This year’s digital lending conclave in India features top speakers addressing consumer lending and SME lending concerns. There will also be discussions in equity financing for alternative lenders and debt capital for alt lenders. Speakers include: Gaurav Chopra Alok Mittal Shilpa Mankar Ahluwalia Samir Bhatia And many more Location: DLAI, C/o Capital Float Zen Lefin […]
This year’s digital lending conclave in India features top speakers addressing consumer lending and SME lending concerns. There will also be discussions in equity financing for alternative lenders and debt capital for alt lenders. Speakers include:
News Comments Today’s main news: Fiduciary rule delayed–again.SoFi prepares sixth student loan refinance ABS.LendingTree secures $250M amended, restated credit facility.Indonesian tech investments hit $3B YTD. Today’s main analysis: Qudian bounces back. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Will Mulvaney back consumers or payday lenders?American consumers say financial crisis had no impact on their lives.Online education startup promises to […]
SoFi is has entered the post-Thanksgiving pipeline with its sixth student loan refinancing transaction this year, in line with its plans to issue 12 securitizations in 2017.
The California-based online lender filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are banks on the deal, according to the deal documents.
While relaxing over the Thanksgiving weekend you might have noticed a new trend occurring in television while watching the games: six second ads.
SoFi is focusing their message on the consumers lifestyle, presenting an understanding as to why someone needed to increase their credit card debt.
They also placed a Black Friday circular with several national newspapers which you can see in the photo below. The ad is a clever take on the typical sales fliers we all see around this time of year. But instead of an ad featuring low prices we see an ad touting much higher prices. The message is that if you are buying gifts on credit cards this holiday season and carrying a balance you will be paying a lot more than the advertised price. It is a message focused on smart spending, giving a better look at the true costs of products when financed.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Washington D.C. Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to appoint White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to director of the agency.
As a Congressman, Mulvaney accepted $55,500 in contributions from payday lenders during his four successful runs for Congress, including $26,600 during the 2016 election cycle, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Before he was tapped to lead President Donald Trump’s Office of Budget Management, Mulvaney took $115,200 from the securities and investment industry, and another $96,564 from the insurance industry in the 2016 cycle, both more than any other industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This record, along with comments Mulvaney made indicating he would shutter the agency if given the opportunity, has led critics to question whether Mulvaney’s priority will be consumers — or the companies the agency is responsible for regulating.
Payday lenders appear to want Mulvaney to lead the CFPB.
President Trump’s hostile takeover of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, by contrast, relies on the rather less cherished legal principle of habeas cuppedia, Latin for “you shall have the pastries.”
Under the statute that created the CFPB, the watchdog agency set up after the 2008 crash to police lending abuses, it should now be rightfully run by Leandra English, the deputy director who succeeds the just-resigned director, Richard Cordray, until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. Trump found another statute that he says lets him appoint Mulvaney. English filed suit to defend her legitimacy, Mulvaney submitted doughnuts, and a Trump-appointed federal judge, to nobody’s surprise, ruled in Trump’s favor.
New data released today by Hartford Funds revealed that a decade after the Great Recession, Americans are unclear how the economic event impacted their life and financial behavior.
The majority (40 percent) of respondents said that the financial crisis had no impact on their life, yet large numbers reported that they avoid the market (42 percent) and have altered their spending and savings habits (46 percent). Others (26 percent) shifted their retirement timeline and plan to work longer then they’d hoped, and 25 percent had to change jobs or take on additional jobs.
The majority (40 percent) of respondents said that the financial crisis had no impact on their life, yet large numbers reported that they avoid the market (42 percent) and have altered their spending and savings habits (46 percent). Others (26 percent) shifted their retirement timeline and plan to work longer then they’d hoped, and 25 percent had to change jobs or take on additional jobs.
The company’s growth is set to continue with ongoing success in the US, Monevo’s newest territory.
Personal loan originations in the US reached new heights by the end of 2016. Total balances reached $102bn for the first time, $14bn higher than the end of 2015. The number of consumers with personal loans at the end of 2016 was 15.82 million.
Fifteen US lenders, including Lending Club, Sofi, and Prosper have joined Monevo’s roster of over 150 personal loan lenders across the world.
Just like Uncle Sam, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants you…to be able to apply for financial aid on your phone.
DeVos said Tuesday that the government plans to launch an app for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which some 20 million people fill out every year in hopes of getting grants, loans and other money for college or career training. It’s all part of a plan to make the FAFSA much simpler to submit.
HouseCanary, the data analytics and valuation platform for real estate professionals, today announced it has closed a $31 million series B funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $64 million to date. Investors in the round include PSP Growth, the venture and growth equity arm of PSP Capital, a private investment firm founded by entrepreneur and former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, as well as Alpha Edison and other existing investors.
Investors can now value over 100 million properties with a median error of 2.5% or less. Lenders and appraisers use HouseCanary technology to reduce the time it takes to complete an appraisal from more than 25 days to less than a week.
How secure is your data? Recent hacks and breaches have re-stressed the importance of the data security and customer information. This track will help young startups and big box financial institutions verify customers, understand data security and utilize tools to improve efficiency. The future of technology is in robotics, machine learning and biometrics, not grasping these changes will make your business extinct.
Bitcoin. Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. ICO’s. Everyone’s talking about them, but how will these new age concepts change the future of money?
Banks are looking to fintech partners to transform their business for the digital revolution. This track will explore the crucial role of mobile banking, smart ATM innovations, chatbots’ role, and the digital transformation at all levels—from branch to infrastructure to data storage.
Learn how to scale your growth like Lending Club, increase access to credit like LendingPoint, and utilize mobile-only technologies like MoneyLion.
There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, up from 1 million last year, according to the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan estimates 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled by 2022, a rise of around 20% since 2015.
The military is skilled at producing what Gary McAlum, the chief security officer at USAA, calls “Jedi Knights.”
Wells Fargo is making a big push to hire veterans, said Rich Baich, its chief information security officer. He has held several positions in the Navy, the North American Air Defense Command, the National Reconnaissance Office and the FBI.
As of August more than 8,500 veterans worked at the San Francisco bank, and at any given time it has 200 team members on active duty.
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), a leading online loan marketplace, announced today it has entered into an amended and restated $250 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility that will replace LendingTree’s previous $125 million credit agreement. The amended and restated revolving credit facility provides increased borrowing capacity and improved pricing, along with greater strategic and operational flexibility. The facility can be used to finance working capital needs, permitted acquisitions, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes.
The amended and restated revolving credit facility will be governed by a maximum net leverage covenant of 4.50x, with step downs to 4.00x over time. Additionally, the amended credit facility contains an accordion feature under which the borrowing capacity can be increased by $100 million or a greater amount, subject to certain conditions.
The UK chancellor’s recent Budget reminded us that systemic problems continue to plague the government’s delayed roll-out of universal credit – a single monthly welfare payment that will replace six separate benefits.
Govcoin, intent on ‘disrupting’ welfare state provision, has been working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) since early 2016 to develop a solution for welfare payments.
‘Claimants can – voluntarily – download an app, which enables them to create virtual jam jars and apportion money to them. Whether that’s ‘rent’, ‘gas and electric’ – it’s entirely up to them,’ said Kay in an last autumn.
Govcoin will financially empower benefit claimants. But its distribution model involves benefits being paid – not in pounds and pence – but in the form of a cryptocurrency similar to . Govcoin promises to allow claimants to pay for goods and services – such as utilities – linked to the system.
Called Bond, the fund lets accredited investors buy securities known as “Bond Units” in an asset portfolio that holds a mixture of property bonds, real estate and cryptocurrency assets.
Each Bond Unit, which digitally represents an equity share of Bond’s asset portfolio, will be issued on the Bitshares Blockchain and traded via the Bitshares decentralised exchange.
The portfolio has 30 per cent exposure to P2P Bitcoin lending; 30 per cent to property bonds and real estate; and 30 per cent to digital currency learning website the Billion Hero Campaign. The remaining 10 per cent is invested in alternative cryptocurrencies.
After losing more than 40% of its market value last week — as Chinese regulators tightened rules for online consumer lending — Qudian is seeing a 16% bounce today in its American depositary receipts (ticker: QD), to a recent $14.
One of the Chinese fintech players that made their way to the US public market is Rong360 Inc’s Jianpu, an online platform for discovery and recommendation of financial products. The founder and CEO Ye Daqing recently joined its investor James Mi, founding partner of Lightspeed China Partners, on stage at TechCrunch Shanghai to discuss why the fintech is booming in China and what opportunities lie ahead.
There are many fintech companies that are quite controversial because some of them have damaged the reputation of the market. But two of the [fintech] companies you invested in have both filed for an IPO recently. James, what’s your view [on the market]? What makes you such a good investor, landing two IPOs?
Mi: Lightspeed mostly invests in early-stage companies. We usually look at their development in 3-5 years down the road.
We were actually very prudent about P2P. When we finished looking at all the companies we ended up choosing PPDAI because it was offering a real online solution. No offline sales. And this type of business contributes to the society.
Why are so many Chinese [fintech] companies going IPO in the US recently?
Ye: China will see ten to twenty years of significant growth in fintech and micro-finance. The level of digitalization of finance in China is much lower than that of e-commerce, which took more than ten years to reach 14%. Digital finance is currently at less than 5% penetration. In four to five years, or even longer, fintech will surpass retail. For example, lending, car mortgage, credit cards, and insurance.
Let’s look at another buzzword, that is artificial intelligence (AI). Every single industry nowadays is talking about AI. What will happen when AI meets fintech?
Ye: The financial industry is actually a data industry, wholly relying on data to make risk control decisions and take care of customer service and marketing. Take our platform for example—it has nearly 70 million registered users, more than 2,500 partnered financial organizations, with 170,000 types of products, and each product is facing a changeable set of challenges and varying user behavior.
The attack on banking jobs has been relentless. British banks are set to close almost 800 branches this year, after shutting nearly 600 in 2016. The CEO of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, warned that the company could afford to lose half of its staff to automation. Swiss bank Nordea announced at the end of last month that it was cutting a tenth of its staff, and its CEO said the banking industry could cope with half its current number of personnel. Consultancy Greenwich Associates estimates that 15% of the finance industry’s jobs are at risk of being lost to AI-driven alternatives.
In addition to teaching, Nguyen Trieu is leading by example with the launch of an AI-enabled mobile savings app, which is in the early planning stages.
But there’s a big difference in fintech scenes across the world.
The mindset and the way people use technology and fintech is very different. If you’re in Hong Kong, you have WeChat on your phone and you use it on a daily basis. Here, you don’t use fintech on a daily basis. Some people might use Revolut but they still have a traditional bank account. Here, fintech is seen as innovations on top of existing financial services whereas in Hong Kong, fintech is finance.
So the course is for everyone, everywhere?
And not just for people in finance. When we did the beta test only 40% of the users were from the finance industry—the rest were from tech, or were entrepreneurs or consultants.
So automation, AI, machine learning, and the like are all coming for your job if you don’t retrain?
Banks are thinking today about cutting thousands of jobs and increasing their technology budgets. To me, it is is absurd for a CEO of a bank to think this way.
So, what finance jobs most at risk right now?
In general, anything that can be automated will be automated. But right now, compliance is at risk. Over the past few years there’s been a lot of investment in compliance and KYC [know your customer], because regulators wanted the investment and it was a way for banks to demonstrate they were doing their part after the financial crisis. Now, that has totally changed. It’s starting to cost a lot and regulators have said we want you to show that you are being efficient, not just hiring a lot of people.
Bloom is a global decentralized credit scoring system available to anyone – even the unbanked and underbanked. Bloom’s flexible ecosystem will allow users to have access to credit services which work globally and are extremely secure and transparent thanks to the blockchain’s inherent features.
First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building Bloom?
People shouldn’t be forced to rebuild credit from scratch when they move to a new country. Billions of people around the globe are still considered “credit unscorable,” forcing them into taking out dangerous, informal loans.
To make matters even worse, many governments generate credit scores based on religion, political affiliation, and voting status, instead of data. Even in the United States, 45 Million Americans (including many financially savvy millennials) still do not have a credit score.
What do you think is the biggest problem Bloom will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
3 Billion people cannot access credit, largely due to artificial restrictions from governments. Tell us more about how BloomID works behind the scenes. The most interesting part about is the vouching process; how does this work and how does Bloom ensure that vouches are not manipulated or faked in any way?
BloomID is the Bloom protocol’s method of both establishing a reliable identity as well as forming the basis of creditworthiness for users who are newly entering the Bloom network. BloomID allows organizations who store information about individual identities to attest to the identity of a Bloom user and mark that information on the blockchain for future re-use. A user’s friends, family, and peers can help an individual bootstrap creditworthiness by vouching for their ability to act responsibly with credit. This is like a reference, similar to co-signing.
Is Bloom already working with notable businesses or firms? Are there any future partnerships in process? If yes, can you explain briefly about it?
We’ve been in touch with 100’s of lenders and partners. We’ve announced quite a few. Peer to peer lending, traditional fiat businesses, crypto lenders… we’re working with people on the whole spectrum.
For example: Self Lender is a credit building lender we are working with, Everex, Lendoit, and ETHLend are crypto lenders. We’re working with partners for anti-fraud such as TypingID.
ETHLend is a Decentralized Lending Innovation using the Ethereum platform as its base.
First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building ETHLend?
Finance is where blockchain technology was conceived, and it is in finance that blockchain technology is arguably most transformative. It intrinsically offers greater visibility, scalability, and efficiency – and potentially at a lower cost.
By providing a means of authorizing fully trackable and verifiable transactions, it also offers the potential for truly open-source many-to-many lending. Presented in these terms, it may well seem like a threat to peer-to-peer firms. If blockchain removes the need for marketplaces, why should borrowers and lenders pay fees to these platforms? ETHLend promotes less fees, transparency, and integrity amongst borrowing and lending.
What do you think is the biggest problem ETHLend will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
In today’s world, you are at the mercy of banking institutions for borrowing and lending. We all know the bank pays out minimal interest on investment accounts and charges maximum interest on borrowing. We have partnered up with Bloom who provides credit scoring capabilities so both borrower and lender build a reputation amongst the ETHLend community which is usable elsewhere on the blockchain.
Why do you think the shift from traditional lending to P2P lending is happening right now?
Market research tells us that there are countries at the moment which are paying from 0.5 to 5 percent. For example, here in Finland, it is quite common to have a secured mortgage loan with an interest of 0.4 to 0.8 percent on bank’s marginal. On the contrary, In Brazil, the interest rate tops to 32 percent and Russians pay on average of 11 percent and in India 10 percent (take note that today’s numbers may differ).
The differences in interest rate mean that with a higher interest rate, people and businesses have less access to finance.
More than 140 LPs responded to the survey, of whom approximately 52 per cent were based in North America, 31 per cent in Europe and 15 per cent in Asia Pacific. Nearly one quarter (22 per cent) were public pension plans, 15 per cent were consultants and 13 per cent were either endowments or family offices.
Intralinks is a leading financial services company with over USD31 trillion of transactions executed on its platform and over four million users. It has the largest community of GPs and LPs and is used by over 1,000 private equity, real estate and hedge funds on a daily basis. Over USD1 of every USD2 raised globally for private equity was facilitated using Intralinks for a total of USD317 billion in 2016 and 13 out of the 20 largest funds were raised on its platform.
More than one third of investors confirmed that their current allocation was more than 30 per cent, with nearly two thirds confirming that they planned to increase their allocation to alternatives over the next 12 months by 1 to 10 per cent.
Gregor discusses Silver Bullion SG a company he started in Singapore where individuals can securely store their gold and silver. They just hold your precious metals and validate their authenticity. They do this without counterparty risk as your assets are marked, segregated and you hold the title. The company holds over 230 million in hard assets.
Using peer to peer lending you can withdraw up to half of your holdings in loans at low-interest rates.
A new study from Juniper Research ranks GoCardless as the current clear leader in the fintech market. GoCardless enables simple payment processing and integration with many popular services, and Juniper believes that its potential for efficient, borderless commerce is disruptive and far-reaching.
Indonesia’s tech start-ups have been catching the eye of investors, having raised close to $3bn in funding in the year to September 13, a substantial increase on the $631m received in 2016.
Chinese firms are prominent among the foreign investors in Indonesia’s start-up boom, according to research firm CB Insights: Alibaba committed $1.1bn to online marketplace Tokopedia in August, and in May JD.com and Tencent Holdings invested $1.2bn in ride hailing motorbike service Go-Jek, which utilises mobile payment services.
Alternative financing posts 1462% growth
Last year Indonesia posted one of the highest growth rates in the Asia-Pacific region in alternative finance activity. The segment’s total market size expanded by 1462% to $35.4m, according to a report by the University of Cambridge, Monash University and Tsinghua University published at the end of September.
The study found that peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending had come to dominate Indonesia’s alternative finance market, accounting for just over 60% of the 2016 total, with P2P consumer lending representing 18% of the figure, or $6.5m.
Fostering collaboration and growing market opportunities
Indonesian tech start-ups attracted the second-highest amount of investment in South-east Asia between 2012 and September 13, at $4.6bn, behind Singaporean companies, which raised $7.3bn over the same period.
A programme entitled ‘Fintech Challenge Vietnam’ has been launched by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), with the aim of fostering innovation in financial services that promote greater financial inclusion in Vietnam.
Fintech Challenge Vietnam has been organised by the SBV with the support of the Mekong Business Initiative and sponsorship by the Vietnam Bankers Association and the Vietnam Fintech Club.
The focus of the Fintech Challenge is on fintech solutions that can improve the offer of financial services to the underserved and unbanked.
The challenge is an opportunity for Fintech companies from both inside and outside Việt Nam who are interested in collaborating with commercial banks to pilot and scale solutions that improve financial services in the following categories: electronic payments, e-KYC (Know Your Customer)/e-Identification, open APIs, blockchain and peer-to-peer lending to apply.
The deadline for application is January 18, 2018, at fintech.mekongbiz.org.
The Financial Services Authority (OJK) aims to issue a regulation on financial technology (fintech) businesses by March next year amid robust development of the industry, OJK deputy commissioner Nurhaida said Tuesday.
The most common and pertinent issue facing an international student looking to study in the United States is securing credit for various needs like tuition, credit card, and buying a car. The stress of settling in a new country coupled with finding the best loan option can be a daunting task. Nomad Credit realized there […]
The most common and pertinent issue facing an international student looking to study in the United States is securing credit for various needs like tuition, credit card, and buying a car. The stress of settling in a new country coupled with finding the best loan option can be a daunting task. Nomad Credit realized there is a void with regards to helping international students and visa holders (H-1B, L1, etc.) find credible lenders, and vice-versa. Nomad Credit’s search engine provides comparable options for the credit seeker to compare and decide the best possible loan option for them. It functions as a pure marketplace.
International Student Analytics
The number of international students in the U.S. grew by 7.1% and crossed the 1 million mark in the 2015-16 academic year. China (328,547) is the biggest contributor followed by India (165,918), Saudi Arabia (61,287), South Korea (61,007) and Canada (26,973). In total, there are approximately 5 million international students around the world, and by 2025, the number is expected to reach 8 million.
Economic Benefit of International Students
As per the latest NAFSA’s analysis, 1,043,839 international students contributed $32.8 billion and supported more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S. economy during the 2015-16 academic year. That means for every seven international students enrolled, three U.S. jobs are created.
All of the above highlights the definitive impact international students have on the economy of the host nation. But the hurdles these students face in accessing credit is remarkable. Though they are a riskier credit bet as compared to local students, shutting down a multi-billion dollar market is just not feasible.
Introduction to Nomad’s Specialized Marketplace
Nomad Credit has its headquarters in Chicago and was launched in 2017. Founder and CEO Brian Hoffman initially launched a plain-vanilla education loan company, following SoFi’s footsteps. But soon the company’s focus changed from refinancing student loans to funding international students. It aims to find the right financial product for international students and/or visa holders currently or planning to live in the U.S. The main visa holders it serves are F1, J1, L1, and H-1B visas.
Prior to Nomad Credit, Hoffman worked as an analyst at Sagence, a management advisory firm. In the beginning of this year, the company managed to raise $125,000 in angel funding.
The underlying business matrix is similar to already established fintech loan marketplaces like Lending Tree or Credit Karma. Nomad gets paid from partner lending companies for providing leads or customers. Payment structure may vary as it also deals with lenders based out of the United States, but could include a percentage fee, fixed fee per customer, monthly fee, or fee per led. This flexibility in payment options is necessary for serving and partnering with multiple lenders in different parts of the world.
The company has invested its resources to help find international students find the right combination of lender, insurer, and other financial services depending on their needs. It uses a simple questionnaire focused on the school, degree, original location of the student, and other personal information.
Partners and Unique Selling Proposition
The young company has managed to stitch up multiple partnerships with 11 financial partners, 2 insurance companies, and one international payments company. Adding insurance to its list of services was a no-brainer as international students are simultaneously looking at travel, medical, and renter insurance.
Though there are established players in the overall education and marketplace segment, such as Credible and Lending Tree, what sets Nomad Credit apart from its competitors is its specialization on becoming the one-stop shop for international students. It is the only company that is directly dealing with the U.S. as well as Indian lenders and is in the process of onboarding Chinese lenders. Though there is little competition from traditional lenders in India, well-funded Indian tech startups like BankBazaar are also turning their attention to student loans.
Nomad Credit’s Ideal Customer
Though the company is only 4 months old, it has managed to generate a lot of interest among international students while website traffic has been increasing two- or three-fold every month. It uses various marketing tools in India like advertising through partnerships, using paid ads, and blogging, and will be adding a student forum soon.
Anyone from Asia or African country coming to the United States to get an advanced degree like MBA or M.Eng (Masters in Engineering) is a prospective customer. Lenders prefer students who are studying MBA or M.Eng because those are highly employable and lucrative degrees, and there is lesser chance of default.
Though the company is based out of the United States, it has consciously decided to serve the entire international student ecosystem and not just students looking to come to the U.S. It has originated a lot of loans for students from India going to Germany or Singapore for higher studies.
Future Headwinds and Goals
Sallie Mae funds almost 95% of the U.S. student loan market. This has stifled innovation and made it imperative that Nomad targets markets where government entities are not the biggest players in student loans. Massive markets like India fit the bill; there is a lot of potential as the majority of the market is still untapped. That is the reason why this young startup sees more value in going after Asian countries.
Once the company is able to establish a firm footing in India, it wants to further expand into China and Nigeria. It aims to form partnerships in more and more countries so that it is able to serve a wider range of the population. Moving forward, it wants to further improve its technology as well its products so that it can cater to people from different cultures with unique needs. Integrating multiple languages into the platform is an important step toward that vision.
There are roughly 5 million international students today. They have more than doubled since 2000 and represent a hundred billion dollar opportunity for the financial services industry, currently being overlooked due to the fragmented nature of the customer base. Nomad Credit has been able to envisage the power of uniting this global industry on one platform and with funding and proper execution can actually target one of the last few untapped pockets of the alt-lending industry.
News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi raises $500M for international expansion. Funding Circle business jumped 50% post-Brexit. Bank lending in UK soars. Today’s main analysis: My adventures in various p2p lenders. How P2P funds have fared over the last 12 months. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Rise of P2P in Korea puts government on edge. Canadian regulators welcome FinTechs. United States SoFi […]
SoFi raises $500 million for global expansion. GP:” The interesting story here is the purpose of the raise: International Expansion.” AT: “SoFi’s plans to expand internationally is good news for the industry. I’m excited to see where they go, and how far.”
My adventures in FinTech. GP:” Interesting coverage of Upstart, Acorn and a few others. ” AT: “Very interesting personal experience story of an investor who put money into three different platforms.”
3 industries disrupted by crowdfunding. GP:” SMB, unsecured personal and real estate lending. Nothing really new.” AT: “The idea of farmers crowdfunding farm equipment is an interesting idea. Could ag crowdfunding disrupt farming and facilitate the growth of smaller farms? I also think the idea of crowdfunding home appliances is interesting.”
Brexit terrified Desai, then FC business jumped 50%. GP:” Another proof that it’s very difficult to predict the effect of macro events on a business. We all thought that Brexit will either have no effect or reduce volumes. On the contrary.” AT: “Very interesting. Not only has Brexit not affected Funding Circle negatively, but there is at least a positive correlation.
Bank lending soars in January. GP:” This article is very missleading as there is strong seasonality between December when people are focused on spending and January when people are focused on how to pay for their past spendings. I would like to see a comparison of Jan 2017 vs Jan 2016 and not vs Dec 2016.”
RateSetter forms partnership with accountancy advisor. AT: “This could very well be a boon to RateSetter’s business. The fact that TaxAssist has 290 retail locations in the UK should provide the online lender more visibility in the market. It looks like a great partnership.”
Social Finance Inc. said it raised $500 million in a financing round led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. It plans to use the funds for international expansion of its online lending business and development of new financial products.
Other investors in the round include SoftBank Group Corp. and GPI Capital, and the funding brings SoFi’s total investment to $1.9 billion, the company said. Several sovereign wealth funds from countries in Asia and Europe invested as well, said Mike Cagney, SoFi’s chief executive officer and co-founder. The international group will purchase SoFi’s loans in addition to taking an equity stake, he said.
SoFi said it plans to develop new personal finance tools, including mobile deposit, credit and payment products that will be rolled out this year. It also anticipates bringing its lending products to Australia and Canada by the end of the year.
Two major factors have come together to make fintech platforms so popular. First, the rise of smartphones puts the apps right into the hands of millions of users who feel alienated by slow-moving traditional banks. Second, the financial crisis of 2008 eroded the borrowing ability of many middle-class individuals and small business owners as banks curtailed unsecured lending and other high-risk loans.
From 2010 to 2015, investment in fintech has grown from $1.8 billion to $22.3 billion, according to Accenture.
I started investing in Lending Club in 2011. My experience is limited to being an investor. I am a fractional owner in a total of 3,167 notes (see Figure 1).
So, if any one note defaults, my downside is generally limited to $25. Of those notes, 1,387 are current (that is, the individual borrowers are current in their payments), 1,269 notes have been fully paid off, and 432 notes have defaulted and been charged off.
My 12.97 percent net annualized return will probably be reduced by 1 to 2 percentage points given the predictable defaults, but I’m very satisfied with the results to date.
I faced two major issues in managing a P2P account. First, how to select notes. Second, how to manage the small amounts of cash that accumulate every day. The Lending Club website lists tens of thousands of notes available for investment at any time, each with details about the underlying borrower such as income, credit score, whether he or she owns or rents, state of residence, purpose of loan, etc. At first, I inspected each note and selected the ones that appealed to me, but that can be a full-time job and is probably counterproductive. It’s much easier, and probably more reliable, to trust the Lending Club automated investment system.
Almost all Upstart borrowers are recent college graduates at the beginning of their careers. This population has a much thinner conventional credit history, so Upstart developed an algorithm that looks beyond traditional credit data such as earning potential and employability. To invest with Upstart, you must be an accredited investor.
But lately, the platform is encouraging investors to determine a risk grade then automate the selection. Risk grade notes run from AAA to D. Almost every borrower signals that they intend to use Upstart funds to consolidate high interest credit card debt.
I have funded on a fractional basis 140 three-year notes from exclusively Grade B borrowers. Eight notes have matured. One borrower has defaulted. The value of my account is $13,933. I’ve made $452 in interest and my annualized IRR is 7.24 percent (Figure 3). Based on Upstart’s performance statistics (Figure 4), my performance of 7.42 percent is apparently better than the average across all notes (5.72 percent).
I easily linked Acorns with my checking and credit card account more than a year ago. Since then, it has been systematically rounding up my purchases to the next dollar and investing the difference in a diversified portfolio of ETFs.
At the end of a year, I had contributed a total of $283.57, and earned $3.17 in dividends. I’ve paid a total of $8 in fees. The current value of my account is $282.23—not too great of a return until you consider I chose the “conservative” balanced portfolio with 39 percent in government bonds and 18 percent in corporate debt.
Fees are $1 per month or 0.25% per year, depending on your balance. The app is free and fees are waived to college students for four years.
In China, as reported by the Beijing Bureau of Financial Work, nine out of 10 of the roughly 5,000 lending platforms across the country may not survive the coming year as the government begins a well-telegraphed tightening ofregulatory supervision of these lending platforms. NatWest Bank, in the U.K., announced the launch of a digital platform for small and medium-sized businesses to apply for unsecured loans up GPB$150,000. Australian small business lender Prospa raised an AU$25 million funding round led by Sydney-based AirTree Ventures valuing the firm at AU$235 million.
1. Corporate finance: From software to farm equipment
Large finance organizations can use it as a catalyst for gaining small businesses who seek to harness leased products that are tailored to them specifically. What’s more, the lower cost credit of the products they offer will appeal more to businesses that pay sky-high APRs.
For leaseholders of larger equipment, crowdfunding platforms will allow leaseholders such as farmers to finance crops and equipment from other farmers and associates.
2. Real estate: From housing to business establishments
Before crowdfunding, closing an actual real-estate deal required back and forth passing and signing of documents among lawyers. Beyond being slow, the process often added up to thousands of dollars in legal fees. Crowdfunding allows businesses of all sizes to bypass the monotonous process and dodge expenses. What’s more, real-estate crowdfunding allows potential investors access to a wider array of deals.
3. Consumer lending: Cars and home appliances
For financial institutions, this means learning to leverage a crowd’s interest to inform their lending offers. As the trend continues, new crowdfunding platforms will pop up to cater to specific lending verticals. Imagine a crowdfunding space where consumers can get loans for anything related to transportation or kitchen appliances. In this way, brands will be able to save on financing costs while gaining on capital returns.
AUTOFI UNVEILS ONLINE MULTI-LENDER SALES SOLUTION FOR USED CAR DEALERS (iLendingDirect Email) Rated: A
Today AutoFi, a financial technology company that is transforming the way cars are bought and sold, announced the launch of the first fully online sales and multi-lender financing solution for used car dealers. Financing on AutoFi’s platform will be provided by its lender network of banks, speciality lenders, and credit unions. Today, the company announced that its credit union financing will be offered in partnership with iLendingDIRECT.
The AutoFi platform is the first online point-of-sale solution for auto finance. It allows customers to purchase and finance a car completely online, either through a dealer’s website or an in-store digital experience. The company recently announced the world’s first online car sales and financing solution for new car dealers in partnership with Ford Motor Credit. Today’s announcement further expands AutoFi’s ability to serve the multi-billion-dollar used car sales market through its partnership with iLendingDirect.
AutoFi’s platform will now allow used car buyers to research a vehicle on the dealership’s website; select “Buy Now”; receive an automated credit decision; and get loan offers from banks, specialty lenders and iLendingDIRECT’s credit union network who compete for the car buyer’s business in real time.
Consumers can then customize their financing deal by selecting down payment and loan terms; choose vehicle protection products; and e-sign all financing documents online. The new platform gives used car dealers and buyers the ability to transact online with competitive financing options in a fully automated process.
Lending Club (NYSE:LC) has tweaked the way it manages the “grace period” for borrowers when they make payments past the due date. Previously, borrowers received a 15 day grace period for any penalties on payments less than 15 days late. Beginning today, Lending Club requires borrowers to pay the additional accrued interest as a result of their late payment.
RentRange, one of the premier providers of market data and analytics for the housing industry, today released data ranking the top 25 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) by average rental rate increase for single-family1 homes between the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016 and the same quarter in 2015. The data analysis also identified the average vacancy rate within these markets in Q4 2016.
The Q4 2016 RentRange® data identified rental rate increases in areas like Cape Coral and Portland, both of which moved up the list into the top five, as well as newcomers including McAllen, Denver, Boston, Nashville and Miami. While rents remain high in the Bay Area, San Francisco dropped several positions, indicating that the year-over-year rent change was not as significant as seen in past years. Comparatively, San Jose made the list as a new addition in Q4 2016.
Analyzing the average vacancy rate, which demonstrates the percentage of all available units in a rental property that are vacant or unoccupied at a particular time, shows that the highest rates, as reflected from the list, are seen in the Southeast region, where vacancy rates range from 10.5 percent in Charleston to 20.4 percent in Myrtle Beach. In these areas, builders and investors may need to compete for a limited number of renters. An oversupply of new properties can drive up the vacancy rate and eventually push rental rates down. This scenario is currently happening in Myrtle Beach, where more than 3,100 new homes were built in 2015, a 94 percent increase compared to two years earlier.
At sunrise on June 24, Samir Desai rushed to his offices near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Britain had just voted to quit the European Union and he knew his staff at peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle Ltd. would be freaking out.
As the pound tumbled and the government quaked following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, Desai walked the floor of Funding Circle’s whiteboard-decked offices, fielding anxious questions. The non-British EU citizens feared they’d have to leave the country. The sales team feared that investors funding the firm’s loans to small businesses would bail.
In the eight months since the Brexit vote, Funding Circle has been on a tear. The firm originated more than 530 million pounds ($685 million) in loans during the second half of 2016, a 50 percent jump from the same period a year earlier, according to AltFi Data Ltd., which analyzes the British peer-to-peer industry. In the fourth quarter, Funding Circle’s U.K. division became profitable for the first time.
The question now is whether Funding Circle’s post-referendum run has legs. Meekings theorizes that volume has been driven by the Bank of England’s decision to lower interest rates to 0.25 percent from 0.50 percent in August. That spurred more retail investors to chase yield in the firm’s loans, which are returning an average 6.2 percent annually. Meantime, credit-hungry borrowers may also be flocking to Funding Circle as banks retrench from lending to small companies.
Figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA) showed that total consumer borrowing growth rose to £538m, more than doubling from December’s figure. This was primarily driven by the increase in personal loans and overdrafts, which rose to an eight-month high of £422m.
Meanwhile, bank lending to businesses rose by £3.4bn in January, which was the largest increase since January 2015.
Banks tightened up lending after the financial crisis which had a detrimental impact on economic recovery, although it created an opportunity for the peer-to-peer lending sector.
At 44,657 in January, mortgage approvals for house purchases were up 18.6 per cent from their August 2016 low, although they were still 2.5 per cent below the January 2016 level.
Gross mortgage borrowing came in at £13.8bn, with re-mortgaging approvals 15.7 per cent higher year on year.
Online lender RateSetter has formed a partnership with accountancy advisor TaxAssist Accountants to help engage with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). TaxAssist Accountant notably specializes in all businesses with a turnover of £2 million of less. It has more than 290 locations throughout the UK.
This growing market, which is now regulated, is dominated by three players – Funding Circle, RateSetter and Zopa. The annual interest on offer varies, ranging from 2.9% (RateSetter) through to in excess of 7% (Funding Circle), but so does the degree of risk you will take.
While the 2.9% interest on offer from RateSetter comes with the backing of a ‘provision fund’ (designed to protect your capital from losses if loans turn bad), the 7% from Funding Circle has no such underpin. If a loan goes bad, your capital could be compromised.
My peer-to-peer money is spread across 16 businesses operating in everything from retail through to IT. It is effectively an investment play on UK plc. When the economy is strong, my companies are more than likely to keep repaying the loans they have secured.
Welendus Live on Seedrs (Welendus Email), Rated: A
I am pleased to announce that Welendus is now back live on Seedrs. I would like to invite you to visit our campaign and watch our video at (
The Funding Network celebrates its 15th anniversary this March, having so far raised over £9.8 million for more than 1,450 social change projects through its live crowdfunding events since its 2002 launch.
In the UK, the overall market for alternative finance has just ticked over £10bn – including crowdfunding – in terms of the amount of money lent and invested into the equity of companies via crowdfunding platforms.
A Reykjavik-based company strongly commits to improving the way the banks function. Meniga is, mostly, known for its money management software that allows the banks to start offering great personal and business financial management applications to their clients without investing heavily into the development.
Recent developments in Payment Services Directive 2 make banking APIs so important as never before. On the one side, banks are required to provide open technology for accessing their customers’ data to third parties. And, instead of investing into the development of open APIs, a bank can pick the technology up from Kontomatik as it already has the API in place. On the other side, smart banks will not only release open APIs but will also do everything at their disposal to benefit from the access to the data of other banks.
Started in 2009, it has taken Kabbage roughly 5 years to come up with a white-label solution that allows financial companies to use its technology for assessing the risks and issuing the loans online. With white-label technologies from Kabbage, a bank should be able to launch a great B2B lending platform without investing into development, testing and implementation of the modern risk assessment models.
A reluctance by banks and government agencies to share data with alternative lenders is driving up the cost of borrowing in Australia, a global fintech leader told the AltFi Australasia conference in Sydney today.
Rob Young, Senior Vice President, International at OnDeck Capital Inc, said that a lack of open data is a major issue for alternative lenders in the fintech space.
He explained that in Australia, there is limited sharing of credit, banking or tax data, while the UK’s open data regime has forced banks to share customer data and open up their APIs to third parties.
“The UK is a great example of where open data has been in place for several years, the alternative finance sector is flourishing, and even the banks have benefited by opening up cross-sell opportunities within their own businesses. It’s a win-win for the lending sector and its customers,” Mr Young said.
Midwinter Financial Services that has developed a range of cutting edge financial planning software packages, has been recognized for the Fintech Business Excellence Award for company category, having been awarded the highest points of all winners.
Other awards in the fintech category include Fintech Mentor of the Year that was awarded to Claire Wivell Plater from The Fold Legal and Fintech Start-Up of the Year given to Valiant Finance. Apart from this, Crowdfunding Innovator of the Year, Insurance Innovator of the Year, Payments Innovator of the Year, Investment Innovator of the Year, among other awards were also recognized.
What started as a venture capital-driven, primal scream against the perceived backwardness of traditional banks and financial institutions has run into problems that no other new technology has faced.
The last two years saw an expansion of incubators and platforms to cultivate fintech startups. And this year, I am observing clues in major fintech centres where leaders are quitting startups and bank sponsored vehicles.
The hope and dream of being able to disintermediate financial institutions and the entire industry is unrealistic given how much protection and restriction is needed to prevent another financial meltdown that threatens to cast a 1930s style depression across the world.
Besides BlackRock’s acquisition of the roboadvisor site FutureAdvisor in 2015 (valuing it between US$150 million to $200 million) other asset managers like Fidelity and Schwab believed they could accomplish roboadvisor front ends on their own.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Oxyloans is targeting to facilitate disbursement of Rs. 100 crore as loans in 100 days beginning March 1. The firm, which neither mobilises deposits nor disburses loans, earns revenue from the commission — 1.5% from lenders and 2.5% from borrowers — it charges.
The loans disbursed through the platform are typically short-term, from 6 months to 11 months, and the rate of interest ranges between 14% and 36%.
India has been making a lot of noise in the banking, fintech and cryptocurrency sector lately. The country, currently heading towards a financial revolution now has plans to set up a fintech hub. The proposed fintech hub will be established in the city of Vizag.
According to reports, the concerned government has allocated resources to set up the necessary infrastructure in the “Fintech Tower”. Slated to go live next month, Thomson Reuters and Visa will be among the first few companies to set up shop in the Fintech Tower.
Starting this week, a guideline that sets ground rules for P2P platforms will go into effect nationwide. Other steps to safeguard investors from risk include ongoing efforts by the Financial Services Commission, the country’s financial regulator, to make credit businesses linked to P2P platforms register with the FSC regardless of size.
According to Crowd Institute, a research center in Korea dedicated to P2P finance, the P2P market size grew to as much as 700 billion won ($616 million) by January this year, growing almost 14 times from 2015. The number of P2P platforms also skyrocketed to 131 in January this year from 16 in January 2016.
The Crowd Institute projects that by the end of this year, the size of the market will grow to as large as 1.5 trillion won.
Of the 700 billion won already in the P2P market, over half, or around 408 billion won, is in real estate, according to the institute.
Roof Funding’s model is project financing, which means investors crowdfund a project to build a building from scratch. If the builder goes bankrupt, the ownership is transferred to the investors, and they can choose to auction off the building or sell the units after completing construction with additional funding.
For instance, interest rates on one-year fixed deposits at local commercial banks as of Feb. 21 range from 1.10 percent to 1.75 percent, according to data from the Korea Federation of Banks.
Despite the rising popularity of real estate P2P platforms, financial authorities in Korea warn that the investments may not be as safe as they seem. In one case, a firm called Money Auction declared bankruptcy last November after it was saddled with debt. Founded over a decade ago as one of the first P2P platforms in Korea, it faced a liquidity crunch after payment delays led the firm to owe over 4 billion won to investors.
Those working in the P2P industry note that many apartments are struggling to attract buyers, and when the market suffers, smaller buildings like duplexes and multiplexes (the main investment targets of most P2P platforms) will likely feel the impact first, jeopardizing lenders’ interest and principal.
Lee complains that some clauses in the guideline are too restrictive. “For instance, about 80 percent of all investment made through January exceeded 10 million won, which is especially the case for real estate P2P projects,” he said. “If investors can only invest less than 10 million won per year, it is possible that the entire industry will take a heavy blow.”
Smart Banking Exchange, better-known as SBXbank, a London-headquartered company, is set to launch a unique marketplace called “Coinxmart,” in which transactions are done using crypto currency, an alternative digital currency not dissimilar to the old bitcoin.
Abdul Rahman Said, SBXbank’s Asean vice president of marketing, told the Jakarta Globe in an interview on Wednesday (25/2) the company seeks to sink up to Rp 100 billion ($7.5 million) into developing financial technology services that offer not only e-commerce, but also peer-to-peer investment and peer-to-peer lending, all of which will use a crypto currency.
Technology empowerment company, Sedania Innovator Bhd, has proposed to acquire a syariah-based financial technology (fintech) company, Sedania As Salam Capital (SASC), for RM12 million.
In a statement on Monday, Sedania Innovator said the purchase consideration would be satisfied via RM4 million cash, and RM8 million via the issuance of 25.8 million new Sedania Innovator shares at 31 sen each.
Sedania Innovator said under the proposed acquisition, SASC would provide a profit guarantee of RM1.5 million per year for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2017 and 2018.
To-date, it has processed over 300,000 personal financing transactions worth more than RM25 billion.
Recognizing the need to shift its regulatory focus to accommodate the use of advanced technology in the delivery of financial services, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has launched initiatives aimed at providing compliance advice and flexible regulatory requirements for fintechs.
The OSC Launchpad initiative provides some flexibility in regulatory compliance for fintechs with the aim of making it easier for startups to innovate. The types of relief or support available through the OSC LaunchPad include informal guidance on regulatory compliance matters from OSC staff and, on a case-by-case basis, eligibility for time-limited registration or exemptive relief. At the same time the OSC has stated (here) that it will continue to scrutinize fintechs for potential investor protection risks.
While the OSC is the first provincial securities regulator to undertake formal fintech initiatives, other provinces and territories have begun to recognize a need for more flexibility in overseeing fintechs. When Lending Loop, a peer-to-peer lending platform, began in Canada in 2015, it had to obtain approval from provincial securities regulators for a prospectus and comply with other securities-related regulatory requirements. The Toronto-based company subsequently paused its operations and re-launched in late 2016 under an exempt market dealer license (here) that was granted by the OSC.
News Comments Today’s main news: Online lending enters annul SEC report on rating orgs for first time. Today’s main analysis: Cross River Bank tries new approaches. Today’s thought-provoking articles: China’s new P2p rules could trigger run on deposits. Will India sustain its surge on digital payments? What do 2016 hiccups mean for alt lending in 2017? United […]
FinTech rules set to change under Trump. AT: “I’m not sure how the Trump administration will lean on this one. Yes, they are critical of the CFPB and Trump appears at first glance to have a protectionist stance, but I’m hoping he’ll take a more progressive view toward the financial services industry as a whole.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission publishes an annual report on “nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NSROs).” These are the agencies that publish credit ratings on certain securities and institutions. The mandated report has recognized the emergence of online lending for the very first time.
The SEC also noted that several larger NRSOs published commentaries on the emerging online lending sector.
“Alternative lending is dead,” said Rob Frohwein, co-founder and CEO of Kabbage, “but not because of the hiccups that have occurred in the industry.”
During the year, Lending Club had one piece after another of negative news come out.
Then, in mid-November, it wasreported that Dealstruck, an alternative lender of short- and medium-term small business loans, stopped lending operations altogether.
But while some alternative lenders have run into problems, others remain confident that their model remains the future of lending. And many see the OCC’s proposed FinTech bank charter (the culmination of a review that began in August, 2015) as a sign the industry is both here to stay, and ready to grow up.
Another alternative lender for small businesses that has maintained investor confidence and has continues to grow its lending operations and expand its product offering is BlueVine. The company, which was launched as a modernized option for invoice factoring, recently began offering a line of credit product which now accounts for a sizable part of their business. After funding over $200MM in working capital for small businesses in 2016, they successfully raised $50M in additional funding to expand their efforts.
Through tighter internal controls, self regulation, and closer partnerships with traditional lending institutions, it appears that alternative lending will continue to expand its role in 2017.
After enabling a shake-up of the lending landscape, a small bank in New Jersey has set its sights on payments.
Cross River Bank has about $543 million in assets and just one branch, a small storefront in Teaneck, N.J., that shares a retail center with a mom-and-pop clothing store.
Cross River is essentially a business-to-business bank. It handles the messy, boring parts of banking so its fintech partners can improve customer experience with easy-to-use platforms.
The use of issuing bank partnerships is nearly ubiquitous in digital lending. WebBank is arguably the biggest player by virtue of servicing the largest marketplace lenders: LendingClub Corp., Prosper Marketplace Inc. and Avant. But Cross River is not far behind, acting as the issuing bank for Marlette Funding’s Best Egg platform, Upstart and Affirm. The bank also won the right to issue consumer loans for mortgage giants Quicken and loanDepot.com LLC. Utah-based Celtic Bank is big in the small business space as the issuing bank for On Deck Capital Inc., Kabbage, and Square Capital.
So far, issuing bank partnerships have been extremely profitable. Cross River’s return on average equity exceeds 20%, less than that of its issuing bank competitors but well above the sub-10% ROAE for banks with less than $1 billion in assets.
Gade believes Cross River’s payments activity could double next year, and the bank already has relationships with Stripe and Google Wallet to provide access to the Mastercard Send product.
Cross River currently handles roughly 2 million transactions per month, and there are “a lot of market shares for the taking,” Gade said. He highlighted insurance companies paying out claims, commercial landlords looking to accept payments from tenants and auto companies collecting lease and loan payments as examples.
Issuing bank partnerships currently account for roughly 40% of the bank’s business. Traditional community banking activities, such as commercial real estate and small business lending, account for 40% to 50% of its activity, and the remainder is related to payments. Gade said payments activity could stabilize at roughly 30% of activity, with issuing bank partnerships staying around 40%. The traditional community banking share will shrink but still constitute 20% to 30% of business.
David Vaccaro filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Dec. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Funding Circle USA Inc. and Does 1 through 10 citing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that beginning in July 2016, the defendant called his home phone to solicit its services. The plaintiff holds Funding Circle USA Inc. and Does 1 through 10 responsible because the defendants allegedly used an automatic telephone dialing system to call the plaintiff without his consent. The plaintiff also alleges his number is registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
Lend Academy claims 2017 will be huge year for bank-marketplace lending platform partnerships. If they made this claim last month after a year of such partnerships being announced, that tells me they’re expecting next year to produce even more such partnerships. It’s not a far-fetched notion. There are plenty of benefits to these partnerships, both for the banks and for the MPL platforms.
If Lend Academy is correct and 2017 will see a surge in bank-marketplace lending platform partnerships, it’s quite possible that at least one of these—perhaps a few—will be with real estate crowdfunding platforms. The only question is, what structure will those partnerships take?
The following three structures promise the most benefits to both parties:
Bank-as-Originator – In this scenario, the bank acquires the customer and originates the real estate loan while the RECF platform underwrites it. Retail stores, industrial expansions, or apartment complexes are three potential uses for this type of partnership.
Banker-as-Capital – If the RECF platform acquires the customer and simply needs capital funding from the bank, this is another scenario that could benefit both parties.
White Labeling – In this case, the bank white labels the RECF’s technology to originate and underwrite the real estate loan. A variation of this is to co-brand both the technology and the service to expand the brands of both the bank and the RECF platform.
President-elect Donald Trump plans to shake up Washington. The full scope of his proposed changes remains to be seen, but they will certainly affect the financial services industry, especially financial technology.
In 2015, Treasury released a request for information regarding online marketplace lending. In May, the department published a white paperoutlining the responses it received and made certain recommendations for best practices in order to encourage growth and expanded access to credit through online marketplace lending.
The most potentially burdensome requirements are those related to financial inclusion. The CRA is only applicable to institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, so most OCC-chartered financial technology companies would not be covered. This places partnerships between banks and online marketplace lenders, which are popular with banks to supplement their CRA portfolio, at risk.
Project Catalyst is the CFPB’s effort to encourage innovation in a way that benefits consumers and businesses. Recently, the CFPB announced a policy that will provide financial technology companies with the opportunity to have the CFPB review their products and services, as well as their compliance program. After review, the CFPB can provide a letter indicating the agency’s belief that the company is compliant with the relevant laws and regulations. It also states that the CFPB will not pursue any enforcement actions if the company does not make material changes.
While the policy is considered friendly to the industry, the recently released prepaid card rule is not. Its broad definition of “prepaid cards” captures digital wallets that can store money and may deter startups in that space due to the high compliance burden.
The SEC’s crowdfunding rules allow for equity crowdfunding through the internet. Marketplace lenders are securitizing debt, which implicates the SEC. So-called robo-advisers are increasingly common and projected to have $2.2 trillion under management by 2020.
The agency has been hit hard by critics of late, and President-elect Trump’s transition team is investigating the CFPB’s recent performance, according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, it remains embroiled in a legal battle over whether its organizational structure is constitutional. If the CFPB is unable to untangle itself from these issues, it could negatively impact its fintech initiatives — and the US fintech industry more broadly.
The rise of companies utilizing financial technology (fintech) over the past five years can no longer be ignored by traditional wealth managers and established financial services firms.
More and more, boards of directors are demanding that their executives have a comprehensive understanding of the fintech landscape and how these companies could disrupt their business model—and to do this without losing sight of their core competencies.
To tackle this challenge, we recommend:
Zeroing in on a large and robust ecosystem that is still flexible and can encompass the majority of use cases
Prioritizing the capabilities your firm will require in order to compete in the 21st century, understanding how those capabilities can be incorporated into your existing business and whether you need to buy or build those capabilities
Finding the right partner who can help you figure out where to begin
Considering platforms that incorporate fintech technologies that support high touch relationship management – everything from precision advice (the right advice at the right time) to automated approaches to portfolio management
A financial technology advocacy group has reached out to President-elect Donald J. Trump, encouraging him to create a new position at the Treasury Department to support fintech.
In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Financial Innovation Now (FIN) suggested the creation of an Undersecretary for Technology position in the Department of the Treasury to “ensure the growth of financial technology jobs in the U.S.” as well as “foster competition and innovation in financial services to better serve consumers and the economy.”
The head of a new ‘disruptive’ online mortgage service says 2017 will see more major estate agency and other property businesses backing online models, of the kind seen this year with the investment by high-end firm Savills into budget internet agency YOPA.
Back in June Savills revealed it had made an undisclosed investment in YOPA in a bid to buy a stake in digital technology and gain exposure to a wider range of sales and rental sectors than its traditional high-end involvement.
Now Ishaan Malhi, founder and chief executive of online mortgage firm Trussle, says there will be more of the same in the next 12 months. He believes the need for more digital innovation applies across the property industry, not just with estate agency.
The UK watchdog has promised changes to its much-vaunted crowdfunding regime – changes that are set to arrive in the early stages of 2017. Some of the more unexpected points to be raised – and to keep an eye out for action on in 2017 – include the strengthening of rules surrounding wind-down plans, extending mortgage-lending standards to platforms, the enforcing of additional “requirements or restrictions” on cross-platform investment, and the potential for investment limits in peer-to-peer lending.
Funding Circle, RateSetter and Zopa, each of which has lent over £1.5bn to date, continue to languish under interim permissions. You have to believe that this will change in the first quarter, or at least first half of the year ahead.
2017 should signal the end of referral scheme prognostication, as we should finally be able to gauge the impact of the initiative in practical terms – i.e. how many businesses rejected by the banks for credit will ultimately be funded via the referral scheme in year one?
Brexit and broader economic uncertainty will unquestionably cause tension in certain areas.
Finally, keep an eye out for certain platforms choosing to branch away from retail investment in 2017.
Research by crowdfunding network Crowdfinders has found that 35% of respondents said they would turn to personal savings to fund their business, closely followed by banks and institutions and friends and family.
However, only 8 per cent of the respondents said they would turn to crowdfunding and just 5 per cent said they would opt for P2P lending.
Tighter regulations on China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector are potentially putting depositors’ money at risk and could even trigger an anticipated run on deposits in March, with many of the lending platforms facing the very real prospect of liquidation, according to market watchers.
Authorities in Beijing are determined to examine the credentials of some 3,000 P2P lending operators and expel any questionable players by March, following a raft of scandals involving at least 100 billion yuan worth of deposits from millions of residents.
It is estimated that only 200 P2P companies will pass the review process undertaken by authorities, with the remaining players forced to close their operations and repay money to depositors.
Under the new rules, a P2P company has to appoint a commercial bank as its custodian while fully publishing how investors’ money is being used.
Banks, battered by worries about the risks after P2P was hit hard by a series of fraud cases, have shown lukewarm response to the custodian business.
Ezubao, one of the mainland’s largest P2P platforms, was found to have defraud more than 1 million investors of about 100 billion yuan last year.
Under the tighter regulations, authorities will also conduct on-site checks on risk management, scale of businesses, IT infrastructure, investment sources and shareholders’ credibility before granting P2P lenders the go-ahead to continue doing their business.
China, the largest fintech sector according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), is going cashless. Consumers are moving away from traditional banking systems to more efficient and user-friendly financial technologies.
KPMG, one of the Big Four auditors with over $25 bln in annual revenue, recently released its Fintech 100 list which represents the largest and most profitable companies within the global fintech market across all categories.
China’s Ant Financial and Qudian topped the list, claiming the first and second in rankings respectively. Lufax, ZhongAn and JD Finance also made it to the top 10 list, as Chinese companies accounted for 50 percent of the top 10 Fintech 100 companies.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes would no longer be legal tender from the midnight of November 8, fintech startups, particularly wallets and payment gateways, have seen business surge. Sequoia-backed MobiKwik, for instance, has seen a 200 per cent surge in app downloads and a 20-fold increase in peer-to-peer transfers.
Market leader Paytm, backed by Alibaba, says it is currently processing 5 million transactions a day and added over 14 million users in November. Payment gateway PayU, which acquired Citrus Pay earlier this year, saw daily transaction volume skyrocket 80 per cent, which has settled to 25 per cent compared with pre-demonetisation. Tiger Global-backed Razorpay says volumes are now up 50-70 per cent over pre-demonetisation levels, after seeing an initial spike of 150 per cent.
Snapdeal-backed wallet FreeCharge reported that 1,00,000 Snapdeal deliveries in mid-November were through the wallet, while Flipkart is aggressively marketing its wallet, PhonePe.
With cash still scarce, wallet and other digital payment-enablers continue to see rapid doubledigit growth. But the billion-dollar question is whether this will sustain, once the cash crunch eases, as it inevitably will this year.
Founders are confident it will, primarily because of the unprecedented support from the government.
Wallet-led startups say their product is low-cost, does not involve any hardware and can be scaled up rapidly. Of 15 million businesses in the country, only 1 million have PoS machines, making the other 14 million fair game for adoption, apart from other avenues. Payment gateway startups, understandably, beg to differ. “I personally think the concept of prepaid wallets has failed.
A recent RBI report on digital payments mentioned that even in November, only 3 per cent of transactions were through wallets, the rest were through cards. If wallet payment had taken off, it should have been 40:60,” says PayU’s Rau. He argues that it is easier to get customers to use debit or credit cards as they are comfortable with it, than payments using ewallets and mobiles.
Hurdles apart, the sector is likely to see big rounds of fund-raising in 2017, with all the buzz around a cashless economy.
Earlier this month, Delhi-based peer-to-peer lending platform, Rupaiya Exchange, announced it secured $200,000 in angel funding from HNIs and investors. Launched in November 2015 by founder Rohan Hazrati, the company stated it aims to connect borrowers and lenders to facilitate peer-to-peer lending in India.
Alternative lending startups have witnessed a spike in lender registrations after the currency ban as people are now looking to park their investments on their platforms rather than in real estate, gold or the stock market.
Sequoia-backed invoice discounting marketplace KredX has noticed a 4-5x increase in lender registrations on their platform since November 8, including from high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and institutional lenders like banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).
Similarly, peer-to-peer lending companies like Faircent, i-lend and AnyTimeLoan.in (ATL) have noticed an approximately 3x increase in lender registrations as other investment channels seem unstable or inaccessible following the cash crunch.
Government policy has done a lot to boost the fortunes of peer-to-peer lending platform FairCent in 2016. From RBI’s draft paper with guidelines for the industry to Digital India, FairCent benefited last year and looks to grow further in 2017. “From disbursing Rs 15-20 lakh loans a month, we are now disbursing Rs 1.5 crore a month. India’s shift to digital payments has put us in a sweet spot,” says Rajat Gandhi, founder, FairCent. The company, which began operations in 2014, helps customers get cheaper loans based on their creditworthiness and helps lenders earn high returns from their peers or community.
Bengaluru-headquartered Capital Float considers 2016 a remarkable year for fintech startups. “The sector attracted $150 million in funding. Digital India and demonetisation will only give further impetus to the sector,” says Gaurav Hinduja, co-founder, Capital Float. The company, which started in 2013 with loans to SMEs, has come up with innovative products such as ‘Pay Later’, which gives loans to retailers against data on PoS machines. Capital Float, which primarily handles e-commerce finance, has seen 8x growth in 2016, its biggest so far. From Rs 150 crore loans disbursed in 2015, it disbursed Rs 1,000 crore in 2016. Capital Float tied up with 45 new players, including Amazon, Yatra and Ola.
Payment provider Pine Labs says the volume of online transactions trebled in 2016, even before the grand finale of demonetisation. “From handling about 10% of card payment transactions in India, we have grown to 20%,” says Lokvir Kapoor, CEO, Pine Labs. In terms of volume, it has seen a growth to Rs 10,000 crore a month from Rs4,000 crore in January 2016. With clients that include Armani, Jimmy Choo and Pizza Hut, the company feels there more opportunities to grab in the year ahead. “We have more than 60,000 retailers in India and will be heading overseas. We will be setting shop in Singapore with a partner bank,” says Kapoor.
Citizens and observers said that it was a “chaotic” decision, a major “disruption” that required citizens to exchange notes or deposit them within about a month and a half, or else lose the cash value. However, the seemingly radical monetary move may be just what fintech — and a global economy seeing increasing digitalization — needs. Founder and CEO of Faircent.com Rajat Gandhi claims that it is the “Uber moment of fintech”.
As huge amounts of cash were taken off of the market over the past weeks and individuals were forced to deposit them into banks and ATMs, there will be an increase of reliance on digital wealth management. With 86 percent of the currency in circulation theoretically out of sight, we should see a shift from “cash is king” to increased digital banking.
Financial technology overall enjoyed a robust year in 2016 in Canada, highlighted by the creation of several bank partnerships and expansion in the robo-advisor space.
It’s likely that we will see a major fintech exit the Canadian market in 2017 as some of the newly created credit deteriorates in quality due to saturation of the market: both on the consumer and business fronts.
In 2017, investment capital is likely to continue to flow into the fintech space, particularly into lending, as investors clamour over some of the attractive yields available in alternative lending in today’s otherwise low interest rate environment.
We are going to see an increase in collaboration in this space. Between the Canadian Payday Lending Association and the banking associations, we need representation for the alternative lenders operating in the spaces in between – and this is starting to happen.
According to the search tool Factiva, the term “fintech” appeared close to 90,000 times in the global print media this year versus fewer than 300 in 2007, with many more references on social media. Its usage has actually declined since 2014, suggesting the fintech hype may have peaked.
An influential study by Citigroup reported that fintech investments topped $19-billion (U.S.) in 2015, a tenfold increase from 2010. The consultancy McKinsey & Co. is reportedly tracking more than 2,000 fintech startups, with the global estimate around 12,000.
The early view appeared to be that fintech startups would disrupt incumbent banks and steal their customers, similar to Airbnb and Uber. But the emerging consensus is that banks and fintech startups will inevitably collaborate, combining their respective strengths to deliver a superior customer experience. Not everyone agrees, of course, but the tide of opinion has clearly changed.
Addressing the Sixth Conference on E-Banking and Payment Systems held in Tehran on Monday, Ali Kermanshah added that the blueprint is set to define an appropriate role for fintech companies in the Iranian banking system.
According to the CBI official, the roadmap requires the development of 12 new platforms for conducting banking operations and covering system support, six platforms for implementing monetary policies and eight platforms for promoting supervision.
Global Online Lending will See More Platform Consolidation including a Major Lender
Several Reg CF / Title III Crowdfunding Portals Shutter or Pivot
A Prominent Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform will Cease Operations
The FCA Review of Crowdfunding Brings More Regulations
The UK remains one of the leading economies in the world and the European divorce questioned the entire validity of the EU. But Europe needs Britain and Britain dearly needs Europe. Working things out to mutual benefit is good for all countries. Politicians that want to punish the Brits for their political intransigence will be over-ruled by those with more foresight.
US SMEs Receive a Boost from the Incoming Administration
The UK and Singapore will Remain Dominant Fintech Innovation Centers
More Later Stage Companies Use Crowdfunding Platforms
InsurTech will Gain Momentum
Marcus launched small but expect a growing number of credit options and digital banking services to be provided by the emerging challenger bank. SoFi – look out.
In which your correspondent (and his wife) navigate the interesting consequences of India’s decision to void nearly 90 per cent of the cash in circulation in the country…
Continue reading: Brief notes from a cash hunt in Mumbai
In which your correspondent (and his wife) navigate the interesting consequences of India's decision to void nearly 90 per cent of the cash in circulation in the country...
Here’s the full email from Cyrus Mistry to the board of Tata Sons after he was ousted on Monday.
The headline from it is the “1.18 trillion rupees ($18 billion) in writedowns because of five unprofitable businesses he inherited” but there is much more here that sheds light on why this all blew up so suddenly, leaving Ratan Tata back in temporary charge.
Some choice lines before the actual thing, with our emphasis:
Here's the full email from Cyrus Mistry to the board of Tata Sons after he was ousted on Monday.
The headline from it is the "1.18 trillion rupees ($18 billion) in writedowns because of five unprofitable businesses he inherited" but there is much more here that sheds light on why this all blew up so suddenly, leaving Ratan Tata back in temporary charge.
Some choice lines before the actual thing, with our emphasis:
You’ll remember Cyrus Mistry was unceremoniously removed from the top job at Tata on Monday.
Well on Tuesday he shot off an email to the holding company’s board…
Continue reading: Breakups can be messy, Tata edition
You'll remember Cyrus Mistry was unceremoniously removed from the top job at Tata on Monday.
Well on Tuesday he shot off an email to the holding company's board...