Tuesday April 24 2018, Daily News Digest

teachers personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi is like a bank, but not a bank. Finastra’s blockchain solution for lenders is live. Linked Finance pass 50M Euro lending mark. Capital Float raises $22M from Amazon. Today’s main analysis: Cities where credit card debt has increased, decreased the most. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fintech business lenders are evolving. Why marketplace lending needs […]

teachers personal loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Becomes More Like a Bank without Becoming a Bank (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

During the Cagney period, SoFi was promoted as an anti-bank solution for retail customer needs. The Fintech acquired a digital only challenger bank, Zenbanx, while initiating the process to provide banking services by applying for industrial loan charter (ILC).

A few months later, Zenbanx was shut down and eventually Cagney departed SoFi and the ILC process was halted.

Today, SoFi is pushing further into bank like services with SoFi Money, a mobile first challenger bank like platform minus the banking charter.

Cities Where Credit Card Debt Has Increased and Decreased the Most (CompareCards), Rated: AAA

The U.S. economy is in a good place, growing at a healthy rate of nearly 3% annually, and the unemployment rate is around 4%. So it’s perhaps surprising that credit card balances are growing in 20 of the 30 largest U.S. metros while declining in nine with one city unchanged.

The changes in credit card balances range from a 9% increase in Miami to a 6% drop in San Francisco.

Miami led the 30 largest metros by far with a 9% annual increase. Pittsburgh was No. 2 at a nearly 6% rise with New York and Chicago both just above 5%.

Average credit card balances range from $7,276 in Washington, D.C. to $5,114 in Riverside, Calif.

Cities with the largest average credit card balance decreases

30. San Francisco — credit card balances declined 6%.

29. Dallas — credit card balances down 5%.

28. Baltimore — credit balances drop by 5%.

Fintech business lenders evolving (Banking Exchange) Rated: AAA

While the merits of the proposed fintech national banking charter continue to be debated in Washington, online nonbank business lenders haven’t been circling in a holding pattern over Reagan National Airport.

Case in point: The business of lending isn’t lending, but getting paid back, said Andrea Gellert, chief revenue officer at OnDeck, the largest online small business lender in the U.S.

Pros and cons of alternative data

One of the criticisms of traditional credit bureaus is that they have typically relied on backward-looking, historical data. One of the elements of fintech lenders has been use of alternative indicators intended to give a glimpse of the future.

“Alternative data sources have been proven to work to predict credit,” said Luke Voiles, director at QuickBooks Capital, which lends to users of Quicken’s accounting software. (Currently the company caps loans as $50,000.) The input the firm can access provides a strong picture of how a business is doing and may be doing in the future. Gellert said that as loans grow larger, OnDeck adds in methodologies derived from behavioral economics.

Why Marketplace Lending Needs Less Transparency, Not More (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

Marketplace lending platforms — Lending Club, OnDeck, Prosper and the like — have inarguably and fundamentally altered the geography of the lending landscape.  In the last decade, they’ve gone from being a niche product to representing about a third of unsecured consumer loan volume in the United States as of 2016, according to a recent study by Harvard Business School Professor Boris Vallée and University of Washington Professor Yao Zeng.

The really savvy investors, the study noted, aren’t merely savvy because of the knowledge they possess — but because of the technology they leverage. One popular such technology is LendingRobot’s quantitative modeling that takes in the historical data provided by the platforms and uses it to create rules of purchase — and then allows its user set it to literally auto-invest whenever it encounters a loan that meets the rules’ criteria.

Looking at a swath of loans executed by LendingRobot users between January 2014 and January 2017, with a particular focus on $120 million invested in LendingClub and Prosper during that time period, what they found is that those who used LendingRobot bought much better loans — the average default rate for LendingRobot purchases was 20 percent lower than the average default rate on the platform.

What other banks can learn from BB&T’s glitch (American Banker) Rated: A

In February, BB&T Chief Executive Kelly King took to Twitter with a video apology to thousands of irate customers after an equipment malfunction hobbled ATMs, online and mobile banking. “We are committed to making this right,” he said.

On Thursday, during the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank’s quarterly earnings call, King revealed the bottom-line cost of the high-profile, three-day system outage: $15 million in lost revenue and an additional $5 million in noninterest expenses tied to fee waivers and other costs.

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud (The New York Times) Rated: A

Zelle, a service that allows bank customers to instantly send money to their acquaintances, is booming. Thousands of new users sign up every day. Some $75 billion zoomed through Zelle’s network last year. That’s more than twice the amount of money that customers transferred with Venmo, a rival money-transfer app.

But the same features that make Zelle so useful for customers, its speed and ubiquity, have made it irresistible to thieves. Hackers and con artists have used the system to steal from victims — some of whom had never used Zelle or even heard of it until someone used it to clean out their bank accounts.

Steve Polsky of Juvo (Lend Academy) Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Steve’s diverse background as an entrepreneur helped in the launch of Juvo.
  • What Juvo does exactly and what problem they are trying to solve.
  • How Juvo is able to extend credit in tiny amounts to prepaid phone customers.
  • Who Juvo partners with to reach these people.
  • What Juvo brings to the table for the mobile operators.
  • The geographies they have focused on.
  • Why their website leads with “Identity Changes Everything”.
  • How they are verifying identity and approving these people with no credit file.
  • How the mechanics work in getting credit to these people.
  • Why the major value proposition is one of convenience.
  • How they are mitigating against fraud.
  • Why they don’t charge the consumer interest or any fees.
  • Why the big opportunity is moving people up to other financial services.
  • The scale they are at today.
  • What the partnership with Samsung means for Juvo.
  • How the information and data on these people will end up being so valuable.
  • What is next for Juvo.

Boiler Rooms Are Not Brands, Kabbage CEO Says (DeBanked) Rated: A

Speaking at LendIt Fintech 2018 Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein talked about building a brand in the online lending space; he explained most companies think boiler rooms equal brands, he went on to say you need to spend time and money on building your company’s brand; building relationships is the key, not just credit scores and data, you need to understand what your customer wants and needs by engaging with them on a regular basis.

Only Half of Americans Feel Like Banks Can Help Their Financial Progress (Business Wire) Rated: A

When it comes to getting a loan or credit card from their bank, many Americans are not so confident. A newly released study from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC) found that non-prime Americans – the 2/3rds of US adults with credit scores under 700 – were significantly less likely to depend on a traditional financial institution for access to credit. Compared to individuals with prime credit scores, non-prime Americans are:

  • 4x as likely to have been denied a loan over the last year
  • 8x as likely to not use a bank
  • 6x as likely to use an online-only financial institution
  • 21% less likely to believe their financial institution has products designed for them
  • 48% less likely to believe they would be approved for a personal loan

The non-prime are often characterized by income volatility, making it all the more necessary they have access to credit. Yet, one in 12 non-prime Americans do not even use a traditional bank for their day-to-day needs. Non-prime Americans often move to an online only bank to meet this void.

Blockchain to Help Millennials Get their Foot on the Housing Ladder (CoinSpeaker) Rated: A

Representatives of the so-called millennial generation are approaching their mid-thirties, being the single largest segment of home buyers in America. This, undoubtedly, represents a huge opportunity for the mortgage industry.

Couple this with the fact that the American housing market (which currently stands at $26 trillion) is the largest asset class in the world – even bigger than the U.S. stock market – and it’s clear  that there is certainly a huge wealth of opportunity within this sector.

Teachers take out more loans than anyone else (Thinknum Media) Rated: AAA

When we solved for job titles, we discovered that teachers take out the most Lending Club loans with 47,761 loans issued. “Manager” and “Owner” follow, but as you’ll see in the chart below, teacher reappears (with a lower-case “t”) with another 8,777 loans issued.

Source Thinknum Media

This chart shows average monthly income for the teachers requesting loans. It’s widely beleived that teachers aren’t paid as well as they should be.

Source: Thinknum Media

Reasons Stellar (XLM) Bulls Will Beat The Bears (Crypto Gazette) Rated: B

Daijo is yet another decentralized P2P lending platform built atop the Stellar blockchain. The Demo version for Daijo mobile app is currently available and running, with the full version expected to be released in a couple of weeks, however QIN tokens are available for presale.

The QIN token is Daijo’s very own multi-purpose asset. QIN will be used for basically everything on the platform, from rewards, to loan requests, to repay of loans. Daijo presents a little update to existing lending platform, with this, our arms are crossed to see how Daijo and the QIN tokens would perform on the big stage.

Harvest Properties and Cerberus Capital Management Acquire DC Station in Daly City, California (Markets Insider) Rated: B

Harvest Properties, a full service commercial real estate investment, development, and management firm (“Harvest”) and an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”), a global leader in alternative investing, announced today that they have acquired DC Station, an office property located in Daly City, California. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified project is comprised of a nine-story, multi-tenant office building totaling approximately 383,000 square feet.

Why you should search for direct lenders for online loans (Baltimore Post Examiner) Rated: B

Borrowing online has a number of major benefits, from quick approval – as the online lender can tell you more or less instantly if you’re either approved or not – to lower interest rates (if any) and easier approval because they always use alternative information to evaluate your credit worthiness. You can find information about all types of loans, but make sure you search for it in the right places. For example, expert online loan lenders like Credit Cube provide a review of all types of loans and they make sure you choose a loan that satisfies your requests. For now, let’s see what the differences between the main types of lenders are!

United Kingdom

Finastra’s Blockchain-Based Solution Fusion LenderComm Goes Live (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

UK fintech Finastra announced on Tuesday its blockchain-based solution, Fusion LenderComm, is now commercially available as an app on R3’s Corda platform for financial institutions operating in the syndicated lending market. The launch was announced at the LSTA Operations Conference in New York. Finastra reported that following a pilot, the solution is proven to streamline information exchange between agent banks and lenders, driving transparency and efficiency in the syndicated loan market. 

Fusion LenderComm is now available as a “low-cost” service for financial services institutions acting as agent banks, using Fusion Loan IQ, a syndicated loan servicing platform. However, the Fusion LenderComm platform is an open utility for all institutions involved in syndicated lending, regardless of the loan servicing software in use. 

Landbay reaches Women in Finance targets (Peer2Peer Finance News) Rated: A

LANDBAY has achieved the targets set last year as part of its commitment to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.

The buy-to-let specialist has confirmed that there is now a minimum of one female representative on every interview panel. It has also drafted a formal maternity and paternity leave plan for all employees.

The peer-to-peer lender’s third target was to ensure that for any additions to executive management or the board of directors, at least one woman must be shortlisted. However, there have been no vacancies at an executive and non-executive level since this promise was made in 2017.

Assetz Capital Joins Positive Lending Panel (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Assetz Capital announced last week it has joined the panel of mortgage packager specialist Positive Lending. This news comes just days after the online lender reached a record number of loans available to investors using its Manual Lending Account (MLA), with well over 200 live loans with loan parts available for immediate investment on the secondary market.

Growth Street joins FCA Register as an Appointed Representative, launches P2P investment opportunity for individuals (Growth Street) Rated: B

Growth Street, an alternative banking service provider for SMEs, announced today that it is now listed as an Appointed Representative (AR) on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Financial Services Register. Formerly a peer to peer (P2P) platform purely for incorporated businesses to lend and borrow from each other, this new status allows Growth Street to accept individuals as investors on the platform. By expanding the range of investors, Growth Street aspires to provide more businesses with a GrowthLine, its business overdraft alternative.

Commercial financial partnership launched (The Business Desk) Rated: B

The Business Catalyst Club has agreed a deal with commercial finance brokers ABL Business to create Business Catalyst Finance.

The partnership will provide access to a range of funding options such as commercial property finance, business loans and venture capital along with alternative finance opportunities like asset-based lending and peer-to-peer lending.

European Union

Loans from Linked Finance pass the €50m mark (Independent) Rated: AAA

Loans from Linked Finance to Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have passed the €50m mark.

The milestone co-insides with the Irish peer-to-peer lending platform celebrating five years in business.

ID Finance R&D joins Eastern European tech elite at Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park (ID Finance) Rated: B

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, has been accepted into the Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP) in Minsk as it seeks to strengthen its R&D team and take advantage of the favourable business environment on offer to technology companies.

International

 

YayProto ICO (YFN Token): Blockchain Money Transfer System? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Billions of dollars are transferred every day and people, collectively, lose out on millions in inefficient systems and high transaction fees. There is a lack of transparency and accountability in the system. Another big problem in the major global financial organizations is that more than 3.5 billion (50% of global population) are still unbanked.

A solution to these problems is a crowd-based banking system that secures its customer’s funds by blockchain technology.

Australia

Robo-advice platform Clover.com.au has entered an agreement to provide proprietary online financial advice and wealth management technology to private wealth firm, Collins House.

Clover chief executive officer and co-founder, Sahil Kaura, said the platform would algorithmically assess information provided by customers to determine if a managed discretionary account (MDA) service was appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

India

Indian lending platform Capital Float raises $ 22M Series C extension from Amazon (Tech Crunch) Rated: AAA

Capital Float, the fintech startup that says it is India’s largest online lender, announced today that it has raised $22 million in new funding from Amazon. At the end of last year, reports surfaced that Amazon was considering an investment in Capital Float as an extension of its $45 million Series C, which was announced last August. The Bangalore-based startup confirmed to TechCrunch that Amazon’s investment is indeed an extension of that round and brings the total equity it has raised over the past 12 months to $67 million.

Over the same period, Capital Float  also raised $80 million of debt from banks and other financial companies, which it combines with its own balance sheet to finance loans to small businesses and other borrowers. Amazon India is among several e-commerce platforms that the company has partnered with to provide loans to sellers, including Snapdeal and Shopclues.

Four NBFCs empowering MSME sector (The Siasat Daily) Rated: A

In this regard, here are four NBFCs that can be explored by and SME and MSME players for financial assistance:

  • Lendingkart-This is a non-deposit taking NBFC, providing SME lending in India.
  • Aye Finance-It is a commercial institution built around the mission to solve these challenges of funding MSMEs and enabling their inclusion into the mainstream of the economy.
  • Faircent-Faircent, a P2P platform has been facilitating loans for number of businesses across the country. Its tech-enabled backbone makes the entire process and hassle free.
  • InCred-It is a new-age financial services group that aspires to be the one stop shop for the customers to fund their financial needs.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Upgrade to issues ABS–but when? FCA warns Funding Circle clone. Funding Circle Netherlands approved for Guarantee SME Credit Scheme Participant. Today’s main analysis: The metro areas with the most fraud alerts. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The regulation of marketplace lending (A MUST-READ REPORT). LendIt, PitchIt award winners. Is China Rapid Finance close to profit? GDPR consent […]

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Ex-LendingClub chief’s new venture set to issue ABS (GlobalCapital), Rated: AAA

Upgrade is said to have a private warehouse facility in place and is looking to debut a securitization in the coming months, according to two people familiar with the matter.

According to an April 2017 press release, Jefferies is advising the company on its capital markets strategy and is….

LendingTree Ranks Metros with the Most Fraud Alerts (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

With millions of Americans affected by data breaches every year, such as recent revelations at Uber and Equifax, LendingTree decided to look at anonymized data from a sample of the over 7 million My LendingTree users to see where people are most likely to have asked a credit bureau to place a fraud alert on their credit report.


Key findings of the study:

  • The average rate of fraud alert requests among all cities reviewed is 6.4 percent.
  • Las Vegas and Houston tie for the highest rate of fraud alerts, at 13.6 percent.
  • Miami and New York are close behind, tied at 12.9 percent.
  • Rochester, N.Y. has the lowest rate of people requesting fraud alerts at 2 percent. Nearby Buffalo, N.Y. has 2.6 percent.

The Regulation of Marketplace Lending: A Summary of the Principal Issues (Chapman and Cutler) Rated: AAA

So-called “true lender” litigation remains one of the most significant risks facing the marketplace lending industry. These are cases involving a claim by a borrower or regulator that the “true lender” of a loan funded by a Funding Bank for a marketplace lender is the marketplace lender rather than the
Funding Bank. Often such litigation involves asking the court to look past the form of the loan transactions to their substance in order to ascertain which party, the Funding Bank or the marketplace lender, holds the predominant economic interest in the loans. The aim of true lender claims is to subject
the marketplace lender to federal and state regulation as a non-bank lender, enabling the claimant to pursue actions based on failure to comply with state lender licensing or usury laws.

Read the full report here.

LendIt Fintech Names PitchIt Competition Winners And Second Annual LendIt Industry Award Winners (PR Newswire) Rated: AAA

Out of eight PitchIt finalists, the judge’s winner was CreditStacks, a company that offers U.S. based premium credit cards to prime, new-to-credit customers. The audience winner was Narmi, a fintech company the helps credit unions and banks deliver a unified experience with modern and secure online banking, mobile banking and websites.

Below are the second annual LendIt Industry Award winners, per category:

Fintech Innovator of the Year

Affirm

Executive of the Year

Anthony Hsieh, Founder & CEO, loanDepot

Fintech Woman of the Year

Kathryn Petralia, Co-founder & COO, Kabbage

Blockchain Innovator of the Year

ConsenSys

Most Innovative Token Economy

AxiomZen

Top Consumer Lending Platform

Yirendai

Top Small Business Lending Platform

Kabbage

Top Real Estate Lending Platform

LendInvest

Emerging Lending Platform

LendingUSA

Excellence in Financial Inclusion

Oportun

Most Promising Partnership

LendingClub + Opportunity Fund

Most Successful Cross-Border Partnership

Kasisto + DBS Bank

Most Innovative Bank

Cross River

International Innovator of the Year

IrisGuard

Top Enterprise Technology Company

ThreatMetrix

Top Emerging Technology Company

MoneyLion

Top Professional Services Company

Millennium Trust

Most Innovative Mobile Technology

Juvo

Top Fintech Equity Investor

Edison Partners

Best Journalist Coverage

Tony Zerucha, Managing Editor, Bankless Times

Top Investment Bank in Fintech

FT Partners

To modernize consumer lending, it had to strip systems to the core (American Banker) Rated: A

Replacing core systems can be an expensive and risky proposition for banks, but KeyCorp has decided the time is now to replace an antiquated legacy system.

The $138 billion-asset bank announced at the Oracle Industry Connect conference in New York this week that it plans to ditch its existing lending platform in an effort to digitize and modernize the lending process.

Appeal could jeopardize CFPB win in landmark tribal sovereignty case (Reuters) Rated: A

Online lender CashCall filed a notice of appeal Tuesday in a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforcement action that set precedent on whether consumer lenders can evade state interest rate caps by affiliating with Native American tribes and invoking tribal sovereignty. In 2016, U.S. District Judge John Walter of Los Angeles granted partial summary judgment to the CFPB, holding that CashCall was the true lender, rather than a company owned by a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, so state laws govern CashCall loans. The company’s notice to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, filed by its lawyers at Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, indicated that CashCall will challenge the landmark summary judgment decision on tribal sovereignty, as well as other rulings by Judge Walter.

Judge Walter, however, concluded that the bureau hadn’t shown it was entitled to any restitution and that CashCall had not knowingly flouted consumer protection laws. He awarded the bureau only $10.3 million in penalties.

Optimizing Mortgage Loan Lifecycles With Fintech (the M Report) Rated: A

Integrated properly into both the trading and operational side of the mortgage lifecycle, fintech can not only increase margins but also allow for lenders to originate more loans in less time and in a more efficient and secure manner. Additionally, by using fintech throughout the mortgage lifecycle, each phase of management is enhanced and therefore produces optimized outcomes leading to better investment returns, while still providing the borrower with a great customer experience.

A “High Level” Tech-Enabled Residential Mortgage Lifecycle*

Source The M Report

*This chart is provided as a “high level” example of what types of fintech can optimize the lifecycle. It is not to be considered a complete integration or feature roadmap.

 

Big Banks Using Non-Bank Middlemen to Lend to Subprime Borrowers (Low Cards) Rated: A

If a borrower has a low credit score and needs a loan for a $12,000 vehicle, this would not be of interest to a large bank such as Wells Fargo. But it would be an option for a non-bank lender like Exeter Finance. Exeter would screen the applicant and approve the loan at their discretion. Then, Wells Fargo would extend a loan to Exeter. The bank is still profiting from a sub-prime loan, but they are giving the money to another lender.

This does not eliminate risk on Wells Fargo’s end. However, it does push the burden onto the non-bank lender, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Two’s company (Breakingviews) Rated: A

Silicon Valley is giving two of its most noted fintech outcasts a second chance. Former Social Finance boss Mike Cagney and erstwhile LendingClub Chief Executive Renaud Laplanche are each back with new loan ventures after losing their jobs to scandals.

Between them, both men created what are now the two largest fintech lenders, having originated or facilitated some $63 billion between them in the past few years.

Blockchain makes online lenders taste own medicine (Nasdaq) Rated: A

Blockchain is giving online lenders a taste of their own medicine. The likes of Prosper, Social Finance and On Deck Capital found cryptocurrency technology trying to steal the limelight at their annual get-together in San Francisco this week. It’s a case of the disruptors being disrupted.

United Kingdom

FCA issues warning about Funding Circle clone (Peer2Peer Finance News) Rated: AAA

THE CITY watchdog has issued a warning to consumers about a clone of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle.

The clone, Funding Circle Loans, had set up a website purporting to be the P2P platform.

Its website, , has since been suspended.

Prestige Funds partners for Innovative Finance ISA bond (The Armchair Trader) Rated: A

Prestige Funds, a specialist direct lending manager, is partnering with UK-based Goji to launch a Renewables Lending Bond which is eligible for inclusion in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). IFISAs are a new, tax-free way for investors to access investment opportunities that are not available on stock exchanges.

The Goji Renewables Lending Bond will include a yield target of between 5.5% and 6.5% over three and five year terms. Interest payments on the bond will be supported by UK government subsidies, such as Feed-in-Tariffs.

The need for speed for loan approvals and payments (Credit Strategy) Rated: A

Arguably, consumer lending has come full circle.

But today’s consumer lenders are having to contend with raised customer expectations. “Empowered borrowers,” says consultancy firm PwC, expect not only a simple, but also a fast loan process.

Consumer lending research published by PwC found that other than economic factors (interest rates and closing costs) or “having an existing relationship,” the speed of the process was the most important factor for borrowers in choosing a lender.

 

Higher salaries giving fintech sector edge over traditional banking (Finextra) Rated: B

The threat from Brexit has also called into question how Britain has – and will – deal with the country’s departure from the European Union in terms of its strong worldwide financial standing. With this in mind, Joblift has analysed and compared the UK’s Fintech and traditional banking sectors over the last 12 months. The analysis shows that traditional banking has felt the effect of the competition from Fintech and the upcoming Brexit with vacancies decreasing by 3% monthly, while Fintech seems to be flourishing, with a huge growth of 9% monthly, in the face of these challenges.

China

China Rapid Finance: Is It Close To Making A Profit? (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

China Rapid Finance (XRF) went public on NYSE on April 28, 2017, as the beginning of the IPO wave for China P2P companies in 2017. The company focuses their business on meeting the credit demand for EMMAs (Emerging Middle-class Mobile Active consumer) in China.

  • China Rapid Finance (XRF) has experienced a business shift from lifestyle loans (larger in size) to consumption loans (smaller size), which will lead to bigger impact from regulatory hammer;
  • Q4 earnings results didn’t satisfy investors and stock price dropped 15% in two days after the ER release;
  • Despite of the short term concerns, operating efficiency has significantly improved in 2017, which makes the profitability outlook of the firm very positive.
Source: Seeking Alpha
European Union

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Approves Funding Circle Netherlands As Guarantee SME Credit Scheme Participant (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZ) has reportedly approved Funding Circle Netherlands as a Guarantee SME Credit (BKMB) scheme participant.

According to AltFi, for participating firms, which are typically major banks, the BKMB provides guarantee of up to 75% of the loan amounts that fit within its criteria. 

GDPR and financial advice: Consent for data processing (Professional Adviser) Rated: AAA

A firm could be in trouble with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if an individual makes a complaint about being marketed to by a firm and there is no consent in place, since this constitutes a breach of the GDPR.

Article 6 – lawfulness of processing

Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:

a. the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes;

b. processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;

d. processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person;

f. processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.

International

Mega-deals continue to shape Asian market

After rounding off 2017 at a remarkable high bolstered by megadeals, Asia continued to see large deals in Q1 2018.

Global Q1 2018 key highlights

  • Global VC investment rose from US$46 billion in Q4’17 to US$49.3 billion in Q1 2018, a solid increase buoyed by five US$1 billion+ megadeals.
  • The number of global VC deals declined for the fourth straight quarter, falling from 3,286 in Q4 2017 to 2,661 in Q1 2018. The number of VC deals has dropped by half since reaching a peak of 5,480 deals in Q1’15.
  • The Americas set a new record for VC investment in Q1 2018, with US$29.4 billion raised across 1,782 deals. Asia raised US$14.6 billion across 317 deals, and Europe raised US$5.2 billion across 548 deals.
  • Corporate participation in global VC deals set a new record for the second straight quarter, rising from 18.5% in Q4 2017 to 21% in Q1 2018.
  • New and old unicorns – companies valued at over US$1 billion – attracted a significant amount of funding with US$14 billion across 32 deals. Two unicorns went public late in Q1 2018: cloud-based security provider Zscaler and cloudstorage provider Dropbox, with both companies seeing positive results to date. With Spotify set for a direct listing in April and UK-based online loan provider Funding Circle planning to go public later this year, the IPO market may be opening up.

How global fintech trends will impact your banking (Bank Rate) Rated: A

In the last few years, the U.S. has seen the launch of a whole crop of neobanks, consumer-friendly startups that are trying to change the way we manage our money. A bunch of neobanks have appeared in Europe, too (they are called challenger banks across the pond), and it seems like they are all eyeing the U.S. market.

Last year, French firm Revolut, which includes a crypto wallet and free international transfers among its features, announced its plans to expand into the U.S. Germany’s N26 recently raised $160 million from venture capital investors to fuel a U.S. expansion. Meanwhile, British startup Cleo, which is more of an AI-powered budgeting tool than a challenger bank, recently began offering its product in the U.S.

What’s Happening with P2P Lending Blockchain Startups in 2018 (Equities) Rated: A

That is why startups like Alchemy, SALT, Eth-Lend and Celsius can be game-changers not only in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, but for the future of the American economy as well. Based on blockchain technology, these startups are committed to creating a safe, global, and accessible source of P2P lending.

The debt is then pooled into Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO’s) which are then organized by risk and made available to purchase on the platform. This not only provides an easy and secure source of P2P funding, but creates a sustainable ecosystem and investment opportunity for anyone on the network.

Africa

The future of financial advice is tech and touch (Moneyweb) Rated: A

There is a lot of conversation around investing digitally, right now. Supporters of the idea suggest that investors should cut out their brokers or financial advisors and take their money online by investing through digital platforms. The argument goes that while an advisor might give your investments a bit of an edge in terms of growth, the fees they charge tend to negate the value that they add.

Since both financial advisors and technology have such an important role to play in supporting individuals in making the right financial decisions, and in the convenience of access to information about their spread of financial products, I recommend a “touch-and-tech” model of engagement.

MENA

Dipping Into Digital (Global Finance) Rated: AAA

The MENA fintech sector is booming, with more than $100 million raised by start-ups in the last decade. Dubai-based digital research network Wamda’s State of Fintech report released last March predicted the total for just that year would reach $50 million, an increase of 270% over 2016.

Although online payments, remittances, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending attracted the largest tickets, fast-growing fintech subsectors include cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence and digital wallets.

In 2017 some of the major deals included a $20 million capital injection in Saudi Arabia’s online payment solution PayTabs; a $10 million round by three investors, including UK firm Gocompare, for Emirati price-comparison platform Souqalmal; $13 million for Emirati Cloud HR and insurance platform Bayzat; $5 million for Emirati peer-to-peer lending company Beehive; and $3.5 million for Emirati comparison website Yallacompare.

Lebanon was one of the first MENA countries to invest massively in the digital economy. Back in 2013, the central bank, Banque du Liban, issued a circular guaranteeing up to $400 million worth of investments in innovative technologies, later raising that amount to $600 million. Today, the country is home to 15 funding institutions, as well as a myriad of accelerators and start-up support programs.

New Realities, New Technologies (Global Finance) Rated: B

Surprisingly, the UAE accounts for 70% of the investments in areas such as digital banking services, cryptocurrencies, ecommerce and fintech start-up deals. For a nascent market, the growth rate is explosive, with dozens of new start-ups launching every year. So far, online payments, remittances, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending have attracted the largest investments. Late last year, Bahrain introduced the world’s first shariah-compliant fintech consortium.

Authors:
George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday January 25 2018, Daily News Digest

blockchain equity rounds

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to roll out checking accounts. Zopa re-opens to new customers. Roostify integrates with LendingTree. China regulator says credit market should adopt blockchain. ETHLend hits 1M GBP in P2P crypto loans. Borrowell launches free Equifax credit report monitoring. Brazilian payments company sets post-Snap IPO record. Today’s main analysis: Blockchain equity funding vs. ICOs. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

blockchain equity rounds

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News Summary

United States

SoFi will roll out checking accounts this spring (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

SoFi is rolling out checking accounts without a banking license, demonstrating the new reality that a company doesn’t have to be a bank in order to bank customers.

By partnering with the Wilmington, Delaware-based WSFS Financial, SoFi will roll out a fee-free checking account and debit card this spring in a bundle it’s calling SoFi Money, designed to address the pain points customers have with day-to-day banking products, like high fees and clunky digital interfaces, executives said at a media gathering in New York Tuesday morning. SoFi Money will include peer-to-peer transfers between SoFi customers, mobile check deposit and high yield interest rates on deposits (0.75 to 0.85 percent). It will be available first to current SoFi members before the broader rollout.

Five challenges facing SoFi’s new CEO (American Banker), Rated: A

Reforming SoFi’s culture.

Determining when to go public. SoFi has a number of key shareholders who might like to access wealth that is tied up in the company’s shares. That list includes the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which led a $1 billion equity financing round in 2015, and the venture capital firm Silver Lake Partners, which led last year’s $500 million round. That round reportedly valued the privately held company at more than $4 billion.

Deciding how to grow. But while student loan refinancing proved to be an excellent way to find new customers during a period of low interest rates, that opportunity is now shrinking, as rising interest rates reduce the spread between what borrowers pay the federal government and what SoFi can offer.

Yes or no on a bank charter? 

Proving that he has the right background. Noto does not appear to have any experience in consumer financial services, which could be viewed as a weakness.

Roostify Announces Integration With LendingTree (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Roostify, a provider of automated mortgage transaction technology, today announced that it has integrated its online mortgage platform with LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), the online loan marketplace. The new integration makes it easier than ever for consumers to locate and apply with the right lender.

Lenders can utilize the new integration to create a seamless path for consumers to search, select, apply for, and close a loan online. Consumers selecting an offer on LendingTree from a lender using Roostify will be able to authenticate into the lender’s Roostify-powered online experience, with all information securely pre-populated. The consumer can move from shopping around to getting their loan in just a few clicks, streamlining the experience and improving lead quality for lenders.

The integration will enter general availability in Q1 2018 for all joint clients of Roostify and LendingTree.

2018’s Best Online Checking Accounts (WalletHub), Rated: AAA

More than 6 in 10 people don’t realize that online-only banks offer better rates and lower fees than their counterparts with branch access, according to WalletHub’s 2018 Banking Survey. But it’s true. What online-only accounts lack in terms of face-to-face interaction, they make up for with superior terms. For example, the average online checking account costs 47% less than its branch-based counterpart, according to WalletHub’s latest Banking Landscape Report. And the average online savings account pays 457% more interest than the branch alternative.

Best Online Checking Accounts – Editors’ Picks

Best For… Online Checking Account Best Feature
Overall Aspiration Summit Account APY up to 1.00%
Highest APY Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking APY up to 4.59%
Debit-Card Rewards Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account 1 point per $2 spent
No Monthly Fee BofI X Checking


Capital One 360 Checking Account

No ATM fees


No ATM fees

International Travel Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking No foreign fee
Money Management Tools PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Spending analysis

RealtyMogul Boosts REIT Cred with Hire of Industry Veteran Aaron Halfacre as President (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

RealtyMogul, a leading real estate crowdfunding platform offering Reg D (accredited) and Reg A+ (both accreds and non-accreds) investment opportunities in commercial and residential property, has hired a new President to help lead the firm. Aaron Halfacre, a 20 year real estate executive, has joined RealtyMogul bringing in institutional expertise including in the hot REIT sector.

Aaron Halfacre Becomes RealtyMogul’s First President (Bisnow), Rated: A

A former Campus Crest president and chief investment officer, Halfacre took a year and a half break after the publicly traded student housing REIT was acquired by Harrison Street Real Estate Capital in a $1.9B deal.

As president of RealtyMogul, Halfacre will be responsible for creating a strategy, growing assets and augmenting business growth. He will serve as a voting member of the firm’s investment committee, which has invested in more than $1.4B of real estate since 2013, the company reports.

Juvo Receives Investment from Samsung to Boost Smartphone Usage Among Underbanked (Finovate), Rated: A

Mobile identity company Juvo has received an investment from Samsung NEXT, an off-shoot of Samsung that launched in 2013 to create new software and foster a startup culture at Samsung. The amount of the investment was undisclosed and adds to the San Francisco-based company’s $54 million in equity funding.

The bigger story here is that the investment is a strategic one. Samsung will bring Juvo access to billions of underbanked prepaid users across the globe. This will help Juvo enable MNOs to increase smartphone adoption among prepaid mobile subscribers.

The challenger bank Chime says it has 750,000 millennial customers (American Banker), Rated: A

Chime, a mobile-only neobank for millennials, said Tuesday that it has opened 750,000 accounts to date and is signing up users at a brisk pace this month.

The growth is extraordinary. While there are many other mobile-only challenger banks in the U.S. — including Qapital, Digit and, more recently, Varo and Douugh — few have racked up large numbers yet. Chime touts a low-fee checking and savings account with a debit card and an app that provides automated savings and real-time notifications; there are no monthly or overdraft fees nor minimum-balance requirements. The Bancorp Bank holds the federally-insured accounts.

The reason why most people get rejected for a personal loan (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

LendEDU, a marketplace for loans and financial products, just released data showing that 76% of people who apply for a personal loan are declined. One of the main reasons for rejection? A low credit score. The average American has a credit score of 687. Meanwhile, the average FICO credit score of an approved applicant was 741.

Of those who do get approved, LendEDU predicts that just 35% went on to accept the personal loan.

Currently, 16 million consumers have an unsecured personal loan. According to a TransUnion, personal lending balances grew a steady 10.8% in the second quarter of 2017, totaling $108 billion.

Back in 2010, fintech only made up 3% of personal loan lenders. In 2015, Transunion says that number jumped to 30%.

Why fintech is still a way off disrupting lending (Financial News), Rated: A

But of the many things that banks do, lending to small and medium sized companies (‘SME’ lending) is one of the more complex areas to emulate. It is also politically charged. As such, there is some evidence that the disruption attempted in the area of lending is itself being disrupted by the practicalities of a complex area of finance.

Citi’s mobile app is lagging behind its peers (Tearsheet), Rated: A

The fourth-largest bank by assets grew its total active mobile users 21 percent year over year to nine million, the bank reported last week in its fourth-quarter earnings.

By contrast, Chase reported 30.1 million users, Bank of America 24.2 million and Wells Fargo 21.2 million.

Citi’s growth rate for 2017 was stronger though, at 21 percent year over year, than its peers’. Chase reported 13 percent growth, Bank of America 12 percent and Wells Fargo 8 percent.

Mulvaney outlines new CFPB governing philosophy (The National Law Review), Rated: A

In a memorandum to CFPB staff and a Wall Street Journal article, Mr. Mulvaney described his governing philosophy for the CFPB’s exercise of its authority.

  • While observing that there will be times when “dramatic action” is needed to protect consumers and that, at such times, he expected the CFPB “to be vigorous in [its] enforcement of the law,” Mr. Mulvaney stated that “bringing the full weight of the federal government down on the necks of the people we serve should be something that we do only reluctantly, and only when all other attempts at resolution have failed.”
  • In using its enforcement authority, the CFPB will focus on “quantifiable and unavoidable harm to the consumer” and when such harm does not exist, the CFPB “won’t go looking for excuses to bring lawsuits.”  In addition, there will be “more formal rule making and less regulation by enforcement”  because “the people we regulate should have the right to know what the rules are before being charged with breaking them.”
  • CFPB priorities should be guided by data such as 2016 complaint data which showed that “almost a third of the complaints” received by the CFPB related to debt collection and “[o]nly 0.9% related to prepaid cards and 2% to payday lending.”
  • In light of the Dodd-Frank Act requirement for the CFPB to “consider the potential costs and benefits to consumers and covered persons,” CFPB decisions should be driven by quantitative analysis.  Although qualitative analysis can play a role, it should not be to the exclusion of measurable “costs and benefits.”

Read the memo for yourself here.

What you thought you knew about millennials is wrong (American Banker), Rated: A

Sixty-three percent say they are saving money. This is very close to the rate of Gen Xers (64%) and baby boomers (75%).

Fifty-four percent of millennials say they are on a budget, the same level as Gen X and only slightly below the rate of boomers (57%).

They are diligent about savings and budgeting: 67% of millennials who have a savings goal stick to it. And 73% of millennials on a budget adhere to it regularly.

And 59% say they feel financially secure, compared with 54% of Gen Xers and 63% of baby boomers.

Making it in GR: Lessons in crowdfunding (Rapid Growth), Rated: A

Last month’s “Making it in Grand Rapids” article focused on the ever-expanding alternative financing options for entrepreneurs, such as: impact investment funds, peer-to-peer lending solutions and crowdfunding platforms. Grand Rapids entrepreneur Don Rhoads is Owner/Inventor of At Last Industries (At Last), which created the BedBud Alarm. He is also Head of Development at Cut Through Creative. Rhoads shares his progression from having an idea through the development and launch of his Kickstarter campaign—and the insights he learned along the way.

RG: A recent Small Business Credit Survey reported that “70 percent of startup applicants are in need of funding to support [their growth]” and that “52 percent of startups [have] applied for financing.” Did you pursue any avenues before deciding on crowdfunding?

DR: Yes. I actually applied for and presented at a 5×5 Night. Unfortunately, I didn’t win that one, but as much as I was disheartened, I was still [determined to] fulfill the product. Also, through traditional bank loans, I applied through my current bank. It was a little bit difficult. In a startup, it is difficult to put a value on a business. [Banks] want capital behind it because most startups fail anyway, so they want some substance behind you so they can get their money back. I was told I would need to be a little bit further down the line to get additional funding.

Technology and the Future of Financial Advice (Janus Henderson), Rated: A

Technology arrives in waves and is embraced over an adoption curve. These waves are growing stronger – in large part because technology is becoming ever more powerful. Over time, we have seen these waves play out in financial planning, too.

It is worth looking at two of the challenges faced by the industry now. The first is demographics. Clients have grown older and wealthier, but they are not being replaced within the market for traditional advice services. This is creating an advice gap for firms who need to replenish their client bases.

The second big issue is that consumer engagement is challenging. Long-term thinking hurts. As Daniel Kahneman articulated in Thinking, Fast and Slow, human beings do not easily think about the future in an analytical way and there remains room for improvement in financial literacy among the public. Add to that the low levels of customer trust for the industry and many consumers are not switched on to the benefits of financial advice.

Source: National Financial Literacy Test Results.
United Kingdom

P2P platform Zopa re-opens to new customers (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the UK’s first peer-to-peer lender, has reopened its platform to new customers after having to close to new money last year amid high demand for its new Innovative finance Isa (Ifisa) product and a long-running imbalance between lenders and borrowers.

Fintechs impatient as British banks seek extra time to open up (NASDAQ), Rated: A

Financial technology firms were supposed to start breaking into mainstream banking this month when new rules forced Britain’s nine big banks to loosen their grip on the industry.

But many fintech companies are still waiting with frustration on the sidelines after the banks delayed making the changes.

Financial technology firms were supposed to start breaking into mainstream banking this month when new rules forced Britain’s nine big banks to loosen their grip on the industry.

But six of the nine banks have asked Britain’s regulator for an extension to the January 13 deadline for putting in place the ‘open banking’ regulation, which overlaps with a new European Union directive known as PSD2.

UK fintech takes the lead in the Forbes 30 under 30 (AltFi), Rated: A

The gender balance has been particularly notable in the finance sector this year, as Forbes named Starling Bank’s Chief Platform Officer, Megan Caywood, and Lendable co-founder Victoria van Lennep alongside her business partner Martin Kissinger, as ones to watch.

In the technology category, Monzo co-founder Jonas Huckestein and the co-founders of digital receipts startup Flux all found themselves highlighted by Forbes.

China

China’s Banking Regulator Pushes Blockchain Adoption for Credit Market (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Blockchain technology should be adopted as part of a plan to boost development of China’s secondary loan market, according to a paper by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

Published on Jan. 19, the paper, drafted by a special committee, covers a variety of topics around developing and regulating financial technologies. In a section on the future development of China’s credit market, it suggests the country should double down its adoption of blockchain technology.

Download and read the report yourself here (in Chinese).

Ant Financial and the Greening of Fintech (The Diplomat), Rated: A

Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, is one clear example of a company using fintech to encourage a greener world.

Ant Forest is the world’s first largescale, bottom-up pilot in greening citizens’ consumption behavior through the use digital technology and social media. It is an app that Ant users can voluntarily engage with to reduce their carbon footprint and encourage their social networks to do the same. Users that perform carbon-reducing activities, such as paying bills online or walking to work, relative to a predetermined benchmark, are rewarded “green energy” points. As users accumulate enough points virtually, a real tree is planted. To date, Ant Forest has planted saxauls, willows, and Scots pine trees in Inner Mongolia and Gansu.

Ponzi scheme sparks protests (The Standard), Rated: B

Chinese authorities are struggling to quell protests after the collapse of an investment scheme that took about 30 billion yuan (HK$36.7 billion) from millions of depositors.

Hundreds of people marched on Monday in Nanjing, where Qianbao started in 2012, shouting for officials to act. But a video shows police grabbing investors as others yelled about being beaten up.

European Union

Ten User’s Pain Points Digital Banking and FinTech Should Care Of (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Studies have shown that users tend to quickly switch products and services. This also concerns banks as the competition and the number of Open Banking services increase due to the implementation of the European Directive PSD2.

1. Onboarding

Onboarding becomes particularly important in digital era. It can be a productive introduction to a new service or a challenging obstacle that deters customers. The banks of the future should provide a full digital onboarding.

2. Authentication

Log in difficulties or problems shouldn’t create obstacles for the customer. After all, no one would go to a restaurant with a locked door.

5. Transactions

Users should be able to fully control their banking. It is crucial for them to find a certain transaction and download a payment slip. View transaction history is among the TOP 3 customer scenarios. This function should be simple and understandable. Users want to filter their transactions to find specific items, view detailed information, report a violation, check payment status, export and save them, etc.

6. Payments

We are pleased to see that bank payment interfaces are becoming simpler each year. Digital technologies allow us to move complex banking procedures to the background. Challenger Banks ar a good example here.

The purpose of payment limits is to ensure the user’s security. The user should have online access to a flexible configuration of any financial transaction.

8. Notifications

There shouldn’t be too many notifications, only relevant ones.

Conclusion

Being in the users’ shoes and finding pain points in products and services will be a crucial competitive advantage. Companies recognising this issue will take a leading position in the future financial market.

International

ETHLend hits £1m crypto-P2P loans milestone (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

CRYPTO-BACKED peer-to-peer lending platform ETHLend has funded $2m (£1.4m) of loans in just over a month since launching.

The platform, which lets investors back business and personal loans worldwide n the Ethereum (ETH) digital currency, only went live in December but says it has already facilitated 438 loans.

Its biggest loan so far was for 83ETH, equivalent to £58,681.

Blockchain Startups Absorbed 5X More Capital Via ICOs Than Equity Financings In 2017 (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

In Q1’17, 19 ICOs closed for about $21M. Three quarters later, in Q4’17, over 500 ICOs closed for almost $3B. According to CB Insights, 2017 saw over 5x more capital deployed in ICOs than in equity financings to blockchain startups. Q4’17 alone saw that number jump to 7x.

In total, ICOs raised over $5B across nearly 800 deals in 2017. To put those numbers into context, equity investors deployed $1B in 215 deals to the sector.

GDS Link Acquires Fraudscreen, the UK’s Leading Provider of Analytics to Predict Payment Intent (GDS Link Email), Rated: A

GDS Link, a global provider of risk management solutions and consulting for multiple verticals within the financial services industry including marketplace lending, retail finance, alternative financial services, credit card, auto, and business lending and leasing, today announced that it has finalized the acquisition of 

Finastra sees accelerating FusionFabric.cloud adoption (Finastra Email), Rated: A

At its regional flagship thought leadership event, Finastra Universe Paris,Finastra today welcomed new companies to the FusionFabric.cloud open architecture. Among the early adopter Fintechs, consultants, banks and academics using the platform to develop and deploy innovative apps are Efficiency MC, Conpend and BankBI. In addition, Thomson Reuters joins Finastra’s innovation ecosystem as a data provider.

Thomson Reuters is currently embedding its instrument reference data into FusionFabric.cloud.

Paris-based system integrator, Efficiency MC, is using the platform to develop an interest rate derivatives pricing model app.

European Fintech, Conpend, is using FusionFabric.cloud to develop apps for corporate banking.

Cloud focused Fintech, BankBI, has a Performance Management and Analytics application for FusionFabric.cloud to complement the Finastra retail banking solutions, including C-suite dashboards.

Australia

The everyday Aussie is increasingly choosing a peer to peer personal loan – here’s why (mozo), Rated: AAA

ASIC’s second marketplace lending survey revealed that $300 million worth of personal and business loans were written by peer to peer lenders during the last financial year – almost double the amount commissioned during the 2015/2016 financial year.

The snowballing popularity of these types of loans is measured by the fact that, as of June 2017, the industry had 7,768 investors and a further 18,746 borrowers – numbers that had doubled over the preceding 12 months and are only set to grow in the new year.
Comparatively, at the lowest peer to peer rate in the Mozo database of 6.99% (on offer from Harmoney), the average Aussie borrower would pay just $5,634 in interest on the same loan – saving more than $4,000 in the process.

Stuart Stoyan is FinTech Australia’s new chair (Business Insider), Rated: B

Stuart Stoyan, the founder and CEO of Melbourne-based fintech MoneyPlace, which in 2015 became Australia’s second fully licensed marketplace lending platform, has become FinTech Australia’s new chair.

India

RBI Directions On Peer To Peer Lending Platforms: Frequenly Asked Questions (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

2.2  Electronic platforms connecting banks and NBFCs to borrowers

The RBI has clarified that electronic platforms that assist only banks, non-banking financial  companies (“NBFCs”) and other regulated All India Financial Institutions (“AIFls”) to identify  borrowers will not be considered peer to peer lending platforms  (“P2P Lending  Platforms”).   However, in cases where,  apart from banks, NBFCs and AIFls, or other retail lenders use the  electronic platform for lending, the platform will have to register separately as a non-banking  financial platform –  peer to peer lending platform (an “NBFC-P2P”).

2.3  Leverage ratio and investible funds for an NBFC-P2P

The RBI has clarified that for an NBFC-P2P, customers’ funds lent or borrowed by using the platform  is not reckoned as an outside liability of the NBFC-P2P, for the purpose of determining the  leverage ratio of the NBFC-P2P.

(a)  Do the P2P Lending Platforms have to fulfil the 50-50 test issued by the RBI to fall  within the purview of the P2P Directions?

The RBI, with its clarification that an existing NBFC cannot operate as an NBFC-P2P, has clarified  that the 50-50 test set out by the RBI to qualify as a non-banking financial company is not  applicable to an NBFC-P2P.

VC Firm 3one4 Capital Announces Second Fund With An Initial Corpus Of $ 39 Mn (Inc42), Rated: A

With closed commitments for $39 Mn, the 3one4 Capital team will look to enhance its deep involvement model across its investment domains. The fund will invest early stage startups with ticket sizes of $250K to $2 Mn.

Asia

Tryb Group raises $ 30M to develop fintech platforms for Southeast Asia (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Tryb Group, a Singapore-based organization focused on fintech services in Southeast Asia, has landed a $30 million investmentfrom Makara Capital.

For a Western comparison, Tryb aspires to be like LendingClub with a focus on digitizing the predominantly analog systems of financial services and banking in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers.

“There’s strong demand to start buying ASEAN credit, with Japanese, Chinese, American and other investors looking to buy up $50-100 million worth. But they don’t know where to start since it’s all on paper,” he said.

Currently, the Tryb business doesn’t make direct revenue. It holds stakes in a number of businesses — including MC Payment which is in the process of going public in Singapore — but Gnirck said it has two acquisitions that he expects to finalize in the coming months.

Genie ICO Adds Cryptocurrency Heavyweight David Drake and Other Experts to Its Advisory Board (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

Joining the Crowd Genie advisory board is David Drake, Founder and Chairman of LDJ Capital, who is also a global pioneer in the cryptocurrency industry and has written for more than 100 publications on innovative investing. Also joining the board is serial entrepreneur Petter Sehlin, who is a Founding Partner of global angel fund True Global Ventures and founder of the Polarchain blockchain. The founders of one of the world’s most comprehensive online cryptocurrency databases and information resources, AllCoinWiki, Anders Larsson and Joakim Holmer have also joined the board.

MENA

Egypt’s fintech startups are growing in number, value, and specialization (wamda), Rated: AAA

Financial inclusion is critical in reducing poverty and achieving shared economic growth, as mentioned The Global Findex Database 2014: Measuring Financial Inclusion around the World’: When people can participate in the financial system, they are better able to start and expand businesses, invest in their children’s education, and absorb financial shocks.

According to figures shared with Wamda by the World Bank Global Findex database, only 14 percent of adults in Egypt have an account as of 2014, and eight percent use an account to make digital financial payments. The Findex said that about 86 percent of adults in the country do not have an account and are therefore considered unbanked.

The model of Fawry, has demonstrated the validity of such business models, and has driven several concepts to launch.” Fawry, which was launched in 2008, provides payment solutions through ATM machines, mobile wallets, and retail points.

Egypt-based fintech startup Moneyfellows raised $600,000 from a group of investors led by Dubai Angel Investors and 500 Startups. This web and mobile-based platform founded in December 2014, allows users to create, manage, and track money circles (group money lending) online with members of their social networks. The startup makes money by charging users a small fee when they withdraw their payout from their money circle. So far, the startup has around 2,600 paying users and about 240 active circles.

Vapulus, which launched in December 2017, partners so far with 400 retail and F&B merchants in the country, and aims to reach 16,000 within one year of operation. The startup is a mobile app and mobile POS service for both individuals and sellers.

Canada

Borrowell launches free Equifax credit report monitoring, a Canadian first (GlobeNewswire), Rated: AAA

Borrowell today announced that it is providing Canadians with free access to their Equifax credit reports. For the first time, Canadians will be able to monitor important information in their Equifax credit report on a monthly basis, including credit utilization, inquiries and credit account history, for free online.

To date, Borrowell has provided credit information to nearly half a million Canadians.

Canada Venture Capital 2017 (CB Insights), Rated: A

Annual funding to Canada hits high in 2017

  • Total annual funding reached $2.7B, distributed across 333 deals in full-year 2017.
  • Total funding increased 7%, while deal activity decreased by 12%.
Source: CB Insights
South America

NYSE’s Biggest IPO Since Snap Is $ 2.3 Billion for Brazil Fintech (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

PagSeguro Digital LTD, a payments company owned by Brazilian media group Universo Online SA, raised about $2.27 billion in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg data.

The company, which has a similar model to Jack Dorsey’s Square, sold shares at $21.50 each, above the top of the price range of $17.50 to $20.50 in the offering prospectus, with demand higher than underwriters expected. The equity offering is the largest on the New York Stock Exchange since Snap Inc in March 2017. Investors warmed to the stock, which rose as much as 36 percent to $29.25 in early trading.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday September 13 2017, Daily News Digest

New Orchard deals platform

News Comments Today’s main news: Orchard connects institutional buyers, loan originators with new Deals platform. Funding Circle lends 91M GBP to UK businesses in August. RateSetter recovering from bad loan. Keynote speakers for LendIt Europe. India’s P2p lending rules have been finalized. Juvo takes financial inclusion to Malaysia with Tune Talk. Today’s main analysis: What Orchard’s Deals platform does, and […]

New Orchard deals platform

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

Orchard Unveils Global Network Connecting Institutional Buyers and Loan Originators with New Opportunities in Private Credit (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Orchard Platform has rolled out Deals as a part of its new platform launch. With the addition of Deals to their suite of technology solutions for loan originators and institutional investors, Orchard Platform takes the next step in their evolution. Deals is a global network where loan originators searching for new sources of financing, and institutional investors with capital to deploy, can connect, evaluate opportunities, and move forward with multiple types of transactions.

Deals is operated by Orchard Platform Markets, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary, SEC-registered broker-dealer, and member of FINRA and SIPC. With Deals, qualified investors gain access to a broad range of new investment opportunities, including pools of seasoned loans, forward flow agreements, and credit facilities—along with all underlying deal data and an enterprise suite of credit analytics solutions to evaluate each prospective transaction. Originators with pools of loans to sell can list deals and seamlessly share data within this global network, while working with investors who express interest in a deal to conduct due diligence and analysis, and finalize the transaction’s structure and terms.

Orchard Platform’s new features include:

  • Deals: Global network where pre-qualified loan originators and investors can browse a broad listing of investment opportunities and corresponding data, and utilize Orchard’s enterprise technology to seamlessly exchange information, assess potential transactions, and take the next steps more efficiently.
  • Capital Management: Allocation optimization, facility monitoring, and automated borrowing-base reporting offerings to help originators better monitor utilization across multiple capital sources—and manage them with greater precision and insight.
  • News & Insights: The most recent industry news, economic data, and Orchard research and commentary to keep originators and investors up-to-date on the latest industry trends and thinking. Although Deals information is only available to pre-qualified institutional investors, Orchard also provides free access to anonymized, aggregated industry data to parties seeking to learn more about the industry, including journalists, researchers, and investors.
  • Advanced Analytics: Originators can benchmark origination and performance data against an aggregated and anonymized peer group, and quickly analyze any data set under multiple scenarios, to gain deeper insights into their loan books and funding channels. Investors can also take advantage of scenario testing, data visualization, and benchmarking tools to gain actionable portfolio and market intelligence.
  • High-Quality Data Services: Data integrations with Orchard help originators improve the quality of their data, and streamline the process for client reporting.

Orchard Launches New “Deals” Platform Connecting Institutional Investors and Originators (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The key piece that I was interested in was the new Orchard Deals platform. The old Orchard Platform provided technology solutions for both originators and institutional investors but Deals is the piece that finally connects the dots. The platform connects institutional investors with origination platforms that have listed specific investment opportunities. Orchard has 55 institutional investors registered on their platform and 25 originators (with several more in the queue). Originators cover the gamut of consumer, small business and real estate lending.

At launch time they had an initial $500 million in active deals from 10 originators listed on the platform. These are both primary and secondary deals.

To be clear, Orchard’s new platform is far more than just a secondary market. It has several new features:

  1. Deals – Pre-qualified investors can browse listings of a range of different investment opportunities offered by originators.
  2. Capital Management – For originators to help monitor and optimize capital utilization across multiple funding sources.
  3. Advanced Analytics – Benchmarking of performance data against an anonymized peer group.
  4. Data Services – Helping originators improve the quality of their data and client reporting.
  5. News & Insights – Industry news and economic data as well as Orchard’s own research and commentary.

                                   Source: Lend Academy

CEO’s Fall Clouds Prospects for Fintech Firm SoFi (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Mike Cagney’s decision to resign as CEO of online lender Social Finance Inc. casts uncertainty over the financial-technology upstart’s business prospects, its attempt to open a bank in Utah and plans for an eventual public offering.

The company has been valued at more than $4 billion by shareholders including private-equity firm Silver Lake and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.

In recent weeks, however, Mr. Cagney was spending less time on business issues and more on personnel and legal matters.

When the SoFi board met by telephone on Saturday, those issues occupied much of the conversation, according to people familiar with the matter. When the board meeting reconvened on Sunday, Mr. Cagney raised the idea of moving aside, arguing that his presence risked being a burden on the company’s progress. The executive told directors it would be better for SoFi if he resigned, the people said.

How Mr. Cagney’s departure will affect SoFi’s growth plans is unclear. Its management team was thinned following the departure of Chief Financial Officer Nino Fanlo, Chief Revenue Officer Michael Tannenbaum and co-founder Dan Macklin over the past few months.

Regulators require firms that are requesting banking licenses to maintain consistency in their management teams, which will likely delay SoFi’s application, according to a person familiar with the matter.  The company has also been looking to hire a new finance chief to replace Mr. Fanlo who could guide it to an initial public offering. That search is now on hold until Mr. Cagney’s successor is named.

SoFi CEO to step down after claims of managers’ sexual harassment (USA Today), Rated: A

Cagney, who’s also co-founder, plans to remain in the role until the board names his successor, likely by the end of the year. He was replaced immediately as board chairman by venture capitalist Tom Hutton, who has been a board member since 2012.

SoFi, based in San Francisco, is one of the hottest startups in the personal finance sector, with revenue rising 67% year-over-year to $134 million in the second quarter. It also funded $3.1 billion in loans during the quarter.

SoFi Co-Founder and CEO Mike Cagney to Step Down by Year End (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Back in August there was the news of a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former employee. Before that there had been several senior executive departures, we have had a class action lawsuit and one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable and revered fintech companies was starting to lose some of its luster.

The New York Times is also reporting that “Mr. Cagney may have been overaggressive in expanding SoFi’s business, skirting risk and compliance controls.” That is the first I have heard about any compliance issues and if it is true then this could be a much bigger issue for SoFi.

Regardless of the what the real story this is not good for the industry whatsoever. Just when it felt like we had some momentum and the industry was starting to thrive again this is definitely a setback. The press is going to bring up the issues with Lending Club last year and we will have to deal with more negative sentiment.

Personal finance app MoneyLion is experimenting with augmented reality (Tearsheet), Rated: A

MoneyLion is timing its launch of an AR tool to coincide with Apple’s iOS 11 release, which is rumored to be this week. MoneyLion’s feature, called Grow Your Stack, will let customers get a visual representation of their account balance as stacks of cash projected over the customer’s view of the real world. It will use iOS 11’s ARKit technology.

MoneyLion joins a league of banks experimenting with VR and AR technology, advancements that have the potential to transform branch banking. As Tearsheet reported in June, BNP Paribas recently introduced a VR-based app for retail banking that allows users to virtually access their account activity and transaction records. Citi and Wells Fargo are also dabbling in VR technology, while in the PFM space, Intuit has experimented with visualizing one’s financial health as a forest.

Upstart, The Brainchild Of Google Execs, Is Using Fintech To Make Smarter Loans (Benzinga), Rated: A

About 40 to 50 percent of Americans have access to prime credit, yet 83 percent of people who have taken out a loan have never defaulted, said Girouard, the CEO of the San Franciscolending firm Upstart.

The groups who are often denied by traditional credit models — but aren’t necessarily risky — include millennials with a “thin” credit file, recent immigrants and self-employed people, Girouard said.

The average size of a loan from Upstart is between $11,000 and $12,000, and the average age of the company’s borrowers is 28, the CEO said.

Loans range between $1,000 and $50,000, with APRs from 7.39 percent to 29.99 percent and three- and five-year terms.

Upstart borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have a FICO score above 620.

Amped advice for the new retired class (Financial-Planning), Rated: A

The financial advice industry exhorts retirement preparedness but provides scant guidance for retirees after they reach that milestone, according to Matt Fellowes, well-known fintech entrepreneur who is launching a new digital advice platform.

Fellowes founded HelloWallet, a software company that Morningstar acquired in 2014 for $52.5 million. After a stint as chief innovation office at Morningstar, Fellowes left to launch United Income, which aims to serve a generation of retirees dealing with very complicated lives after work.

Fellowes finds fault in how the industry approaches its deaccumulation models, claiming its methods and assumptions are outdated. Key considerations for retirees managing their finances, he says — when will they die and how much will they spend before passing — are “two of the least studied questions in asset management today.”

FULL SERVICE
The platform offers different tiers of service, from a digital-only option with a $10,000 account minimum and a 50 basis point annual fee, to advisor-assisted service, with either a maximum 60 basis point fee for a $100,000 account minimum, or a maximum 80 basis points for a minimum $300,000 account, which is advertised as “full service.”

United Income had a goal of reaching $38 million in assets by the end of the year. It has already passed $210 million, Fellowes says.

Scotch Plains Woman Charged With Attempting to Steal $ 241,000 from Online Lender (Tapinto.net), Rated: A

A Scotch Plains woman indicted last year as a leader in an auto-theft trafficking network has been charged in a separate scheme to steal $241,000 from an online lending company.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced that Tyisha Brantley, 37, was charged with computer criminal activity, attempted theft by deception and falsifying records for allegedly used her work computer at Pfizer Inc. to create and send phony bank statements to iLoan Residential Mortgage lending in an attempt to obtain a $241,000 mortgage to purchase a home in Newark.

Brantley allegedly used computer software to alter two statements from her boyfriend’s bank account; adding her name as an account holder and changing the account balance from $-525.05 to $15,933.  She then allegedly used the computer to email, from her work account, the fraudulent statements to the lending company, which ultimately did not approve the loan.

Fintech: The Fastest Growing Industry in the U.S. (Them Report), Rated: A

Fintech, or financial technology, had close to $13 billion invested in it in 2016 from U.S. based companies alone.

Fintech allows digital lenders to offer competitive rates due to automation and lack of physical offices. Turner and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s estimates show that 13 of the largest digital lenders in the U.S. originated $28.39 billion in loans last year and a cumulative $68.75 billion since their respective inceptions.

S.F. fintech Plaid moves to larger HQ amid explosive growth (Biz Journals), Rated: B

San Francisco-based Plaid, which connects some of the hottest fintech apps to their users’ bank accounts, has moved to a new headquarters that’s more than double the startup’s previous home base.

Kabbage, Indeed, Microsoft Join A-List Speaker Lineup at the National B2SMB Summit (Benzinga), Rated: B

The national event takes place Oct. 3-4 and is spread over two locations in Chicago’s dynamic West Loop district: 1871 at the Merchandise Mart on Day 1, and the Revel Fulton Market on Day 2.

Other recent additions to the speaker roster include:

  • Pete Steger, Head of Business Development, Kabbage
United Kingdom

Funding Circle lends £91m to UK businesses in August (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle has revealed that it lent a total of £91m to UK businesses during August.

The peer-to-peer platform provided finance to 1,309 UK businesses during the month and reported that investors are set for a current estimated return of 6.7% per year.

Funding Circle reported that of its total lending, 24.7% was provided to businesses based in the South East.

Britain’s RateSetter recovering after ‘asteroid strike’ bad loan discovery (Daily Mail), Rated: AAA

Britain’s peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter has managed to retain most of its customers despite leaving the industry’s trade body last month after breaching its transparency rules, its Chief Executive Rhydian Lewis told Reuters in an interview.

Peer-to-peer platforms, which bring together individual borrowers and lenders without a bank being involved, have grown rapidly in Britain since 2015 but are starting to come under regulatory scrutiny.

Lewis said that while the platform has lost some business, it has retained 95 percent of its customers despite offering them the chance to sell out at no cost between July 18 and Aug. 31.

Orca Co-Founder & CEO Iain Niblock Shares UK P2P Lending Market Update (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Orca, an independent data, research, and analysis provider in the UK P2P lending market, recently shared an exclusive update via email: the UK P2P lending market outlook is bright.

“We are still seeing very strong growth across the UK peer to peer lending market with cumulative lending surpassing £10 billion at the very start of Q3 2017. In particular business lending has grown by 84.19% when comparing to the same period of 2016,” observed Orca Co-Founder & CEO Iain Niblock.

Goldman Sachs plans consumer lending UK push (Business Insider), Rated: A

The first phase of this expansion will see Goldman Sachs launch online deposit accounts, and the second will see the bank roll out a consumer lending offering.

Besides Goldman Sachs’ obvious clout, there are two reasons UK alt lenders should be worried:

  • The bank has already proven itself adept at dramatic pivots. Goldman Sachs originally operated as a wealth management and investment bank, and only began serving the mass market in 2016, when it eight months later, it had 

    A year in numbers! How P2P firms can help consumers beat inflation (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

    Consumer price inflation when we started in September 2016 was at one per cent. Since then, it has almost tripled to 2.9 per cent today.

    The household savings rate – the percentage of disposable income being saved – was at 5.3 per cent at the end of September 2016, but hit record lows of 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, the lowest level since records began in the first quarter of 1963.

    Savings rates have actually increased slightly. The best buy easy access rate this time last year was one per cent from RCI Bank. The same provider now offers 1.2 per cent.

    Starling Bank’s New Platform MarketPlace Integrates with Fintech Flux (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

    U.K.’s Starling Bank is embracing the PSD2 changes in finance with the launch of its Marketplace platform.

    Rewards and receipt provider Flux will be the first company to be integrated onto this platform.

    How to tell the difference between robo-advisers (City A.M.), Rated: A

    Recent research from international banking group ING highlights how cautious consumers feel about using robo-advisers.

    The report found that 29 per cent of consumers want more than just a simple online investment service – they want financial advice to guide their investment journey.

    Interestingly, the study also found that, rather than having a computer manage their money, most consumers would prefer to personally manage their investments, even if it resulted in lower expected returns.

    This 35-year-old banker left Goldman Sachs to start a fintech inspired by his mother (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Goldman Sachs has invested £100 million in a fintech startup founded by two of its former bankers that lets people borrow money and repay through their salaries.

    Neyber, founded in 2014 and launched in 2015, partners with employers to let their staff borrow money at attractive rates.

    Repayments are then deducted from future salaries, lowering the risk for the lender and hopefully helping staff manage money better.

    The startup was founded by three former investment bankers, including two Goldman alums. CEO Martin Ijaha, 35, left Goldman in 2012 and came up with the idea for the business when thinking about the experience of his family as a child.

    From ISAs to authorisations: the big stories of the past year (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

    Nick Harding, chief executive of Lending Works, argued that the arrival of the Innovative Finance ISA  (IFISA) was “far and away the most significant event” for the sector over the past year.

    John Goodall, chief executive and co-founder of Landbay, suggested that the number of Financial Conduct Authority approvals seen in the last year marked a “significant milestone” for the sector.

    Britain’s leading fintechs are banding together to work out a Brexit strategy (Business Insider), Rated: B

    Entrepreneurs from TransferWise, Funding Circle, Onfido, Monzo, FreeAgent, MarketInvoice, and Starling Bank have all joined the Fintech Delivery Panel (FDP), a new industry group that aims to “produce an ambitious post-Brexit vision for the UK’s fintech sector.”

    The panel also includes representatives from big banks such as Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Santander.

China

China’s ICO ban makes more sense in light of its history with fintech (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Many in the US have chided the PBOC for its apparent overreaction. AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant called the policy a “huge gift to Silicon Valley and its resident financiers.” VC Fred Wilson penned a thoughtful post comparing China’s approach to that of the SEC in the US, opining that “We needed a cooling off period and if China’s actions are that cooling off period, then I welcome them. However, a blanket ban on ICOs seems like bad policy to me.”

From the perspective of US and European financial markets, this reaction seems like a drastic one-size-fits-all policy for a nuanced ecosystem, calling to mind the idiom “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” However, China’s context provides four specific insights that somewhat reframe this policy:

An ever-evolving financial regulatory regime

In a country with a stock market less than 30 years old, it’s little wonder that investor protections may not yet have evolved to be comprehensive enough for the complicated ecosystem of alternative finance. Imagine China having to replicate the regulatory framework that took decades to develop in the US following the 1929 stock market crash – all in less than 30 years!

A sketchy recent past for financial technology in the Middle Kingdom

In the peer to peer lending space (in which I used to work) China is conversationally referred to as the ‘wild west’ of fintech. Thousands of platforms sprung up almost overnight in China, promising to transform mom-and-pop savings into productive debt investments. These exchanges had raised a staggering $59 billion from unsophisticated investors by early 2016.

One in three of the country’s 3,600 platforms failed and shut down, including marketplaces like Ezubao, which defrauded over 900,000 investors out of $7.6 billion. It’s almost impossible to imagine American or European regulators allowing unaccredited investors to be exposed to comparable schemes at such a magnitude of scale.

In the peer to peer space, the PBOC had a very similar reaction to its recent ICO ban, imposing strict limits on the online lending industry to curb the risks of “shadow banking.” The only difference was that the online lending restrictions came too late, in the wake of massive investor losses.

Ping An Technology is the Sole Chinese Firm to Rank Among the Top 50 Firms (PR Newswire), Rated: B

International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading global provider of market intelligence, released the 2017 IDC Fintech Rankings Top 100 list on September 12. Ping An Technology, the top-ranked Chinese firm within the list, came in at number 38, as a result of its cutting-edge innovation and strong technology competence. The rankings serve as further confirmation of the attention and recognition that Ping An Technology is getting from IDC, on the heels of the Chinese firm’s 4th place position on the 2017 IDC China FinTech Pioneer Top 25 list.

European Union

LendIt Europe Announces Keynote Speakers for 2017 Event (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

The conference’s extensive speaker line-up includes:

  • Antony Jenkins, Founder and Executive Chair at 10x Future Technologies
  • Anne Boden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank
  • Jaidev Janadarna, CEO of Zopa
  • Karen Mills, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School
  • Renaud Laplanche, Co-Founder & CEO of Upgrade

EstateGuru’s loan volume surpassed €30 million! (EstateGuru Email), Rated: A

In August, the platform’s loan volume was nearly €4 million which was a remarkable 13% from EstateGuru’s historic loan volume. In September the platform celebrates surpassing €30 million loan volume in which already 7900 investors from 39 countries have invested in. An interesting comparison can be drawn with the Baltic’s Nasdaq statistics – the largest amount of transactions were made with Siaulia Bankas (€8.4 million) and Tallink Group (€5.7 million). EstateGuru’s loan volume in August would comprise of roughly 11.5% of the entire Nasdaq Baltic transaction volume.

The growth of the firm is not only illustrated by the loan volumes but also by their strong track record.Due to the short-term nature of the loans, 70 loans worth €12 million have already been repaid to the investors, resulting in an impressive 12.4% historic interest rate. Meanwhile, loss of capital on the platform has remained €0 as the firm has not undergone any loan defaults!

Very soon, our clients will receive financial advice from a chatbot (Business-Review), Rated: A

Since the beginning of the year, BRD – Groupe Societe Generale has been developing a chatbot based on Personetics technology, which will operate via Facebook.

During Business Review’s Country Focus Community Forum in mid-June, BRD – Groupe Societe Generale CEO Francois Bloch announced the lender’s five-year plan to invest tens of millions of euros in digitalization and automation of processes. Soon, BRD clients will be the first among those of the French banking giant to benefit from financial guidance via a text conversation with an AI.

India

Peer-to-peer lending final norms to be out soon: RBI (Moneycontrol), Rated: AAA

The much-delayed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending guidelines have been finalised and will soon be released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) once it is notified by the government.

Jaipur-based Finova raises Series A funding from Sequoia Capital (VC Circle), Rated: A

Jaipur-based non-banking financial company Finova Capital Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round from Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

Wait for P2P lending to evolve before investing (livemint), Rated: A

Before we go any further on the subject, the most important aspect on P2P lending in India as of now is that it does not have specific regulations. At the same time, it is not illegal either. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken cognisance of the existence of P2P lending and came out with a consultation paper in April 2016. This is expected to be followed by formal guidelines for the sector, which the companies in the segment are expecting soon.

Since P2P lending is unsecured lending, it carries higher risk than other investments. The biggest risk is the borrower defaulting on repayments. These platforms claim to minimise this risk by using a strict filtering of borrowers at the time of registration itself. For instance, Faircent rejects close to 90% of applicants.

This means that there are many more borrowers than lenders. Financial planners advise planning properly before taking a loan. “Look at what is your cost of borrowing elsewhere. People need to understand that lending costs have come down across channels. If you benchmark P2P lending cost against credit card debt, it would look very attractive, but that should not be a benchmark,” said Dhawan.

If a borrower with a good credit score takes a personal loan from a bank, the landing cost of the loan could be 16-17%. The person can get the same loan at around 14% from P2P lending.

Asia

Juvo Partners With Tune Talk To Drive Financial Inclusion In Malaysia (Realwire), Rated: AAA

Juvo, the pioneer in mobile Identity Scoring, today announced its partnership with Tune Talk, the fastest growing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Malaysia. The deployment, Juvo’s first in Malaysia, will drive financial inclusion across a population that has rapidly adopted smartphones in a highly saturated market.

‘Pay Later’, created by Juvo and fueled by Juvo’s Identity Scoring, is a digitized service that provides prepaid users with access to progressive levels of financial services, starting with airtime loans. By using Juvo’s proprietary data science and game mechanics technology, subscribers graduate to higher levels of credit based on top-up and repayment history, account information, and every day interaction. Pay Later enables prepaid subscribers to unlock access to advanced financial services. And, for Tune Talk, Juvo’s solution will drive higher levels of engagement, increase retention and develop an identity-based relationship between Tune Talk and its customers.

Smartphone users in Malaysia are estimated to reach 17.8 million this year, and grow to 21.3 million by 2021.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor