- Today’s main news: DV01 finishes year with $7.9B in consumer unsecured bonds. PayPal invests in Raisin. Affirm CEO affirms its product is a personal loan. LexinFintech share price surges. The state of P2P lending in New Zealand. InvestUp considers cryptocurrency investing.
- Today’s main analysis: Why bitcoin is a threat to LendingClub.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: High-tech lenders go after credit card companies. Comparing SoFi and Earnest student loans. Funding Circle’s December borrower stories, lending impact. China’s online lending IPO demand hits the dirt. Blockchain is no longer ‘proof of concept’.
- High-tech lenders go after credit cards. AT: “Max Levchin confirms that Affirm approves more borrowers than the largest private-label credit card issuer.”
- Affirm is not a credit card. AT: “Keep saying it and maybe they’ll believe it.”
- Bitcoin is awful news for LendingClub. AT: “I understand the argument, and he’s probably right in the short term, but how can long can the bitcoin wave go, how high will it go, and when will it crash? Long-term, LendingClub is a better bet. For now.”
- DV01 finishes year with $7.9B in consumer unsecured bonds. AT: “Awesome achievement. Congratulations.”
- SoFi vs. Earnest.
- American Financial Exchange discusses two-year highlights.
- Is P2P lending the best small business financing option?
- Where to get an unsecured business loan if you have bad credit.
- Introduction to Think Reality.
- The 10 biggest real estate tech deals this year.
- Congress attacks new payday loan rule.
- Why Amazon won’t buy a bank in 2018. AT: “And probably not 2019 either.”
- Why banks suddenly want open banking.
- LendingTree adopts RevJet, a marketing creative platform.
- Funding Circle’s December lending impact.
- InvestUp considering cryptoinvesting. AT: “Why not? Everyone else is.”
- Protecting the future of P2P lending.
- The UK Fintech Report. AT: “Issued by the Exiting Europe committee.”
- Tandem allowed to take over Harrods Bank.
- SmartWealth app wins Banking Technology award.
- LexinFintech comes out of the gate strong.
- Demand for online lending IPOs is tepid.
- Is Qudian a bargain or a falling knife?
- 2018 will be a breakout year.
- University of Hong Kong introduces online fintech course.
- Blockchain is no longer proof of concept. AT: “In fact, there’s so much going on with blockchain that it’s getting difficult to keep up with it all.”
- Benchmarking distributed ledger technology.
- RCN partners with Decentraland.
- How Chris Skinner’s 2017 predictions turned out.
- United States
- High-tech lenders target the decades-old store credit card (Reuters), Rated: AAA
- Startup Affirm CEO Clarifies that Product Is a Personal Loan – Not a Credit Card (LendEDU), Rated: AAA
- Why Bitcoin Frenzy Is Terrible News For LendingClub (SeekingAlpha), Rated: AAA
- DV01 to Finish 2017 With $ 7.9 Billion in Consumer Unsecured Bonds (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- SoFi Vs. Earnest Student Loan Product Comparison (StudentLoans.net), Rated: AAA
- American Financial Exchange (AFX) Announces Two-Year Anniversary Highlights (PR Newswire), Rated: A
- Is Peer to Peer Lending the Best Option for Small Company Financing? (Newswire), Rated: A
- Unsecured business loans and where to get the best ones if you have bad credit (Las Vegas Informer), Rated: A
- New Real Estate Investing Resource Platform is Changing the Landscape (Benzinga), Rated: A
- The 10 biggest real estate tech deals of 2017 (The Real Deal), Rated: A
- Congress: Hands off new rule protecting families from payday lenders (Herald Sun), Rated: A
- Why Amazon won’t buy a bank in 2018 (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- Why banks want to collaborate now on open banking standards (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- LendingTree Adopts the RevJet Marketing Creative Platform (Sys-Con Media), Rated: A
- United Kingdom
- December’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA
- Peer to Peer Robo-Lending Platform InvestUp Sizes Up Cryptocurrency Investing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Protecting the future of peer-to-peer lending (Gov.uk), Rated: A
- The Committee on Exiting Europe Publishes Sector Reports Including Document on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- Bank of England approves Tandem’s Harrods Bank takeover (AltFi), Rated: A
- UBS and EPAM Win Best Use of IT Private Banking/Wealth Management for SmartWealth App at Banking Technology Awards (NASDAQ), Rated: B
- Chinese online lender LexinFintech surges in U.S. market debut (Reuters), Rated: AAA
- China online lending IPO meets tepid demand as fintech zeal wanes (Financial Times), Rated: AAA
- Is Qudian A Bargain Or A Falling Knife? (SeekingAlpha), Rated: A
- Brett Diment: 2018 Will be China Fintech’s Breakout Year (FiNews), Rated: A
- The University of Hong Kong Online Fintech Course Now Open for Registration (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- European Union
- Mayo businesses raise almost €800,000 through Linked Finance (The Connaught Telegraph), Rated: A
- PayPal backs fintech deposit marketplace Raisin (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- Blockchain is “no longer in proof of concept” phase (Global Trade Review), Rated: AAA
- BENCHMARKING DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY (All About Alpha), Rated: A
- RCN ANNOUNCES DECENTRALAND PARTNERSHIP (Bitcoinist), Rated: A
- The Top FinTech Trends of 2017 … were they? (The Finanser), Rated: B
- Australia/New Zealand
- Banking without the banks: the state of peer-to-peer lending three years on (The Spinoff), Rated: AAA
- Want Good Financial Advice? Ask a Digital Lending Platform (BW Disrupt), Rated: A
- NewsBTC Interviews the Crowd-genie Team (NewsBTC), Rated: A
- Cayman Islands
- Robot to speak at Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (Cayman Compass), Rated: B
High-tech lenders target the decades-old store credit card (Reuters), Rated: AAA
The once-hot online lending industry has been battered by scandal and losses since last year, but one of the oldest forms of lending – store credit – is increasingly attracting tech companies aiming to supplant a retailer’s credit card.
One such lender, San Francisco startup Affirm, is attracting investment and large customers by using a new approach to underwriting that allows it to approve more borrowers than traditional store credit cards.
Max Levchin, Affirm’s founder who also co-founded one of the earliest digital payments companies, PayPal, boasts that Affirm approves 126 percent more borrowers than Synchrony Financial, the largest issuer of private-label credit cards.
Startup Affirm CEO Clarifies that Product Is a Personal Loan – Not a Credit Card (LendEDU), Rated: AAA
Consumers looking for a personal loan option have another one to consider in Affirm, which is a startup from PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. With Affirm, consumers can access a loan, a form of credit, to buy items at a store, which was originally interpreted to be similar to how a credit card works.
But Levchin has pointed out there are important differences between an Affirm loan and credit cards.
Who Uses Affirm?
Generation X and Millennials are the customers who most frequently use Affirm. Younger consumers have seen how carrying high credit card balances affected their older relatives, and they are less likely to want to have much credit card debt.
The annual percentage rate can be steep, going from as low as 10 percent to as high as 30 percent. But, unlike credit cards, the interest isn’t compounded.
Why Bitcoin Frenzy Is Terrible News For LendingClub (SeekingAlpha), Rated: AAA
LendingClub (LC) has had plenty of troubles over the years. Back in 2015, you could throw a dart at a list of financial stocks and hit a double if you held it through today. LC stock, by contrast, has destroyed shareholder value since its IPO. Even the recent Trump financials rally did next to nothing for LC stock, and now shares are back to near new all-time lows after a downbeat earnings report:
In a booming economy, the G-rated loans did so badly that they jacked up interest rates almost 3% on consumers while also reducing expected returns by more than 3%. This suggests that the G-rated loans were fully 6% short of expectations. This speaks to massive problems with the company’s underwriting, and leaves you to wonder just how badly internet-originated subprime loans will fare when a recession hits and the unemployment rate goes up again.
Bitcoin Losses Ahead?
If you are someone with a low income and a challenging financial position, you have an almost no-lose proposition (if ethics don’t get in the way). You borrow money on a credit card or from LendingClub, “invest” it in Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then hope it keeps going to the moon. If it does, you make many multiples of your interest expense, and have hit the lottery.
Now if the trade goes bad, and Bitcoin plummets, what is your debtor going to do? Since there is little consequence to defaulting on unsecured debt (and LendingClub has a reputation for being a lax debt collector), you simply stop paying on the note. The borrower has a win/win situation – essentially the lender is financing purchase of lottery tickets. I don’t know about you, but I’d need a much higher interest rate than even the 15 or 20% you might get off a low-end LendingClub note to justify that risk.
DV01 to Finish 2017 With $ 7.9 Billion in Consumer Unsecured Bonds (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
dv01, the data management, reporting, and analytics platform that offers institutional investors transparency and insight into lending markets, announced on Thursday it is set to close 2017 with $7.9 billion of consumer unsecured bonds. This news comes just a few months after the company launched its Cashflows for Securitizations feature.
The company revealed that it has launched a redesigned Securitizations homepage to celebrate the $7.9 billion of consumer unsecured bonds.
SoFi Vs. Earnest Student Loan Product Comparison (StudentLoans.net), Rated: AAA
SoFi offers their clients an option. You can choose variable refinancing
rates which currently range 2.75 to 6.84 percent if you enroll in the company’s autopay option. Fixed rates range from 3.25 to 7.24 percent.
Earnest offers their clients both variable and fixed rate options. For the variable option, the rates currently start at 2.57 percent APR while fixed rates start at 3.35 percent APR with their autopay options.
Both SoFi and Earnest do not have a maximum within their loan amounts, but the amount a client owes will affect the interest rates that are offered.
SoFi offers a number of repayment options for their refinancing product. This includes flexible rates, terms, and an ability to set automatic payments that drop your rate by 0.25 percent. Repayment terms range from 5 to 20 years.
Earnest refinance loans offers the flexibility in the way of terms that range from 5 to 20 years. With their loans, you will be able to increase payments, pay lump sums, provide bi-weekly payments, skip a payment to pay later, and offers an interest break for those who set up automated payments.
American Financial Exchange (AFX) Announces Two-Year Anniversary Highlights (PR Newswire), Rated: A
American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic interbank lending market focused on U.S. small and mid-sized banks, announced today the second anniversary of its electronic trading platform. AFX facilitates the determination of Ameribor®, a transaction-based interest rate benchmark for small- to mid-sized banks via its electronic trading platform.
Since opening, more than $100 billion cumulative has been successful transacted. Recently, daily volumes have averaged approximately $350 million with several days of volume highs over $500 million principal traded.
Is Peer to Peer Lending the Best Option for Small Company Financing? (Newswire), Rated: A
If your small company needs a borrowing arrangement but does not have a credit rating that benefits instant endorsement from the banking institutions, you need to sign up for an alternative solution of capital such as peer to peer lending.
Rather than signing up to a recognized traditional bank for a financial loan, you create a proposal to be lent from people who, (if they are interested in your offer), sign up for the loan request in amounts as low as $25.
Unsecured business loans and where to get the best ones if you have bad credit (Las Vegas Informer), Rated: A
Kabbage offers loans that go between $2000 and $150,000, and the APR goes between 24% and 99%. They ask for no minimum credit score but you need to have been in business for at least one year in order to qualify, and have annual revenue of over $50,000.
With Funbox you’re looking at a loan amount of $1000 that can go all the way up to $100,000. The APR goes between 15% and 59%, and they also cater to the needs of people with bad personal credit.
With OnDeck you’re looking at loans that go up to $100,000 and an APR that can go from 14% to 40%. Unlike the other two, here you need good personal credit and also you need to be good at managing your cash flow. You will need a personal credit score of at least 600, not to mention an annual revenue of at least $100,000.
At LendingClub you can get a loan of up to $100,000, from a minimum of $5,000, with an APR that goes between 9.8% and 35.7%.
New Real Estate Investing Resource Platform is Changing the Landscape (Benzinga), Rated: A
Think Realty is a membership-based resource platform developed exclusively for real estate investors. Since launching in 2016, investors across the nation and around the globe have signed up at ThinkRealty.com to become Think Realty Members, with an 81 percent increase in membership in the past six months.
Think Realty’s reach continues to expand with its national talk radio show, Think Realty Radio, which will begin airing January 1, 2018 on Wall Street Radio. Think Realty is presenting four national conferences for investors in 2018, beginning with the Think Realty Conference & Expo in Dallas, Texas, February 24 and 25. The other locations are Baltimore, Maryland, April 14 and 15; Irvine, California, July 14 and 15; and Atlanta, Georgia, September 22 and 23.
The 10 biggest real estate tech deals of 2017 (The Real Deal), Rated: A
WeWork is now worth $20 billion. Compass is valued at $2.2 billion following a December funding round. Have you heard of Placester? Well, investors think it’s worth $202 million. The Jared Kushner-backed real estate crowdfunding startup Cadre now has a $800 million price tag.
- 1) WeWork, $4.4 billion fundraising round
- 2 & 3) Compass, $100M and $450M fundraising rounds
- 4) Cadre, $65 million fundraising round
- 5) Placester, $50 million fundraising round
- 6) Common, $40 million fundraising round
- 7) HomeLight, $40 million fundraising round
- 8) Roofstock, $35 million fundraising round
- 9) Knock, $32.5 million fundraising round
- 10) Opcity, $28.77 million fundraising round
Congress: Hands off new rule protecting families from payday lenders (Herald Sun), Rated: A
Ignoring the voices of families and communities who have worked for many years for relief from the harms of predatory payday lending, a handful of members of Congress have introduced legislation that would nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s national rule to rein in payday-lending abuses. Their legislation uses Congressional Review Act authority to repeal the rule and prevent the Consumer Bureau from issuing a similar rule in the future, giving predatory payday and car title lenders a free pass.
Why Amazon won’t buy a bank in 2018 (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Forget the speculation about Amazon buying a bank next year. But don’t count it out from adding banking to its near endless line of offerings.
For Amazon, providing financial services is just a means to an end: making more money by selling more things. Other retailers are still its main competition — not banks.
Why banks want to collaborate now on open banking standards (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Every U.S. banker is watching their European counterparts react to the looming Payment Services Directive, or PSD2, which will come into effect in 2018. When that happens, banks will lose their monopoly on customer data as merchants and retailers like Amazon will be allowed to retrieve customer account data from the banks (with customers’ permission).
Now, U.S. banks want to get ahead of their own regulators when it comes to creating data exchange standards. It can take 18 to 36 months to get a framework in place, Courbe said, but banks know they need to start exchanging data with other companies today.
LendingTree Adopts the RevJet Marketing Creative Platform (Sys-Con Media), Rated: A
RevJet, the first smart marketing creative platform, today announced that LendingTree has adopted RevJet’s system for producing, approving, personalizing, serving and automatically optimizing all formats of digital ad creative. Using RevJet to take a methodical approach to experimentation, LendingTree is able to deliver a higher volume of leads to their business partners while optimizing for revenue.
December’s Lending Impact and Borrower Stories (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA
Whatever the season, small businesses work harder on any given day than Mr Claus on Christmas Eve. To celebrate their hard work and determination, we’ve created our very own Christmas Carol, looking at the past, present and future of small businesses. We begin with the small business past, looking at the history of small businesses, and how they adapted during the industrial revolution. Next up, dive into the small business present and learn about the impact they have on today’s world and the trends that have helped them along the way. Finally, discover what the landscape might look like for businesses in years to come in our small business future.
In our latest case study video, meet David, founder of The Creative Whisky Company.
Peer to Peer Robo-Lending Platform InvestUp Sizes Up Cryptocurrency Investing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
FCA authorised crowdfunding aggregation platform InvestUp may be going crypto. The UK based Fintech has so far focused on the peer to peer lending space but management is currently looking at adding algorithm driven cryptocurrency investing.
InvestUp shares that 2017 has been another good year for P2P lending having delivered, on average, 10.74% to investors.
Protecting the future of peer-to-peer lending (Gov.uk), Rated: A
Today the peer-to-peer lending industry was given a boost of confidence as the government began legislating to clarify that no business borrowing through a peer-to-peer platform needs to be regulated as a ‘deposit taker’ (often referred to as a ‘banking licence’) unless that is their core business. The legislation will ensure that the industry can continue to thrive and innovate while still benefiting from the UK’s high quality regulatory standards.
The Committee on Exiting Europe Publishes Sector Reports Including Document on Fintech (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
The Exiting the European Union Committee, appointed by the House of Commons to examine the process of the Department for Exiting the European Union , released a grouping of documents from the Department today. As one may expect, the slew of reports addressed certain aspects regarding ramifications of the UK’s departure from Europe.
The Fintech Sector Report highlights the current regulatory regime in the EU and how cross border transactions take place between continental Europe and the UK. The document describes Fintech as covering four different categories:
- Investment, advice (including Robo-Advisors) and neo or challenger banks
- Regtech for compaliance
- Payments including digital currencies such as Bitcoin
- Alternative finance including crowdfunding and peer to peer lending
Read the full UK Fintech Report here.
Bank of England approves Tandem’s Harrods Bank takeover (AltFi), Rated: A
Tandem can now end the year on a high note after the Bank of England today gave regulatory approval for the challenger’s purchase of Harrods Bank.
The deal will now give Tandem access to a full banking license and the 10,000 customers attached to Harrods Bank, as well as the bank’s mortgage and savings books. According to Tandem, the purchase will also come with a “significant capital injection”.
UBS and EPAM Win Best Use of IT Private Banking/Wealth Management for SmartWealth App at Banking Technology Awards (NASDAQ), Rated: B
EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM), a global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services, and UBS AG, the world’s largest wealth manager, have been awarded for Best Use of IT Private Banking/Wealth Management at the Banking Technology Awards held on December 13, 2017 in London.
Chinese online lender LexinFintech surges in U.S. market debut (Reuters), Rated: AAA
Chinese online lender LexinFintech Holdings Ltd’s (LX.O) shares surged in their U.S. market debut on Thursday, brushing aside worries related to Beijing’s recent crackdown on the booming micro-credit industry.
LexinFintech’s shares touched a session high of $14.88, a 53 percent jump from its IPO price that valued the Shenzhen-based company at $4.51 billion.
China online lending IPO meets tepid demand as fintech zeal wanes (Financial Times), Rated: AAA
LexinFintech, the latest Chinese online consumer lender to complete a US initial public offering, has met with muted investor demand amid concerns over Beijing’s regulatory clampdown on dubious lending practices.
Lexin scaled back its planned $500m IPO on Nasdaq to $109m, and final pricing was at the bottom end of the price range initially marketed to investors.
Qudian, which is backed by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, raised $900m on the New York Stock Exchange in October — the largest US IPO by a Chinese fintech group. After hitting that high point investor interest quickly slid: last month PPDAI raised $221m in a deal that priced below the initial price range.
Since their IPOs, both Qudian and PPDAI have faced allegations of issuing misleading financial disclosures. Qudian closed at 48 per cent below its IPO price on Thursday, while PPDAI was down 44 per cent.
Is Qudian A Bargain Or A Falling Knife? (SeekingAlpha), Rated: A
QD’s stock price has taken a nosedive, plummeting from its $24 IPO price to $12.9 as of 12/19/2017. Given QD’s strong earnings and fast growth rates in the past, the current price may appear to be a great bargain. Is that true?
QD’s strong past operating performance is mainly driven by its online cash-loan business, which brings in 83.3% of its total revenue.
The regulations can be distilled into three key rules: (1) cap the interest rates at 36% (2) limit the leverage of cash-loan companies at 3 or lower, and (3) forbid commercial banks, insurance companies, P2P, etc from investing in cash loans. These rules will put QD’s extraordinary profits to an end, as discussed below.
- Rule #1: The interest rate caps may turn QD’s strong profits into negative. While QD may have already compiled to the 36% interest cap by the time of its IPO, QD’s revenue will still take a nearly 1/3 cut, holding all else equal.
- Rule #2: The leverage limit will bring QD’s entire cash-loan business to a halt. According to QD’s 3Q report (Qudian Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2017 Unaudited Financial Results), as of 09/30/2017, its capital structure consists of Liability: 11.18 billion; Mezzanine equity/convertible preferred shares: 5.94 billion;Total Shareholders’ deficit: 1.78 billion. However, the national regulation limits the maximum leverage at 3, or even at 1 according to some regional regulations (21jingji news). It is clear that with 1.78 billion shareholders’ deficit, QD has to raise literally billions of additional funds to satisfy this rule, which is “mission impossible” given the third rule as discussed below.
- Rule #3: restricting the financing sources will shut the door for QD to raise additional capital.
Brett Diment: 2018 Will be China Fintech’s Breakout Year (FiNews), Rated: A
Fintech will increasingly be associated with Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in 2018 instead of Silicon Valley, Aberdeen Standard’s Brett Diment details in a contribution for finews.asia.
The Chinese online-payment industry already accounts for around half of global transactions. Alipay, operated by Alibaba’s financial arm, is the market leader.
But Tencent’s Tenpay has been catching up fast. Tenpay’s stroke of genius was to allow its users to send electronic hongbao – the red envelopes of money traditionally given as a Chinese New Year gift. Some 16 million online hongbao were sent in 2014 – rising to a billion in 2015. This helped Tenpay’s share of the online-payment market to reach around 40 percent in just three years.
The University of Hong Kong Online Fintech Course Now Open for Registration (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
The Fintech MOOC is a six-week online course on innovations in finance and is designed to provide a foundational understanding of the global changes impacting all financial services.
Mayo businesses raise almost €800,000 through Linked Finance (The Connaught Telegraph), Rated: A
LINKED Finance, Ireland’s leading peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company, has raised almost €800,000 for Mayo-based businesses.
Eighteen Mayo businesses, including Doherty for Men, Main Street, Castlebar, and Electric Escapes, based in Westport, have raised funds through Linked Finance’s online lending platform (www.linkedfinance.com) to facilitate business growth.
Electric Escapes has raised €50,000 over two separate funding rounds, facilitated through the platform.
PayPal backs fintech deposit marketplace Raisin (AltFi), Rated: AAA
Raisin has secured an undisclosed sum of investment from digital payments platform PayPal. The money will be used to accelerate the growth of Raisin across its core European geographies.
Blockchain is “no longer in proof of concept” phase (Global Trade Review), Rated: AAA
Sin has just helped launch the world’s first cross-border bancassurance distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, working with China Life Insurance and Guangfa Bank in Macau.
In another sign that the technology may be fit for commercial purpose, SME lending platform ModulTrade has settled its first blockchain-based export transaction out of China.
This transaction was small – just over US$1,000 – but again shows that the technology is beginning to be used outside of the laboratory.
The company teamed up with Rabobank to complete an inventory financing transaction on the blockchain that resulted in a real-time payment for farmers.
All payments were made in real time, using a Rabobank-backed digital dollar, pegged to the Aussie dollar. The digital dollar was issued and cleared by a central issuing and settlement institution.
BENCHMARKING DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY (All About Alpha), Rated: A
Two scholars affiliated with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, in Great Britain, have prepared a fascinating overview of the present state of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT).
- The protocol layer of this ecosystem is only slowly maturing, and the limit of this maturation is one of the key challenges for the broader adoption of DLT;
- Most users experiment with only small-scale, isolated layers, with live applications allowed only as “permissioned” layers;
- There is an increasing focus on creating common standards of enterprise DLT frameworks that will allow for interoperability, but this effort to overcome fragmentation is itself fragmented into “a variety of consortia”;
- Ethereum in particular has been tested at 57% of central banks, either via the public network or a permissioned version.
Nearly half of the surveyed DLT start-ups are in North America (47%). The second largest group by continent is that which hails from Europe (28%), then 19% (Asia Pacific).
But employment isn’t precisely aligned with the number of enterprises on each continent. A full 61% of employees working in this field are in North America, and only 13% are in Europe.
RCN ANNOUNCES DECENTRALAND PARTNERSHIP (Bitcoinist), Rated: A
Under the new partnership, RCN will be able to integrate its credit protocol with the Decentraland platform. This will enable users who own plots of land, content, or businesses created in the 3D world to issue and receive loans.
The Top FinTech Trends of 2017 … were they? (The Finanser), Rated: B
Rise of InsurTech
Rise of RegTech
Yep, I’ve heard more about RegTech this year than ever before, although that’s unsurprising when most banks have at least two staff checking the work of each employee (Citibank has 40,000 compliance people!). Consultancy picks out 100 of the most innovative firms in this space.
Platforms, APIs and Open Banking are the key
I feel like I’ve been talking platforms all year and, with PSD2 and Open Banking coming into play in January 2018, it is certainly true that platforms, APIs and Open Banking have definitely been the theme of 2017.
China and emerging markets focus
Ah yes, I definitely think this year has been a big year for financial inclusion and discussions of Ant Financial and Tencent.
Banking without the banks: the state of peer-to-peer lending three years on (The Spinoff), Rated: AAA
In 2014, New Zealand was one of the first countries to legalise peer-to-peer lending.
For the latter, Snowball Effect and PledgeMe led the way with the FMA awarding its first equity crowdfunding licences to the two firms. For the former, the first licence for P2P lending was granted to Auckland-based platform Harmoney, which was founded by Neil Roberts that very same year.
To date, there are eight licensed P2P lending services currently operating in New Zealand with more than 20,000 investors currently registered with P2P lending intermediaries. When it comes to borrowers, there are more than 200,000 individuals currently registered with P2P services.
Since launching in September 2014, it’s lent more than $655 million via 37,000+ loans and paid more than $87 million interest in total. In the most recent financial year, Harmoney saw over more than 830,000 investments made in loans by almost 5,400 unique investors.
Want Good Financial Advice? Ask a Digital Lending Platform (BW Disrupt), Rated: A
The need for credit can come for a variety of reasons, and can be catered to by a vast plethora of different loan products.
Clearly, if you had to get good financial advice, AI-leveraging algorithms are a better bet than humans. So why not use the same technology to help individuals and SMEs find the right credit options for their needs?
NewsBTC Interviews the Crowd-genie Team (NewsBTC), Rated: A
NewsBTC: Why is licensing so important? How difficult is it to get in Singapore?
Crowd-genie: Being registered and licensed are two different stories. As peer to peer lending platform involves enormous monetary transactions, a securities license is crucial for regulated lending activities.
NewsBTC: Can you please explanation of how reputations coin work?
Crowd-genie: For each repayment, from the borrower to lenders, we will incentivise on-time payment by adding CGCOIN “Credits” to the borrowers’ wallets. This will be a spendable asset that will be tracked separately in the Digital Passport. The more CGCOIN Credits earned, the higher their reputation, and that in turn, will increase their chances of getting higher investments from more lenders and/or a lower interest rate.
Robot to speak at Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (Cayman Compass), Rated: B
Sophia, the world’s first robot to be granted citizenship of a country, will be one of the speakers at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit on Feb. 8 to 9, 2018, organizers announced Thursday.
At the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, Sophia will be interviewed on stage by a representative from event sponsor KPMG.
Organizers say the robot’s appearance complements the theme of the investment conference, “Wired: the rise of alternative investments in a digital age,” which targets opportunities at the intersection of alternative investing and technology.