Thursday March 21 2019, Weekly News Digest

fintechs and personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: BlockFi hits $25M in deposits in 2 weeks. Cash-back ETF injects trouble into ETF market. PeerStreet expands product line. Funding Circle fund higher impairments drag returns. Dianrong blames Chinese regime for troubles. Today’s main analysis: New home equity loans do not significantly alter credit scores. Today’s thought-provoking articles: SoFi Money review. Can Citi, JPMorgan beat […]

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fintechs and personal loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China/Hong Kong

Other

News Summary

United States

BlockFi Receives $ 25 Million in Crypto Deposits in Just 2 Weeks After Launching Lending Products (CryptoGlobe), Rated: AAA

BlockFi Lending LLC, a New York-based “secured non-bank lender” that provides cryptocurrency-backed loans in USD to digital asset investors, has revealed that its interest-generating deposit accounts have received over $25 million in cryptocurrency.

SoFi Money Review: Online Checking (Nerdwallet), Rated: AAA

SoFi Money is an online checking account by SoFi, a company best known for its student loan refinance loans. SoFi’s account has a top-of-the-line interest rate and no monthly or overdraft fees. There’s no free ATM network, but SoFi reimburses many third-party ATM fees and doesn’t charge its own. SoFi also boasts unique perks: free career counseling and financial planning sessions.

Can Citi and JPM beat FinTech Personal Loans? (PeerIQ Email), Rated: AAA

The personal loan market has grown rapidly since 2010 and the growth has been driven by FinTechs. 

Source: TransUnion, PeerIQ

“My Chase Plan” and “My Chase Loans” – a point-of-sale financing alternative and a personal loan product respectively – that will be offered to its existing credit card customers.

LendingTree Study Finds New Home Equity Loans Do Not Significantly Alter Credit Scores (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Home prices in the United States have rebounded to new highs since the financial crisis. As a result, American homeowners are sitting on the largest amount of home equity in history — at just over $15 trillion dollars, according to the Federal Reserve.

  • The decline in scores averaged just 13 points. At the high end, scores declined by 24 in San Jose,Calif. The smallest decline was 5 points in San Diego. Borrowers had an average score of 735 to start, so the declines are quite negligible in terms of access to credit and may have marginal impacts on the cost of credit. The highest starting credit score was 752 in San Francisco, while the lowest was 712 in Indianapolis.
  • The decline took an average of 158 days to reach bottom, which is just over five months. St. Louis homeowners saw their credit scores reach their lowest points in an average time of 101 days (3 months), while the longest decline was for homeowners in Dallas at 211 days (7 months). Loans do not appear on credit reports immediately after closing. Typically, the lender starts reporting to the credit bureaus after your first payment, depending on the lender’s reporting cycle. Thus it may take about 60 days after closing or even longer for it show up and start affecting a score.
  • Scores recovered over an average of 163 days. This is also just over five months, so the time to fall and recover are about equal. The quickest time to recover was 102 days, or slightly over 3 months, in Cincinnati. Borrowers in Chicago had the longest recovery time of 243 days, just over 8 months.
  • Scores recover within a year and begin to move higher. The complete cycle to return to the credit score prior to the home equity loan takes 321 days, less than 11 months. The shortest cycle was in St. Louis at 211 days and the longest in Chicago at 443 days, about 15 months.

As Cash-Back ETF Hits Market, Signs of Trouble Start to Mount (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Last week, one ETF upstart created a minor splash by doing what was once unthinkable — offering to pay investors to buy into its exchange-traded fund. That comes on the heels of eight fund providers — including JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard and BlackRock to name a few — all slashing fees in one of the industry’s most aggressive rounds of price cuts to date.

The sub-zero fee giveaway by Salt Financial, which previously ran a single $11 million ETF, is widely seen as a marketing gimmick to drum up a little PR, get customers in the door and increase its assets under management. During the first year, investors will receive 50 cents for every $1,000 in a new low-volatility stock ETF — until it grows to $100 million. After a year, a management fee of 0.29 percent, or $2.90 per $1,000, could kick in.

The race to zero, however, is very real. Fidelity Investments jump-started the no-fee push in August by offering index funds for free. In February, SoFi said it would waive charges on two planned ETFs for the first year. Last week, JPMorgan started selling America’s cheapest-ever ETF for the princely sum of 20 cents for every $1,000 invested. And BlackRock unveiled plans Wednesday to cut fees for large clients in one of its S&P 500 indexed mutual funds.

PeerStreet Expands Product Line with Residential for Rent Loans (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

PeerStreet, a platform for investing in real estate backed loans, today announced the launch of a new loan product for private lenders: Residential for Rent loans. Residential for Rent loans have a 30-year term so borrowers can secure long-term financing for residential rental properties. This launch is in response to key market conditions: as more people struggle to finance buying a home, the rental market has continued to grow.

3 Big Reasons To Fill Out The FAFSA (Even If You Think You Earn Too Much) (Huffington Post), Rated: A

One-quarter of families don’t complete the FAFSA, according to Sallie Mae’s 2018 How America Pays for College survey. Of those that don’t fill it out, 48 percent say it’s because they don’t believe they’ll qualify for financial aid.

But they’re often wrong: An analysis by NerdWallet found that in 2017, students left an estimated $2.3 billion in federal financial aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA.

According to Elaine Rubin, senior contributor and communications specialist at private student loan marketplace Edvisors, most Americans are eligible for some type of federal aid. In fact, it’s available to anyone with a household income below $250,000 per year, CNBC reported.

Madden lawsuit nears end, but online lenders still seek fix from regulators (American Banker), Rated: A

An 8-year-old class action that wreaked havoc on the online lending industry is finally winding down, but the lobbying push in Washington to undo its impact shows no signs of abating.

Lawyers in the case have filed a proposed settlement that would provide $9.8 million in cash and debt relief to as many as 58,000 consumers, setting up the final chapter in a lawsuit that is likely to be remembered best for the legal precedent it established.

The State of Digital Engagement for Online Lending (LendIt), Rated: A

A recent trend report by Clarity Services, a credit reporting provider, showed that online funded loan volumes grew by almost 500% between 2013 and 2017.

How Far are Most in their Digital Transformation Strategy?

  • 54% of financial institutions have developed a digital strategy, but have not yet implemented it
  • 29% of financial institutions are currently developing a digital transformation strategy
  • Only 14% of financial institutions are in the process of implementing a digital transformation strategy

How Much Will They Be Investing In Digital Transformation in the Next 12-18 Months?:

  • 65% are planning to increase spending by 10%
  • 26% are planning to increase spending by 1-9%
  • 6% have no plans to change spending

What will They be investing in over the next 12-18 Months?

  • Replace or upgrade legacy IT systems — 88%
  • Reduce operational inefficiency — 76%
  • Improve customer experience — 74%

X Financial’s Fourth Quarter Results Take Stock 5% Higher (Capital Watch), Rated: A

The stock of X Financial (NYSE: XYF) jumped more than 5 percent Tuesday morning, to $6.55 per American depositary share, after the peer-to-peer lending marketplace announced improved revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, as well as a dividend for 2018.

The Shenzhen-based company, which connects borrowers and investors on its platform, reported in a statement Monday evening that its revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year to $125.5 million during the three months through December.

Its net income, X Financial said, was $35.2 million, or 22 cents per share, at a 53 percent increase from the same period of 2017.

Why Corporates Cant Fund Early Pay Programs (Dynamic Discounting + SCF) (Spend Matters), Rated: A

If you look at the graph below, 5% of S&P 500 companies hold more than half the overall cash; the other 95% of corporations have cash-to-debt levels that are the lowest in data going back to 2004, according to Wells Fargo research. We know who those 5% are — they are the GAFA companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

Source:

ZestFinance Using AI To Bring Fairness To Mortgage Lending (Forbes), Rated: A

Discrimination in lending has long been a problem, shutting minority groups out of the home buying process.

ZestFinance, the artificial intelligence software company focused on the credit market is trying to change that with ZAML Fair, a new software tool that aims to reduce the instances of biases and discrimination in lending.

CoreLogic Launches PanoramIQ to Provide More Accurate and Complete Property Insights (CoreLogic), Rated: A

CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today announced PanoramIQ, an intelligent property solution that delivers a more complete view of property data with more current and reliable sources than public-record data alone. Utilizing a combination of public and proprietary property datasets, a unique property ID, machine learning and advanced analytics, PanoramIQ provides lenders, mortgage industry professionals and government entities with deeper, more accurate and complete property insights, allowing clients to make better decisions in a timely and efficient manner.

White Oak Healthcare Finance Launches Real Estate Investment Vehicle with New Hires (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

White Oak Healthcare Finance, LLC announced it will broaden its product offering and enter the healthcare real estate investment market.  White Oak hired Jeff Erhardt, Paul Nevala, Mike Treiber and John Brussard to build out the vehicle, which will initially invest up to $500MM and will focus on investments in seniors housing and skilled nursing properties using triple net leases and joint-venture RIDEA structures.

Banks seek Congress’ help to block fintech path to ‘industrial’ charters  (Roll Call), Rated: A

A bank industry group is lobbying Congress to block financial technology firms, such as online lender Social Finance Inc. and payment processor Square Inc., from obtaining an obscure form of a state bank charter that would let them operate nationally with little federal supervision.

The Independent Community Bankers of America last week distributed a policy paper around Washington calling for an immediate moratorium on providing federal deposit insurance to industrial loan companies, or ILCs, which are chartered by only a few states — most notably Utah.

Form S-3 Senmiao Technology Ltd (Street Insider), Rated: A

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after this registration statement becomes effective.

Debt Securities. We may offer debt securities, which may be secured or unsecured, senior, senior subordinated or subordinated, may be guaranteed by our subsidiaries, and may be convertible into shares of our common stock. We may issue debt securities separately or together with, upon conversion of or in exchange for other securities. It is likely that any debt securities issued will not be issued under an indenture.

Figure Technologies, Inc. Expands Leadership Team as It Builds Out Financial Empowerment and Wealth Offerings (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Figure Technologies, Inc., a fintech company in both the home equity and blockchain space, announces that John Sweeney has joined the company as the head of Wealth and Asset Management, along with Dr. Michael Dooley, who joined as chief economist. These hires reflect Figure’s commitment to empowering consumers and building out products to improve their financial well-being.

LendPro Hires Belinda Kelton as Vice President of Sales (LendPro Email), Rated: B

LendPro LLC, a provider of Lending-as-a-Service (LaaS) products and platforms for retailers, has hired retail industry veteran Belinda Kelton as its Vice President of Sales, the company announced today. Kelton is the latest of many new hires for the fast-growing fintech company, which recently moved to a new location to accommodate new staff members and provide the best service possible to customers.

Corporate Counsel, Commercial (Go In House), Rated: B

Affirm is looking for a business-minded Corporate Counsel, Commercial with broad expertise in complex commercial transactions. This role will report to Affirm’s Associate General Counsel.
United Kingdom

Funding Circle fund sees higher impairments continue to drag returns (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The Funding Circle SME Income fund saw just a marginally positive performance in February with Net Asset Value growth of just 0.05 per cent as impairments continued to hurt performance.

Impairments reduced NAV returns by 0.7 per cent in February, said analysts at Liberum, in line with the average monthly impairment rate of recent months.

Revolut Is Testing the Limits of Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Storonsky is getting a taste of the scrutiny that lies ahead as he tries to upend the world of banking with Revolut, his 3-1/2 year-old startup. The U.K.’s financial regulator is examining why the digital bank last summer temporarily turned off a system designed to automatically block suspicious transactions.

It was valued at $1.7 billion at its last fundraising and now has over 4 million customers after new accounts tripled in 2018. That’s about three times more than the two lenders combined and the same number of customers as foreign-exchange business TransferWise, which is four years older.

Source: Innovate Finance

CrowdProperty launches equity sale after increasing loan book by £100m (PlaceTech), Rated: AAA

The specialist peer-to-peer lender has secured £100m of loan capital as it launches a public crowdfunding campaign, already oversubscribed, that values the business at more than £15m.

Having raised £100m from an unnamed “major institution”, CrowdProperty will use the funds to expand the number of property projects it backs over the next 12-24 months.

OakNorth reports £33.9m profit for 2018 and commits to donating 1% of all future net profit to charitable causes and social entrepreneurship (OakNorth Email), Rated: A

IFISA Guide: SME loans (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

Ablrate’s IFISA offers returns ranging between 10 and 15 per cent, enabling investors to fund asset-backed loans to UK businesses.

ArchOver’s IFISA enables investors to fund secured business loans and enjoy tax-free returns of up to 10 per cent per year.

MoneyThing’s IFISA is one of the highest-paying tax wrappers that invests in secured business loans, offering annual returns of up to  13 per cent.

Assetz Capital

Returns vary depending on the account, going from 4.1 per cent to 6.25 per cent on its auto-invest products, and up to 15.5 per cent with its manual lending option.

Funding Circle

The minimum investment in this flexible IFISA is £1,000.

LendingCrowd

The Growth and Income ISAs automatically spread investors’ money across a range of loans and have variable target rates of six per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

Specialist lender funding will be the key issue for 2019 – LendInvest (Mortgage Solutions), Rated: A

The situation is a big reminder to lenders that it is crucial to concentrate on building a diverse range of funding sources, rather than just one single route.

It’s something that we have put a lot of work into at LendInvest, as it allows us to lend with confidence, knowing that the funds we have promised to a borrower will be there.

The firm sent out an email on 24 January 2019 suggesting that recipients should have a “stockpile ready” as some believe Brexit “could affect the amount of food available,” while offering a £5 promotional discount on a loan.

Why investors are fleeing the ‘fear and greed’ of stock markets for peer-to-peer loans (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Investors are ditching the stock market in favour of bundled loans sold by fledgling platforms that are yet to be tested by a financial crisis.

The top 20 UK places for high net worth earners (Citywire), Rated: B

Nearly two fifths of the UK’s top earners now live in London, according to research from peer to peer lending platform easyMoney.

China/Hong Kong

China’s Online Lender Dianrong Blames Chinese Regime for its Woes (NTD), Rated: AAA

Dianrong, one of China’s biggest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders, is laying off staff and shutting stores. The company blamed the Chinese regime for its troubles and said the absence of clear-cut policies was proving to be a heavy burden.

Dianrong shut down 60 of its 90 offline stores and laid off an estimated 2,000 employees, Reuters reported in early March.

Pintec’s Stock Rises on Steady Results During Quarter of IPO (Capital Watch), Rated: A

Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: PT) gained 15 cents in trading by midday after reporting a slight increase in revenue and narrowed losses for the fourth quarter.

The Beijing-based tech platform facilitating financial services said on Wednesday that its revenue in the three months through December was $32.9 million, 2 percent higher year-over-year. Its net loss was $1.2 million, a 10 percent decrease from the same period of 2017. Loss per share was 1 cent.

For the full year, Pintec reported revenue of $153.1 million, 85 percent higher from the preceding 12 months, and profit of $1.1 million in contrast to a loss in 2017.

KKR Raising First Asia Real Estate Fund, Targeting $ 1.5 Billion (U.S. News), Rated: A

Global investment powerhouse KKR & Co Inc is raising its first Asia-focused real estate fund, targeting $1.5 billion as it looks to deepen its real estate portfolio in the region, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Investment firms raised $18.6 billion in 26 Asia-focused real estate funds last year, the highest since 2008, according to data provider Preqin. KKR’s U.S.-based rival Blackstone Group raised the region’s biggest real estate fund last year at $7.1 billion.

China and distressed debt top DB’s hedge funds tastes test (City Wire Selector), Rated: A

Alternative investors are increasingly drawn to Asian hedge funds and distressed strategies, according to the latest Alternative Investment Survey from Deutsche Bank.

The 2019 survey canvassed the views of 425 asset allocators running $1.7 trillion of hedge fund assets in 28 countries.

European Union

Finnest and Invesdor Merge to Combine Debt and Equity Operations in Europe (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Finnest, an Austria based Fintech that provides debt capital to small and medium-sized firms, has announced a planned merger with Finland based Invesdor Oy. The newly formed company will see the combination of a leading Nordic equity crowdfunding platform and a top online lender serving the DACH region (Deutschland, Austria, Switzerland). The two companies will now be able to offer a full stack of debt and equity services and investments across Northern Europe as well as more numerous options for investors.

Invesdor claims over 50,000 registered users as well as a MiFID II license for 28 European countries – the first crowdfunding platform to receive approval. Invesdor reports investors, both institutional and individual, from over 150 different countries. Invesdor currently offers a unique financing portfolio in the market, from equity to loans and bonds to IPOs.

Bitbond to Work with BitGo for Germany’s First Security Token Offering (Bitbond), Rated: A

Bitbond has launched Germany’s first Security Token Offering with a BaFin approved Prospectus and will be using  BitGo’s Business Wallet. The STO has a hard cap of EUR 100 million (~USD 113 million) and will conclude in May. Thousands of investors have already joined to take advantage of early bird discounts.

The STO marks a significant milestone for the crypto asset industry, not only because it has an approved prospectus, but also because it offers tokenized debt with a predetermined maturity. Bitbond Token (BB1) holders will receive quarterly and annual payments for 10 years, after which Bitbond will buy back the token at its original value of EUR 1 per token.

India

Top 5 sectors that need upskilling: How to stay relevant in age of disruption? (Indian Express), Rated: A

The banking sector is witnessing a massive growth owing to the launch of connected products and services, business innovation and the rise of the middle class along with the emergence of new fintech areas of mobile payments, digital wallets and P2P lending. Technologies such as chatbots, blockchains and automation through robotics powered by AI are transforming the sector.

CRYPTO EXCHANGE COINDCX RAISES SEED FUNDING FROM BAIN CAPITAL VENTURES (Coin News Span), Rated: B

Bengaluru-based client leasing startup RentoMojo has raised $10 Mn serial B funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Renaud Laplanche.

Asia

Look out for 2019’s top 7 lending startups (e27), Rated: AAA

As of 2019, there are still 2.45 billion underbanked and unbanked people in the world. The more innovative lending companies there are, the faster this market will be covered and served.

October.eu (formerly Lendix) is an innovative, easy-to-use, and intuitive peer-to-peer platform for lending and investing.

The Dharma team works on a platform that lets businesses build lending products on the Ethereum blockchain.

The governing idea of Kabbage is that funding shouldn’t be complicated for businesses. So, the company makes an effort to provide entrepreneurs with up to US$250,000 in loans for which you can allegedly qualify for in just 10 minutes or at most, a day.

Founded in 2014, TurnKey Lender has already become the market’s leading intelligent all-in-one lending automation platform.

The name SoFi comes from social finance and it’s another great example of a successful peer-to-peer lending operation. Founded in 2011, the company is already a huge market player with US$30 billion worth of funded loans and 600 thousand members.

Affirm goes a different route than most alternative lenders. The idea behind it is enabling in-house financing for retail businesses. So, the store’s customers get an instant loan with zero to 30 per cent interest rates.

With quite a unique approach, Lendio offers small business an opportunity to get services and credit products from lenders with the best conditions. It’s a marketplace with more than 75 lenders on board.

Vietnam is the region’s fintech hub (The ASEAN Post), Rated: AAA

Vietnam’s strong economic growth in recent years has led to the flourishing of the nation’s digital economy. The country’s economy in 2017 was deemed to be one of the best performing in the region. Its economy saw a 6.8 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) – higher than the government’s initial target of 6.7 percent – making it one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam currently has 54 percent of its population on the internet and the number is expected to grow further in the coming years.

Data from Vietnam Briefing shows that 39,580 start-ups entered the Vietnamese market in just the first four months of 2017, a 14 percent increase from the first quarter of 2016. Within the start-up scene, the fintech sector has become the most attractive for investments, receiving US$129 million in 2016.

Travelstop Targets Fintech SMEs with Business Travel Management Platform (Fintech News), Rated: A

Co-founded by former Expedia employees, Singapore-based Travelstop is a modern, artificial intelligence (AI) powered SaaS platform that simplifies business travel, automates expense reporting for businesses in Asia, and offers insights to business owners.

The platform is quickly gaining traction from the region’s startups and fintech community, helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and high-growth organizations including Funding Societies, Fintech News Network, RedDoorz, S P Jain School of Global Management and Dot Property better to manage their business travels.

Asia has the largest share of mobile internet traffic, with 61% of its population using mobile devices to go online.

How Ovo Has Grown to be Indonesia’s Largest Digital Payments Platform (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

After online stores, Indonesia’s leading digital payments platform Ovo has been making strides into offline stores, increasing the number of merchants that accept the payment method.

OVO has reportedly acquired local peer-to-peer lending company Taralite, a move that will pave the way for OVO to branch out into the lending business which is seen to be a potential profit-generator for the company.

TurnKey Lender Opens a New Office in Kuala Lumpur (Digital Journal), Rated: A

TurnKey Lender, a provider of intelligent lending automation, decision management, and risk mitigation solutions, announces the opening of a new office in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Its main goal will be to physically represent TurnKey Lender and support the company’s operations in Asia.

With internet penetration at 85.7% in 2018, the country is perfectly positioned for the rapid growth of alternative lending initiatives in areas like peer-to-peer lending and in-house financing.

Golden Gate Ventures ties up with Hanwha to invest in Asian startups (SDF-KH), Rated: B

Golden Gate and Hanwha will focus on startups that are raising fund for ‘Series B’ stage.

Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures confirmed on Tuesday that it has teamed up with South Korea-based Hanwha Asset Management to invest in Southeast Asian technology startups.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday March 21 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Korean company Hanwha Life Insurance acquires 4% stake in Lending Club. American Bankers Association partners with Accenture to publish a playbook for banks who want to partner with FinTech companies. Today’s main analysis : Insurance technology is the next FinTech frontier.  The African financial services industry is making great strides in changing […]

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

China

India

Africa

  • Africa is undergoing some interesting FinTech changes. In fact, technology is revolutionizing how money is handled and business is conducted in one of the most unexpected places of the world. AT: “It will interesting to see how FinTech transforms banking in Africa and whether it could lead to an increase in power and posture for a part of the world that has long been on the underside of the global power structure. This analysis is a must-read.”

News Summary

 

United States

ABA, Accenture Release ‘Playbook’ for Banks on Fintech Strategy (Banking Journal), Rated: AAA

As banks continue to grapple with a rapidly evolving technological environment and the massive growth of fintech startups — and with billions of dollars in revenues at stake — the American Bankers Association and Accenture today released a members-only Fintech Playbook to help banks understand how and when they can most profitably partner with fintech companies. ABA also launched ABA Fintech as an online hub for all the association’s resources on fintech.

According to Accenture, banks that invest in fintech stand to gain up to $20 billion collectively in operating income by 2020, while those that don’t could lose as much as $15 billion in revenues during the same period.

The playbook offers a four-phase approach — establish a baseline, close gaps, focus on the customer and drive transformational change — that addresses channels, lines of business and bank platforms and processes. It also includes sample worksheets to help identify strategic priorities, identify top IT investment priorities and select potential fintech partners.

How to win in the game of odds in the next fintech frontier — insurance (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Insurance technology is getting very popular among founders and investors, yet, as a category, is little understood.

Insurance is one of the most difficult businesses to start, because, well, the regulators don’t actually want new players in the market. The reason for this is risk — insurance is all about having a strong system and balance sheet to manage risk. However, as a result of its difficulty, insurance is now behind the times in terms of technology. This leads to a perfect storm to disrupt the industry.

Oftentimes product development cycles can be 3-5 years. In startup world, that’s an eternity and back. Meanwhile, there is $1.2 trillion in insurance premium written every year in the U.S.

The key to unlocking the insurance industry is understanding behavioral economics. Behavioral economics is the study of behavior and how it impacts purchasing.

Given the size of the market you clearly can create a win-win situation. For example, in auto insurance, even out of those who shop for carriers, more than 71 percent of people stayed with their carrier in 2015.

The most successful players in insurance tech will win by rounding the edges on existing products.

Hanwha Life acquires 4% stake in US loan company Lending Club (Korea Herald), Rated: A

Hanwha Life Insurance has acquired 4.1 percent stake in Lending Club, a US peer-to-peer lending company for 75 billion won (US$66.24 million), it reported on Oct. 17.

The insurance arm of Hanwha Group has a strategic partnership with Lending Club and “thought that its stocks were undervalued after its stock price was slashed due to the recent scandal involving its CEO, and purchased the stake,” said an official.

The distinct advantage of utilizing section 1031: The taxes could be deferred indefinitely (New York Real Estate Journal), Rated: A

A real estate investor, if fortunate comes to a point where they want to sell a property at a profit. Many investors know they may be able to utilize Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 and exchange their property for a replacement property, in turn deferring the capital gains. This has been one of the cornerstones of real estate investing because the deductions taken to make income tax deferred while owning a property also reduces cost basis. Distinct advantage of utilizing section 1031:  As long as the rules are followed each time an investor sells and subsequently buys a property, the taxes can potentially be deferred indefinitely. At the time of death, your heirs will generally receive a stepped up cost basis to the current market value of owned property, regardless of how many exchanges the investor may have done in the past (depending on the total market value of the estate).

Now, while most real estate investors know how to take advantage of a 1031 exchange in the traditional sense, there is an option to invest in an alternative structure and still defer the gains.  This is called the Delaware Statutory Trust or (DST). A DST gives investors another avenue to take advantage of the tax code while still staying within the parameters of the 1031 requirements.

The underlying real estate in a DST may be any asset class including, multifamily, office, retail, self-storage or industrial properties.

FTC Announces Agenda, Panelists for Oct. 26 FinTech Forum on Peer-to-peer Payments and Crowdfunding (FTC), Rated: A

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the agenda for its upcoming FinTech forum examining peer-to-peer payments and crowdfunding. The forum, which is the second in an ongoing event series, will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Washington, DC.

The half-day forum will feature two panel discussions. The first panel will explore peer-to-peer payment systems, the online services – often mobile apps – that allow consumers to exchange money electronically. The second panel will examine crowdfunding, the use of online platforms to fund a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people. Both panels will discuss the important trends in these industries, as well as their benefits and potential risks for consumers.

In addition to these panel discussions, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation will give a presentation examining crowdfunding practices and the types of information available to consumers about crowdfunding campaigns.

Full details are available on the workshop’s webpage. The workshop will be webcast live on the FTC’s website.

Fintech Trends: Collaboration (FinLeap), Rated: A

With Fintechs growing stronger every day by taking a bigger part of the financial market, banks have become more open to collaborations with these young companies. Those collaborations present a great opportunity for banks not only resulting in increase of revenue, but most importantly innovation.

Studies show that many banks have already established partnerships with Fintechs. According to the UBS bank management survey of 61 big banks, 38% have a partnership already – a number that’s only going to rise in the upcoming year.

Not only do Fintechs gain benefits from collaboration, but also banks. The first benefit is simple: revenue.

Collaborations between banks and Fintechs can be very beneficial, but they are also very challenging as the organizational cultures between the two differ greatly.[5] This means that culturally, banks and fintechs will have to adapt to each other while trying to avoid unnecessary dependence.

How To Value Boston’s Faneuil Hall And Other Questions Fintech Could Answer (Forbes), Rated: A

Ryan Williams surveys the room: how many people could put a price tag on this building?

His question, it turns out, is a bit of trick. This building is Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, which will never come up for sale.

On Monday, the market building constructed in 1742 was host to the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit where Williams spoke on a panel about how financial technology is shaking up stodgy industries. Williams’ co-panelists hail from different segments of fintech, but each touched on variations of  his broader point: technology is expanding access to financial information and in turn broadening financial opportunity.

Vlad Tenev argues that Robinhood, the free mobile stock trading app he co-founded, exists to get people investing as young as high school. This way they won’t be so clueless when it comes time to invest for retirement. Daniel Aisen, head of quantitative strategy at stock exchange IEX Group, notes that his company is pushing institutional investors to look closer at what is happening behind the scenes of their trades with the ultimate goal of making buying and selling stocks fairer for everyone. And SoFi, where Michael Tannenbaum is senior vice president of mortgages, is part of a group of new lenders using expanded data sets to broaden who they can give money to.

While financial technology has gained clients, accolades and venture capital dollars in recent years, high stakes separate these young financial leaders from many other young technology stars. If they get it wrong real peoples’ livelihoods, retirements and homes could be at stake. This is why all four panelists agreed that gaining domain expertise is key before starting a fintech business. They also largely agree that the evolution of finance will not come from throwing out everything that came before.

Class is Back in Session at Fintech University (BBVA), Rated: B

Some of the best-known names working on finance’s new frontiers come together this Monday in one of technology’s most important cities for the second edition of Fintech University.

The one-day gathering at San Francisco’s Bently Reserve is hosted by BBVA’s Open Innovation team, and features fintech entrepreneurs from around the globe.

Some of the hottest topics in fintech will be discussed at the second edition of Fintech University, including payments, lending, Know Your Customer (KYC) and authentication, and regulation. Fintech luminaries such as Socure’s Johnny Ayers, Prosper’s Ron Suber and Coinbase’s Fred Ehrsam will be leading and participating in the discussions.

While Fintech University has sold out, interested parties can follow along by checking out #FintechUniversity on Twitter.

United Kingdom

Amazon Echo and the future of financial advice technology (Professional Adviser), Rated: A

Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. In case you missed the news, having been available in the US for two years, its long anticipated UK launch took place at the end of last month to much fanfare and excitement.

So what does a speaker have to do with financial advice?

Today, an adviser business may need to enter the same data 21 times into 21 different systems. This sounds mad but, worryingly, it is not that unusual.

In drawing together multiple systems and tools, Echo demonstrates the potential of a connected advisory world. A single system, for example, that links to multiple investment platforms, keeps you informed about tasks and diary events, provides client information, manages business finances – and all though a single interface.

Can we expect a financial adviser version of Echo any time soon? The concept of integrated technology is available in the adviser world already.

Robo-advice would have flourished without RDR (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Robo-advice and the drive to automation would still have happened even without the catalyst of the Retail Distribution Review, experts have claimed.

Steve Thomas, professor at Cass Business School, said the disrupting advance of technology would have still forced a change in the financial services sector, even if the RDR had not taken place.

He highlighted how the advisory marketplace had shrunk from approximately 200,000 advisers in the UK in 1990 to approximately 25,000 qualified regulated financial advisers today.

Landbay launches new range of lending products for professional landlords (Property Wire), Rated: B

Peer to pear lending platform Landbay which specialises in buy to let mortgages has launched a new range of limited edition lending products aimed primarily at professional landlords.

The new tracker products have a competitive rate, no Early Redemption Charges (ERCs) and will be available exclusively via Landbay’s approved broker partners, in addition to the existing suite of both Fixed and Tracker rate products.

Landbay champions a bespoke, flexible and fast lending process, which it believes benefits borrowers in its speed of service and its competitive pricing. To date, Landbay has lent over £42 million since 2014, over 241 loans with 0% facing repayment difficulties.

Established in 2013, Landbay was the fastest growing online peer to peer lending platform in 2015.

Rebuilding the financial services industry takes the best of both (Real Business), Rated: A

The financial services sector is broken. However, it is not broke. It still generates enormous revenue, but it does so within a system that is quickly becoming unsustainable.

From Santander referring businesses to peer-to-peer lending platforms, to Zurich’s creation of a digital workplace – established players are looking to create new efficiencies, and provide greater convenience, customisation and reduced costs.

For something to become truly, disruptively innovative, it must be embraced by the mass market. And although fintech is booming, I’d argue that it still remains the province of early adopters. Many promising fintech startups have already failed due to the big gap between those early adopters and the mainstream market, and the gulf in behaviours between the two.

How come? Well, in financial services, probably more than in any other sector, it’s especially difficult to overcome the forces of inertia and trust. After all, there are few things in life more serious than money – and if someone’s going to place their savings or investments in the hands of a company, they’ll want to have confidence that the company they choose has the scale and longevity to keep their hard-earned cash safe.

SME’s beginning to rely on alternative finance in post financial crisis Britain (Huddled), Rated: A

Recent studies have shown that the Alternative Finance industry is providing SME’s with more flexible funding opportunities and much better terms for businesses. Back in 2015 Nesta revealed that the market had grown by £3.2 billion, highlighting its rapid expansion, and things look set to continue in a similar fashion.

A lot of SME’s struggle with having their invoices tied up for up to 90 days. This can create a problematic cash flow gap which can hinder businesses on a day-to-day basis. Market Invoice is becoming one of the main providers enabling businesses to release up to 90% of their invoices before the typical 90-day period.

The UK government has invested in a variety of different recent schemes and programmes to support SMEs financially. There are now a variety of different options available, from loans to investment schemes and development programmes, which businesses can take advantage of to help them out.

Short term business loans offer a much more flexible alternative for businesses, giving SME’s the opportunity to draw the funds as and when needed as opposed to taking a lump sum in one go. This proves to be a handy resource and quick fix for SME’s experiencing unexpected cash flow problems.

Crowdfunding platforms are more popular than ever before. With so many different online platforms available for donation crowdfunding SME’s can reach out to people around them and other via the power of social media to ask for any donations towards their cause.

With interest rates set to stay low and so many different types of alternative finance now available, there is a huge potential for new businesses to establish themselves in 2016.

Oinky focuses on ways to automate and simplify saving (Pensions & Investments), Rated: B

Conrad Holmboe left his position at U.K. investment consultant Redington over the summer, where he was a director in the investment consulting business, to work on Oinky, a digital piggy bank. Oinky connects to an existing bank account, determines how much a user can safely afford to save every week, and automatically transfers those savings to the piggy bank.

Mr. Holmboe is chief operating officer, chief financial officer and co-founder of Oinky alongside Ivan Soto-Wright, who also is CEO. Mr. Soto-Wright left Redington last year, where he was an investment consultant.

Oinky also has a “discover” feature, which lets savers explore peer-to-peer lending opportunities, investment platforms and other savings products.

Australia

Banks, AMP baulk at cost of financial advice watchdog (The Australian), Rated: A

The big four banks and AMP will contribute nearly $16 million to fund the creation of the federal government’s professional standards body for financial advisers, part of reforms unveiled yesterday by Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

The $15.6m bill to cover the first four years of the program has ­already faced resistance from the banking industry, which constitutes only 25 per cent of the financial advice market.

AMP, which represents Australia’s largest network of financial advisers, is also pushing to expand the financial burden of the standards body to be shared by the rest of the industry.

An independent standards body will be established as a commonwealth company and a nine-member board will seat three consumer advocates, three industry members, an ethicist, an education specialist and a chair. The professional associations, such as the Financial Planners Association, will compete to run the body, which will oversee the country’s 22,500 advisers.

FPA head of policy Ben Marshan said the reforms provided ­financial planners with an appropriate amount of time to adjust to the new system. The education and professional standards regime will come into force at the start of 2019.

Australians are using peer-to-peer loans to consolidate their debt (Finder), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, while having first been introduced in 2012, is still a new concept to many Australians. However, the idea seems to be catching on. The P2P lending space is becoming more competitive, with new lenders being announced all the time, and more Australians are starting to take advantage of the competitive rates on offer. According to new data, these rates are being utilised by borrowers looking to reduce the interest they’re paying on current debts.

RateSetter customers that are using their loans to consolidate debt:

  • $20,666 – Average loan amount for debt consolidation
  • 8.23% – Average annual rate for debt consolidation loans
  • 725 – The number of people earning between $50,000 and $100,000 that held debt consolidation loans
  • 64.5% – Percentage of males applying for debt consolidation loans

Move to lift professional standards of financial advisors backed (Professional Planner), Rated: B

The SMSF Association strongly endorses the Federal Government’s decision to legislate to improve the professional standards of financial advisors.

Association Head of Policy Jordan George says improving the educational and ethical standards of financial advisors has been a long-term policy of the organisation, especially as it relates to the $622 billion self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector.

China

Stored Value Facilities : Changing the fintech landscape in Hong Kong (Bryan Cave), Rated: AAA

Last November the Clearing and Settlement Systems Ordinance was amended and renamed as the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities (SFV) Ordinance (“Ordinance”). The Ordinance sees the implementation of a mandatory licensing system for stored value facilities, and was subject to a one year transition period. This grace period will end on 13th November 2016, after which any stored value operator not holding a licence will have to exit the market or face heavy penalties.

In general, a SFV involves the pre-payment to or storage of the value of money (or money’s worth) on a payment facility, which may be used for paying for goods or services or to another party. This includes smartcards, such as gift cards or top-up cards, through to wearable technology such as watches to non-device based SVFs that store the value of money on mobile and internet based accounts, such as e-wallets.

The Ordinance requires all multi-purpose SVFs to be licensed. Single-purpose SVFs do not have to adhere to the Ordinance, so you may rest assured your pre-paid coffee card will still work after 13th November.

The implementation of the Ordinance sees a significant shift in Hong Kong’s payment’s landscape.

More than 20 companies have applied to the HKMA for SVF licenses with 50% Hong Kong-domiciled companies and 68% engaged in the prepaid card business. Howard Lee, senior executive director at the HKMA, advised that the decision to include only five operators at this point did not mean the remaining applicants had been rejected. We expect to see more licences granted before or after 13th November.

SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator Renews Partnership with Hong Kong Exchange & Clearing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Hong Kong-based SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator has renewed its partnership with Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX).

SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator was launched in January 2016 with big success seeing a USD $71 million capital investment in accelerator participant MicroCred secured for its expansion in China and the development of their internet finance strategy.

Applications for SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0 are open until 20 October 2016 both early stage and later stage Fintech firms may apply.

India

Barclays launches fintech accelerator programme with 10 fintech startups (The Economic Times, India Times), Rated: AAA

Rise Accelerator, a FinTech- focussed accelerator programme started by Barclays announced its first cohort today, comprising 10 FinTech startups.

The fintech accelerator will provide the selected startups with access to the bank’s technology, insight and expertise via onsite mentors and advisors. It will also enable them to access the international markets.

The 10 shortlisted startups included 4 from Bangalore, 2 each from Mumbai and Delhi and 1 each from Chennai and Hyderabad. The startups focussed on a host of areas like Artificial Intelligence, Data Integration, Predictive Lending etc to solve real time problems associated with the banking and financial sectors.

The London headquartered lender is also planning to support these nascent financial technology companies as an early stage investment which can reap them big returns if they go on to make it big in the emerging fintech space both in India as well as globally.

Online P2P lending marketplace Rupaiya Exchange fast emerging as a game changer in India (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

Putting an end to redundant lending processes in India, Rupaiya Exchange, a leading online peer-to-peer lending platform, is changing the face of the money lending industry. With its pan-India presence, Rupaiya Exchange serves as a marketplace for a wide range of peer to peer (P2P) lending activity including Consumer-to-Consumer loans, Business-to-Consumer loans, and Business-to-Business loans. The service portfolio of the company includes short-term as well as long-term loan instruments which can be either be secured or collateral-free, as per the user requirement.

The platform also holds the distinction of being the first company to introduce a lender’s protection scheme in India.

Fintech companies like BankBazaar promise smarter profits from mutual funds (The Economic Times, India Times), Rated: A

Investing in a mutual fund is considered a smart option, especially for first-time investors, and several fintech startups are looking to make the process simpler and attractive for individuals.

BankBazaar, which has a Sebi-registered investment-adviser licence, is set to use robo-advisory technology, which entails minimal human intervention in financial advice, to help customers invest in the right mutual funds. The feature will be live internally on October 30 and can be used by the public from November 17, CEO Adhil Shetty told ET.

Digital payments startup Trupay will launch a feature this month for real-time investment in mutual funds using its UPI integration.

Zerodha offers a choice of the bestperforming mutual funds, which Nithin Kamath, CEO of Zerodha, said the company is allowed to do using its stockbroker licence, and also uses a simulated systematic investment plan (SIP) to let users customise their investments based on markets instead of fixed periodical investments.

Fintech firm Lendingkart acqui-hires loans marketplace KountMoney (Tech Circle), Rated: B

Fintech startup Lendingkart Group has acqui-hired KountMoney, an online lending marketplace for personal loans, to boost its technology and data analytics capabilities.

Acqui-hire refers to the buyout of a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.

KountMoney connects borrowers and lenders, besides vetting loan applications through an algorithm. It forwards the vetted loan applications to suitable lenders in its network, who take the final call. It also helps borrowers in choosing lenders and submission of documents.

Africa

NFC FinTech Banking Technology and Speed (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Abstract – African financial services industry is in the midst of extraordinary change more and more of the population is becoming part of the formal financial system with mobile technology driven inclusion but still large portion of the market still remains untapped. The race/efforts by nonbank organization’s are still on to find innovative ways to get excluded customers on board. Included consumers are looking for everyday convenience, while businesses are looking for a competitive edge thus resulting in a new breed of products and next-generation payment options. At the same time many consumers still needs to answer for their questions like what do I do on Internet banking, with NFC sticker on back of my $10 mobile phone, with easy solution, open and integrated design technologies?

Introduction- With NFC any device can be a payment device.

NFC or any similar technologies are neither new nor a revolutionary innovation its in existence on this planet since decades, but not all of us are aware to make use of this for payments (Ok I agree most of us are). Mobile payment using NFC has been around for a long time but banks and retailers are hesitant to participate due to fear of low adoption rate.

Main Story – Using combination of technologies like mobile device, bitcoin, blockchain, fintech companies are building Internet of value. The question then is what does this means for financial institutions, governments and citizens.

The challenge to NFC is the cost of devices (Handsets & Receiving devices). Some brands do not take time to invest fully as Apple does.

Security is an integral component of all payments, as sensitive data need to be protected from any fraudulent parties. The card associations have created a set of rules and security standards, which must be followed by anyone with access to card information including gateways. This set of rules and security standards is called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. To add security for both subscriber and merchant (Yes at business cost), as in any financial transaction that’s the golden Key.

Banks will certainly have to judge whether the massive investment they could make, in order to challenge the spreading popularity of payment systems such as PayPal, will be worthwhile, given that PayPal has gained ‘first mover’ advantage and that as highly-regulated financial service companies with duties to both national and continental authorities, they have to abide by stricter rules and security protocols. They must also judge whether their customers will move with them into a new more agile, flexible and electronic future, or whether a majority of people actively prefer the new, low cost (or free) services that have sprung up as part of the digital revolution.

Conclusions- Although we have made great strides to expand access to financial services through new technologies and innovative business models, the gender divide stubbornly persists in most emerging markets.

Time has now come for banks and other entities with an interest in financial service provision, to step up as one single team, exploit technology and leverage on existing MNO infrastructure to acquire customers, enrich use cases, lower costs and increase revenue especially in markets where regulators (such as reserve banks) play a dominant role.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor