Thursday August 22 2019, Weekly News Digest

Funding Circle loan originations

News Comments Today’s main news: Better.com raises $160M. Funding Circle passes $10B in global small business lending. Numbrs Personal Finance achieves unicorn status. Tala raises $110M, expanding into India. LendingKart raises $2.95M. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree Personal Loan Report–July 2019. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Slack’s direct listing and the future of security tokens. Is Funding Circle […]

The post Thursday August 22 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Funding Circle loan originations

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union

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News Summary

United States

Better.com Closes Series C at $ 160 Million (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Better.com, one of the fastest-growing homeownership platforms in the country, today closed its Series C fundraise at $160 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $254 million to date. Activant Capital, Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ally Financial, Citi, AGNC, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and American Express Ventures joined existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook, and Kleiner Perkins in the round.

The new investment round comes amid a period of tremendous growth for the fin-tech disruptor: Better.com has grown 3x year-over-year and is currently funding $375 million in mortgages a month. This puts the company on track to lend over $4 billion in 2019. Better.com also funded $1 billion of loans in Q2 of this year alone, more than in all of 2016 and 2017 combined.

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report – July 2019 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

The most common reasons for seeking a personal loan are credit card refinancing and debt consolidationThese two categories comprise 67% of loan inquiries in July.

Source: LendingTree

Slack’s Direct Listing: The Non-IPO Threat to Wall Street and its Future in Security Tokens (Global Banking Finance Review), Rated: AAA

Removing the middleman through security tokenization also means democratizing access to investment opportunities. By breaking up large assets into individual tokens, exclusive investment opportunities that would otherwise be reserved for the super-rich are opened up. Essentially, security tokenization is doing to private investments what peer-to-peer lending has done to private lending by removing the lock-up, liquidity, and the lower minimum investment involved in traditional venture capital and private equity investing.

As well as tokenized VC investing, it is also becoming possible for a small investor to buy a stake in luxury assets such as a multi-million dollar Manhattan apartment, or a share in a new blockbuster movie or a hit album.

Elevate Credit Issues Quarterly Earnings Results (Mayfield Recorder), Rated: A

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The company reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.07 by $0.06, Briefing.com reports. The business had revenue of $177.76 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $187.48 million. Elevate Credit had a net margin of 2.45% and a return on equity of 19.19%. Elevate Credit’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.07 EPS. Elevate Credit updated its FY 2019 guidance to $0.55-0.65 EPS and its FY19 guidance to $0.55-0.65 EPS.

Reliant Funding Celebrates Seven Years on the Inc. 5000 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Today, Inc. magazine revealed that Reliant Funding is number 3,838 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. This is Reliant Funding’s seventh consecutive year the Inc. 5000.

Eisman slams Zillow; US Consumer Mixed; 30-Yr Hits Record (PeerIQ), Rated: A

A year ago the prevailing view was the era of low rates was over. We find ourselves now testing record low 30-year US Treasury yields, and potential issuance of 50-year and 100-year bonds. Mohammed El-Erian is raising the concern that with the panic headlines we might be talking ourselves into a recession.

Steve Eisman, famed for shorting subprime mortgages, took a direct shot at Zillow’s new business model. We highlight the excerpt of Steve’s comments, particularly as a number of FinTechs are entering the market for intermediating residential homes:

Zillow has one of the most flawed business models I’ve seen in a very, very long time.

The part of it I find the most problematic is what they call, I believe, their iHome business, their internet buying business, where they actually go out and buy homes and flip them. I actually think the company doesn’t understand the real risks of this business, which are massive.

Is Real Estate Crowdfunding a Good Investment? (Lifehacker), Rated: A

Ask a rich person how they got rich, and there’s a good chance they’ll say they invested in real estate. In fact, real estate is generally accepted as one of the most solid ways to build wealth.

“It’s not only about access, but also the size of some of these transactions. The average consumer can’t buy a $10 million building, however they can take on a $100 share of it.”

What it costs to make money with real estate investing

For example, CrowdStreet requires a minimum investment of $10,000 for a minimum 36 months, but doesn’t charge account fees. Fundrise lets you get started with $500, but charges a fee of 1% per year, which is relatively steep compared to fees for roboadvisors, which tend to be around 0.25% to 0.60%.

Joseph Hogue of My Stock Market Basics examined average returns on real estate crowdfunding platforms: Open investments had a return of around 14.7%, with completed deals averaging 14.6%.

Fund That Flip raises $ 11 million in growth financing from Edison Partners (Finextra), Rated: A

Fund That Flip, an award-winning fintech platform and marketplace lender of residential real estate loans, today announced a raise of $11 million from Princeton, NJ.-based growth equity firm Edison Partners.

After origination, Fund That Flip offers accredited and institutional investors the opportunity to purchase fractional shares of the loan and earn an 8%-9% annualized yield.

3G Capital Advisors Facilitates $ 179.2 Million in Freddie Mac Loans Between Greystone and Watermark J&L Partners (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

3G Capital Advisors, LLC, a boutique real estate advisory firm focused on developing creative capital solutions for its partners, announced today the closing of $179.2 million in permanent financing for Watermark J&L Partners, LLC originated through Greystone and provided by Freddie Mac. The loans will refinance a portfolio of four multifamily communities with a total of 1,188 units in Arkansas, Colorado and Texas.

The 50 Most Expensive Towns in America (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

To take a look at how expensive town life can get, LendingTree, the nation’s largest online loan marketplace, ranked the 50 towns in the United States with the most expensive median home values. Our study also looks at the median income in these towns to determine how attainable homeownership is for the average person living there. What we found: The towns with the most expensive home prices are unaffordable to median income earners who live in those areas.

Key findings

  • Vineyard Haven, Mass., Summit Park, Utah, and Breckenridge, Colo., are the three most expensive towns in the country. Each of these towns is known for its proximity to natural features like mountain ranges or the ocean. While high levels of wealth tend to pool in these towns, the majority from these areas make an income well under the national household average.
  • The majority of the towns featured in this study are unaffordable for the median income earner living in them. Both renting and owning a home are out of reach for median income earners in 42 of the 50 towns looked at in this study. This suggests that many people who work in the towns featured in these studies don’t necessarily live there, and instead commute.
  • As our study makes clear, living in a small town does not necessarily make the cost of living more affordable. Many people living in the towns featured in our study would have an easier time affording a home in a major metropolitan area than in their current area. That being said, some of these towns are still relatively affordable like Los Alamos, N.M. or Gillette, Wyo.
Source: LendingTree

The Apple Card’s best feature is also its biggest flaw (Business Insider), Rated: A

But that’s also the Apple Card’s biggest hindrance. Sure, having a credit card that lives on your phone in a digital wallet is ideal for convenience and security. Yet it also makes the experience of using the Apple Card more limiting than other options, especially when it comes to paying your balance, managing your card, and the rewards you get.

Silvergate Bank Announces A Crypto Lending Service In IPO Filing (Coin Revolution), Rated: A

Silvergate is the leading financial services provider for top Crypto exchange companies such as Xapo, Bitstamp, and Coinbase. The latest report indicates that the bank intends to roll out Crypto lending services.

Planning for LendIt Fintech USA 2020 is Underway (Lend Academy), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech USA will be held in New York City on May 13-14 next year at the Javits Center.

  • The Small Business Fintech Ecosystem
  • Revolution at the Point of Sale
  • New Approaches to Capital for Growth Businesses
  • Digital Banking Goes Mainstream
  • New Systems for Identity and Trust
  • Applying Fintech to Financial Wellness

Fintech Takeover Spending Hits Record Levels on 2019’s Megadeals (Bloomberg Law), Rated: A

Three blockbuster deals for financial-technology companies pushed takeover spending to a record $120 billion in the first half of the year as bidders targeted payments firms, according to research from consulting firm Hampleton Partners.

Ohio College Graduates Struggle With Rising Student Debt (CityBeat), Rated: A

Welcome to Ohio, where the average student debt is $28,947, according to a new study by LendEDU, an online student loans marketplace. Ohio’s average student loan debt is smack dab in the middle of the state-by-state rankings, with average student debt ranging from $19,742 in Utah to $38,776 in Connecticut.

About 58 percent of all students graduating from a four-year college or university in Ohio and the U.S. received a student loan to finance their education.

Futures Brokerage Capital Trading Group Announces Launch of Managed Futures Podcast (PR Web), Rated: B

Capital Trading Group, LP (“CTG”), an investment firm specializing in execution and account management for commodity trading advisors, has announced the release of its new Managed Futures Podcast hosted by firm principal and alternative investments specialist, Nell Sloane.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Surpasses $ 10 Billion Lent to Small Businesses Globally (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle, the leading small business loans platform in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, today announced that investors have lent more than $10 billion to small businesses globally through its platform. Achieving this milestone in less than a decade, Funding Circle has proven that its model has become the preferred option for small business funding that fuels economic growth ⁠— with every $1 lent to a small business through Funding Circle in 2018 contributing $2 to GDP, according to Oxford Economics.

Source: Funding Circle

Is Funding Circle Holdings Using Debt In A Risky Way? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at June 2019 Funding Circle Holdings had debt of UK£146.8m, up from none in one year. But it also has UK£449.9m in cash to offset that, meaning it has UK£303.1m net cash.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Funding Circle Holdings had liabilities of UK£180.2m due within 12 months and liabilities of UK£19.3m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of UK£449.9m and UK£14.9m worth of receivables due within a year. So it actually has UK£265.3m more liquid assets than total liabilities.

ThinCats to lend £400m to growth companies by end-2020 (Growth Business), Rated: A

ThinCats, the growth-business lender, wants to be lending £400m a year to cash-starved scale-up companies by the end of 2020.

Welsh Delio secures £3.3m equity round (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

UK-based private asset infrastructure service, Delio, has secured £3.3 million in an equity investment round led by Maven Capital Partners, which will purport the company into markets across Asia, the Middle East and North America.

UK tech firms attract record £5.5bn in foreign investment (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE UK’S tech sector has attracted $6.7bn (£5.5bn) in foreign investment this year so far, which is more than the whole of 2018.

During the second quarter of 2019 more than $1.9bn came via investment deals valued at $100m or more.

Aprao launches development appraisal tool (PlaceTech), Rated: B

London-based startup Aprao has released a beta version of its development appraisal tool to 650 companies.

Aprao currently partners with property marketplace LendInvest, developer Careys New Homes, and design house Fusion to help further develop the technology.

New P2P entrants have a ‘second move advantage’ (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

If an industry as new as P2P can have legacy issues, there’s clearly a ‘second move advantage’ for new potential entrants who have an opportunity to build systems and processes ready for the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules:

  • SMCR – the new governance rules are not just about assigning responsibility to individuals.
  • Three lines of defence – will you need a dedicated compliance function? risk? internal audit?
  • Recovery and resolution plans – we’re in discussions with a number of potential new entrants who are at the very early stages of their IT planning.
  • Appropriateness tests – whilst incumbent firms are progressing with their plans to comply with the requirements, it is far easier to build the process from scratch – and price it in to the strategy.

Existing players continue to hit new milestones (such as Funding Circle’s $10bn announced this month), and secure increased funding.

How banking-as-a-service (BaaS) works and industry outlook (Business Insider), Rated: A

In the UK, the new revenue potential generated through open banking-enabled small- and medium-sized business and retail customer propositions was £500 million ($700 million) in 2018, per PwC — and Business Insider Intelligence expects that to grow at a 25% compound annual growth rate to reach £1.9 billion ($2 billion) by 2024.

European Union

Swiss Fintech Startup Becomes a $ 1 Billion Unicorn (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Numbrs Personal Finance raised $40 million to bring the total capital invested to almost $200 million, Chief Executive Officer Martin Saidler said in an interview. Numbrs offers an app that enables users to manage their existing bank accounts in one place and to buy financial products.

Lendable launches Luxembourg fund with Credit Suisse (AltFi), Rated: A

Lendable has launched its first Luxembourg-based fund initially providing up to £225m of financing into the UK consumer market.

The consumer lender set up the fund alongside Credit Suisse, with the pair raising capital from 10 unnamed investors across seven geographies over a three-year investment period.

Events for every P2P professional’s calendar in 2019 (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech Europe 2019

Dates: 26-27 September 2019

et 15 per cent off on your tickets with the discount code P2PFN15%.

Register at www.lendit.com

MoneyLIVE: Lending 2019

Date: 2 October 2019

Open Banking Expo

Date: 13 November 2019

Brocc raises Debt Financing from Goldman Sachs (MyNewsDesk), Rated: B

Brocc, a Swedish company specialized in P2P Consumer Lending, has raised funding from Goldman Sachs Private Capital (“Goldman Sachs”). Brocc intends to use this financing to issue consumer loans, allowing consumers to consolidate existing debts at lower rates.

International

Tala, A Digital Lending Startup, Raises $ 110M, Eyes India For Expansion (Crunchbase), Rated: AAA

To help over three billion underbanked adults have a chance at a loan, Tala has raised $110 million in a Series D round led by RPS.

The company currently has 500 employees across locations in Southern California, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and India. The new money will be used to expand its India presence, as well offer new services. To date, Tala has raised $219.4 million in funding from investors like Revolution, Institutional Venture Partners, and PayPal Ventures.

Australia

Harmoney earmarks new CEO for NZ, Australian growth (NBR), Rated: AAA

Australasia’s largest marketplace lender is meeting a rapid pace of growth by ushering financial services leader David Stevens into the business from September 1, 2019. Stevens steps into the CEO role in early 2020, a transition that will free Harmoney’s founder and current CEO Neil Roberts to focus on strategy and product as the platform continues to innovate and lead across both markets.

India

Lendingkart Secures $ 2.95M From Sistema Asia Fund (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Indian startup Lendingkart announced that it has raised $2.95 million in new funding from Sistema Asia Fund.

The investment comes days after the company raised $30 million in a Series D financing round led by existing investors including Fullerton Financial Holdings, Bertelsmann India Investments and India Quotient. The total funds raised by LendkingKart is now at $146 million.

These are the top challenges faced by MSMEs, the growth drivers of Indian economy (Money Control), Rated: A

More than 500 Lakhs MSMEs exist currently and over the last 5 decades in India. This SME sector has grown dynamically contributing 45 percent of India’s GDP according to ‘Micro Merchant Market Sizing and Profiling Report’ which also shows it provides employment to around 46 crores people in India and is growing at a fast rate of 11.5 percent every year.

Business Loan Application Process: Explained (Ziploan), Rated: A

There are many aspects of the business that needs to be handled by a small business owner when he runs a business. As a small business owner, he doesn’t have resources to waste. But he needs to the optimal performance of every resource/department, so that cost of production is kept at a minimal level. And the profits are also enhanced. But when an individual multi-tasks and handles various functions all by himself, there are chances that some aspects of the business may miss his attention.

Asia

A recent study by the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and PwC said that 94% of fintech companies are eyeing workforce expansions over the next 12 months, with 28% expecting to double their employee numbers in the next three years.

Notable Singaporean fintech firms include digital insurer Singapore Life, remittance company InstaRem, and peer-to-peer lending platform Validus. The latter two companies are backed by Vertex Ventures, a venture capital firm under Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

In order to provide an easy and universal assessment of creditworthiness for small medium enterprises (SMEs), CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd recently launched the CTOS SME Score.

CURRENTLY, there are almost a million SMEs in Malaysia contributing 37% to the national GDP. This figure is expected to rise to 41% by 2020.

SMEs also make up 98% of local businesses and create employment for two-thirds of all working Malaysians.

MENA

With 2,000 applications, Israel fintech regulator eyes licensing changes (CoinGeek), Rated: AAA

The Israeli Capital Market Authority is seeking to make changes to its licensing regime in order to encourage competition and grow the financial technology (fintech) industry in the country. According to a report by local daily Calcalist, the regulator has established dedicated teams that will specialize in blockchain and other emerging financial technology.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday August 22 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Thursday July 18 2019, Weekly News Digest

Digital-only banks U.S.

News Comments Today’s main news: N26 raises $170M at $3.5B valuation for U.S. launch. OnDeck, Upserve partner on restaurant financing. Quicken Loans has best quarter in history. Curve raises $55M at $25M valuation. Lufax to bow out of P2P lending. Goldman funds Lendable. Today’s main analysis: Is America ready for challenger banks? (A MUST-READ) Today’s […]

The post Thursday July 18 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Digital-only banks U.S.

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

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News Summary

United States

Thiel-Backed Bank Valued at $ 3.5 Billion Amid U.S. Launch (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

A German smartphone bank backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing has raised new funds at a valuation of $3.5 billion, making the company one of Europe’s highest valued non-listed fintech firms.

N26 GmbH extended its Series D funding round by $170 million to a total $470 million, the Berlin-based company said on Thursday.

OnDeck And Upserve Partner To Speed Financing To Restaurants (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

OnDeck (ONDK) and Upserve today announced a partnership to provide Upserve’s restaurant customers with online financing options from OnDeck. Over 10,000 restaurants currently use Upserve’s restaurant management platform and Point of Sales (POS) software to manage relationships with more than 57 million active diners.

Quicken Loans Has Best Quarter in Company’s 34-Year History (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Detroit-based Quicken Loans, America’s largest mortgage lender, today announced that the second quarter of 2019 was the best in the 34-year-old company’s history.

The second quarter of the year was the first three times the company has originated more than $10 billion in a single month, with each month setting a new record for the highest closed loan volume – culminating in June being the best month in Quicken Loans history. In June, the company closed nearly $11 billion in mortgage volume, contributing to the $32 billionoriginated for the quarter.

Over 57% of Purchase Borrowers Received Mortgage Rates Under 4.25% Last Week (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Mortgage Rate Distribution

  • For 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, approximately 56.8% of purchase borrowers received offers of 4.25% or less. That is down from 60.1% of borrowers the previous week. A year ago, 0.07% of offers were under 4.25%.
  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, 4.0% was the most common interest rate. This rate was offered to 15.4% of borrowers.
  • Of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers, 70.6% received offers of 4.25% or less, which is down from 72.8% the previous week. A year ago, no refinance offers were under 4.25%.
  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance applications, the most common interest rate was 4.0%, offered to 17.95% of borrowers.

Mortgage Rate Competition Index

  • Across all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications on LendingTree, the index was 0.99, down from 1.19 the previous week.
  • How big of a deal is it to get a mortgage APR that’s 0.99 percentage points lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $47,073 in savings on a $300,000 loan (see Mortgage Savings Tracker graphic below).
  • The index was wider in the refinance market at 1.10, down from 1.35 the previous week. Refinance borrowers could have saved $52,554 by shopping for the lowest rate.

Rate Cuts; Digital Banks (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Source: PeerIQ, WSJ

Digital Banks – The Future of FinTech Lending?

FinTechs lenders meanwhile are white-labelling banking services to complete the customer product roadmap while awaiting a charter. SoFi Money, WSFS, Radius Bank and its deposit partnerships with FinTechs are great examples of this.

This week, Boston-based Radius Bank is looking to adopt the user-friendly style set forth by the aforementioned European banks.

European Challenger Banks Launch U.S. Invasion – Is America Ready? (The Financial Brand), Rated: AAA

At a time when U.S. consumers are increasingly becoming comfortable with branchless banking and alternative financial providers, is there room for alternative digital-only banks with zero name recognition? Recent announcements by Germany-based N26 and U.K.-based Monzo that they will be entering the highly competitive U.S. in the next few months will provide a good test of the viability of foreign-based banking competition.

N26 Invites 100,000 Wait-Listed U.S. Consumers To Open Accounts

According to N26, there will be a staged rollout beginning immediately, with the 100,000 people on the U.S. wait list being invited to sign up and have full access to the product.

Is Monzo the ‘Bank of the Future’?

Referring to itself as the “bank of the future,” Monzo has also begun marketing efforts in the U.S., hoping to disrupt the traditional banks and credit unions in a way similar to what they have done in the U.K. Valued at more than $1 billion, Monzo has a mobile-only customer base in the U.K. of 2.2 million customers.

Varo files application for bank charter that will differentiate it (Business Insider), Rated: A

Challenger bank Varo, which has raised $179 million from Warburg Pincus and TPG, just took a big step that might separate it from competitors like Chime and Monzo.

In the past year Varo has tripled its customer base and is expected to reach 750,000 registered customers this month, Walsh said.

Moven’s Plan B after buyout bid stalls: Expansion into lending (American Banker), Rated: A

Obstacles remain in Moven’s path to a charter in the U.S., even as its private-label banking offering expands across Africa and Asia.

JPMorgan Chase’s Dimon: Finn app was not a failure (bank innovation), Rated: A

Specifically, Dimon said the bank learned how to conduct digital account openings through Finn and that the process was shaved down to just a few minutes. CFO Jennifer Piepszak added that 25% of new account openings at Chase are now digital signups rather than through a bank branch. The bank reported it has opened 2 million accounts digitally.

The bank had pulled the plug on the digital-only offering in June, just a year after its launch, and rolled some of Finn’s most popular features into Chase’s main mobile banking app.

JPMorgan warns that lending income will fall in the second half (American Banker), Rated: A

The largest U.S. bank on Tuesday reported a drop in bond trading and cut its full-year outlook for net interest income — revenue from customers’ loan payments minus what the bank pays depositors — by $500 million. NII accounted for about half the New York-based company’s revenue last year.

Navient plans full-Earnest loan pool in $ 535.2M student-loan ABS (Asset Securitization Report), Rated: A

Navient Solution’s next securitization of private student-loan refinancing will involve only loans primarily issued to advanced-degree professionals by online lender Earnest – which Navient acquired in 2017.

The $535.2 million Navient Private Education Refi Loan Trust 2019-E will include two tranches of Class A notes with preliminary triple-A ratings from DBRS and S&P Global Ratings. The Class A-1 fixed-rate notes total $263 million, while the $228 million in Class A-2 notes will be divided into fixed- and variable-rate tranches.

Technology’s Inescapable Impact on Real Estate Investments – (MarketCurrents Wealth Management), Rated: A

Research-driven, professional investments in real estate have traditionally been reserved for family offices and institutional investors. Now, a swathe of new technology platforms and consumer products are revolutionizing the industry, opening up access and shifting valuations.

Millennials say real estate investing is one of the best ways to build wealth (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to a new survey from Bankrate, over one-third of millennials say real estate is the best way to invest money they won’t need for at least 10 years, more than the share of millennials surveyed who prefer stocks, savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs), gold, bonds, and cryptocurrency.

Real Estate Investing in a “1-Click” World (Propmodo), Rated: A

The plain truth is that there will never been such a thing as “Amazon 1-Click for real estate.” The end-to-end logistics solution for buying and managing property has not yet been perfected. Whilst there are a lot of great technology solutions being developed for the property industry they typically tackle just one or two specific pain points in a broader transaction. In isolation, these solutions have less impact on the overall customer experience because their piece is just one of a much larger puzzle. As an example, there’s not much point streamlining the purchase itself if the legal documents and mortgage approval take weeks of frustrating back-and-forth, duplicating much of the same process and paperwork.

Krista Morgan of P2Binvestor Overcomes Naysayers To Fund Growing Small Businesses (Forbes), Rated: A

With all the attention given to angel and venture capital, you might think that these financing options are the most likely to be used. To the contrary, debt is by far the dominant form of outside funding used: for example, 86% of $1 — $10 million companies seeking outside financing applied for a loan compared to 5% seeking equity financing, according to The 2018 Small Business Credit Survey.

However, since the late 1990s, as banks have consolidated and sought out more profitable sectors of the credit market, they have been shifting activity away from the small business credit market, according to Why Small Business Lending Isn’t What It Used to Be.

Lendbuzz, AI Auto Startup That Steps in When FICO Fails, Raises $ 150M (Xconomy), Rated: A

The Boston-based software company announced Monday it has raised $150 million in new funding to expand its team and issue more financing backed by its machine learning algorithms.

Most of the cash—$130 million—for Lendbuzz is in the form of debt financing from four banks and an insurance company to fund car loans through the startup’s platform. The rest is an equity investment led by venture capital investor 83North.

Soros, Innovation Endeavors Provide Fresh Funding for AlphaSense (Institutional Investor), Rated: A

AlphaSense has attracted $50 million from investors including Soros Fund Management and Innovation Endeavors, in a fresh round of funding that will help the company expand its artificial-intelligence-powered offering for asset managers.

House Democrats draft bill to keep big tech out of financial services (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

According to the draft bill, titled “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” companies in violation would face a $1 million daily fine.

The legislation would apply to companies with $25 billion or more in annual revenue.

As the draft stands now, it would prohibit Facebook (FB) and other tech companies with at least $25 billion in revenue from becoming a financial institution or issuing a cryptocurrency.

San Jose payday-advance startup faces racial discrimination, retaliation lawsuit (The Mercury News), Rated: A

A former manager at PayActiv, a San Jose startup that provides payday advances, is accusing the company of racial discrimination and questionable business practices.

Ibarra said in his lawsuit that he was the only Hispanic employee when he was hired in 2014, the year the company was founded. The co-founders are of Pakistani descent, the suit said.

Pedro Ibarra said he was fired because he complained about being harassed by the company’s founders over his ethnicity, and because he raised concerns about PayActiv’s handling of user data and whether the company is acting like a regular payday lender and therefore should be classified as a creditor.

New apps competing for your money can have hidden costs (ABC Action News), Rated: A

A new crop of digital wallets, apps and financial tech companies are fighting for customers’ banking business. The push comes as federal data shows the Tampa Bay region hit a six-year high for the number of people living without banking accounts or easy access to credit.

CrediVia Brings New Experience to Multifamily Financing (BusinessWire), Rated: A

CrediVia launched last fall as a hospitality financing marketplace intent on driving smarter decisions and stronger engagement in the loan process. Today the company has announced expanded platform capabilities to execute multifamilydeals as well, part of its ongoing mission to become the preferred source for more effective and transparent commercial real estate lending.

SEC Posts Final Judgement in Enforcement Action Against Founders of iFunding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has posted final judgments in the case of real estate crowdfunding platform iFunding and co-founders William Skelley and Sohin Shah.  The two founders were charged last year by the SEC Enforcement Division regarding allegations of fraud in the misappropriation of over $1.17 million from investors. The final judgments against Skelley and Shah were obtained this month.

Lending Express evolves into Become (Become email), Rated: B

Lending Express has rebranded to This transition comes at a pivotal point in the company’s growth and highlights its dedication to providing businesses withopportunities to improvfundabilitysecure funding, and ultimately become more.

Cross River Names Global Finance Veteran Melissa Ballenger As CFO (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Cross River Bank (“Cross River”) today announced that it has appointed Melissa Ballenger as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.

SecurCapital Acquires Breakout Capital Finance’s Lending Business (PR Newswire), Rated: B

SecurCapital Corp, an expanding supply chain and financial services provider headquartered in California, today announced the acquisition of the lending business of Breakout Capital Finance, a fintech company and nationwide small business lender. SecurCapital is also providing additional equity capital to drive growth in Breakout Capital Finance’s two primary lending products: its highly regarded and innovative term-loan product and its FactorAdvantage lending solution for small businesses that utilize factoring to finance their business. The acquired lending business assets will be operated by a subsidiary of SecurCapital that will conduct business as Breakout Capital.

CheapAir.com Expands “Travel Now, Pay Later” Option (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Online travel agency CheapAir.com today announced an expansion of its travel budgeting tool in partnership with Affirm, giving customers the opportunity to prequalify for a travel budget and then book and pay for all elements of their trip over time.

Sokolov-Miller Family Center again recognized as leader in financial education (PSU), Rated: B

Each year the online loan marketplace LendEDU ranks programs based on its 50-point scale. This year, the Sokolov-Miller Family Center moved up two positions, tying for 13th place.

Community Capital Appoints New Board Member, Camden R. Fine (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Community Capital Technology Inc. (“CCT”), a digital loan transaction marketplace for community banks, regional banks, and other non-bank originators and credit investors, today announced the appointment of Camden (“Cam”) R. Fine, former President & CEO of the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), to its Board of Directors.

United Kingdom

Curve raises $ 55M at a $ 250M valuation (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Curve, the London-based “over-the-top banking platform,” has raised $55 million in new funding. The startup lets you consolidate all of your bank cards into a single Curve  card and app to make it easier to manage your spending and access other benefits.

Curve’s Series B round is led by Gauss Ventures, the London-HQ’d fintech investor, alongside Creditease, IDC Ventures and previous backer Outward VC (formerly Investec’s INVC fund).

What will the appropriateness test actually look like? (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

IT’S OFFICIAL – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will soon make it mandatory for all peer-to-peer platforms to introduce an “appropriateness test” for new investors.

The purpose of the test will be to weed out any unsuitable lenders, and any potential lenders who do not fully understand the risks associated with P2P.

Uber, Lyft share prices: as tech IPOs disappoint, how can investors spot winners? (CMC Markets), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle [FCH], an online lending platform that enables individuals and companies to lend to small businesses, is the latest example of a hyped IPO from a business yet to turn a profit. A few lacklustre earnings announcements later, it appears the stock was indeed overvalued.

What metrics can traders look out for when weighing up a stock amid such an increasing amount of cash-burning companies looking to go public?

Lendy administrator outlines the state of collapsed P2P lender’s loanbook (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

LENDY investors are likely to receive an average of 57p on the pound for development finance and 58p for every pound from bridging loans funded on the collapsed peer-to-peer lending platform.

The document shows that 22 of the 29 bridging loans made via the platform are in insolvency proceedings, with 14 out of 25 development loans in the same situation.

The document reveals the outstanding value of the bridging loans is £36m, secured against assets historically valued at £81m.

Rishi Khosla of OakNorth (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The incident that was the seed of the idea for OakNorth.
  • Why fast growth companies have trouble raising debt capital.
  • The range of loan sizes, terms and interest rates that OakNorth offers.
  • Why they started with building a tech platform first.
  • How their underwriting process works and what they have automated.
  • Rishi’s thoughts on defaults and his famous “zero defaults to date” quote.
  • How they are funding their loans in the UK.
  • Why the US is a core market for OakNorth’s international expansion.
  • Who they are offering the platform to in the US.
  • Why the “ai” in Oaknorth.ai stands for analytical intelligence.
  • The geographies where they are live today.
  • Why they will not be getting a banking license in markets outside the UK.
  • Why OakNorth launched a mortgage product for UK entrepreneurs.
  • How SoftBank is helping OakNorth beyond providing capital.
  • How OakNorth is attacking the Chinese market.
  • How Rishi is spending his time these days.

OAKNORTH LENDS £19.5M TO CARE CONCERN GROUP TO SUPPORT ALPHA REAL CAPITAL OPERATING CARE HOMES (Business Leader), Rated: B

OakNorth Bank has provided a £19.5m loan to Care Concern Group, a UK-based care home operator.

$ 2.9 Billion in Deals in 2019 on Track to Top Year Prior (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Innovate Finance has just published its Q2 UK Fintech investment report tallying activity for the first half of 2019.

The most recent report from Innovate Finance, covering Q1 of 2019, indicated that overall investment into Fintech, including venture capital, angel investing, private equity etc., topped $1 billion. In brief, Fintech boomed in Q1 as the industry experienced a 41% growth versus the prior quarter (Q4). Comparing to Q1 of 2018 it quadrupled.

Latest UK fintech investment figures reflect the evolution of the sector (ComputerWeekly), Rated: A

Investment in UK fintechs in the first half of this year was £2.9bn, which is 85% of the total invested in 2018, according to figures from fintech industry body Innovate Finance. It is also 45% higher than the same six month period last year. London based companies took 90% of this.

For example challenger banks including OakNorth ($440m), Monzo ($147m) and Starling Bank ($98m) got the most significant investments. In payments and foreign exchange sectors Checkout.com ($230m), WorldRemit ($175m) and GoCardless ($76m) were major recipients.

Could ‘bad credit’ credit cards be more expensive than a payday loan? (Which?), Rated: A

Around four million people in the UK have subprime credit cards, charging interest ranging from 30% to 70% – compared to the average 20% APR on mainstream deals.

P2PFA looks to woo intermediaries (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

THE PEER-TO-PEER Finance Association (P2PFA) is looking at ways of boosting distribution for members.

LendIt Fintech Europe 2019 Preview (Lend Academy), Rated: A

LendIt is returning to London again for the sixth annual LendIt Fintech Europe event. It will be held on 26 – 27 September at the same location as last year, the Business Design Centre. We are expecting well over 1,000 people at the event this year.

Some of the featured keynote speakers this year will be:

  • Rishi Khosla – CEO, OakNorth
  • Jaidev Janardana – CEO, Zopa
  • Anne Boden – CEO, Starling Bank
  • Rhydian Lewis – CEO, Ratesetter
  • Husayn Kassai – CEO, Onfido
  • Tamaz Georgadze – CEO, Raisin

How Jules B uses tech to stay ahead online (Essential Retail), Rated: B

Independent luxury fashion retailer Jules B has six stores across the Lake District an Newcastle, as well as a strong online presence.

To that end it has been working with fintech company Klarna to provide more payment options, which he says allows it to “compete in that marketplace for the younger generation.”

China

Ping An-backed Lufax to ditch P2P lending on regulatory woes (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Lufax, one of China’s largest online wealth management platforms that is backed by financial giant Ping An Insurance (601318.SS), plans to exit its once-core peer-to-peer lending (P2P) business, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

China slowdown, trade dispute hurt global carmakers (DW.com), Rated: A

The Chinese auto sector has been under a lot of pressure over the past 18 months, hurt by an economic slowdown that has dented consumer confidence, the ongoing trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, and the government’s crackdown on peer-to-peer lending. Looming stricter emissions rules are also causing Chinese buyers to wait to buy new cars.

China rich with opportunity for fintech talent (China Daily), Rated: A

China is on the cutting edge of the fintech industry and promises great opportunities for fintech talent, fuelled by a rising demand for financial services and technology professionals, according to Hays plc, a global professional recruiting group.

European Union

Bitcoin Suisse Applies for Banking License with Swiss Regulators (BTC Manager), Rated: A

As stated in its press release, the leading Swiss-based regulated cryptocurrency broker and financial services provider, has applied for a banking license with FINMA, following the Swiss Banking Act Art. 1a.

The firm claims it has also achieved several significant milestones in recent months, including the expansion the number of tradable digital assets, with more than 6,000 trading pairs, as well as the provision of a large scale collateralized crypto lending service to its institutional clients.

International

Goldman, UK’s Lendable Strike £200M Deal (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

Goldman Sachs and personal loan startup Lendable from the U.K. have reached a £200m deal, in a sign of Goldman’s confidence in the startup, according to a report by the Financial Times.

A conversation with Zac Prince, Founder, CEO, BlockFi (The Block Crypto), Rated: A

Zac Prince is CEO of BlockFi, which helps crypto investors manage digital assets and grow their net worth through services such as Bitcoin loans. Frank Chaparro and Ryan Todd discuss the complexity of crypto loans and the future of the industry.

Australia

P2P lender joins another aggregator’s panel (Australian Broker), Rated: AAA

RateSetter’s personal loans and secured automotive offering will be made available to Australian Finance Group’s (AFG) broker network of over 2,900 from 22 July.

The P2P lender provides risk-based pricing for its personal loans, with interest rates starting at 5.49%. The loans range from $2,001 to $45,000 for terms between six months to five years. Creditworthy borrowers typically gain access to finance within 24 hours of filling out the five-minute application.

SME lender expands presence within Australia (Australian Broker), Rated: A

OnDeck Australia has joined the lending panel at Finance & Systems Technology (FAST), in an arrangement that will help facilitate more opportunities for FAST brokers interested in expanding into the SME lending channel.

X factor mortgages: The lenders offering more than just hot rates (Mozo), Rated: A

With the official cash rate sitting at just 1.00% following two RBA rate cuts, you may have noticed a flurry of home loan rate drops, with some lenders slashing rates towards the 3.00% mark and below.

Asia

Smaller Banks in Singapore Are at Risk As Fintechs Eye Digital Banking License (Fintech News), Rated: AAA

Competition is heating up in Singapore’s digital banking landscape as an increasing number of fintechs including e-wallet operators and payment services providers are looking to apply for when applications open in August.

Strong contenders for the Singapore’s digital bank licenses

Liquid Group, Xfers, MatchMove Pay, FOMO Pay, Razer and Singtel would be competing against the likes of Grab, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant and the region’s first “decacorn,” Validus Capital, a peer-to-peer lending platform, and InstaReM, a remittance startup, which are also eyeing a digital bank license.

In June, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it will issue up to five new digital bank licenses, comprising up to two digital full bank licenses and up to three digital wholesale bank licenses.

Accountants have critical role in helping businesses fight cybercrime (Channel News Asia), Rated: A

Finally, accountants should also focus on financial crime compliance, which must evolve to keep up with new business models such as peer-to-peer lending, the minister said.

Canada

Give your BBQ the royal treatment (The Daily Courier), Rated: AAA

Ramsey will also introduce HousingHub, a new initiative for B.C. Housing to provide more affordable rental and ownership housing for middle-income individuals and families.

Small businesses can apply for a short-term loan of up to $250,000 online, and if they qualify, the funds can be delivered electronically to the business in as little as one business day.

The agreement will use OnDeck’s data analytics and digital technology to make real-time lending decisions and Coast Capital Savings to provide the financing.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday July 18 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Monday August 27 2018, Daily News Digest

personal loan balances

News Comments Today’s main news: Upgrade gets $62M injection from CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. Elevate Credit issues earnings results. Wonga on the brink of collapse. Today’s main analysis: Calculating spreads for valuation, competition, and opportunity in unsecured lending (A MUST-READ). Today’s thought-provoking articles: Lenders who shunned personal loans are now competing for them. The sophisticated algorithms behind P2P […]

personal loan balances

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

International

Other

News Summary

United States

Consumer Credit Platform Update Secures $ 62 Million Through Series C Funding Round Led By CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund (Crowdfund insider) Rated: AAA

CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF), the U.S.-based Fintech Fund of the Chinese fintech CreditEase, recently led $62 million Series C round investment for consumer credit platform, Upgrade.

Calculating Spreads for Valuation, Competition & Opportunity in Unsecured Lending (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US stocks look set to enter the longest-ever bull market. The current bull market at 3,453 days since the low in March 2009 is now tied with the 1990-2000 bull market, and is on pace to exceed that target.

Competition – and Opportunity – in Unsecured Lending

Competition for personal loans is heating up. Mailings soliciting personal loan borrowers exceeded credit card mailings in six of the last seven months, even though the credit card industry is almost 6 times larger. Goldman Sach’s Marcus has been one of the new competitors having originated nearly $4 Bn in personal loans since their launch – approximately a $2 Bn annual run-rate – smaller than Lending Club and others, and likely tempering their ambitions due to late-cycle credit conditions. Marcus recently launched in the UK with personal loans and savings accounts.

Source: PeerIQ and TransUnion
Source: PeerIQ and TransUnion

Valuation Framework

The price of a loan is the present value of the loan’s future cashflows (after accounting for losses and prepayments), discounted by an appropriate discount rate:

Source: PeerIQ

Calculating the Spread at Origination

The SATO is a zero-volatility spread over the benchmark swap curve that equates the present value of the cashflows to the market-observed price. Since the benchmark is considered a risk-free rate, SATO is effectively a credit spread due to the uncertainty of future cash flows.

Source: PeerIQ

Elevate Credit (ELVT) Issues Earnings Results (Fairfield Current) Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 30th. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by $0.02, MarketWatch Earningsreports. Elevate Credit had a return on equity of 12.68% and a net margin of 0.14%. The business had revenue of $184.38 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $186.46 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.5% on a year-over-year basis. Elevate Credit updated its FY18 guidance to $0.55-0.90 EPS.

Lenders Shunned Risky Personal Loans. Now They’re Competing for Them. (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

Lenders are stepping up offers of consumer loans with few strings attached, often to individuals with poor credit histories they all but ignored in the years after the financial crisis.

The offers promise a way to help pay down other debts or fund home renovations or vacations, fueling concerns that customers could overextend themselves. “Take control of your finances,” says one mass mailing. “Your dream can come true,” says another.

American Express Co. , Goldman Sachs Group Inc., GS -0.52% LendingClub Corp. LC -1.54%and Social Finance Inc. are among those behind an onslaught of unsolicited mailings offering unsecured loans, known as personal loans, as large as $100,000. In the first half of this year, lenders mailed a record 1.26 billion solicitations for these loans, according to market-research firm Competiscan. The second quarter marked the first period that lenders mailed out more offers for personal loans than credit cards, a much bigger market, according to research firm Mintel Comperemedia.

The sophisticated algorithms behind peer-to-peer money lending (Silicon Angle) Rated: AAA

One of the companies that has capitalized on growing consumer interest in P2P is LendingClub Inc. The company has issued $38 billion in loans since its founding in 2007, and the firm has built a sophisticated technology platform on which to evaluate risk and put investors and borrowers together.

LendingMatch is essentially the firm’s secret sauce. The system relies on algorithms that can weigh a number of key factors, including an investor’s risk tolerance and the borrower’s credit score, to determine a suitable match. Other factors include geography, education and connectedness within social networks.

2018 Supermoney Mortgage Industry Study (SuperMoney) Rated: AAA

It’s no surprise FinTech lenders are disrupting the mortgage industry In 2017, the top lender in the United States was Quicken Loans with $25.1 billion. The second largest loan issuer was Wells Fargo. FinTech lenders process mortgage applications faster (10 days as opposed to 50 days). They also have lower default rates — 25% lower (source). FinTech lenders also tend to be more agile and flexible when it comes to adapting to changing financial circumstances.

What is the size of the U.S. Housing Market?

If you combine mortgage debt and housing equity you get a total value of $25.1 trillion, which is nearly $2.5 trillion more than its previous peak in 2006.

Source SmartMoney

See the full report here.

At Marlette Funding, CEO Jeffrey Meiler a ‘straight shooter’ with a sense of humor (Delaware Online) Rated: A

Jeffrey Meiler founded Marlette Funding in 2013. The CEO calls himself the company’s “first employee.”

Five years later, there’s more than 300 of those. Its quick growth, and Meiler’s drive in heading the Fairfax-based lender known for its brand Best Egg resulted in a Top Workplaces award for leadership at the mid-size company level.

Marlette Funding as a whole placed second overall among mid-size companies as the best place to work.

Alternative Lenders to Gain Greater Predictive Power with TransUnion CreditVision Link Short-Term Risk Score (Transunion) Rated: A

The opportunity for alternative credit and small dollar loans remains high with a market size that approaches $40 billion annually. To help these lenders better segment risk in an increasingly competitive market, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) introduced today the CreditVision Link Short-Term Risk Score.

This new predictive risk scoring model, tailor-made for alternative lenders, combines traditional and alternative data to offer a holistic picture of consumers. Information about the benefits of this new risk score will be highlighted during TransUnion’s webinar, Alternative Loan Insights with TransUnion Risk Scores, scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT on August 30.

Unity Bank streamlines lending processes with Finastra (Finastra) Rated: B

Unity Bank, whose holding company is based in Augusta Wisconsin, and which has branches in Minnesota, has selected Finastra’s Total Lending solution to streamline its commercial lending and consumer lending processes, including its agricultural lending business.

United Kingdom

UK’s biggest payday lender Wonga ‘on the brink of collapse’ (The Guardian) Rated: AAA

Britain’s biggest payday lender, Wonga, is teetering on the brink of collapse following a surge of customer compensation claims in recent weeks that could cause it to call in administrators.

The short-term loan provider has reportedly lined up accountancy firm Grant Thornton to handle a potential administration of the company should its board believe it is unable to avoid falling into insolvency. The report from Sky News said Wonga could appoint Grant Thornton as soon as this week.

Overfunding: P2P Lender Welendus Secures £850,000 Funding Target Through Latest Seedrs Round (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Just a little over a week after launching its latest equity crowdfunding round on SeedrsShort-term peer-to-peer lending platform Welendus has successfully secured its initial £850,000 funding target. Founded in 2015, Welendus seeks to redefine the short-term lending market by launching a peer-to-peer short-term lending platform to help customers with short-term financial needs.

Assetz Capital supports construction of 517 homes during summer (Development Finance Today) Rated: B

This announcement was in addition to the P2P lender reporting a surging interest from business owners and developers in the last two months, which saw it fund over £60m to SMEs.

In May, Assetz Capital revealed that it had lent over £500m since its inception in 2013, which has now increased to £590m, up 18% in less than three months.

In order to fulfil the influx of enquiries, Assetz Capital has appointed six more regional relationship directors in 2018, bringing the total to 26, and has also hired four senior relationship managers across the UK.

Victory Park Capital fund continues strong performance (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

VICTORY Park Capital Specialty Lending (VSL) is expecting to recommence payment of performance fees to its investment manager in the coming months, after an improvement in net asset value (NAV) returns.

In its latest monthly report, released on Friday, the alternative finance-focused fund reported a total NAV return of 1.15 per cent in July.

In May, VSL posted a record NAV return of 1.03 per cent – the highest figure since its fruition in March 2015 – and has now posted NAV returns above one per cent for three consecutive months.

China

Here’s what to expect from Yirendai’s earnings report (Markets Insider) Rated: AAA

Yirendai will report Q2 earnings on August 28.

5 analysts are forecasting earnings of $0.779 per share compared to earnings of $0.663 per share in the same quarter of the previous year.

Analysts expect Yirendai to report sales of $256.2 million, an increase of 45.52% over the same period last year.

Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Lending Gains Popularity in China (Coin Geek) Rated: A

At the same time that China is putting pressure on the crypto industry, peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency lending continues to gain in popularity. According to local media outlet Sohu, more and more crypto lending platforms are popping up, but their livelihood could ultimately be cut short because of tightened regulations in the country.

One source close to the activity is a crypto veteran, Zhang Le. He told the media outlet, “At present, most of the market only recognizes two major currencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. This business is currently earning interest.” Another individual, Xu Lizhen, pointed out that those lending crypto are generally long-term holders who have no interest in trading on the markets. He added, “This is just the need. When the currency is low, people who are speculating in the currency will definitely not be willing to sell the coins. Once they are short of money, they must find such platforms. The demand has formed this market.”

International

Crowdfunder Indiegogo allows companies to sell security tokens (Coin Geek) Rated: AAA

Crowdfunding giant Indiegogo has expanded its cryptocurrency operations to make room for security tokens. This comes less than a year after the company started offering tokens on its platform last December.

According to Crowdfund Insider, Indiegogo’s first security token offering (STO) is already available on the platform. The STO is from a luxurious ski resort, St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, Colorado. According to reports, Indiegogo will only allow accredited investors to purchase the resort’s Aspen Coins, which will be offered by a real estate investment trust (REIT) called Aspen Digital.

What are the Possible Advantages of Blockchain Technology in P2P Lending? (Financial Report 24) Rated: A

With smart contracts, ownership can be attested and linked to the terms of a specific contract. Smart contracts are kept on the blockchain and performed automatically as a part of the transaction. For instance, the XDC blockchain is constructed upon Quorum. The power smart contract functionality which exists in the Ethereum protocol is accessible easily via Quorum. XinFin created a smart contract manager which enables for interoperability between the public blockchains and XDC blockchain. The platform included punitive smart contracts which link to the QuorumChain consensus smart contracts to guarantee those who stake at XDCs to operate network infrastructure remain truthful.

European Union

TRAXION’s Blockchain Technology to help in building one Mindanao (Davao Today) Rated: A

A transaction management company that specializes in blockchain technology believes that Mindanao will be a good place to implement this kind of technology by connecting large business companies to micro entrepreneurs to create one economic force.

Statistics shows that one of the reasons why a typical farmer refuses to open a bank account is because they only wear slippers. “It sounds absurd but is the truth. Most of the indigenous people in this region doesn’t have their own identities so they have the tendency to change their names if they want to. They are prone to abuses because of this,” she said.

India

List of top 10 P2P lending startups in India (The Indian Wire) Rated: AAA

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the fintech space has witnessed an explosive growth in the recent years and digital lending industry is expected to touch $1 trillion over the next five years.

Here is a comprehensive list of top 10 P2P lending startups in India:

Faircent – It last raised $4 million in a series B funding from Muthoot Fincorp and Incofin Investment Management in December 2017.

Lendingkart – The startup had last secured ₹300 crores in debt funding Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC and others in August 2018.

Finzy – It provides a digital platform to facilitate quick, easy and secure loans at personalized rates based on borrowers capabilities.

NBFCs to see up to 35-40% rise in hiring in next 1 yr, say experts (Times of India) Rated: A

Hiring activity in the non-banking financial companies (NBFC) sector is likely to expand by up to 35-40 per cent in the next 12 months driven by rising innovation and growth, according to industry experts.

The ability of NBFCs to tap ‘unbanked’ customer base at a time when the banks are facing headwinds in coming out of the NPA mess is driving the growth in the sector, they explained.

Experts see increased hiring in tier-II cities for roles in sales, collection underwriting and risk.

Fintech startup Shubh Loans raises $ 4.2m from Saama Capital, others (Deal Street Asia) Rated: A

Datasigns Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs fintech lending platform Shubh Loans, has raised $4.2 million in an investment led by venture capital firm Saama Capital, said Monish Anand, founder of Shubh Loans. Shubh Loans’ existing investors—SRI Capital, Beenext and Pravega Ventures—also participated in the round. The fintech startup had raised $1.6 million from these investors in September 2017.

Asia

Partnerships pushing Pi Pay to next level (Southeast Asia Globe) Rated: A

The main partnership, with its growing customer base, has seen the Pi Pay app downloaded 270,000 times in the last year with close to US$100 million in transactions processed through the app.

Partnerships with merchants mean Pi Pay can be used in over 2,100 locations across Cambodia, with new partners being added every day.

Partnerships with overseas fintech giants like Alipay and WeChat have opened up new possibilities for Pi Pay merchants to service the growing number of Chinese visitors to the Kingdom.

OJK issues regulation on financial technology (The Jakarta Post) Rated: A

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has issued a regulation on financial technology (fintech), which is more comprehensive than a prevailing regulation that only regulates peer-to-peer lending.

The regulation, issued on Aug. 15, consists of 45 articles that cover innovation in digital technology for the financial sector, kontan.co.id reported on Friday.

The regulation covers a number of issues such as transaction settlement that relates to investment, while for fund-raising, the regulation covers equity crowdfunding, virtual exchange, smart contract and alternative due diligence.

Africa

Kenyan fintech lender gets Sh45m grant (Business Daily) Rated: AAA

Kenya-based financier Lendable has secured a Sh45 million convertible grant from Dutch Development Bank (FMO) that will go into funding alternative lenders set up across the region.

Lendable, a fintech platform for unconventional lenders, operates in microfinance and other pay-as-you go services including energy.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 21 2018, Daily News Digest

fintechs

News Comments Today’s main news: Mike Cagney’s Figure is out of stealth. CommonBond raises $50M. Airbnb features RealtyShares as multifamily financing solution. Monzo hits 500K current accounts. LexinFintech falls short on Q4 earnings. N26 raises $160M. Today’s main analysis: Mortgage Rate Competition Index widens. Today’s thought-provoking articles: The death of cash could be overstated. The most popular cities for millennial homebuyers. The […]

fintechs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

Ex-SoFi CEO Mike Cagney’s new startup, Figure, is out of stealth (Fast Company), Rated: AAA

SoFi cofounder Mike Cagney, who resigned as CEO last year, has been quietly working on a new project involving home improvement financing and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for the last several months. Now, that project is out of stealth, with a live website: Figure.com.

According to Cagney’s LinkedIn profile, the startup plans to leverage blockchain-based technology and AI “to unlock new access points for consumer credit products that can transform the financial lives of our customers.”

The death of cash might be overstated (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The decline of cash in the US might be exaggerated, according to Cardtronics and PYMNTS’ Global Cash Index (GCI).

Cash still sees healthy usage in the US: The share of cash in 2016 accounted for 12.6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and the study forecasts that it will account for 11.2% of the US GDP by 2021.

Here are three factors that might contribute to the endurance of cash in the US:

Source Business Insider

Cash persists for low-value transactions. Nearly two-thirds of US consumers said they prefer to rely on cash for purchases of $10 or less. That could be partly because it’s expensive for merchants to accept card payments, which leads to card transaction minimums that encourage cash usage for these purchases. This could help keep cash alive in consumers’ day-to-day lives.

Des Moines, Pittsburgh and Buffalo Among Most Popular Cities for Millennial Homebuyers (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree has released the findings of its study on the most popular cities for millennial homebuyers.

Young homebuyers are at the forefront of an increasing number of buyers returning to the housing market. The largest single-age population in the U.S. is 27-year-olds at almost 4.8 million, suggesting that millennials’ influence on the housing market has years to run before it peaks.

Millennial homebuyers make up one-third of mortgage requests. 32.5 percent of all mortgage requests through LendingTree between Feb. 1, 2017 and Feb. 1, 2018 came from consumers 35 years and younger. The average loan amount requested from this age group is $166,863.

Where millennials aren’t vying for homeownership. At the other end of the scale, Sarasota, Fla.Fort Myers Fla. and Honolulu had lowest shares of millennial buyers at 17.9 percent, 19.8 percent and 21.8 percent respectively.

Source: Lending Tree

CommonBond Secures $ 50M Series D Equity Round, Led by Fifth Third Bancorp (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

CommonBond, a leading financial technology company that empowers students and graduates to pay for higher education, today announced a $50M Series D financing round.

Fifth Third Capital Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fifth Third BancorpFITB, -0.69% led the round, with First Republic Bank FRC, -0.49% and Columbia Seligman Investments also participating, in addition to existing investors including Neuberger Berman, August Capital, and Nyca Partners. Individual investors in CommonBond include Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup, and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters. This latest round brings CommonBond’s total funding raised to over $130M. CommonBond will use this new funding to accelerate its growth and invest further in technology.

Airbnb Features RealtyShares as First Multifamily Financing Solution (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for commercial real estate investing, today announced it is featured by Airbnb as a financing resource in its Multifamily Properties Toolkit, a website that gives owners, operators and developers of multifamily buildings resources to support long-term tenants who wish to share their space with travelers. RealtyShares provides experienced multifamily building owners and operators financing to buy, refinance, and renovate their buildings.

Landlords can now manage Airbnb activity in their buildings and share in the additional rental income with the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program. As a result, multifamily property owners have become increasingly interested in helping their tenants improve and share their space on Airbnb.

OnDeck Appoints Kenneth Brause As New Chief Financial Officer (Crowfund Insider), Rated: A

Online lending platform for small businesses OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK) announced it has appointed Kenneth Brause as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective March 26th, as part of a mutually agreed upon transition process. The lender reported that current Chief Financial Officer, Howard Katzenberg. Katzenberg will serve as an advisor to OnDeck until April 13th, working closely with Brause to facilitate a smooth transition.

According to OnDeck, Brause brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to the lender’s team.

 

 

Average Cost of College Statistics for 2018 (Lend EDU), Rated: AAA

No matter whether you attend a public or private school, or whether you attend a 2-year or 4-year college, you can expect to pay more than those who attended before you.

By checking out the graph to the right (which does​ not account for inflation) you can see that in the past 20 years, tuition at all types of colleges has more than doubled, and in some cases has more than tripled.

Source: Lend EDU

Though the graph does not account for inflation, the rate of tuition increase has greatly outpaced the inflation rate – by at least 3 times for most school types.

The following is the average cost-of-attendance for the 2017-18 school year by school type including tuition & fees, room & board, books & supplies, transportation, and any other expenses.

  • Private 4-Year Not-for-Profit: $50,900   
  • Public 4-Year Out-of-State: $40,940  
  • Public 4-Year In-State: $25,290  
  • Public 2-Year In-District:​ $17,580   
  • Private For-Profit: $16,000 (tuition only)
Source: Lend EDU
Source: Lend EDU

 

Mortgage Rate Competition Index Widens (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

  • Homebuyers could have seen median savings of $27,980 by comparison shopping for the best mortgage rates last week, up 4.5% from the prior week.
  • This week’s Mortgage Rate Competition Index was 0.60 for purchase mortgages, up 0.15 from a year ago, and up 0.02 from last week. The Index measures the median spread between the highest and lowest APR available on the LendingTree platform.

Purchase loans

  • Across all purchase loan applications on LendingTree for the week ending March 18, 2018, the index was 0.60, up 0.02 from the previous week.
  • How big of a deal is it to nab a mortgage rate that’s 0.60% lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $27,980 in savings on a $300,000 loan
Source: Lending Tree

Mortgage fintech company completes capital raise (National Mortage News), Rated: B

Home Captain, a fintech company that looks to increase mortgage-lead conversion rates, completed a Series A financing round led by Spring Mountain Capital.

Spring Mountain joined Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors, as an institutional investor in Home Captain, which pairs prequalified homebuyers with real estate agents.

Ken Rees, CEO of Elevate, to Speak at LendIt Fintech Conference (Business Wire), Rated: A

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, announced today that their Chief Executive Officer, Ken Rees, will address the audience at LendIt Fintech 2018 along with CNBC’s Ari Levy.

Rees will be joined by Levy, senior technology reporter at CNBC, who will lead the discussion through a variety of themes, including:

  • How banks and fintech companies can partner to take advantage of the opportunity in non-prime lending
  • What it takes to build winning products for non-prime consumers
  • Predictions for the biggest areas of innovation in non-prime lending in 2018 and beyond

Covr Financial Technologies announces Michael Kalen as Chief Executive Officer (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Michael Kalen has joined Covr Financial Technologies, a digital, multi-carrier life insurance platform for financial institutions, as its chief executive officer, Covr Board Chairman Brian Finn announced.

U.S. Online Merchants Believe Instant Financing Will Drive Increased Sales (PNY), Rated: A

Online merchants in the U.S. are increasingly recognizing the importance of offering instant financing to shoppers, according to a new online e-commerce survey. Nearly two-thirds of retailers polled (64 percent) believe providing online financing options through their store is important to driving new and increased sales. Forty-six percent indicate it would decrease cart abandonment still one of the most critical challenges for online retailers today.

The survey was released here by Klarna, a leading global payments provider, at Shoptalk in Las Vegas.

Franklin Resources to Acquihire Random Forest Capital (Street Insider), Rated: B

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), which operates as Franklin Templeton Investments, today announced the acquisition of Random Forest Capital, LLC (“Random Forest”), an investment firm with expertise in data science and non-bank marketplace lending. Following the acquisition, the Random Forest team will join the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group investment team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

New Florida law will loosen small-dollar lending rules (American Banker), Rated: B

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Monday that will loosen the state’s rules for small-dollar consumer lending.

The law, which sailed through both houses of the Florida Legislature, authorizes 60- to 90-day loans of up to $1,000, while continuing to allow 30-day payday loans.

United Kingdom

Monzo Milestone: Challenger Bank Hits Half A Million Current Accounts (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Monday, UK-based challenger bank Monzo announced it has achieved half a million current accounts. The company launched its current accounts in October last year and since then, thousands of users have upgraded their accounts or signed up to start using Monzo’s banking products.

Monzo also reported that it will close the prepaid Beta on April 4th, so if users have not upgraded, their card will stop working and they won’t be able to use your Monzo app to make or receive payments.

Welendus goes live with interest-free loan offer (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER payday lender Welendus has launched its first product, offering borrowers an interest-free loan if the debt is repaid in one day.

Individuals can borrow up to £500 using the new facility, which is aimed at those faced with unexpected or emergency bills, Welendus said. The borrower does not have to pay any interest if they pay the loan back within 24 hours.

There are no early repayment fees and borrowers can get a decision within five minutes.

Investors will receive returns ranging between five and 15 per cent to fund the loans.

Fintech referral platform bags series A fundraise (AltFiNews), Rated: A

Funding Xchange, one of a handful of platforms designated by HM Treasury to refer businesses declined credit by the banks to other sources of funding, has closed a £1.5m series A round.

The round was led by Calibrate Management Ltd and Kimera. The money will be used to continue the development of Funding Xchange’s automated decisioning technology, as well as for the incorporation of live transactional data sources.

Inflation finally falls but still beats savings returns (Peer2Peer Finance), Rated: A

INFLATION hit a seven-month low last month but there is little sign of respite for interest-starved savers as ISA season approaches, figures show.

Official for National Statistics (ONS) data shows consumer price inflation (CPI) grew by 2.7 per cent in February, finally falling from its five-year high of three per cent but still above the Bank of England’s two per cent target.

 

“But still, with inflation sitting at 2.7 per cent, savers’ cash is being eroded in real terms. In comparison to last year, savers would have found it difficult to get one per cent on an easy access ISA.”

Senior RBS fintech investment banker re-emerges at startup (Financial News), Rated: B

A former Royal Bank of Scotland investment banker, who led its coverage of fintech deals, has quit his private equity job after just five months to join a peer-to-peer lending startup staffed by former Goldman Sachs and HSBC analysts.

Rory McHugh, a former managing director at RBS, has joined Lendable, a UK-focused personal loans platform. Set up in 2014, the firm offers loans of up to £20,000 and raised £300m to lend to new customers in November.

Be a venture capitalist with an Innovative Finance Isa (The Times), Rated: A

Compared with cash Isas, Ifisas are as much a high-risk option as any loan that is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means that lenders cannot seek money from P2P borrowers that are unwilling or unable to pay money owed, whereas the scheme protects savings and investments offered by FSCS-authorised banks and other companies.

Source: The Times

There are more than 30 providers jostling for space and support from subscribers, with typical rates of return of between 3 and 7 per cent, as well as some offering up to 16 per cent. The interest rates on offer comfortably outstrip the 2 to 3 per cent attached to cash Isas. See our table, below, for a range of Ifisas presently available to new customers.

FCA calls for global effort to speed up fintech growth (NAI500), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has called for the creation of a global alliance of regulators that would encourage growth in fintech by allowing companies to test new products without going through a full approval process.

Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London, Mr Woolard said expanding such a programme internationally would be “an immense undertaking”, but said “we’re up for the challenge”, having already seen “lots of interest” from other regulators.

China

Hot Chinese IPO LexinFintech Falls Short On Q4 Earnings, Revenue (Investors Business Daily), Rated: AAA

LexinFintech (LX) reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue as the Chinese online lender issued its first quarterly report since its December IPO.

LexinFintech earned 4 cents per U.S. share diluted on revenue of $244.95 million. Analysts had expected EPS of 13 cents on revenue of $279.7 million, according to Yahoo Finance.

Shares tumbled 12.4% to close at 15.98 on the stock market today after rallying 5.3% on Monday to 18.25.

Loan originations rose 115% vs. a year, customer balances swelled 95% and registered users 99%. Acquisition costs per customer fell 22%.

Dow Jones Leads Morning Rally, But This FANG Stock Falls Further (Investors Business Daily), Rated: A

IPO Leader LexinFintech (LX) fell over 8% after the Chinese online lender reported weaker-than-expected Q4 earnings and sales results. The new issue has been volatile after a short-lived breakout above an 18.39 IPO-base entry on March 9. Just days later, the stock would trigger the 7%-8% sell signal before rebounding.

Golden Bull Limited Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Golden Bull Limited (“Golden Bull” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: DNJR), an online finance marketplace that connects individual lenders with individual and small business borrowers, today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 1,550,000 ordinary shares at a public offering price of $4.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately $6.2 million before underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. In addition, Golden Bull has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 232,500 common shares at the public offering price, less underwriting discount and commissions.

 

European Union

The challenger bank N26 raises $ 160M ahead of U.S. launch (American Banker), Rated: AAA

The mobile-first bank N26 in Berlin has raised $160 million in preparation for its launch of a challenger bank in the United States.

All told, N26 has raised $215 million. Previous investors have included Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures.

Part of the $160 million will be used on product development for the existing offering in Europe, according to U.S. CEO Nicolas Kopp. The rest — and he would not say how much this is — will be used for international expansion, most immediately into the U.K. and U.S. markets.

Swedish banks risk losing tens of billions of euros to fintech startups – here are the ones leading the charge (Business Insider), Rated: A

On Monday, the startup Enkla launched, causing a stir in the market. Their interest rate of 0,95 percent is well below the banks’ average interest rates and according to their CEO, Alexander Widegren, Enkla received about 2 billion euros (SEK 20 billion) in applications their first day, Di Digital reported.

Enklas goal is set to lend out 10 billion euros within 18 months.

The four largest Swedish banks, SEB, Nordea, Handelsbanken and Swedbank – which have a combined 75 percent share of the country’s mortgage market – all had a rough day on the stock market on Monday, which may have been caused in part by the emerging threat.

Australia

Australian SMEs favor alternate lending to fund business (Enterprise Innovation), Rated: AAA

Australian small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are turning to non-banks to secure funding for their business. The latest issue of the Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index revealed that, between 2014 and 2018, the proportion of SMEs intending to use banks for funding has dropped from 38% to 24%. It also found that non-bank funding is now the first option for 22% of SMEs, up from 11% in 2014.

Moreover the report noted that 47.6% of SMEs, who have not used any non-banking lending options in the last 12 months, would be interested in using these options in the future.

There is an estimate 2.1 million SME businesses in Australia employing more than 7.3 million people or about 68% of Australia’s overall workforce.

Source: Enterprise Innovation

FinTechs To Surpass Banks As Aussie SMBs’ Top Finance Choice (PYMNTS), Rated: A

The “Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index,” released twice a year, found the portion of small businesses that said they would use banks for funding declined from 38 percent in 2014 to 24 percent in 2018.

Nearly half (47.6 percent) of SMBs that said they never used a non-bank to access financing said they would be interested in doing so in the future.

Asia

PT INVESTREE Radhika Jaya (Investree), a pioneer peer-to-peer lending (P2P) marketplace in Indonesia, is eyeing to close its Series B funding by the first half quarter of this year.

The company received an undisclosed amount of funding from Kejora Ventures in June 2016.

Investree has facilitated 600 billion rupiah (US$45 million) in loans to 330 SMEs, with 16,000 registered lenders, 5,000 active lenders between 21 to 40 years of age and has a return rate of 16.6% with no defaults.

In terms of business growth, Investree has seen 14% to 15% growth in revenue since 2016.

 

Latin America

Alipay breaks ground in Mexico (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Alipay, the world’s leading digital payments platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, today announced that it is further expanding its footprint in the Americas through a partnership with Openpay in Mexico.

Now, Alipay’s more than 600 million active users in China will be able to use Alipay to make purchases from Openpay’s affiliated businesses in Mexico. Alipay is China’s leading payment provider and the primary means of online and mobile payment for Chinese consumers.

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

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Egypt

Canada

South America

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

Tuesday November 28 2017, Daily News Digest

interest rate and value of loans

News Comments Today’s main news: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to sue Santander. Welendus surpasses 150K GBP fundraising target. Klarna’s profits increase. The CFPB leadership fight migrates to email. Chinese regulator looks at online lender custodian banks. ETHLend, Brickblock partner on blockchain lending. Today’s main analysis: Everything you need to know about the P2P lending market in New Zealand. Today’s […]

interest rate and value of loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

India

Asia

Africa

News Summary

United States

CFPB Set To Sue Santander Over Auto Protection Product (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  is gearing up to sue Spain-based Santander Bank, claiming the bank has overcharged its car loan customers.

Citing sources familiar with the CFPB’s plans, Reuters reported that the CFPB suit could happen as soon as Monday (Nov. 27). The lawsuit is focused on Santander’s guaranteed auto protection financial product that protects car buyers from a portion of the cost if there is a serious crash.

Auto lending is big business for Santander, representing $38.5 billion of the bank holding company’s $137 billion in assets.

Cards, Bank Loans And AltFin Easing SMBs’ Search For Financing (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

New reports from Biz2Credit, Reliant Funding and Mercator take a look at how small businesses are accessing external financing towards the end of the year as the holiday rush descends.

25 percent of SMB loan applications at large banks were approved in October, according to the latest research from Biz2Credit. That means large banks (with $10 billion-plus in assets) have boosted their SMB loan approval rates to a new post-recession high, researchers said.

56.8 percent of SMB loan applications were approved by alternative lenders, according to Biz2Credit.

12 percent of SMB owners told Reliant Funding they are aware of alternative lending and have used it. Nearly half said they are at least familiar with alternative lending. 39 percent of SMB owners told Reliant that they have never even heard of alternative lending.

42 percent of SMBs that use alternative finance say they use it to buy inventory, while more than one-fifth said they use it to replace or buy new equipment. One-fifth also said they use it for marketing initiatives, Reliant Funding found.

Workers Get Faster Access to Wages With These New Apps (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Uber Technologies Inc., McDonald’s Corp. and Bloomin’ Brands Inc.’sOutback Steakhouse are among a growing group of employers giving workers near-instant access to their wages through payday apps.

New tools that allow people to spend the money they just earned have provided some workers an alternative to short-term, high-interest loans, say the technology startups offering the services. The payment plan also can boost employee attendance and tenure, managers say.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Daily payments could help some workers smooth out the financial volatility of fluctuating work schedules and income, economists say.

Mulvaney Shows Up For Work At Consumer Watchdog Group, As Leadership Feud Deepens (NPR), Rated: A

President Trump’s pick to lead the consumer watchdog, Mick Mulvaney, arrived at the office early Monday morning with a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts in hand. Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, is the acting director of the group until Trump can get a permanent leader through the Senate confirmation process — at least, according to the Trump administration.

But the former head of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, appointed Leandra English to lead the group following his departure. English has since filed a complaint in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., to block the Trump administration’s rival appointment.

On Monday morning, English was communicating with CFPB staff through an all-staff email — a Thanksgiving message expressing gratitude and saying it was an “honor” to work with her colleagues.

Mulvaney, meanwhile, sent a competing all-staff, advising staff to “please disregard” messages from English in her “presumed capacity as Acting Director.”

Picking the best gift card this holiday season (Consumer Affairs), Rated: A

Online student loan marketplace LendEDU has ranked the best gift cards, pointing out the attributes that make one gift card a better choice than another.

According to LendEDU, roughly $1 billion in gift cards sold last year were not redeemed.

“The most important question to consider when buying a gift card is this: Is it versatile?” he told ConsumerAffairs.

Another important consideration, Brown says, is a gift card’s resale value. The recipient might rather sell the card for cash on one of the many gift card exchanges. The most popular gift cards often sell for 80 to 90 cents on the dollar, while less popular cards can go for half their face value or less.

A LendEDU poll of consumers found that 78.7 percent of consumers plan on giving at least one gift card this holiday season and 75.6 percent of consumers would rather receive a gift card than an actual gift.

Immigrant lending clubs provide capital, at a cost (Marketplace.org), Rated: A

When Chinese immigrants in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park have problems — legal, financial, marital — they come to see John Chan.

Lately, they’ve been coming to John Chan about money — specifically the collapse of informal lending clubs known as “biao hui.”

Biao hui are essentially informal banks made up of immigrants lending money to each other. A group — in China, this would traditionally be a group of close friends or relatives —gets together and throws money in the pot. One person acts as the organizer or banker and the money is then lent out on a rotating basis, with varying interest rates depending on how much money is needed, and when a person needs it.

But in New York City this year, two  biao hui worth a combined $22 million collapsed.

MERTON ON FINTECH, RETIREMENT, MORE (Top 1000 Funds), Rated: B

“Fintech will do a lot of good things, and help us, but it won’t do many of the things people are talking about, or it’s not going to do them well.”

United Kingdom

Short Term P2P Lender Welendus Surpasses £150,000 Funding Target Through Latest Seedrs Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Less than a week after launching its latest equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, short-term peer-to-peer lending platform Welendus has successfully secured its initial 150,000 funding target from more than 100 investors. 

One in five save less because they can’t get advice (FT Adviser), Rated: AAA

More than one in five are saving or investing less because they cannot access advice on how to handle their money, research for the Nottingham Building Society has suggested.

The study found 21 per cent of adults believe they are not saving as much as they could and would be able to put away an extra £134 a month on average if they could get financial advice – the equivalent of more than £1,600 or three weeks’ average earnings before tax.

The research showed younger savers and investors were affected most by this, with nearly one in three (30 per cent) of under-35s believing they were not saving enough because of a lack of advice compared with just 12 per cent of over-55s.

P2P Lender Lendable Signs £300 Million Loan Deal With Castle Trust (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform Lendable has entered into £300 million loan deal with investment and mortgage firm Castle Trust.

According to AltFi, the agreement with Lendable is Castle Trust’s second major transaction in the alternative finance industry this year.

City veterans aim for ‘Google of finance’ with new digital bank (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Three senior City bankers are masterminding the launch of a new digital bank focused on shaking up the UK savings market.

The trio is led by Huy Nguyen Trieu, a fintech entrepreneur who led a capital markets team at US bank Citi in London until quitting last summer. He is working on the project with his former colleague Lionel Durix, who remains in a senior Citi role, and Paul Hanks, the former chief technology officer of UK digital bank Atom.

They plan to launch a mobile savings app that uses artificial intelligence to give savers tailored advice and offers “risk-free” products such as Isas and high interest rate savings accounts to help them reach their financial goals.

Open Banking Will Unlock the Door for Digital-Only Banks (AltFi), Rated: A

Yet in parallel to this, there is a growing cohort of digital-only banks that are bucking the trend – the most famous of which include MonzoAtom Bank and Starling Bank. Not only do they have different client service delivery models, they have cultivated a customer base that is highly supportive and engaged.

But while Monzo has acquired over 400,000 customers for its pre-paid card since 2015, as Barclays has seen over 142,000 customers switch from its current account over a similar period – digital-only banks still remain relatively unknown.

Yet Open Banking – set to launch on January 13th – stands to change this.

Addressing the housing shortage is not someone else’s problem (Mortgage Strategy), Rated: A

Last September we launched our first LendInvest Property Development Academy. A year on, it’s fair to say that the response has been overwhelming.

For too long, the housebuilding crisis has been someone else’s problem. It’s been up to the big builders to get on with, or whichever ambitious politician has been handed the housing brief this week. And let’s be honest, that strategy has been an abject failure, lacking in direction and impetus.

No, if we are going to tackle the shortage of homes across the UK, we need to recognise that it is something we can all play a part in. So if the big builders on their own are unable to build the homes the nation needs, we must do more to cultivate a generation of smaller builders, taking on more modest but no less meaningful projects. A wider source of housing developers will inevitably mean more homes are built.

London’s Startups Stress Out Over Brexit—and Ping Pong (Bloomberg), Rated: A

For all of the cheer and hip-hop thumping throughout the hall, there was an unmistakable undercurrent of anxiety this year as London’s tech community reckoned with the coming of Brexit.

“It isn’t just that we’re at risk of losing our engineering talent,” Meekings said, half-joking. “We might lose our ping-pong stars as well.”

More than 30 percent of Funding Circle’s London employees are non-British EU nationals. Ever since the company was founded in 2010, many have gravitated to the ping-pong table that co-founder Samir Desai set up in its lobby, next to a cabinet that has steadily filled up with trophies. Funding Circle is one of four companies Bloomberg is following through the Brexit process.

The deals showed that even as Brexit dents the U.K. economy, the fledgling online-lending industry continues to grow. In the third quarter, Funding Circle arranged 114 million pounds in net lending to its borrowers. That surpassed comparable loans by U.K. banks, on a combined basis, for the first time.

China

Regulator Assessing Custodian Banks for Online Lenders (Caixin), Rated: AAA

A national inspection team, led by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), has recently asked local authorities that supervise online lending to assess commercial banks appointed by P2P platforms to provide custodian services for investors’ funds, multiple bank employees told Caixin.

Credit information platform will lift safeguards (China Daily), Rated: A

The National Internet Finance Association of China recently passed a resolution to jointly launch a personal credit information platform with eight third-party credit service agencies.

The NIFA will hold a 36 percent stake in the forthcoming platform, which is expected to have registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($152 million), and it will invest no more than 360 million yuan in the platform within five years.

The platform will mainly serve online personal lending institutions, in addition to other market players including traditional commercial banks, regulators and third-party credit service agencies.

Chinese Online Lender’s IPO On Shaky Ground (PYMNTS), Rated: A

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd., operator of China’s leading online lender Fenqile, was slated to meet with advisers over the weekend to decide if it will go ahead with a proposed initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg reports, the company is expected to decide soon if it should launch a roadshow for its IPO or wait until a later time to go public.

European Union

Swedish payment services firm Klarna posts profit rise (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Swedish online payment services firm Klarna, one of Europe’s highest-valued tech startups, on Monday reported sharply higher revenues and earnings for the first nine months of 2017.

Klarna said in a statement its sales rose 24 percent year-on-year to 3.16 billion Swedish crowns ($382 million) in January through September while net earnings climbed 75 percent to 349 million.

New EU rules increases competition and security between banks and fintech (Independent), Rated: A

The European Commission approved rules on Monday to increase competition and toughen up security in how people pay for goods and services across the European Union, pitting banks against financial technology firms.

The rules flesh out an update to the bloc’s payment services law and are among the most disputed in recent financial regulation, sparking intense lobbying as banks and fintech firms clashed over access to customer data.

The revised law comes into force on 13 January, though some of the security elements approved on Monday won’t be binding until September 2019 to give banks and fintech firms time to adjust.

Irish P2P Flender Close to Raising Over €2 Million Through Latest Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Irish peer-to-peer lender Flender has reported attracted close to more than €2 million through its latest funding round. This news comes less than a year after the lending platform secured £501,700 through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.

International

ETHLend and Brickblock team up for lending on the blockchain (Finextra), Rated: AAA

ETHLend and Brickblock are announcing a strategic partnership to explore the possibilities of lending with Blockchain technology.

A primary focus will be on the tokenization of assets to simplify lending and bring secure real-world assets into the lending procedure as collateral.

The application is ideal for token holders who are in need for liquidity and those who want to participate in a free lending market. Instead of selling and closing a token position, a borrower can easily pledge digital tokens to receive Ether. Moreover, ETHLend is introducing token lending, which enables profiting from down market by enabling short selling market.

Tokenizing real-world assets such as real estate achieves three disruptive objectives:

  1. A strong collateral that can be expected to keep its value for a short-medium time period.
  2. An opportunity for people to collateralise their property with Brickblock, and then using it to secure their loan.
  3. New investment opportunities for downside market by enabling short selling for tokenized real assets.
Australia/New Zealand

Everything you need to know about the P2P lending market (Interest), Rated: AAA

Nearly nine in every 100 loans written through New Zealand’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms are in arrears, according to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

Borrowers responsible for 1,469 loans, worth more than $20 million, are overdue on their loan repayments.

While the bulk of lenders are investing smaller amounts of money (IE under $5,000), 48 have lent an average of $1.54 million each. Totalling $73.84 million, this is equivalent to a quarter of the $289.10 million of loans outstanding (loans that were still within their specified term at the end of the reporting period).

Harmoney – the first P2P lender to launch in New Zealand in 2014 – is also the largest, with 83% of outstanding loans in the market written through its platform.

The FMA’s data also shows there are 207,230 borrowers registered with P2P platforms, 843 of which are repeat borrowers, who have repaid their loans and taken out new ones.

Source: Interest
Source: Interest

FMA publishes benchmark P2P lending, crowdfunding figures (Scoop), Rated: A

The figures show individuals took out $121 million of new loans in the year ended June 30 through P2P platforms and businesses borrowed $31.5 million with total loans outstanding at $259.6 million and $29.6 million respectively as at June 30. Meanwhile, crowdfunding platforms raised $74.2 million from retail and wholesale investors, with 34 successful offers out of 50 in the year.

The data show peer-to-peer lending still pales in significance to the established lending channels, with $10.89 billion personal consumer loans with banks as at Sept. 30 and a further $6.88 billion with non-bank lenders. Business loans with banks totalled $101.61 billion as at Sept. 30 and$4.59 billion with non-banks. Peer-to-peer lenders had 16,977 outstanding personal loans and 92 business loans as at June 30. In terms of asset quality, 1,469 P2P loans worth $20.4 million were in arrears, or 8.61 percent of total loans outstanding, while 833 loans worth $8.5 million were written off.

Fintech firm to undertake study into financial advice (SMSFAdviser), Rated: A

Fintech firm Valuiza will conduct an Australia-wide study of the state of financial planning by gathering feedback from existing clients of practices to measure their experience and intentions. It is currently inviting advice practices to participate in the study.

The data for the report will be collected during January and February next year with practices able to review the results in real time, he said. The results for individual practices will be confidential.

 (The Australian), Rated: B

Peer-to-peer lending platforms RateSetter and Bigstone both called for better disclosure of rates and fees, which are currently expressed in a variety of different ways by industry players. RateSetter chief executive Daniel Foggo said borrowers should be told the cost of the loan expressed as an annual …
India

Are You a Credit Risk? Indian Banks Dig Deep in Your Phone to Find Out (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Indian banks have started mining data on customers’ smartphones for fast loan approval, testing out cutting-edge but controversial technology in what is potentially a huge market for such products.

Long hampered from lending to the hundreds of millions of Indians without credit histories, banks are hoping to slash risk-assessment costs and trigger a new wave of consumer lending with apps that look at everything from Facebook connections to online shopping habits to rate potential borrowers.

India’s most sophisticated banks are working with local and international fintech startups to develop, test and launch a version of a technology used by microlenders in Africa, China and elsewhere.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Commercial banks had around $1.09 trillion of loans outstanding in September, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Of that, about $270 billion were personal loans, a portion whose growth is outpacing the overall loan market.

But about 40% of HDFC’s 8 million and 12 million loan applications a month are from people without credit histories. Most Indians have never had a credit card or taken a home loan.

What does India’s fintech leader of the year have on her mind? (YourStory), Rated: A

Before she co-started one of India’s few digital EMI startups, Lizzie served as the India head for Wonga, the British payday loan company.  She then joined Development Bank of Singapore to help launch ‘digibank’, the new mobile-only virtual bank of India. Very recently, the India FinTech Awards 2017 named her Woman Leader in the Fintech category.

“I think fintech, especially in India, is one of the most exciting and biggest opportunities in the world. The opportunity here is not just to build huge valuable businesses, but also make a real impact on people’s lives and the economy. I think fintech is taking off in such a big way because the timing is right. It’s such a HUGE problem to solve, and we finally have all the pieces of the puzzle in place – whether it is KYC, mobile adoption or digital payments,” she added.

“I am biased of course, but I expect to see a lot more focus on payments coupled with credit in the form of ‘Paylater’ solutions, EMI solutions and all things related to transactional credit. This is such a great solution for this market where credit cards don’t make sense but consumers are keen to shop,” Lizzie said.

Asia

Japan insurer Sompo sets up fintech base in Tel Aviv (Reuters), Rated: A

Property-and-casualty insurer Sompo Holdings Inc (8630.T) has set up a fintech hub in Israel, becoming the first Japanese insurer to do so in a country where it hopes to tap local expertise in digital and cyber-security technologies.

Africa

Fintech firm Ovamba moves into African commodities exports (Global Trade Review), Rated: AAA

Ovamba, a fintech firm that uses blockchain and other new technologies to connect investors with African SMEs, has facilitated a €30mn deal for the purchase and export of cocoa for Cameroonian commodity marketing company Producam.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday September 21 2017, Daily News Digest

RateSetter

News Comments Today’s main news: RateSetter surpasses $150M in loans. New York AG requests cybersecurity safeguards from Experian, TransUnion. Point72 Ventures leads AlphaFlow’s $4.1M seed round. Cross River appoints VP of Government Affairs to focus on regulatory framework. Clarity Money passes 500,000 user milestone. MarketInvoice’s losses doubled last year. Raisin expands into the UK with acquisition. Today’s main analysis: Millennial investors don’t […]

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United States

Real estate investment platform AlphaFlow picks up $ 4.1 mln seed (PE Hub Network), Rated: AAA

AlphaFlow, an automated alternative investment platform for real estate, announced today the closing of a $4.1 million seed round funding, led by Resolute Ventures and Point72 Ventures, the venture capital arm of Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management. Other investment partners include Upside Partnership, Social Capital, Y Combinator, Clocktower Technology Ventures, an affiliate of Drobny Capital, Red Swan Ventures, and more.

AlphaFlow’s seed round comes two years after the company was established by CEO and former RealtyShares Co-Founder, Ray Sturm. AlphaFlow plans to use the funding to continue scaling successful partnerships with lenders and investors, both accredited individuals and investment managers.

AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios are available for investment professionals such as endowments, pension funds, RIAs, and wealth managers, as well as by independent investors seeking uncorrelated returns through short‐term, higher‐yielding real estate loans backed by properties.

To date, AlphaFlow’s flagship product, AlphaFlow Optimized Portfolios, boasts broad diversification across hundreds of loans in 29 states, average LTV of 72%, and target net returns between 8 to 10%. With this seed round funding, AlphaFlow intends to continue to innovate in the application of sophisticated finance mechanisms to scale within the investment industry.

Another Study Confirms It – Millennial Investors Don’t Know What They Are Doing (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Millennial investors are woefully underprepared for the next financial crisis according to a survey conducted by online real estate crowdfunding service Fundrise.

The Fundrise survey suggests that 67.2% of millennial investors are not prepared for the next crisis, and 47.1% feel that there is nothing that they can do to prepare for it. With 83 million millennials in the US holding an average of $75,500 in assets, this means the largest generation is at risk of losing $3.1 trillion in the next financial crisis assuming a repeat of the 50% drawdown seen last time around.

According to an annual study by Charles Schwab, 56% of millennial investors say ETFs are their investment of choice, compared to only 23% of seniors.

77.8% of respondents said that they had no interest in investing outside of the stock market while 42% of millennials surveyed said that they did not know whether it was important to invest outside of the stock market.

Source: ValueWalk

Cross River Appoints VP of Government Affairs (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Cross River, the financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company, announced today the appointment of Phil Goldfeder as VP of Government Affairs. Goldfeder will lead a team at Cross River working with regulatory agencies and policy makers in Washington, D.C., as well as state governments across the U.S., to implement appropriate regulatory frameworks that will encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protection.

Clarity Money Passes 500,000 User Milestone (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Clarity Money, the personal finance app that acts as the “Champion of your Money,” today announced that it reached 500,000 users on September 4, 2017, less than seven months after launching on iOS.

This milestone builds upon Clarity Money’s tremendous momentum in 2017, which has included:

  • Two successful rounds of funding, from noted investors such as Citi Ventures and Soros Capital
  • A nomination for the 21st Annual Webby Awards in the financial and banking services categories for mobile apps
  • Being a featured personal finance app on the Apple App Store and debuting as Apple’s #1 app under “New Apps We Love” in the Apple Store days after launching

NY AG Wants To Know About TransUnion, Experian Cybersecurity (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

TransUnion and Experian, two of The Big Three credit reporting companies, have received letters from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman inquring them about their cybersecurity safeguards in the wake of the massive data breach at rival Equifax.

According to a news report in The Associated Press, the attorney general wants the two companies to describe what security systems they have in place and what changes they are implementing since data on 143 million U.S. customers at Equifax was breached.

New York’s attorney general wants to know if the companies would waive fees for consumers that needed credit freezes because of the hack.

Equifax breach has banks tightening their defenses, counseling customers (Information Management), Rated: A

Asking bankers to comment on the Equifax data breach generally evokes a cone of silenceforged out of a combination of sympathy and fear — I’m not going to speak about it because it could happen to me.

A few, though, will acknowledge the toll the breach has taken on their customers and their security departments, which have scrambled to ensure they won’t share (or haven’t shared) Equifax’s fate.

Another banker, Jim Hanlon, the chief technology officer at Dedham Savings Bank in Boston, was astounded that Equifax did not catch its breach more quickly.

“We have 60,000 customers,” he said. “If somebody came into our network and was looking at 100 files, that would raise a flag with us. If somebody’s accessing millions of records, how is something not alerting them to that fact? That’s the concerning piece to me. The documentation said they take network security seriously. But there should have been a red flag somewhere.”

Equifax’s security team detected and blocked suspicious network traffic associated with its U.S. online dispute portal web application on July 29. But the company’s investigation found that hackers had access to certain files containing personal information from May 13 through July 30.

The Equifax Breach: What You Need to Do Now (Parade), Rated: A

While I don’t have all the answers, financial/debt attorney and author of Life & Debt Leslie H. Tayne of Tayne Law Group, P.C., has some great suggestions.

Q: What can consumers affected by the breach do now to protect their information?

A: For starters, sign up for credit monitoring so that future account fraud and identify theft attempts will be noted and immediately brought to your attention. Next, get in the habit of regularly monitoring your bank and credit cards on your end for any suspicious activity. While you’re online, update your account passwords using long, strong, unique passwords for every single account.

Q: Should you freeze your credit so that no one can use your information illegally?

A: There are pros and cons to freezing your credit. The biggest pro of freezing your credit is that no one can apply for credit in your name. But that no one includes yourself, meaning it could create delays and problems when credit is needed quickly in the case of applying for a loan, credit cards or jobs or if seeking insurance, looking to buy or rent a home or contracting with a utility company during the freeze period. Yes, you can unfreeze your credit at any time, but this is also time consuming and may involve having to pay a fee.

Q: It doesn’t sound like freezing your credit is the best option right now.

A: With these types of drawbacks, a better avenue to consider may be signing up for a fraud alert.

Q: What else do consumers need to know or be on the lookout for going forward?

A: A key concern emerging from the Equifax security breach that consumers need to watch out for are cons and phishing scams. They need be wary of anyone who may approach them impersonating financial or government institutions or general companies who may come across offering support in resolving their data breach.

To Survival: Listen, Learn, Repeat (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

While it may not be the oldest credit union around, the Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) of Tukwila, Washington, has been in business since the days of the Great Depression. Founded in 1935, BECU began as a credit union for employees of the Boeing Company aircraft manufacturing firm. Today, at 82 years old, BECU is looking pretty fit for its age. It currently holds more than $17.2 billion in assets and services more than 1 million members, placing it in among the top five U.S. credit unions for cash assets — and that’s without a steady diet of kale and spinach smoothies.

But, a common element with which older financial institutions must contend is new players arriving on the scene and throwing older players’ relevance into question.

Should older institutions treat these younger upstarts as rivals or as potential partners?

Doug Marshall, BECU’s senior vice president of retail, recently told PYMNTS that BECU has chosen the latter approach.

BECU has approached approximately 60 organizations in the FinTech space to explore opportunities for collaboration, Marshall said. Among the companies approached is Even, a supply-side marketplace lending company. An official partnership has not yet been established, but BECU turned to the company to explore innovations for the credit union’s own lending habits and to help members “smooth their cash flow.”

A few years ago, BECU launched an updated mobile app in partnership with MX, a technology solutions provider for financial services companies. Marshall said BECU was excited to see how members would embrace the newly-launched app. When it went live, however, it became clear they weren’t thrilled.

“We did quite [a lot] of research before we deployed,” Marshall said. “But, in some ways, we didn’t ask one of the most fundamental questions.”

According to Marshall, one of the important lessons that younger FinTechs can teach older credit unions about staying relevant is to not be afraid to fail.

“Lesson three is pivot quickly,” Marshall said. “That’s the magic of a FinTech partnership. We were able to respond and [quickly] deploy a fix.”

Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor tells advisers to embrace technology (Investment News), Rated: A

Imagine financial technology that can create personal portfolio indexes for individual investors or a computer program that can assign forward-looking performance ratings for mutual funds and ETFs.

That’s the way Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor thinks when he imagines where technology is heading, and why he believes financial advisers need to run toward technological innovation to avoid being left in the digital dust.

He compared the initial fear of robo-advice platforms to fears from the threat of online brokerage trading in the 1990s.

“The online trading platforms were supposed to put everyone out of business, but they were just absorbed into the mainstream,” he said.

Impact Housing REIT, LLC Launches $ 35 Million Equity Crowdfunding Opportunity Focused Housing Crisis in America (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Impact Housing REIT, LLC (ImpactHousing.com), a new apartment real estate investment trust led by Edward (“Eddie”) P. Lorin, a 30-year multifamily real estate veteran, is pleased to announce that its $35 million direct public offering under Regulation A+ has been qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is now open for investment. All investors – accredited and unaccredited, domestic and international – can invest directly in Impact Housing REIT Series A equity round for as little as $1,000.

Poor housing conditions due to a rising economy, extreme weather conditions, and poverty is effecting our health, quality of life, and country, as a whole. Impact Housing is the first REIT in the country using the new equity crowdfunding laws to focus on America’s housing crisis, specifically on creating affordable, livable, distinctive multifamily communities for America’s working people and their families.

Employing a strategy that Mr. Lorin has refined over decades, Impact Housing plans to buy neglected, poorly managed apartment buildings throughout the U.S., and transform them into thriving, healthy, family-oriented communities. Upgrades typically include new amenities, refreshed and upgraded interiors, resort style pools, playgrounds, state-of-the-art fitness centers, BBQs, dog parks, community gardens and open space social areas.

The technology enabling this online investment offering is backed by CrowdStreet, a leading provider of real estate fundraising and investor management solutions.

HOW AI APPS FOR BANKS ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF THE FINANCIAL SECTOR (TechGenix), Rated: A

Long before chatbots popped up as interesting business-use cases, long before mobile banking applications offered military-grade secure transactions, and much before focused analytics tools for banking made themselves known, AI apps for banks augmented by machine learning and deep learning began creating an impact in the world of banking.

The following factors make the financial sector a highly targeted market for all kinds of AI apps for banks:

  • Massive amounts of structured data from the past.
  • Consistency in data recording and archiving practices across financial institutions.
  • Quantitative nature of finance and banking business practices and operations.
  • Accuracy in data records.

AI apps for banks: Smart portfolio management for end users

These applications help banks build an online accessible tool that considers user preferences, personal demographic information, earning power, and wealth sources, and then matches these with their financial goals. In parallel, these systems take real-time market data and factor in parameters like a customer’s credit history, risk aversion, and lifestyle practices, creating a very robust portfolio of investment and saving instruments across asset classes.

Mobile banking applications like Moven and Simple leverage the idea of using algorithms that grow smarter with time. More precisely, they grow smarter by handling more data and measuring more results.

These AI-based applications can integrate with a user’s online bank accounts, debit and credit cards, and e-wallets to track their expenses, present advice on better expense management practices, and help them choose more suitable financial products that sit well with their financial habits, liquidity requirements, and short-term saving goals.

Automated hedge fund management

These models collate inputs from several sources of real-time financial information from the major financial markets of the world. Also, these models incorporate quantified inputs regarding sentiments in the financial markets.

Self-learning security systems for fraud detection

AI-based fraud detections tools of today leverage the principles of deep learning and machine learning, and are already beginning to incorporate the benefits of neural learning, and hence have tremendous potential in cybersecurity, particularly for the banking sector.

PeerStreet Named One of the Top Ten Startups to Work For in Los Angeles (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Real estate crowdfunding platform PeerStreet announced on Tuesday it was named one of the Top Ten Startups to Work For in Los Angeles. The list was created by Zippia, an online startup career platform.

LendUp Appoints Jotaka Eaddy As New VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

LendUp, a socially responsible online lender on a mission to redefine financial services for the emerging middle class, announced on Wednesday it has appointed Jotaka Eaddy as its new Vice President of Policy, Strategic Engagement, and Impact. Eaddy previously served as LendUp’s Head of Government Affairs.

LendUp has now saved borrowers nearly $135 million in interest and fees. The lender expects to surpass $200 million by the end of the year.

Need Money Fast? 4 Options for Small Business Owners (Entrepreneur), Rated: B

There’s an extremely fine line you have to walk when scaling. If you expand too quickly, hire too many employees, and order excess inventory, you could deplete your financial resources and crash. But if you don’t take any chances or prepare your business for growth, you won’t be able to respond in an efficient manner when you finally get the big break you’ve been waiting for.

So, what, exactly, can you do when you are ready and need money to expand? Here are four options.

1. Online lenders

If you need a sizable loan, you’ll still need to go through a traditional bank or lender. However, if you need only a modest amount of cash, online lending msy be the way to go.

2. Personal installment loans

If you’re really in a bind and need some quick cash, a personal installment loan might be the way to go. A lender simply checks your credit score and processes your request.

3. Line-of-credit loans

With a line of credit, your business gets approved for a certain amount of money for a specified period of time — typically one year.

4. Receivable financing (factoring)

The factor advances a portion of the receivables — likely 75 to 90 percent of the value — and then holds on to the remaining portion. It’s a good solution for businesses that have orders coming in, but don’t have the money to fill those orders.

United Kingdom

MarketInvoice’s losses doubled in 2016 (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

MARKETINVOICE saw its losses double during 2016, as the peer-to-peer invoice finance platform continues to use funds to scale up.

Its latest accounts on Companies House for 2016 showed a loss before taxation of £6m, increasing from £3.1m in 2015.

This is despite turnover increasing from £4.1m to £4.4m and an increasing number of invoices getting funded, at £442m, compared with £328m a year before.

Deposit marketplace fintech enters UK via acquisition (AltFi), Rated: AAA

A leading European deposit marketplace has acquired Manchester-based fintech PBF Solutions as part of its entry into the UK market. Raisin will target UK savers with its marketplace of savings accounts, while also offering an end-to-end deposit raising solution for UK banks and other firms.

Founded in Berlin in 2013, Raisin is already partnered with 40 banks and financial institutions across Europe. In the past four years the firm has also attracted over €4.3bn in what it calls “marketplace deposits”.

PBF will become Raisin UK, and will significantly increase the size of its UK-based operations over the coming months. CEO Kevin Mountford will take charge of Raisin’s UK expansion.

Lendable: the next generation lending platform that can give borrowers a small loan within two hours (Independent), Rated: A

By taking advantage of the large amount of data available in the UK at a time when consumer lending was evolving fast, Kissinger and his team conceived of a new kind of online lending that they claim is faster and more efficient than larger peer-to-peer lenders Zopa and Ratesetter.

Since 2014, they have built the third largest unsecured consumer lending platform in the UK by 2016 volume, even though – at 4.6 per cent – their market share is still small. So far it has lent a comparatively small £80m to around 20,000 borrowers. Zopa, by comparison, has approved £2.62bn in loans since 2005.

But with a growth rate of 430 per cent in the last year, Lendable is expanding quickly. It aims to be the fastest lender to decide on applications and transfer cash in the market, getting funds of between £1,000 and £15,000 in the borrower’s account in as little as two hours.

Power to the people: Meet the P2P lender that uses a centuries-old way of lending (City A.M.), Rated: A

But for many rural businesses, Folk2Folk has been a saving grace. The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform has helped struggling companies in a time of need, and in some cases prevented an entire community from caving in on itself.

“We don’t exist as a platform that wants to talk solely about interest rates,” says Giles Cross, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Rather, our purpose is to sustain local and rural communities around the UK – where people want to club together to make a difference.”

A large proportion of the businesses that use Folk2Folk are startups that have been starved of funding, largely because they don’t have a long-standing track record.

The House Crowd Says Investor Confidence at Record High (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The House Crowd, a UK property crowdfunding platform, is reporting “record levels of investor confidence”. According to the platform, the House Crowd is experiencing high demand for its property-backed peer-to-peer lending products, with over 1,270 people having invested in one. The House Crowd states that 66% of its investors now repeatedly reinvesting their capital through the business.

FCA’s Bailey calls for govt action on debt crisis (FT Adviser), Rated: B

Higher UK interest rates could spark a consumer debt crisis unless the government intervenes, according to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More than 8.3m adults in the UK are struggling under the burden of debt – a higher proportion of the population than in 2016, according to figures from the Money Advice Service.

Its data revealed 15.9 per cent of the UK population is living with a debt problem, up from 15.4 per cent in 2016.

China

Social Media Giant Tencent Gets Into Old-School Finance (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s largest social media firm, is entering the traditional finance industry by investing in CICC International Capital Corp., a move that may help the investment bank’s expansion in wealth management.

Shares of CICC jumped by a record after it said Tencent is paying HK$2.9 billion ($372 million) for roughly 5 percent of China’s oldest investment bank. The companies will team up on marketing and data analysis, according to an exchange filing.

Source: Bloomberg Technology

Ping An Securities deploys Finastra technology to boost revenue and enter new markets (The Asset), Rated: A

Ping An Securities has implemented FusionCapital from Finastra throughout its operations in Greater China.

The business, part of China’s Ping An Group, is now using the flexible Finastra platform to help extend its securities brokerage capabilities on a global scale – meaning it can boost revenues as it enters new markets.

Ping An Bank launched intelligent investment services (01Caijing), Rated: A

China Ping An “simple life” conference held in Shanghai. Ping An Bank mobile banking business – “safe pocket bank” launched a smart investment service (referred to as “safe intellectual investment”), the first open to ordinary investors to use. The service uses the Black-Litterman model (BL model) and the quantitative asset allocation method, which are widely used by overseas investment bankers, and develop personalized investment plan according to the customer’s risk appetite.

International

Japan wants to roll back regulations for financial technology startups — here’s why it could be bad for the US (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Japan’s push to attract innovative financial technology startups to the country could spell trouble for the US.

On Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was moving forward with a plan to roll back regulations on some fintech startups to help spur the development of emerging technology and drive growth in the country.

As such, Abe is pushing for a regulatory sandbox program that would allow fintechs, startups looking to automate or digitize aspects of financial services, to operate and scale without meeting existing regulations.

While such an environment is understood to exist in Silicon Valley more broadly, Berenguer said, those hoping to break through specifically in the financial industry in the US are often required to subscribe to the same regulations as their much larger peers.

That often means paying lawyers to ensure compliance, costs that can force entrepreneurs to put off investing in their product and team. This creates a sort of Catch-22 for some startups. Venture-capital backers are less likely to give entrepreneurs money without a product, but it’s more difficult to create a product with less money when also paying legal costs. Berenguer says this has made financial technology harder to break into relative to the overall tech industry.

Singapore, UK sandbox

Some companies, he said, are seeking greener pastures in Singapore and the UK, where a sandbox program has existed for some time.

Where the huge SoftBank-Saudi tech fund is investing (Money), Rated: AAA

The Softbank Vision Fund was unveiled less than a year ago, backed by Saudi Arabia and Japan’s SoftBank (SFTBF). By May it had raised $93 billion, out of a planned $100 billion, to spend on technology businesses of the future.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest Vision Fund investor, followed by SoftBank. Other investors include Apple (AAPLTech30), Qualcomm (QCOMTech30), Foxconn, Shar (SHCAY)p and Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates.

It’s already invested in 10 firms, leading funding rounds worth at least $7.7 billion.

Here’s what it has backed so far this year:

  • Slack
  • OYO
  • Fanatics
  • WeWork
  • Roivant
  • Guardant Health
  • Nvidia
  • Flipkart
  • Brain Corp
  • Plenty
Australia

P2P lender surpasses $ 150m in loans (Broker News), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has now reached the $150m mark in loans facilitated thanks to a rapid influx of lenders into the platform.

Millennial investors have helped to drive this growth, especially in RateSetter’s one-month market where these younger demographics make up 72% of the lender’s investors since the firm launched in 2014. This is followed by the one-year market where Millennials make up 40% of all investors.

Investment in the platform has risen by 50% over the last five months alone after RateSetter hit the $100m loan milestone in March. There are now more than 7,700 investors registered with the platform, making RateSetter the largest P2P lender in Australia.

For the one-month market, the average amount invested has increased from $3,777 two years ago to $11,483 today.

Source: Broker News
India

In Game Of Loans, RBI Arms A New Player (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Amit Parker, 26, needed money for his father’s heart surgery. Banks refused to lend as he had delayed repayments on a motorcycle loan three years ago. The travel firm executive tried his luck at Lenden Club (Lenden is Hindi for give-and-take), an online portal that connects individual borrowers with lenders. He managed to get Rs 70,000.

Most of these are small-ticket transactions, and the market is small. A few hundred such loans are disbursed a month with only the young with poor credit record or the tech-savvy borrowing, Rajiv Raj, co-founder of credit-scoring platform CreditVidya, told BloombergQuint. Adoption could improve once the central bank comes out with guidelines.

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday provided that clarity, bringing P2P lending platforms on a par with non-bank finance companies. And the opportunity is huge. More than 30 such startups have come up in the last four years, including Faircent, i2ifunding, Lenden Club and Billionloans.

Yet, since it involves lending to people with poor credit scores, interest rates can go as high as 28 percent. That didn’t deter Parker from taking another Rs 1.5-lakh loan on Lenden Club. He wishes to continue borrowing on the platform.

Millennials are the most active lenders and borrowers, Rajat Gandhi, co-founder of Faircent, said over the phone. About 60 percent of its 18,000 members are below 35 years. For its Mumbai-based rival Lenden Club, more than two-thirds of its users are 30-40 years old.

They largely borrow to improve lifestyle.

Loan marketplace Rubique targetting 250 pct growth in disbursement, 300 pct in revenue (Financial Express), Rated: A

Does the launch of your mobile app mean that you are shifting your focus to individual borrowers from SMEs?

From day one, we have maintained that our take on the opportunity in the financial space is not focused on retail or SME. The Indian financial sector is largely influencer-driven. Whenever, someone wants a loan, they go through an influencer, whether a chartered accountant or a financial advisor.

How much have you disbursed through your platform so far in FY18?

Last year, we did Rs 1,000 crore in disbursements, of which 60% was in the SME category and 40% in the retail category. This year, as a company, in the first four months (April-July), we did Rs 500 crore worth of disbursements and we have been clocking very healthy revenue. This month, we are touching around Rs 3 crore in revenue. We had been going at a monthly average of about Rs 2 crore in revenues so far. This year, we are targeting almost 250% growth over last year (in disbursements) and a healthy revenue growth. Last year, the revenue was Rs 15.5 crore. This year, we are targeting an almost 300% jump and we expect to cross `45 crore.

Buying a car this festive season? Consider these factors when comparing car loans (India Times), Rated: A

Many people wait for the festival season to make big-ticket purchases like buying a car. That is because banks and non-banking finances companies (NBFCs) usually lower their lending rates on car loans and even have offers such as writing off processing fees.

Source: India Times

“The only benefit of availing a car loan through the dealer is the slight convenience. Dealers tend to push the customer towards their captive finance arms or towards banks where they get higher commissions. So, when a customer compares the offer from the dealer with more banks or at online marketplaces, they will typically find lower interest rates and better terms than those offered by the car dealer,” says Gaurav Gupta, CEO, MyLoanCare.in, an online loans marketplace.

Source: India Times

Remittance firms should consider fintech start-ups as partners rather than competitors (The National), Rated: A

A recent Statista report estimates that fintech will be worth around US$20 billion by 2017.

For instance, 2016 GCC-wide figures by Statista showed that a full 57 per cent of banks and financial services providers saw fintech startups in their operational space as potential partners, while only 22 per cent saw them as competition.

Fintech start-ups tend to be technologically led. They harness mobile tech, social networks and a well-designed user interface to bring services directly to customers. But this technology-first model is most useful in the first and last mile fulfilment, ie, when a customer requests a transaction, or is notified of its completion. When it comes to actual transaction processing, fintech startups often lack the size, scale and well-developed treasury functions needed to fulfil global requests.

But mutually beneficial fintech partnerships can be a game changer. We are heading for what might be called a hybrid model – where a transaction is initiated in-app but is then handled by conventional partners through systems that are already compliant with regulations and have a robust track record of transaction fulfilment.

Asia

Used-car dealer taps fintech for one-stop ease (SGSME.sg), Rated: A

A USED-CAR dealership has tapped fintech to offer a paperless and hassle-free one-stop service to buyers, who can make an electronic deposit for a preferred model and submit an online car loan application, complete with insurance cover.

Orchard Credit, best known for its four decades in the vehicle financing business, recently set up a dedicated used-car showroom to provide the full range of car services to its customers.

Orchard Credit also pioneered the car loan aggregator. It is the only dealer which offers online car loans from nine banks and financial institutions – DBS, Hitachi Capital, HL Bank, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered, Sing Investments and Finance, Tokyo Century and UOB.

INDONESIAN peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup KoinWorks launches a new programme under its KoinPintar category of loans in collaboration with Binus Online Learning.

Benedicto says that KoinWorks will cover a maximum of 80% of the fees based an applicant’s finances. Loans with a flat interest rate between 9% to 12.5% will be offered to cover the rest.

How technology is changing equity trading (The Asset), Rated: A

The widespread use of algorithmic trading has lessened the need for interaction between the buyside and sellside, and brought with it increased reliability, faster speeds and lower costs. However, it also brings technology-related risks and a lack of transparency.

The widespread use of algorithmic trading – basically the process of using computers programmed to follow a defined set of instructions for placing a trade – means that it is no longer necessary for the buyside traders to speak to their counterparts every time they make a trade.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday April 28 2017, Daily News Digest

10-year Treasury yields

News Comments Today’s main news: U.S. VC fintech investment rises to $1.2B. P2P Global Investments sees NAV bounce. Kuflink receives FCA authorization. Robo-advisor launches in Luxembourg. OnDeck Canada partners with Lightspeed. Ant Financial plans expansion into Japan. Today’s main analysis: Behind the 2017 bond-market rally. Today’s thought-provoking articles: China P2P industry news. Xero: Best overall fintech. Brazilians embrace robo. Who leads Africa’s fintech, […]

10-year Treasury yields

News Comments

United States

  • U.S. VC fintech investment rises to $1.2B. GP:”Total raise if you include non-VC sources is $1.5bil. New record since Q1 2016. Focs continues on lending and robo. “AT: “What I find interesting is in the report itself: The biggest deals of the quarter – SoFi’s Series G round, UniRush M&A, Zenbanx M&A, ProducePay early-stage, and Kensho Series C2 are the top 5 in the U.S. Also in top 10 are CommonBond and Upstart. Get the report here.”
  • Behind the 2017 bond-market rally. GP:”A very interesting piece worth reading to understand market reactions to the world and in fact cost of capital.”
  • Banks loosening up internally to work with startups. GP:”There is always a risk in relaxing control which translates into a cost, usually fines. To be practical, if the cost of the fines is significantly lower than the return from the business perhaps the fines become just the cost of doing business. On the other side, a regulator regularly fining a financing institution usually has a major impact on the institution reputation which has nonnegligible effects on the business. It is a very difficult to quantify where to relax by how much and the cost of doing so, especially the indirect costs. “AT: “What’s interesting are smaller banks are now starting to see the light.”
  • Mark Cuban backs an app that saves people overdraft fees. GP:”I don’t know anybody who never paid an overdraft fee. There shouldn’t be any overdraft fees, transactions should just be rejected by the bank. Or there should be a real product to compensate for it that has a reasonable cost, in line with the cost of a loan or or a credit card.”AT: “Overdraft fees are a huge frustration for a lot of young people learning how to manage their finances as an adult. It’s a part of growing up. The best solution is to learn how to balance a checkbook, but an app that does it for you on the fly isn’t a bad idea because most young people aren’t that great at balancing checkbooks.”
  • OCC: Fintech charter not a ‘ticket to light-touch supervision’. GP:”The OCC has always been very clear that the fintech charter is not light-touch; if anything it is the same-touch as for a bank while enabling them to offer a smaller amount of services. “AT: “When you’re being sued, the best course of action is to offer some sort of consolation. But you can’t say too much or it will be used against you.”
  • Chatting with PeerStreet’s founders. AT: “Expecting every type of real estate loan to go through a marketplace platform is a tall order, but I like the way BJ thinks.”
  • Debt is a deal-breaker for millennials considering marriage.
  • Quovo raises $10M in Series B. GP:”Quovo offers a series of finance APIs to enable innovation. Worth a look for sure.”
  • Robinhood hits 2 million users, raises $110M in Series C. GP:”RobinHood offers free stock trading. The consolidation that happened in the stock-brokers market from charging a large commission to free is an interesting lesson. The main driver of this cost cutting has been electronic and online trading which pushed brokers to seek an alternative business model, which happens to be in many cases selling order book data or ancillary services and products. “
  • Bitcoin values increases as SEC reconsiders ETF decision. GP:”I continue to believe that cryptocurrencies are a good remittance system. There is also a slew of new ICOs happening. And last but not least Ethereum and the smart contract world are also seeing a very large increase in demand. The main barriers to cryptos seem to be unclear regulation, unclear business model, and security risks.”AT: “It will be interesting to see if the SEC overturns its own decision to turn down the Bitcoin ETF.”
  • Easy Solutions launches AI anti-fraud service. GP:”Detection abnormal behavior on a credit card has been in place for sometimes. Government agencies have also been using abnormal behavior detection on large data for sometimes. Perhaps there is still space for improvement. “

United Kingdom

China

  • Top 5 P2P lending ratings. GP:”In China a lot of websites are trying to rate online lenders. And there is a rating of raters. Here people take a position of the top raters. Most lenders pay money to the rating websites to be rated in a process which can not always be impartial. Caution is advised and perhaps an index of the average rating per lender accross many rating websites is needed. “
  • MaizinJinfu raises Series B. GP:”Congratulations!”

European Union

Australia

India

Canada

South America

Africa

Asia

  • Ant Financial looks to expand into Japan. GP:”Japan is a mature financial system where the mentality is very conservative. I hope Ant has a Japan-adapted plan for the expansion which takes into account Japanese mentalities. In my experience this means at the minimum having Japanese employees, in Japan, and having everything done the Japanese way from the way the contracts are bound to the way you treat your customers. Japan is open to foreign products, but only if they have been well tested and are mature. In fact they seek them. I have brought multiple companies to Japan succesfully.”

News Summary

 

United States

VC Investment in Fintech Rises to $ 1.2 Billion in US: KPMG (Think Advisor), Rated: AAA

U.S. venture capital investment in fintech companies rose to $1.2 billion in the first quarter, the highest activity since last year’s first quarter, according to KPMG International’s Pulse of Fintech report, released Thursday.

Non-VC fintech investment in the U.S. reached $300 million, resulting in a total of $1.5 billion in fintech investment in the U.S. for the quarter.

“Payments and lending continue to attract the most funding globally, although we’re seeing increasing interest in a variety of technologies,” Brian Hughes, national co-lead partner in KPMG U.S. venture capital practice, said in the statement.

“In addition to continued growth in regtech and insurtech, areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things are gaining increasing investor attention.”

Next quarter, it said, robo-advisory, artificial intelligence and data analytics look to be “hot investment areas.”

KPMG reported that private equity firms in the U.S., including not-technology-focused ones, are proving robust actors in the late-stage fintech arena, with $1.2 billion in total deal value across 11 deals in the first quarter.

During the same period, however, U.S. fintech M&A got off to a slow start at just $200 million across 24 deals.

The West Coast continued to account for the largest concentration of U.S. fintech investment, with 67.6% of total value of deals in the first quarter and 39% of the total number of deals.

Get the report here.

Behind the 2017 Bond-Market Rally (WSJ), Rated: AAA

When the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to a record low in July, many investors agreed that the developed world was stuck in a “new normal” of ultralow growth, inflation and interest rates. Stronger U.S. economic data in subsequent months helped chip away at that view, lifting yields. They got another boost from Mr. Trump’s victory, as investors bet on a turn to expansionary fiscal policies–including an overhaul of the tax code–that would boost growth and inflation and allow the Federal Reserve to raise rates at a faster pace.

While the yield on the 10-year note is still well above its level on Election Day, that is partly because the Fed has raised short-term interest rates twice since then.

Banks are loosening up internally so they can work with startups (Tearsheet), Rated: A

With public confidence in them in the U.S. below 50 percent across the political spectrum, banks have a branding problem — one that gets even more problematic when they have to work with those outside the industry.

Wells Fargo is one of the banks that has taken active interest in facilitating dialogues with startups. While most most major banks have accelerator programs, Wells Fargo said one of the focuses of its startup program is helping banks understand startup culture and vice versa. Wells Fargo’s accelerator program mentors companies for six months and provides up to $500,000 of equity investments for selected companies. The companies may also work on proof of concepts across different business lines within the bank after the completing of the program.

For smaller banks, a focused approach ensures that the relationship will be productive. Boston-based branchless virtual bank, Radius Bank, has a staff member dedicated to partnerships with startups who carefully vets each startup for compatibility.

Mark Cuban is backing an app that’s trying to help people avoid overdraft fees (Business Insider), Rated: A

The billionaire has invested in a new app called Dave that aims to predict coming expenses for users to help prevent them from overdrafting on their bank accounts.

Once Dave connects with a user’s checking account it forecasts the account’s lowest possible balance in seven days based off the person’s spending habits.

Users are notified when their seven-day forecast is negative. That way they can be proactive and potentially avoid overdrafting and being burdened with bank fees.

According to a report by CNN Money, the top big banks – Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America – raked in over $5 billion in ATM and overdraft fees in 2016. In total, overdrafts cost customers $36 billion a year.

OCC: Fintech Charter Not a ‘Ticket to Light-Touch Supervision’ (ABA Banking Journal), Rated: A

Gardineer emphasized that fintech firms granted a national bank charter would undergo the same supervision process and be held to the same capital, liquidity and consumer protection standards as OCC-supervised banks. She added that state laws on fair lending, debt collection and other things would still apply, just as they do for nationally chartered banks. Her comments came after a lawsuit filed earlier this week by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, which said that in moving forward with the limited-purpose charter, the OCC overstepped its authority under the National Bank Act.

Chatting with Brew & Brett, Co-Founders of PeerStreet (Simple Innovative Change), Rated: A

Brew Johnson was in real estate law by chance back in the mid-2000’s, which is when he happened upon the dismal reality that our housing market was built on a house of cards through his deep research and desire to figure out what was going on. He knew something needed to change, and he had a plan for how to do it.

When the time was right he brought in Brett Crosby, Co-Founder and COO of PeerStreet to take his tech background from building Google Analytics to help revolutionize the housing market with a new approach to financing the mortgage markets.

BJ: A lot of what we’re doing at PeerStreet is informed by what I learned during that time as a real estate attorney within the securitization market.

Fast forward to 2013, and all the barriers to entry that existed in 2008 had been significantly reduced. After the market crash, government regulation started to favor the startup community, and with the advancements in technology, I felt that it would be a lot easier to create a company like this.

BJ: For me, it was about seeing the movement in marketplace lending, and the growing comfort in investing in this asset class through a new type of platform. This sudden shift in comfort coinciding with easing regulation led to a huge boom for private lending.

The reason we believe it’s so important to build a tech-enabled platform like this is because there are more independent lenders now than ever, and they’re scattered around the country, leading to a significant amount of fragmentation in the market.

What PeerStreet does is use technology to make sense of this fragmentation, and then layer a whole level of positives onto it.

BC: In other spaces like consumer credit, auto loans, and student loans, the location of the lender is not important so it’s possible to lend from a central position. In the mortgage and real estate development space, however, having local knowledge matters a great deal.

BJ: Since we partner with and provide capital to local lenders who lend to small businesses, who in turn lend to other small businesses or real estate entrepreneurs in their communities, we’re enabling our investors to support the value chain of local economies. Essentially, we are investing in communities and helping to promote the up-cycling of housing stock in those areas.

BC: The reality is many of the new business models may go out of business because they are simply taking too much risk on their loans. We’re positioning PeerStreet for the ups and downs of the American economy.

BJ: We think every type of real estate loan will go through a platform like ours eventually, so we are taking a very measured approach to how we decide to move into each of those asset classes.

Deal Breaker?! Dating and Debt (CBN News), Rated: A

According to a new study from online personal finance company, SoFi, debt is a big deal breaker to 20 percent of Millennials (ages 25-35).

“It depends on what they are paying for with their debt. If she has 10-15k in cc debt for B.S. that’s obviously a red flag. If it’s student loans, I can’t complain. If she’s not paying on any of it, run,” said another.

SoFi also looked into how much Millennials cared about a person’s future earnings when deciding whether to date them or not.

According to SoFi, Millennials don’t think debt needs to come up right away. 58 percent say it only needs to be talked about when the relationship gets serious.

Finally, SoFi asked Millennials if they would dump someone over debt. A majority, 55 percent, said no. (Still, 24 percent said they may not consider marrying someone with more than $100,000 in debt.)

Quovo Raises $ 10 Million in Series B Funding to Fuel Fintech Platform Expansion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Quovo, a Fintech company that leverages data to provide insights alongside connectivity for financial accounts, has raised $10 million in Series B funding.  Existing investors FinTech Collective and Long Light Capital were joined by F-Prime Capital and Napier Park Financial Partners to provide the capital. As one would expect, the cash will be used to fuel platform growth and build out the suite of data analytics offers which include the newly launched bank authentication API and Quovo Connect module.

Robinhood Hits Two Million Users & Raises $ 110 Million During Series C (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

California-based fintech company Robinhood announced on Wednesday it not only has reached two million users, but it also secured $110 million during its recent Series C funding round, which was led by DST Global, with participation from NEA, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital and Greenoaks Capital. This brought the company’s total funding to $176 million.

Bitcoin’s value increases as the SEC reconsiders its ETF decision (The Merkle), Rated: A

Not long ago, the three-year effort put in by the Winklevoss twins to bring the Bitcoin ETF to the market was blocked by the SEC, after the agency ruled against them. What followed was a major crash bringing along a 15% decrease in Bitcoin value.

The initial Winklevoss proposal was to list the Bitcoin ETF on the Bats BZX exchange, which is one of the largest equities market operators in the United States. The exchange then decided to file a petition with the SEC, kindly asking the exchange commission to review last month’s decision. Luckily, the petition was accepted, therefore the SEC will proceed to reconsider their decision.

Optimism in the market has appeared all over again, and the price of Bitcoin again the U.S. dollar is further increasing due to these new speculations. Precisely, it has managed to increase to $1,294, from $1,251 in a single day.

Easy Solutions Launches Artificial Intelligence Anti-Fraud Service (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Easy Solutions, the Total Fraud Protection company, today unveiled its new Detect TAArtificial Intelligence (AI) Fraud Assessment Service for banks and other financial institutions. Artificial Intelligence delivers a competitive edge to any business that leverages it effectively, and it is already being applied by leading financial institutions to improve fighting fraud.

United Kingdom

P2P Global Investments sees NAV bounce, expands into alternative credit (AltFi), Rated: AAA

The £833m P2P Global Investments fund saw its net asset value [NAV] rise 0.55 per cent in March, including a 0.16 per cent uplift from its share buybacks, prompting a boost to its latest quarterly returns.

Its latest numbers, however, show a boost in returns with total NAV return for Q1 2017 of 1.18 per cent, while its discount has narrowed to 15 per cent.

Kuflink’s P2P Lending Platform Receives FCA Authorization (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Thursday, Kuflink received full authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for its peer-to-peer lending platform. According to the registration, Kuflink has been given permission to provide regulated products and services, which includes accepting deposits, provide credit to consumers, offer investment advice, and arrange deals with investments.

B&C Awards 2017 shortlist announced (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The top brokers, lenders and individuals in the bridging, commercial, development finance, peer-to-peer and specialist banking markets have been shortlisted and are now in the running to win one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

The shortlist includes new categories ‘Best Use of Fintech’, ‘Specialist Product of the Year’ and ‘Best Bridging Lender Newcomer’.

Last year’s Bridging Lender of the Year, Octopus Property, has been shortlisted again in 2017 for the coveted title and will be up against fellow nominees Precise Mortgages, Together, Amicus, Funding 365, Masthaven, MTF and LendInvest.

The brand new category ‘Alternative Lender of the Year’ brought in scores of votes, with Assetz Capital, Funding Circle, LendInvest, RateSetter, Lendy and Kuflink making the shortlist.

Pariti adds second online lending partner (AltFi), Rated: A

Pariti, the personal finance management app which helps users to manage their debts, has teamed up with Lendable to broaden its range of loan options. Pariti made leading marketplace lender Zopa its first lending partner in September of last year. Pariti users looking to consolidate their debts will now receive offers from both lenders.

China

P2P Industry News (Xing Ping She Email), Rated: AAA

Top Five P2P Lending Ratings in China
Rating is an important reference for investors. A senior industry player taking the following as the top five P2P lending rating agencies in China: Online Lending House Rating, Xeenho Rating, Net Credit Eye Rating, Rong 360 Rating and Dailuopan Rating.

Online Lending House Rating
Online Lending House is one of the biggest P2P lending portal sites in China. It has been engaged in platforms’ rating since August 2013. Up to now, Online Lending House has issued 44 rating reports maintaining over 100 rated objects.

Xeenho Rating
Xeenho Rating is the first rating agency from the buyer’s perspective, and it was launched by the P2P lending funds Xeenho in October 2016. Yet it has issued its fifth report, with a selection of around 45 P2P lending platforms. The rating is neutral for it stand on the investors’ side, so its rating could be more reliable. Actually, Xeenho’s risk-control management keeping the Zero Bad Debt in the industry.

Net Credit Eye Rating
Net Credit Eye Rating is similar to Online Lending House Rating in terms of contents’ provision. It was launched in September 2015 and has issued 18 periods of reports with over 70 P2P lending platforms.

Rong 360 Rating
Rong 360 Rating is quarterly issued, so far it has 8 periods of rating reports on 70 platforms. Rong 360 includes a wider range of content compared by other agencies, therefore some low rating results may exists.

Dailuopan Rating
Dailuopan launched its own ratings services mainly based on big data method. It started from May 2016, and has issued 10 periods of reports on over 500 P2P lending platforms.

Jack Ma: We need a reliable credit system on P2P lending industry
On April 23rd, the 2017 Annual Summit of China Green Companies was held in Zhengzhou. Jack Ma attended the occasion and said, “Only when a reliable credit system has been built, the real P2P business could be exist.” He also pointed out that new finance is to create a share-benefited and fair environment for residents, which should reach the effect that “an old woman has the same rights with a bank CEO .”

In fact, Jack Ma has previously said that the P2P lending should based on three elements: data, credit system and risk control system with big data. Unlike the negative view on P2P lending five years ago, this time Jack Ma show an optimistic attitude to the industry.

MaiziJinfu Raises Series B Funding (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

UniFi ‘s parent company Shanghai Wheat Asset Management Co., Ltd. (“MaiziJinfu”, “Maizi” or “the Company”), a China -based Internet-based financial information service provider, today announced that it has received Series B funding,  at the Internet Finance Development and Innovative Application Forum (IFDIA), which was co-hosted by Money Weekly in Shanghai .

European Union

FINANCIAL ADVICE FROM A ROBOT LAUNCHES IN LUX. (Delano), Rated: AAA

From about $19bn under management by robo advisors in the US in 2014, this figure has since quadrupled. However, this is still small compared with traditional financial services. For example, the Luxembourg wealth management industry alone had four times these assets under management in 2015. Nevertheless, these are early days.

The grand duchy is now part of this trend with the launch of the KeyPrivate service by Keytrade Bank Luxembourg. Residents and non-residents alike can use the service. You tap in how much you want to invest, for how long, and with what risk profile, and then there’s a questionnaire to check that you have the necessary financial means.

The site will then design a portfolio based on 12 funds invested principally in shares and bonds in different international markets.

After investment, each portfolio is reviewed automatically by the robot to take the latest market developments into account. KeyPrivate chose exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to power this system. Not only is it easier and cheaper to move in and out only of ETFs than with standard funds, but these “tracker” products seek to mirror industry benchmark indexes that tend to give average returns.

The minimum investment is €15,000, and the service is provided at “a fee that is two or three times cheaper than a traditional wealth manager,” said Thibault de Barsy, CEO of Keytrade Bank Luxembourg. It is a flat fee on total assets of 0.75% plus VAT per year. There is no up-front fee, nor is there an extra charge even if the client rebalances their portfolio.

Australia

Xero wins Best Overall Fintech award (Xero), Rated: AAA

We feel humbled to be awarded the Best Overall Fintech platform by the Fintech Breakthrough Awards. It also provides validation that we’re truly changing the lives of our more than one million subscribers.

Award organizers report $36 trillion in digital payments will be processed by the end of 2017. In the past 12 months, Xero alone transacted $1.2 trillion worth of economic activity.

The very foundation of a small business owner’s financial web is secure bank integrations. These enable banking, accounting and business management to come together. Xero is building a strong, global financial web, working with 110 financial institutions and 500 ecosystem partners around the world.

Millennials fast losing interest in low-rate accounts (LendIt), Rated: A

  • Poor rates on savings accounts, pricey property and stock market volatility is leading to an influx of millennial money to P2P lending
  • The number of millennial investors has increased by >250% over the last 12 months as young savers join older investors in seeking out alternatives to traditional saving and investment products
  • Surge in millennial money has helped RateSetter reach $100m of loans funded in record time for an Australian lending platform
  • 80% of all lenders expect to increase the amount invested within the next 12 months
Source: RateSetter

RateSetter: Millennials are driving P2P growth in Australia(P2P Finance News), Rated: A

The London-headquartered P2P platform, which launched its Australian division to the public in 2014, argues that poor rates on savings accounts, high property prices and stock market volatility have pushed people aged 18-35 towards P2P lending.

RateSetter Australia said that its number of millennial investors had grown by 250 per cent over the last 12 months and now accounts for 58 per cent of total active investors.

India

Here’s all you want to know about alternative asset class – P2P lending (Financial Express), Rated: A

What P2P lending offers investors
– P2P lending in India currently gives a net return of 18-22%
– Borrowers repay principal & interest every month so there is a steady cash flow
– Investors can pursue legal recourse against the borrower in case of defaults
– By diversifying your investment across different borrowers, you will begin to mirror the overall default rate of the platform

P2P lending is like investing in debt; the capital risk is lower, and there exist ways to mitigate it. In case a borrower defaults, investors can pursue legal recourse against the borrower.

Cash in on P2P lending (Telengana Today), Rated: B

A good percentage of people in the world are involved in digitally enabled peer-to-peer exchange. This form of exchange has expanded dramatically in recent years, moving beyond simple retailing and free file exchange to personal, human-intensive services such as hosted accommodation, urban and city-to-city transportation, and peer-to-peer lending.

Here is the basic premise of P2P lending: People sign up on a P2P lending platform like PeerLend as a borrower or as a Lender. A borrower submits an application for a loan by providing his details, and KYC documents. The platform back office team performs a credit assessment of the profile and determines his credit worthiness.

From a lender’s perspective, peer to peer lending allows them to directly lend to other people by having them register on the platform by providing their ID and address proof. They also provide the bank account details that they will use to transact on the platform.

Interest rates – Various P2P platforms in India are charging a one-time registration fee ranging between Rs.500/- to Rs.1,500/-, and a loan servicing fee ranging from 3.5% to 6% of the loan amount.

Canada

OnDeck Canada Partners With Lightspeed (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

OnDeck Canada, a leading online lender to small businesses in Canada , and Lightspeed, a cloud-based point-of-sale platform for independent retailers and restaurants, have announced a partnership that will allow Lightspeed users to secure OnDeck loans. The new offering will be available to Lightspeed customers in Canada and the US providing up to $500,000 (US) term loans and $100,000 (US) lines of credit.

This strategic partnership between OnDeck and Lightspeed, who each share a focus on assisting small businesses, is a major step forward for Canadian businesses, especially those retail, restaurant, and e-commerce companies that can now acquire OnDeck financing to support their investment in the Lightspeed point of sale (POS) solution.

OnDeck loans will also enable Lightspeed clients to take advantage of growth opportunities such as buying inventory, purchasing equipment, and boosting their customer experience.

OnDeck’s advanced lending technology and staunch dedication to customer service has enabled it to deliver more than $6 billion dollars in capital to over 60,000 businesses across the United States , Canada , and Australia.

South America

Magnetis sees more Brazil investors embracing robo-advisory (NASDAQ), Rated: AAA

Magnetis Gestora de Recursos Ltda, Brazil’s first fintech asset manager, expects demand for affordable access to automated investment advice to surge in coming years as interest rates decline and economic uncertainty persists.

As the central bank undertakes the most aggressive rate cutting cycle in eight years, demand for cheap financial advice has fueled a surge in trials for robo-advisers, an automated form of passive money management that identifies a client’s risk-taking preference.

Since March 2015, Magnetis has conducted 30,000 trials for clients eager to understand a platform providing access to 15,000 different domestic tradable assets.

Growing scale has helped Magnetis cut management fees to 0.4 percent, well below the 0.8 percent to 1 percent that banks and brokerages typically charge customers.

Africa

Banks vs startups: Who leads Africa’s fintech innovation? (This is Africa), Rated: AAA

Only an estimated 34 percent of Africa’s adult population has any form of formal bank account. This is an improvement from a decade ago. Much of this progress can be credited to the growth of mobile and agent network-based banking solutions.

To scale up the trend, banks need to figure out how to effectively join Africa’s fintech innovation ecosystem.

A number of banks have launched bespoke accelerator programmes in a bid to reach out to African entrepreneurs and startups. Barclays, Standard Bank, Citi, and DBS Bank are just a few.  Others seek to partner directly with startups to develop new products and services.

In Cape Town, for example, Barclays has launched a business accelerator programme called Rise in a bid to encourage mutually beneficial collaboration between banks and startups.

Others agree. In east Africa, KCB Bank has partnered with more than 10 startups on projects and is involved with multiple projects supporting entrepreneurship in the region. This is bearing fruit: the bank’s mobile banking app was built by a startup.

Peach Payments took part in the Barclays accelerator in 2016. Upon completion, it signed a proof of concept with the bank to explore further collaboration.

However Keith Jones, co-founder at Sw7, believes that despite their efforts banks have so far failed to develop a mechanism to effectively engage with startups.

While the intent is there, he says, the strict corporate mindset of financial institutions has meant they are slow to adapt to new solutions and models. They can also have a tendency to “smother” small businesses rather than help them to thrive.

6 artificial intelligence startups in Africa to look out for (VentureBurn), Rated: A

South African startup DataProphet last year received a significant investment of an undisclosed amount from Yellowwoods Capital Holdings to expand its international offering. As part of the deal, DataProphet will act as the advanced analytics partner for the group.

The startup, based in Cape Town, has developed various machine-learning interventions, mainly for the finance and insurance sector.

Nigerian startup Kudi.ai has developed a chatbot which allows users to make payments and send money to friends and family in Nigeria via messaging. The company is a graduate of the YCombinator Winter 2017 batch.

The company uses AI to understand user requests, drive conversations, understand user spending habits and prevent fraud.

The startup has put together a business-to-business solution too, which it is piloting with banks and telecommunication companies.

Founded by former equity-derivatives specialist Annabel Dallamore (pictured here) together with Julian Dallamore and Mark Karimov in 2013, Johannesburg startup Stockshop.co.za offers a number of artificial intelligence solutions to financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies.

The startup has also developed a bot interface that completes real-time identity verification checks on behalf of banks and financial institutions in line with requirements under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).

The startup has also developed a solution that uses an algorithm that pairs financial behaviour, spending and other data along with emotional cues and provides clients with assistance around financial matters such as payments, administration, rewards, education, analytics and tracking.

It’s also launched a micro-insurance platform in April that is unique to the African market.

Asia

Ant Financial Eyes Japan (Finews), Rated: AAA

China’s Ant Financial Services Group has said it wants to increase operations in Japan and is actively seeking a partner there.

With a deal in Korea already in the bag after a $200 million investment in South Korea’s mobile platform company Kakao Talk, the focus has turned to the world’s thrid-largest economy Japan.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor 

Tuesday March 28 2017, Daily News Digest

global fintech vc investment

News Comments Today’s main news: CreditEase Wealth Management announces new investments in US MPLs. Elevate heading toward IPO. Lendable secures 100M GBP investment. Relendex receives FCA authorization.  Perpule raises $650K in India. Today’s main analysis: The state of fintech funding in five charts. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 41 people locked up for Baiyin Wealth P2P fraud in China. Bitbond, BitPesa partner […]

global fintech vc investment

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

China

  • 41 people locked up for fraud case in China. AT: “This is both a good time and a bad time to be in P2P lending in China. Good if you’re ethical, bad if you’re not. I suspect we’ll see a lot more arrests this year.”

India

Africa

Middle East

News Summary

United States

CreditEase Wealth Management Announces New Investments in the US Marketplace Lending Platforms (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

CreditEase Wealth Management announces today that its Offshore Private Credit Fund (“OPCF”) has invested a total of US$30 million in two transactions with OnDeck and LendingHome, after making its first investment in Avant and Prosper last year. OPCF raised US$80 million from its Chinese clients in late 2015 which will be fully deployed by end March 2017.

OPCF is the first Chinese offshore fund to invest in loans issued by western platforms. OPCF provides Chinese high net worth and mass affluent investors the opportunity to spread risks across different geographies with exposure to Western private credit. It is also a natural fit for CreditEase Wealth Management clients, given that they are already familiar with the P2P asset class having exposure to it in China.

Marketplace lending has emerged as a new asset class with attractive returns compared to other fixed-income products and low correlation to equities. Against a backdrop of bank deleveraging and de-risking, the global marketplace lending market is expected grow to US$150-490 billion by 2020, according to a recent report published by Morgan Stanley.

The state of fintech funding, in five charts (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Total global funding to fintech companies fell to 47.2 percent to $24.7 billion in 2016 from $46.7 billion the year before, according to KPMG’s quarterly fintech funding report, The Pulse of Fintech, which came out in February 23. Deal activity dropped to 1,076 from 1,255 the year before.

VC deal volume is down, but dollar value keeps growing

The number of venture capital deals fell to 1,436 last year from 1,617 in 2015. However, those deals continued to increase in value, rising to $17.35 billion globally in VC investment from $15.64 billion the year before.


Early stage deals are down, late stage deals are up
According to CB Insights, seed investments fell to 29 percent at the end of 2016 from 35 percent the year before, while Series D investments rose to 7 percent, showing that while investment volume is still larger among younger companies, interest in those startups slipped over the last year while interest in more established, developed companies grew.
Private equity is emerging as an additional source of fintech investment
The value of private equity deals in fintech fell by about $7 billion between 2015 and 2016, but deal volume rose to 112 from 99.
Corporates and startups are more open to working together
The venture arms of financial institutions increased their participation in fintech startup investment to $8.5 billion (17 percent of deals) in 2016 from $4.9 billion (14 percent of deals) the year before.

Online lender Elevate is heading for an IPO (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The company is offering 7.7 million shares at $12 to $14 each, it said in an updated filing on Monday. It has also put aside 1.15 million shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase. At the top of the range it would raise about $124 million.

The company plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange with a ticker of ELVT. UBS is leading the deal with Credit Suisse and Jefferies.

Online retailers now armed with free fraud prevention resource to combat data breaches (XOR Data Exchange Email), Rated: AAA

Austin-based data and analytics startup XOR Data Exchange is introducing a free resource for online retailers to identify and prevent account takeover attempts caused by the increasing frequency of data breaches that include account login credentials.

XOR’s Compromised Identity Exchange Basic platform allows e-retailers insight into the level of identity theft risk associated with a specific customer based on the number and types of data breaches the individual has been impacted by, whether or not those breaches are producing fraud, and if the individual’s stolen information is available for sale on the Dark Web. Participating retailers will also receive details about recent data breach activity and format of any compromised account passwords in order to implement authentication measures as needed to ensure a purchase is being made by the rightful person.

Following the implementation of EMV chip technologies in U.S. payment cards, retailers and card issuers have reported an increase in card not present (CNP) and online fraud, with some studies reflecting a 3-to-1 surge in growth. Combined with increasing frequency of data breaches that include login credentials, consumers carry increasing risk of experiencing identity theft in the form of account takeover across multiple online platforms.

By implementing this free version of XOR’s Compromised Identity Exchange, which was initially introduced in May 2016, retailers that process online transactions for customers are able to determine the level of identity theft and account takeover risk associated with approving a specific transaction or fulfilling an order. For many of these retailers, customer payment and shipping information is automatically saved for convenience, putting these individuals at risk of identity theft.

Global Debt Registry to Utilize TransUnion Data to Expand eValidationSM Services within Online Lending (Global Debt Registry Email), Rated: A

Global Debt Registry (GDR), the asset certainty company known for its loan validation expertise, today announced it will be utilizing data from leading credit information provider, TransUnion, to extend the range of GDR’s eValidationSM services for investors and issuing creditors in the online lending industry.

By combining GDR’s expertise in real validation of underlying loan data with trusted third-party information providers such as TransUnion, investors obtain greater insight and confidence in their online lending portfolios than achieved in traditional verification programs.

With TransUnion data, investors can obtain in-depth validation of their online lending portfolios while minimizing the exposure of risks associated with managing and protecting confidential consumer data. Additionally, originating creditors are able to leverage an independent third-party service made possible by GDR’s use of TransUnion data to validate certain account data on loans provided to them by online lending platforms. Similarly, warehouse lenders have greater and much needed transparency into these pledged assets and can do so within the current FCRA/GLBA regulatory framework.

ID Finance Joins Mintos Marketplace,  Places Unsecured Loans in Spain Under MoneyMan Brand (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

ID Finance, a data science and digital finance company, announced on Monday it has officially joined peer-to-peer lender Mintos and has already begun placing personal unsecured loans issued in Spain under its MoneyMan brand on the lending platform’s marketplace. 

ID Finance claims it is now the largest online lender in Russia and it currently operates Kazakhstan, Georgia, Poland, Spain, and Brazil.

A community banker’s fintech ‘aha’ moment (American Banker), Rated: A

While watching the game on television, the president and chief executive of Reading Cooperative Bank saw a commercial for the online lender Social Finance. She decided to try out its loan process for herself right then and, before the game came back on screen, her application was approved. She had an $89,000 personal loan.

“If they can deliver that quickly and that seamlessly, they are going to take all of the best customers with the best credit scores,” Thurlow said. “We are going to be left with the lower credit scores.”

The incident prompted her $513 million-asset bank in Reading, Mass., to accelerate its mobile efforts. It is testing some new functions now — like account opening on its mobile app — and Thurlow said she is happy with the results so far.

Invest Efficiently with a Lending Club or Prosper IRA (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Both Lending Club and Prosper allow you to open up retirement accounts. You can also transfer money from an existing IRA to either company which can be done at any time.

The losses or charge offs from loans are capital losses. Investors are able to deduct $3,000 a year of capital losses (Federal). Any losses over $3,000 are carried over to future years. There also may be a limit in capital losses you can claim each year at the state level.

IRAs are available with Lending Club’s preferred custodian, Self Directed IRA Services, Inc. (SDIRA). There is an annual account fee of $100, but this is covered by Lending Club if your initial investment exceeds $5,000. Lending Club will continue to cover this fee in subsequent years if your investment in Lending Club notes exceeds $10,000 or more.

Prosper, like Lending Club offers IRA transfers, rollovers and annual contributions. Prosper will also cover your first year IRA account fee to the custodian with a $5,000 contribution. If you have at least $10,000 invested on your one year anniversary, they will continue to pay the account fee. Prosper’s preferred IRA custodians are Millennium Trust and Equity Institutional.

Is Kabbage Buying Out Rival OnDeck? (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Kabbage is growing while OnDeck seems to be on a downward trend, and given last years negative analysis of the online lending marketplace, it makes some sense that Kabbage will soon make an offer to buyout OnDeck.

So will Kabbage attempt to buy out OnDeck? Maybe, but the more important question is whether OnDeck will agree to it and at what terms.

Bloomberg columnist Gillian Tan thinks that OnDeck most likely won’t agree to a standard buyout based on the fact that OnDeck’s earliest investors still own 45% of the company.

OnDeck did see a slight uptick in its shares last week when speculation of a buyout was first reported on and the recent hiring of former Morgan Stanley COO Jim Rosenthal to its board of directors might be a sign that things will improve.

Potential Applications of Blockchain For Real Estate (Lend Academy), Rated: B

What’s most interesting to me is how companies are applying technology to real estate and one of the big opportunities is bringing blockchain technology to real estate.

One of the keys to the adoption of blockchain for real estate is to demonstrate the cost savings and reduction of risk. As larger companies start to adopt the technology Ragnar believes the rest will follow. Chicago’s Cook County is currently running a pilot program with velox.RE for transferring and tracking property titles as well as filing liens.

For boutique real estate investors or even homeowners there is also an opportunity on a smaller scale to increase the efficiency and lessen the cost of the home buying process. For instance, closing costs can be reduced by reducing the friction that is currently involved in real estate transactions.

Panelists also highlighted the opportunity of the technology being applied to crowdfunding. There are three perceived benefits:

  • Accepting bitcoin for payment will allow for investments from across the world, big and small
  • Payments can be automated to investors in the property
  • The blockchain can provide proof of real estate ownership
United Kingdom

P2P Real Estate Lending Marketplace Relendex Reaches Milestone with Full FCA Authorisation (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

Relendex, a peer-to-peer (P2P) commercial real estate lending marketplace that directly connects creditworthy borrowers to investors, has reached a significant milestone with full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulation demonstrates the rigour and governance of the platform and will allow Relendex to launch its new Innovative Finance ISA giving retail investors unparalleled tax efficient lending to the U.K. commercial property market.

Relendex, an early mover in security-backed commercial property lending for investors, specialises in innovative finance through its nimble P2P marketplace lending platform technology and ultimately improves accessibility of established and secure asset classes into the direct retail and institutional investor market. Their commercial approach and automated secondary market provides much needed liquidity to lenders. Relendex has sustained zero defaults on its loan book to date ().

Reaching this important milestone in Relendex’s real estate lending development with full FCA approval is testament to its commitment to support U.K. economic growth with fast and flexible financing options for Britain’s commercial property businesses. Whilst providing creditworthy borrowers with access to much needed credit and at the same time providing investors attractive and secured returns that are delivered through Relendex’s leading technology.

Obtaining ISA manager status on the back of this full FCA approval is the next step for Relendex allowing them to be one of the first movers in offering the Innovative Finance ISA to retail investors – the tax free wrapper and P2P investments that is forecast to propel the industry into the mainstream.

LendInvest and Pepper UK announce industry-first partnership (LendInvest), Rated: AAA

LendInvest, the online mortgage lender, and Pepper UK, one of the country’s leading specialist loan servicing companies, have agreed to form what is believed to be the industry’s first partnership between a UK online property finance marketplace and an outsourced loan servicing business.

Under the terms of the partnership, Pepper UK will take responsibility for servicing all new loans originated by the LendInvest team. The LendInvest team will service existing loans until the autumn at which point these loans will be migrated to the Pepper team for continuity of service. All loans that require special servicing (e.g. arrears or expiries) will continue to be handled by the LendInvest team.

Lendable secures £100 million investment to grow its consumer loan marketplace (Lendable Email), Rated: A

Lendable announced today a £100 million investment by Waterfall Asset Management, a global credit investor.

Based in London, Lendable has developed proprietary, automated underwriting technology to offer instant decisions, transparent rates and competitive pricing on small consumer loans. The platform has generated market-leading returns to investors, and will continue to add further private and institutional investors in the coming months.

HMRC applies to shut down more businesses as it pursues unpaid tax (SmallBusiness.co.uk), Rated: A

HMRC applications to wind up businesses in order to recover unpaid tax rose 12 per cent last year, up to 3,906 in 2016 from 3,485 in 2015, says Funding Options, the online business finance supermarket.

Funding Options says that if HMRC is successful in obtaining a winding up order from a court, the business concerned will be forced to close, and its assets liquidated to pay outstanding tax bills.

Funding Options has warned that in addition to being wound up, businesses face other debilitating consequences if they cannot afford to pay tax bills on time. HMRC also has the power to seize business assets and levy substantial penalties on businesses that fail to pay their tax arrears.

European Union

Blockchain startup Humaniq announces alpha release of mobile app (EconoTimes), Rated: AAA

Blockchain startup Humaniq announced the alpha release of their mobile app that is focused to tackling the global issue of financial exclusion for people across the world, who do not have bank accounts.

The application on iOS and Android will have various unique features, which have not been before with banking apps. The app software will have biometric ID for unlocking the app or verifying the transactions, as well as to replace the entire sign up process. The Humaniq app builds user profiles that are based on facial and voice recognition algorithms.

With the launch of the app initially, the blockchain company will focus on developing the core banking services of the app, such as remittance payments and P2P lending. The app will support various cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether, apart from Humaniq’s own tokens known as HMQ.

China

41 Peopled Locked Up for Baiyin Wealth Co. P2P Fraud in China (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

In what is being described as Shanghai’s “first and high profile” peer to peer lending fraud case, 41 people associated with Baiyin Wealth Co. have been imprisoned according to China News. The case included the theft of approximately 700 million yuan or about USD $10.2 million. Sentences were said to range from 6 to 8 months with some individuals receiving a reprieve.

India

Fintech startup Perpule raises $ 650k from Kstart Capital (India Times), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup Perpule has raised $650,000 in a funding round led by Kstart Capital, the sister concern of VC firm Kalaari Capital, reports Shadma Shaikh. The round also saw participation from venture fund Venture Highway and Raghunandan G, cofounder of TaxiForSure. “Our vision is to ensure waiting in queues is a thing of the past.

Banks should team up with FinTech startups, says Rana Kapoor (India Times), Rated: A

Universal banks need to explore partnerships with entities such as payments banks, small finance banks and FinTech startups to achieve a more financially included society, said YES BankBSE 0.49 % Managing Director Rana Kapoor, while he warned banks against strategies of trying out indigenous solutions.

Africa

Bitbond & BitPesa Announces New Partnership: Seeks to Improve Financing of SMEs in Africa (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

German-based SME lending platform Bitbond and African payment services provider BitPesa announced on Monday they have formed a new partnership to improve access to African SMEs financing.

BitPesa pays local currency out to the borrower’s preferred payment option within minutes. The integration between the companies is currently live in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Middle East

Fintech startups compete in the growing Middle East market (ImpactAlpha), Rated: A

The small financial technology, or fintech, sector in the Middle East is May 3-4 may help change that.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor