9 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to net income of $8.7 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $38.1 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $35.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $8.9 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $8.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Full Year 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $843.7 million in 2017 increased 13.2% from $745.6 million in 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 53.0% in 2017 compared to 56.0% in 2016.
  • Net income was $29.2 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, in 2017 compared to net income of $34.6 million, or $1.03per diluted share, in 2016.
  • Full year 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $157.8 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $142.3 million in 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $46.9 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $37.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share in 2016.

No Credit? No Problem! Microlender for Women Uses Novel Approach (WSJ), Rated: A

Daniela Morales’s lender is demanding. Every Friday morning, at 9:45 sharp, she has to visit a small apartment in Woodside, Queens, to make her weekly payment—currently $293 plus $17 interest on a $6,900 balance.

Ms. Morales’s lender is Grameen America, a nonprofit microlender for women entrepreneurs. To get a Grameen loan, you don’t need any collateral or credit history, just the support of a small group of Grameen loan recipients who can vouch for you. It is, essentially, a reputation-based loan.

There are other nonprofit microlenders operating in the city, including Accion and BOC Capital Corp. But Grameen America, modeled on a Bangladeshi microlender, is unique in its peer support and loan-approval model.

The loans, which start at $500 and command an interest rate of 18% on a declining balance, must be repaid in six months. The interest rate falls as the loan is repaid. Members who establish a good track record qualify for larger sums.

How This Founder Is Using Fintech To Give Women More Financial Control (Benzinga), Rated: A

Morty is an online mortgage broker. Our mission is to empower homebuyers to make smarter home financing decisions. With a modern tech stack and a marketplace of lenders, we offer customers the most options, great rates, and a transparent process.

What surprised you the most in the fintech industry in 2017?

That there wasn’t more innovation in the mortgage space. It’s the only lending vertical that hasn’t moved online- credit cards, student loans, small business loans, personal loans- all have a big online presence. There is still so much to be done in mortgage, it’s exciting.

Hackers Targeting Payroll Direct Deposit (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In an article penned for JD Supra by law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., experts warned of a type of payroll scam that sees fraudsters diverting direct deposits from employee accounts to criminal accounts.

According to the firm, fraudsters use a phishing scam by sending an email from an address similar to a legitimate company account.

Ogletree Deakins warned that not only does this scam result in lost funds, but it is ultimately a data breach, with scammers gaining access to corporate systems and data. The report also noted that scammers are targeting all types of businesses using all types of payroll providers.

Will Markets Ever Live Up to Our Expectations (Guru Focus), Rated: A

The fintech industry is the powerhouse behind the meteoric rise of the peer-to-peer lending market. After several platforms launched online payments, it was only a matter of time before new ones emerged offering lending services that are offered by and to registered members.

LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) has been one of the most notable players in this space and its popularity pushed it public in 2014. However, since then, the company has struggled to live up to expectations, reflecting the actual picture of the status of the peer-to-peer lending.

According to critics, while peer-to-peer lending is an attractive option for borrowers looking for alternative financing solutions, it appears to have growth limitations due to lack of funding for new products. Peer-to-peer lending platforms do not take deposits and this is a limiting factor, but analysts suggest that if they are to grow to the point of rivaling the mainstream lending market, then they may have to start taking customer deposits.

How to Win Man vs. Machine Advice Game (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: A

TD Ameritrade put the competitive pressures tied to robo-advisors and other technology left, right and center at its LINC 2018 RIA conference this week in Orlando. Industry leaders highlighted the power and threat of technology and how to address these trends in the advice business.

The dealmakers financing top adviser technology (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

It’s impossible to look at the landscape of modern adviser technology without seeing Steve Lockshin’s footprints.

As an early investor in Betterment, Mr. Lockshin, 41, was instrumental in encouraging the robo-adviser to pivot from competing against advisers to partnering with them.

Brad Bernstein could see the role of advisers was changing.

What was once an industry of investment managers and salespeople was shifting to financial planning. Driving the change was technology — automating and commoditizing many of the ways advisers traditionally added value for clients. Mr. Bernstein, 51, managing partner at growth equity firm FTV Capital, believed there was a demand for products that helped advisers better articulate their value to clients.

That’s what attracted Brooks Gibbins, 45, to the industry when he founded FinTech Collective with his partner, Gareth Jones, in 2012. The venture capital firm has been one of the most active early-stage fintech investors over the past five years, seeding some of the biggest names on the adviser fintech scene.

Seeing the opportunity for adviser fintech startups to get acquired by, or partner with, financial institutions, Ian Sheridan decided to draw on his more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry — working in wealth, retirement and investing in startups — to identify which technology would be part of the next wave of innovation.

Fidelity rocked the adviser fintech world in 2015 when it acquired eMoney, one of the most popular financial planning and client portal tools among independent advisers. The reported $250 million price tag proved there was money to be made in adviser fintech.

“Prior to that, there was good technology out there, but there wasn’t this stream of new business models, this new equity flowing in,” said Mike Durbin, 50, the president of Fidelity Institutional who spearheaded the deal. “The pace has clearly quickened.”

After a career that took him from E.F. Hutton to founding the Lockwood family of companies, Len Reinhart turned toward private investing in retirement.

American Association of Private Lenders Opposes Florida Mortgage Licensing Bills (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The Florida legislature kicked off its legislative session by introducing Florida Senate Bill 894 and House Bill 935, legislation that could cover private mortgage lenders. The bills, introduced by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Miami) and Rep. Jeanette Nunes (R-Miami), would eliminate a longstanding business purpose exemption for loans secured by a Dwelling.

On January 18, the bill passed the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee with a 13-1 vote. On January 24, the House Commerce Committee passed the bill on a unanimous vote. The Senate similarly passed the bill on a unanimous vote in the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on January 23.

American Association of Private Lenders’ (AAPL) position is that the proposed regulation would harm Florida residents, business and the state’s economic growth by consolidating power to a few licensed parties. Private lenders provide much needed capital to a marketplace which is underserved by large financial institutions. Professional business parties need to be able to work with each other without significant regulatory intervention. The proposed regulation would result in less market competition, translating to higher interest rates, a higher cost of credit and would force business out of Florida and into neighboring states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, all of which exempt business purpose loans from licensing requirements.

Amy Johnson Named as Chief Operating Officer at dv01 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

dv01, the data management, reporting, and analytics platform that provides institutional investors insight into lending markets, today announced the appointment of Amy Johnson as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson will report to dv01 founder and CEO, Perry Rahbar.

As COO, Johnson will be responsible for dv01’s finance, legal, and sales efforts, including helping execute the company’s vision and scale its operations.

The 10 D.C. Area Startups That Raised Capital in January (DC Inno), Rated: B

Reston, Va.-based online lender StreetShares closed $23 million in equity funding on Jan. 24. The lender focuses on veteran-owned small businesses and relies on a peer-to-peer lending model. About $20 million of the new round is from Bethesda, Md.-based firm Rotunda Capital Partners. Previously, StreetShares had raised $8.3 million between three rounds.

United Kingdom

Aviva executive backs robo-advisers in call for financial advice shake-up (New World News), Rated: AAA

An Aviva executive has backed the rise of robo-advisers and called for a shake-up of financial advice to help open up the industry to the mass market.

Andy Briggs, chief executive of Aviva UK Insurance, said the current regime is freezing out large swathes of the population because only the upper echelons can afford the hefty fees.

Mr Briggs said robo-advisers could also be more powerful and beneficial to customers if the artificial intelligence did not have to carry out full financial assessments.

Treasury begins SME finance inquiry (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The Treasury committee has launched an inquiry into SME finance to look at the state of the market and the lessons to be learned from RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
The Treasury’s inquiry will look at the extent of competition in the market, the various sources of funding available to SMEs – including P2P lending and crowdfunding – and whether the current regulatory framework provides enough protection to SMEs when they borrow money.

The committee will also consider the regulation of SME lending and whether banks should be bound by a broader set of duties when dealing with SMEs.

The pros and cons of each of the six types of ISA on the market (Your Money), Rated: A

6) Innovative Finance ISA

An Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is a peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding product. In some instances, you can generate returns of around 8 – 9% by lending to private borrowers or by taking stakes in ‘crowdfunded’ investments. The IFISA is also subject to the same £20,000 annual ISA allowance so you can split your money between this ISA, as well as cash and stocks and shares.

While this is regulated by the FCA, peer-to-peer lending is not covered by the FSCS meaning your capital is at risk.

Things can only get better, says Christie & Co (The Caterer), Rated: B

Easily available debt from banks, financial institutions, peer-to-peer lending and even crowdfunding, together with forecasts of revpar growth of 2.4% in London and 2.3% in the regions, will help drive investments. Strong leisure business enjoyed by hotels last year – up 20% – is expected to continue to grow, depending on a continued weak pound.

Sainsbury’s and British Land chairmen join late payments start-up (Financial Times), Rated: B

A UK start-up that is aiming to end the culture of late payment that plagues British business has recruited two FTSE 100 chairmen as investors and advisers.

David Tyler, chairman of supermarket chain J Sainsbury, and John Gildersleeve, chairman of property group British Land, have joined the advisory board of Previse.

The London-based business pays supplier invoices instantly and collects the money from customers later. By analysing years of payment data it uses artificial intelligence to calculate the likelihood it can collect from the big customer. It has pilots running with two large corporations and is in talks with dozens more, Mr Gildersleeve told the Financial Times.

China

Ping An OneConnect fintech subsidiary raises $ 650 million in financing (Finextra), Rated: A

OneConnect is the only one-stop FinTech-empowered solutions provider in China. Financing of the three subsidiaries received positive responses, particularly from international institutional investors, including the SoftBank Vision Fund (which invested in Ping An Good Doctor and Ping An Healthcare Technology), International Digital Group (IDG) and SBI Group etc., proving that the capital market fully recognizes Ping An’s technological innovation, the business model for its technology as well as the growth potential and business value of the Group.

European Union

Banco BNI Europe Starts to Lend on Multiple P2P Lending Platforms (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Today Banco BNI Europe announced it will start lending on Fellow Finance.

‘Investing via Fellow Finance in consumer and SME loans offers us a great opportunity to easily expand our operations and we are very satisfied with the analytical and professional approach of Fellow Finance in credit intermediation’ echoes Pedro Pinto Coelho, Executive Chairman of Banco BNI Europa.

U.S. Fintech Stripe Picks Dublin for New Engineering Hub (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

U.S. payments firm Stripe said on Monday it would place its first engineering center outside its home market in the Irish capital Dublin, attracted by the city’s growing technology workforce and global outlook.

Robo Advisers Start to Take Hold in Europe (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Estimates differ, but according to TechFluence, a technology research firm with offices in Frankfurt and London, the European market had assets under management of about $3.5 billion at the end of 2017. That compares with an estimated $200 billion to $250 billion in the U.S., according to Burnmark, a fintech research firm. Estimates of the number of services range from 98 to 126 in Europe, compared with about 200 in the U.S.

The cost of entry is also much lower: generally €5,000 to €10,000 (about $6,200 to $12,400), versus hundreds of thousands at least for a discretionary service through a bank, says Timo Pfeiffer, head of research and business development at Solactive AG, an index provider that has researched the growth of robo advisers in Europe.

Popular with banks

This has led to a number of banking groups preparing robo-adviser offerings, Mr. Mellinghoff says. One example is Comdirect, a subsidiary of Commerzbank , CRZBY -3.17% which launched a robo-advisory platform in May. This service, called Cominvest, had gained assets of more than €200 million as of end of December and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, says Sabine Schoon, head of corporate strategy and consulting at Comdirect.

The European market has also attracted interest from major U.S. providers; BlackRock Inc. BLK -2.98% announced in June 2017 that it was taking a minority stake in Scalable Capital, a robo-adviser specialist that operates mainly in the German and British markets.

BBVA’s digital push helps drive 20% profit rise (Financial Times), Rated: A

Spanish bank BBVA’s dash to get customers to buy products digitally rather than in branches helped it report a 20 per cent rise in underlying full-year profits, with results boosted by lower costs as well as higher revenues.

Top P2P Cryptocurrency Token Etherecash Gets Listed on QRYPTOS, Following Successful Crowdsale (The Daily Telescope), Rated: A

Top P2P cryptocurrency startup Etherecash has announced that its ECH token will be listed on popular cryptocurrency exchange QRYPTOS on 6th of February 2018, following a successful crowdsale in which the company raised over 40 million USD. This news comes as The Estonian-based lending startup saw a very successful Q4 to 2017 as it gears up for its token distribution in early 2018.

Crypto-lending ICO Etherecash recorded contributions of over 40 million USD and over 46000 new registrations.

GN Compass Creating More Liquidity for its Token, GNCT (PR Web), Rated: B

GN Compass is the first peer-to- peer lending platform for Cryptocurrency-Backed Loans.

All transactions are verified and distributed on the Ethereum Blockchain. GN Compass is joining an expanding group of pioneering projects integrating the Bancor Protocol to maximize the trading liquidity of GN Compass tokens.

Mifid tips balance against active funds in favour of ETFs (Financial Times), Rated: B

New business inflows almost doubled for Europe’s exchange traded fund industry in 2017, in the run-up to the EU’s introduction of rules designed to improve market transparency and strengthen investor protection.

Net inflows into European-listed ETFs reached a record $108bn last year, up from $55.7bn in 2016, according to ETFGI, a London-based consultancy.

International

Disruptive innovation in equity crowdfunding (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” studies the disruptive forces shaping the future of equity crowdfunding.

View the infographic here.

Disruptive innovation in digital banking (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” examines disruptive innovation in digital banking.

View the infographic here.

IdentityMind Global Introduces KYC and Anti-Money Laundering Plug-in for ICOs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

IdentityMind Global, Digital Identities You Can Trust, an SaaS platform that builds, maintains and analyzes digital identities worldwide, allowing companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and to detect and prevent identity fraud, announced the immediate availability of its KYC Plug-in for ICOs which provides a turnkey solution for customer onboarding functionality and user experience to walk ICO participants through the know your customer (KYC) process to meet regulations worldwide.

BFB partners with US real estate fintech start-up (Trade Arabia), Rate: A

Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the Fintech Consortium (FTC) have announced a strategic partnership with OffrBox, a New York City-based Fintech start-up that has developed an end-to-end real estate transaction platform on which one can buy and sell residential properties online.

India

How early-stage startups raise money (Times of India), Rated: A

The first ’round of funding’ Abhishek Latthe got when he was setting up his wearable device startup SenseGiz in 2013 was from his family and friends. The next year, he set up a crowdfunding page on Kickstarter and raised $47,000. Late in 2014, he took out a bank loan. It was only two years later in 2015, that he could convince Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund to back him with Rs 3 crore.

Banks do not back companies without collateral and since the business model is unproven, other investors too hesitate. So, funding options include getting help from friends and family, crowdfunding, or dipping into one’s savings, but how do founders decide on the path to take?

Gadkari says peer-to-peer lending and bridge funding, which fulfil a company’s short-term working capital needs, have also become popular. Choosing the best funding option depends on the company’s need. The next step for an entrepreneur is to negotiate the company’s valuation.

FinTech will revolutionise lending in India, says Faircent CEO (money control), Rated: A

Lending is one of the oldest professions in the world and is one of the pivotal reasons for the banking system to take shape.

There is evidence of lending activities dating back to 2,000 BC between merchants, farmers and traders.

However, up till now, lending as an activity has been largely limited to financial institutes such as banks and Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

For instance, lenders on Faircent.com usually avail average gross returns of 18% to 26% per annum. This makes online P2P loans a lucrative alternative investment avenue for them.

What makes online P2P lending even more lucrative as an asset class for potential investors is the fact that it offers lenders the opportunity to diversify their investments across multiple risk buckets and loan requirements.

Source: money control

Everything you need to know as pressure mounts on cryptocurrencies (GK Men), Rated: B

Sapan Gupta a Practice-Head at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas said, “capitalising on the blockchain technology could open new ways of securing peer-to-peer lending transactions, boosting trade finance, fintech and information repository sectors”.

APAC

After a Successful Crowdsale Campaign, Karma (KRM) Begins Trading With Blockchain (Coin Idol), Rated: AAA

Decentralized p2p lending platform Karma has just announced trading as well as access to its platform and blockchain solutions. The project has now been backed by Danish fintech startup OpenLedger. Karma’s p2p lending platform can be used on the OpenLedger DEX platform and the Korean exchange CoinLink.

Why Blockchain’s Growing Pains Could Benefit Underbanked SMBs (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to a report released earlier this month by EY, 21 percent of people in the world — about 1.6 billion people — are underbanked. More than 200 million micro and SMBs fall into the underbanked category, too, with access to finance the largest hurdle for many of these firms.

EY pinpointed the APAC region as a particularly wide opportunity for financial services players to address this gap: Bank revenue in this market, researchers said, could reach $88 billion by 2020. If traditional banks don’t step in, alternative financial services firms will.

“A lot of smaller, private small businesses are under-funded,” Tran noted. “It’s not like here [in the U.S.], where we have an established financial and banking system. If you implement something like a decentralized blockchain, a P2P lending system, that would enable [SMBs] to get funded a lot easier than going through the normal banking system. With blockchain technology, you can put a platform together that is smart contract-based, allowing individual investors to participate in a growing economy. On the other hand, you allow [SMBs] to get funded very quickly.”

MENA

Top 20 Fintech Startups In The Middle East (Forbes), Rated: AAA

1 PayTabs
Online payment processing solutions

2 Souqalmal.com
Financial products comparison site

4 Beehive
SME focused peer2peer lending platform

5 Yallacompare
Financial products comparison site

8 liwwa
Peer-to-peer lending platform

StartAD launches on February 18 for fintech startups (Arabian Business), Rated: A

Innovation platform startAD will host a ten-day entrepreneurship programme, Venture Launchpad, at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), from February 18-27.

It will see ten fintech startups pitch their business ideas to investors. UAE-based early-stage startups are encouraged to apply by February 12, 2018, the application deadline.

The programme will equip them with the tools and knowledge to develop a scalable and capital efficient scheme. These include insights into crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, algorithmic trading, credit scoring, cryptocurrency, payments, insurance tech and money transferrals.

Latin America

Brazilian Fintech EBANX Secures $ 30 Million Investment From FTV Capital (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Brazilian fintech EBANX announced on Wednesday it has secured a $30 million investment from FTV Capital.

EBANX also processes payments for major merchants from 50 different countries, including the U.S. and China. The company reported that just last year it processed $1.2 billion in cross-border transactions and achieved the milestone of helping more than 30 million users from the region gain full access to major international e-commerce merchants.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor