Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest

Lend Academy

News Comments Today’s main news: Affirm debuts shopping app. Zopa profits tick upward. RateSetter recovering from loan scandal. PPDAI stock rises 7% with lift in institutional-funded loans. Oportun ends Nasdaq debut with 8% gain. Australia: RBA cuts interest rates, online lenders follow. Today’s main analysis: The Future of Finance: Marcus, Neobank, and fintech. (A MUST-READ) […]

The post Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

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News Summary

United States

OnDeck Survey: Economy is Top Concern for Small Businesses Ahead of 2020 Election (New Kerala), Rated: AAA

OnDeck today announced the results of a national survey of U.S. small business owners that finds economic issues are the most important factors in determining their choice for president in 2020.

  • Economic concerns arise in several dimensions, including tax policy, job growth, support for small businesses, government spending and the overall economic climate. These issues were cited as the top concerns of more than 33% of those surveyed;
  • Immigration was an issue of interest for 11.3% of small business owners surveyed, ranking second behind the economy as a concern.
  • 57% of small businesses surveyed said they were either Very Optimistic or Somewhat Optimistic about the economic outlook for their businesses;
  • 93% of those surveyed said they plan to vote in the 2020 election.
  • 60% of small business owners surveyed said they already know who they plan to vote for in the 2020 presidential election.

Affirm debuted a new app encouraging customers to start their shopping journeys with it (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

The point-of-sale (POS) financing provider 

Source: Business Insider

Affirm ships new shopping and bill splitting app (Finextra), Rated: A

Affirm’s app also allows consumers to pay at any brick-and-mortar store that accepts Apple Pay or Google Pay, which is increasingly important as 24% of consumers want the flexibility to look online and shop in-store.

Those with Apple Pay or Google Pay enabled have also seen up to 14% of transactions driven in-store, making the Affirm app a rare omnichannel solution for customer acquisition.

Max Levchin On The Future-Present Of Everywhere POS Lending (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Since Affirm’s launch, the landscape in the POS space is radically different than it was when Affirm entered. It is, first and foremost, a much bigger and more populated space than it once was. Other startups have come to the field — AfterpayUplift and Sezzle for example — but also bigger and more established names in financial services. In the last 12 months alone SquareMastercardPayPal and Chase have all rolled out POS installment lending products or enhancements as the market continues to pick up popularity among consumers, particularly younger ones.

Latest Macro; latest from Marcus; Oportun goes IPO (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Q4 is off to a brisk start. The jobs report released this past Friday shows 114K in net new jobs (vs expectations of 120K), generally flat wages, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.5%.

On the one hand, the US economy is near ‘stall speed’ – around 1 to 1.5% growth rate.

Source: PeerIQ, The Daily Shot, Conference Board

House prices are expected to rise 5.8% over the next year due to low mortgage rates.

Two major financing announcements this week. FinTech lender, Oportun, led by CEO Raul Vazquez, ends its Nasdaq debut with an 8% gain. The debut is notable as it represents a positive shift in the sentiment to the reception of lenders to the IPO market.

My Quarterly Marketplace Lending Results – Q2 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The upward trend in my returns continued in Q2, making it the fifth quarter in a row with increasing returns. My preliminary return for the 12 months ending June 30, 2019 is 6.20% (one investment is still not final), the best I have achieved since Q3 2017.

Source: Lend Academy

The Maybe-Dubious Rise of the Loans-for-Sneaker Business (GQ), Rated: AAA

Afterpay is one of a number of platforms that have sprouted up over the past couple years that are willing to float customers a couple hundred or thousand dollars to shop. In addition to it, there are Affirm, Sezzle, Klarna, and Quadpay. They are positioned as a more consumer-friendly option than credit cards, a whole host of services bent on—because this is 2019—disrupting the powers that be.

Globally, Afterpay, which launched in Australia, has over 4.6 million customers and 35,000 retail partners. In the U.S., where Afterpay only launched in May of last year, it has two million customers and is available at 6,500 retailers. Over three million people use Affirm, while another 500,000 have shopped with Sezzle.

Silicon Valley promises aside, Afterpay is, at best, a platform that allows you to take out what amounts to a small loan on an item. After an approval process—Afterpay does not check a credit score; others like Affirm do—the customer pays a fourth of the price upfront and the rest is paid off in three equal installments every two weeks.

Also new is the $1,500 limit, up from $500, that Afterpay raised after Hyde-McCormick proved himself a responsible shopper and the $87.50 payments currently due every two weeks.

What Happened to Borro? (deBanked), Rated: A

In 2013, Borro, an innovative online lending company that was poised to disrupt pawn shop lending forever, invited me to their stylish offices at 767 Third Avenue in Manhattan.

Borro made $50 million worth of such loans in 2013 and doubled that number in 2014.

Auto, home equity are soft spots in consumer lending (American Banker), Rated: A

In its quarterly report that tracks consumer delinquency trends, the American Bankers Association said that 30-day past-due rates ticked up in eight of 11 categories in the second quarter when compared with the first quarter, but stressed that delinquencies remain well below historic norms.

Finally! Maker Offers Multi-Collateral DAI Lending (Cryptovest), Rated: A

Maker DAO, the most active decentralized finance app on the Ethereum network, has announced a date for its long-awaited multi-collateral DAI generation. According to observers, November 18 may be the date MKR starts accepting other assets as collateral.

Multi-collateral DAI creation has the potential to be riskier in comparison to ETH-based models. Currently, Maker is deliberately over-collateralized at above 300%, with the minimum at 150%, due to the high volatility of crypto assets.

A $ 40 Billion Pile of Leveraged Loans Is Battered by Big Losses (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Loans tied to more than 50 companies have lost at least 10 percentage points of face value in just three months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some have dropped a lot more, with lenders lucky to get back just two-thirds of their investment if they tried to sell.

It’s hardly a full-blown apocalypse for the junk-rated leveraged loan market, which totals $1.2 trillion.

Energy is the hardest-hit sector on the list, with more than $12 billion of loans falling more than 10 cents on the dollar. Consumer and health care follow, comprising around $8 billion and $5 billion of loans outstanding, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg

Ruling cuts short debt collectors’ victory lap over CFPB proposal (American Banker), Rated: B

Under the CFPB’s May proposal, debt collectors could have unlimited contact with debtors through email and text messages, though consumers could opt out of such communications. Additionally, collectors could satisfy disclosure requirements with a hyperlink embedded in an email that takes consumers to a description about how they can dispute a debt.

The SEC is hiring a chief data officer (Business Insider), Rated: B

The Securities and Exchange Commission is hiring its first chief data officer, according to a job posting for the role.

Voyager Selects Celsius Network to Manage Certain Assets (AP News), Rated: B

Voyager Digital, LLC, a subsidiary of publicly-traded Voyager Digital (Canada) Ltd (Ticker VYGR.CN), an industry-leading best execution crypto asset broker, today announced a partnership with Celsius Network, in which Celsius will manage a portion of Voyager’s digital assets.

United Kingdom

Zopa’s P2P profits tick up but group losses widen due to heavy investment in bank (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

Zopa Group – which incorporates the P2P platform and upcoming digital bank – reported a pre-tax loss of £18.295m for the year ended 31 December 2018, compared to a pre-tax loss of £5.536m the previous year.

Zopa: nine in 10 shoppers confused by car finance options (Verdict), Rated: A

In a survey of 2,000 consumers, 47% of people who had recently bought a car with finance are unable to identify which type of finance deal they signed up for. Zopa estimates that the average car buyer could save up to £11,000 over the course of their lifetime by working out the best finance deal available.

Ratesetter recovering from loan scandal (The Times), Rated: AAA

One of Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lenders appears to be recovering from a toxic loan scandal after its latest results showed it edging towards breaking even.

Accounts for Ratesetter, which links 56,000 ordinary investors with consumer and business borrowers, show that pre-tax losses narrowed by 69 per cent in the year to March.

Wonga customers’ average compensation payout may be just £118 (The Guardian), Rated: A

Customers who were mis-sold loans by the collapsed payday lender Wonga are expected to receive less than 10% of what they are owed in compensation after administrators revealed that only £41m will be put aside for claimants.

Payday loan alternative Savvy secures £20 million funding facility (Finextra), Rated: A

Stockport and Wilmslow based fintech company Savvy.co.uk is to create 25 jobs after securing a £20 million investment.

The funding, from London-based Cairn Capital, will increase lending capacity for the company who provide an ethical alternative to pay-day loans.

MEET THE FRENCHMAN WHO WANTS TO SOLVE THE UK’S HOUSING CRISIS (Business Leader), Rated: A

WHY DID YOU START BLEND NETWORK?

I started working in the financial industry as an FX trader before moving to trading gold and copper, both much more inefficient markets than FX. I realised that the UK property market was a hugely inefficient market in the sense that lenders and borrowers are not meeting. On the one hand, you have very experienced property developers across the country who are trying to access funds to build homes but traditional lenders are no longer active in providing development finance.

Instead, we lend in places such as Coventry, East Anglia, Doncaster, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a very good example of our strategic approach to lending. Last year, we did around 80-85% of our business in Northern Ireland.

Crowdfunding a start up options explained for businesses and investors (What Investment), Rated: A

Crowdfunding a start up brings to mind the statement ‘Nothing worth having comes easy’, never truer than in the case of launching a start-up. Getting a new business off the ground will often require capital. Something which a lot of people don’t know how to go about getting.

These are:

  • Reward based crowdfunding;
  • Equity based crowdfunding;
  • Debt based crowdfunding, and
  • Donation based crowdfunding.

Landlords wary of tax changes (Money International), Rated: A

Half of the 200 landlords approached agreed tax changes and tougher mortgage borrowing criteria have thwarted their plans to buy more properties, while 15% admitted they had been put off buying homes to rent.

A third who still wanted to invest are considering a switch from buy to let to peer-to-peer lending secured against property, while 8% have already done so.

China

PPDAI Stock Soars 7% on Increase in Institutionally-Funded Loans (Capital Watch), Rated: AAA

The stock in PPDAI Group Inc (NYSE: PPDF) closed 7% higher on Wednesday, at $2.83 per American depositary share, after it announced a positive trend in funding of loans by its institutional partners and increased loan origination volume.

For the third quarter, the Shanghai-based company, which operates an online consumer finance marketplace, said in a statement on Wednesday that the volume of loans facilitated by its institutional funding partners jumped to $2.64 billion, up 91% from the second quarter. Total loan origination volume was above PPDAI’s guidance, it said, as it reached $3.51 billion, up 14% from the previous quarter.

European Union

What we learned at this year’s LendIt Fintech Europe (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

At the conference, Business Insider Intelligence identified four emerging themes that we expect to set the tone for the space for the next year: further proliferation of partnerships between banks and fintechs, increased focus on digital banks’ sustainability, accelerated innovation and disruption from small- and medium-sized business (SMB) lenders, and more challenges ahead for the UK’s P2P lenders.

  • CYBG bank and price comparison site GoCompare recently partnered to offer an energy compare and switch service for all of CYBG’s B customers.
  • Barclays bank partnered with SMB finance fintech MarketInvoice last year to give Barclays’ SMB clients access to MarkeInvoice’s solutions. 
  • French Banking-as-a-Service platform Treezor was acquired by Société Générale last year, as the bank looked to enhance its ability to innovate and decrease time to market.
Source: Business Insider

Linked Finance launches ‘Beyond Brexit’ business loans (Bridging and Commercial), Rated: A

The new 18-month loan period will allow borrowers to access working capital facilities of up to €300,000 (approximately £265,194) in just 24 hours.

ID on track to double revenues as it eyes €300m+ of revenue within 2 years (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

ID Finance, the fintech operating in Europe and Latin America, saw revenue growth of over 100% in the first 9 months of 2019 and is on track to double its revenues to €90m revenue this year. The data science, credit scoring and digital finance company is now planning its first equity crowdfunding round via Crowdcube as it targets €300m+ of revenue within 2 years.

Binance Launches New Lending Program Phase (CoinCodex), Rated: A

The Binance cryptocurrency exchange has launched the latest phase of its relatively new lending program. For the program’s eighth installment, Binance is sticking with the model of short-term loans, as users only have to commit their crypto for 14 days.

International

A Guide to What’s Happening in the Fintech Revolution (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

These underbanked markets, led by countries in Asia and Africa, have inspired fintech innovation that’s leapfrogging the technology available in the developed world. Ant Financial Services Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay in China, Paytm in India, and Safaricom’s M-Pesa in Kenya are some well-known examples.

Source: Bloomberg

Take Facebook Inc.’s plan to launch a digital currency called Libra in 2020. The social network’s gigantic reach—more than 2.4 billion active monthly users—could draw a much wider audience to Libra than has used previous cryptocurrencies. For instance, global remittances by migrants reached a record $689 billion last year, according to the World Bank.

Source: Bloomberg

San Francisco-based 500 Startups staked 43 such companies in the 12 months ended June 30.

Goldman’s $ 1.3B Marcus burn, Neobank £200MM loss; plus 14 short takes on top developments (Lex), Rated: AAA

Goldman is losing $1.3 billion on Marcus, trying to build a Fintech leader. Etrade is going to lose $75 million from cutting trading fees to $0 to keep up with Robinhood. Revolut is losing £35 million on £60 million in revenue, with another £140 million burned by Atom, Monzo, Tandem, and the rest.

Source FT Research and Future of Finance

Generally speaking, from a deposit point of view, these are still all small businesses at £1 billion in assets (e.g., Betterment manages $20 billion).

Source: ARK Invest and Future of Finance

The first is that the Robinhoods and Monzos of the world are 10x overpriced relative to the payments apps. I can sort of buy this — though money in motion is way easier to capture than money at rest. The second is that venture investors think a finance user is worth $1,500 in a digital bank.

Source: Future of Finance

Blockchain: the future of finance (Financier Worldwide), Rated: A

Recent examples of blockchain’s impact on financial markets go well beyond these initial applications or P2P lending or crowdfunding.

The first wave of applications in finance and banking is being driven by easily achievable gains in actively traded assets.

MasterCard incorporated a blockchain payment system providing vendors real time, lower cost settlements on cross-border transactions. Representing a consortium of more than 40 of the world’s largest banks, fintech firm R3 launched a payment system built on DLT platform Corda, to expedite intra-bank transfers.

St. Regis Aspen, a Colorado resort, is a partnership formed with a crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, that in lieu of a traditional IPO completed a private placement via DLT financing real estate. This sale of ‘tokens’ – fractional interests in the underlying property – raised $18m, compliant with securities laws.

Australia

Hot home loan rates starting with a 2 (mozo), Rated: AAA

The RBA has cut official interest rates for the third time this year, and already a handful of lenders have responded by slashing rates across their range of variable rate home loans. Right now, if your home loan doesn’t have a ‘2’ in front of it, you’re missing out.

loans.com.au jumps on October RBA home loan rate cut party (mozo), Rated: AAA

The online lender has announced its response to the 0.25% drop in the official cash rate though, with loans.com.au taking 0.15% off a number of variable rate home loan offers for both owner occupiers and investors.

The changes, which come into effect on October 17, will have an impact on a number of  loans.com.au home loan offers including:

• Essentials Variable loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.04% (3.06% comparison rate*).

• Smart Home Loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 2.88% (2.90% comparison rate*).

• ZIP Home Loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.08% (3.10% comparison rate*).

• Offset Variable loan – reduced by 0.15% with rates now as low as 3.12% (3.14% comparison rate*).

OnDeck appoints Robbie Fidler as new national broker chief (IT Wire), Rated: B

Online SME lender OnDeck Australia has appointed experienced commercial lending operator Robbie Fidler as its national broker channel manager.

Asia

SPV 2030: Sharing of risks and reward (The Malaysian Reserve), Rated: A

The growth and success of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a testament of the viability of risk-sharing contracts, where the investors take on some risks (for higher return) from the ventures they are financing. This way, finance will be grounded in the real economy, which is another core principle of Islamic finance.

MENA

Beehive funds first SME in Bahrain (Arabian Business), Rated: AAA

Dubai-based Beehive, the region’s first regulated peer-to-peer lending platform, has funded its first SME in Bahrain.

Canada

BFS Capital Opens New Data Science and Engineering Hub in Toronto (Financial Post), Rated: B

BFS Capital, a leader in small business lending, has officially launched a data science and engineering hub in Toronto as the company accelerates its plans to develop best-in-class digital financial products for small businesses across the globe.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday October 10 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Tuesday April 3 2018, Daily News Digest

FT Partners

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi issues $2.6B in ABS notes in Q1 2018. GreenSky files for IPO. China’s P2P lenders brace for more regulations. FinanZero raises $3.6M. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ CEO alternative lending market analysis. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Cities with highest share of cash-out refinance borrowers. Retailers grow financial services capabilities. India’s unsecured instant loan interest rates […]

FT Partners

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Australia

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Issues a Record $ 2.6 Billion in ABS Notes in the First Quarter of 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today that it completed $2.6 billion in loan securitizations in the first quarter of 2018, a 35% increase over the prior-year period and its largest-ever quarterly ABS issuance volume.

In Q1 2018, SoFi completed a total of three securitization transactions: two student loan ABS offerings ($960 million SOFI 2018-A Notes and $869 million SOFI 2018-B Notes) and one consumer loan ABS offering ($774 million SCLP 2018-1 Notes). The SoFi 2018-B Notes marked the first time SoFi included medical residency loans as a part of the collateral.

LendingTree Ranks Cities with the Highest Share of Cash-Out Refinance Borrowers (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released the findings of its study on where cash-out refinancing was most prevalent in the past year.

Cities with the highest share of cash-out borrowers

Source Lending Tree

Cities with the highest cash-out loan amounts

Source Lending Tree

Fintech Firm GreenSky Files Confidentially for IPO (Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA

Financial-technology firm GreenSky LLC has confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a sizable initial public offering that could come as soon as this summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta company, which operates a lending platform that enables retailers, health-care providers and home contractors to offer loans to their customers, could seek to raise $1 billion at a valuation of roughly $5 billion, some of the people said.

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis  (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Manu Smadja, co-founder and CEO of MPOWER Financing, an alternative lender that enables high-potential international students to finance their education. In our conversation with Manu, he discusses the inception of MPOWER, along with the unique opportunities and challenges of lending to this market.

M&A

Source: FT Partners

Read the full report here.

Max Levchin To Participate In A Keynote Fireside Chat At LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech announced today that Max Levchin, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Affirm, a financial services technology company that is reimagining consumer credit and banking, will be featured in a keynote fireside chat on April 9. The world’s most prominent and emerging fintech CEOs from Wall Street to Main Street will gather April 9-11 at Moscone Center in San Francisco to focus on the hot-button topics and issues exploring the future of finance.

In a session titled The future of credit: Reimagining the financing ecosystem, Levchin’s keynote fireside chat will delve into how the retail industry has evolved and how retail experiences are continuing to grow beyond the capabilities of traditional credit and lending. Levchin will share his thoughts on why the industry needs to reimagine the financing ecosystem from the ground up in order to unlock the future of credit. Levchin will also discuss why Affirm is committed to reinventing credit, starting with the belief that it should help improve consumers’ financial lives in addition to financing their purchases.

Kabbage: Small Businesses Turning To Mobile Lending In Big Numbers (Payment Week), Rated: A

Sometimes, businesses need ready cash to get from “the latest bills” to “the next paid invoice,” and that’s where lenders are coming in. A new report from Kabbage says that small businesses are turning to mobile devices to get in on that lender funding in increasing numbers.

Kabbage surveyed almost 150,000 small businesses, and found that loans accessed by mobile device had increased better than three-fold, over 360 percent, of what they were back in April 2014. While the total numbers went through the roof, the value of the loans accessed went through the roof and over the treetops, having increased over 1,220 percent.

Why Marcus Has Changed Everything (Orchard Platform), Rated: A

Fast forward almost 18 months and Marcus is the fastest growing online lender in history. They have lent $2.5 billion in this time to 350,000 customers and have 700 employees spread across three offices. Not only that, but they have grand ambitions in the space. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has repeatedly talked about the importance of Marcus to the future of Goldman Sachs.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal the consumer banking business of Goldman Sachs is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue for the firm by 2020. That is significantly more revenue than LendingClub is expected to generate in 2018 as an 11-year- old business.

We have heard that Barclays and PNC Financial will be launching their own lending platforms in 2018 and there are rumors that many other large banks are going to do the same.

Most people probably don’t know Goldman Sachs offers a savings account with excellent perks — and anyone can use it with just $ 1 (Business Insider), Rated: A

Marcus— named after the Goldman Sachs founder Marcus Goldman — allows any adult (except in Maryland, where Marcus is not yet available) to create a savings account.

The big selling point for Marcus is the 1.5% annual percentage yield offered. Whereas interest rates for many banks have plummeted to as low as 0.01%, Goldman Sachs’ savings accounts create significant interest.

There is also no minimum amount needed to open an account with Marcus, and a deposit of even $1 allows users to earn the 1.5% APY.

Ohio Insurtech Root Insurance Completes Series C Round With $ 51 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated:A

Root Insurance, an Ohio-based car insurtech company, announced last week it secured $51 million in funding through its Series C round, which was led by Redpoint Ventures, with Scale Venture Partners and existing partners Ribbit Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Capital Partners. 

Root will use the new funding to expand into additional states and continue to invest in technology that significantly improves the customer experience.

That Fast Online Loan Could Have Super-high Interest Rates and Hidden Fees That Bankrupt Your Business (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

recent lawsuit against fintech small-business lender Kabbage Inc., charging that it partnered with a bank in order to offer interest rates that exceeded the legal limit, highlights the need for more regulatory oversight of the growing number of online lenders signing deals with small businesses.

Online lenders are getting more scrutiny.

The recent Massachusetts federal case brought by a small business against Kabbage (and its partner Celtic Bank) highlights why non-bank fintech lenders should be regulated. The suit alleges that Kabbage used its relationship with Celtic — which “rented” its balance sheet to Kabbage — as a basis to charge interest rates that violated usury laws.

How Credit Karma is using data to become a central finance hub (Tearsheet), Rated: A

It’s not a bank, but it uses customer data to help banks find customers.

Currently valued at $4 billion, Credit Karma has 80 million customers — half of whom are millennials. The company joins a growing number of financial startups like Clarity Money, SoFi, Chime and Varo Money that are aiming to become one-stop shops for customers’ finances. The field is growing increasingly competitive. Meanwhile, banks are bundling personal finance advice into their mobile apps. But Credit Karma has two advantages its competitors often struggle with — scale and data — and it’s using a chatbot to lock in the relationship with the customer.

A Chase Sapphire experiment is getting revived and expanded after the trial run blew away expectations with millennials last year (Business Insider), Rated: B

Last year, ahead of the spring homebuying season — the busiest of the year — JPMorgan Chase engineered an experiment to gain an edge in the mortgage-lending competition.

So the bank targeted its Sapphire customers, offering another 100,000 in rewards points if they closed a mortgage with the bank — a bonus worth as much as $1,500.

HNW Clients Warming Up To Digital Advice (Financial Adviser), Rated: A

In its report, “The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Retail Investor Edition, 1Q 2018 Issue,” the researcher found that more than one-quarter of investors over 70 who have $2 million to $5 million in investable assets said they would consider online-only engagement. Beyond that, high-net-worth investors in general seemingly are more receptive to digital advice platforms.

In 2015, Cerulli found that 38% of investors with investable assets of $2 million to $5 million said they were willing to engage with digital providers. Last year, that number jumped to 46%. And among investors with $5 million-plus in investable assets, those numbers went from 30% in 2015 to 38% last year.

Why borrower experience will be the principal driver of bank revenue in the lending market (Lendit), Rated: A

Tech giants such as Google and Amazon have rewritten the rulebook for consumers when it comes to what they can reasonably expect from their service providers. Consequently, bank offerings are being judged to the same standard as the most innovative digitally native products in the world.

The benefits of improved customer experience

More generally, banks must focus on improving user experience to remain competitive as digitally native fintech products flood the marketplace. Focusing especially, the motivations for improving customer experience can be described as:

  •  Differentiation Financial services can no longer lean on long-standing relationships and brand positioning to generate new customer business.
  • Positive brand response in addition to research, some customers will also emphasize the emotive impression they receive from a product when making purchasing decisions.
  • Coping with an economic downturn During a recession or other global economic hardship businesses are placed under increased financial strain. Services viewed positively by their existing clients will stand a better chance of retaining their clients as well as growing their client base during the downturn.

Pindrop Introduces New Biometric Solution: Tongueprinting (Finovate), Rated: A

Banking Technology’s Anthony Peyton reports that the Atlanta-based anti-fraud and authentication specialist has unveiled Tongueprinting, a technology that analyses every person’s unique tongue as its newest biometric engine. Banking Technology is Finovate’s sister publication.

The idea is for Tongueprinting to stop fraudsters from taking over legitimate accounts by spoofing the call centre with automated bots, social engineering, and knowledge-based authentication questions.  

HomeUnion Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Individual Investors (Business Wire), Rated: A

HomeUnion, the leader in online residential real estate investing, has launched a crowdfunding platform that allows investors to purchase stakes in funds of single-family rental (SFR) properties on its website. Starting with a minimum investment of $10,000, retail investors now have the ability to acquire interest in the HomeUnion Fix-and-Flip Fund. The fund enables consumers to invest in SFR assets acquired for fix-and-flip purposes in seven HomeUnion markets: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Raleigh and Tampa.

Upstart tests buyer appetite with riskier loans, more sub notes (Global Capital), Rated: A

Online lender Upstart is the latest marketplace loan company to broaden the risk profile of its ABS, announcing a deal this week offering more subordinate bonds and backed by a higher proportion of longer term loans.

The California-based lender, founded by ex-Google employees, uses an underwriting model which incorporates data points beyond borrowers’ FICO scores, utilizing other factors such as schools attended, areas of study, academic performance and work history.

Is low pay hurting banks in the battle for tech talent? (American Banker), Rated: A

Conversations about pay in the banking industry typically focus on whether executives at the top are paid too much or workers at the bottom are paid too little.

But new data available as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act is drawing rare attention to the compensation of employees in the middle. In what will become an annual exercise, publicly traded U.S. companies are now required to disclose annually the median pay of their employees.

Information and Data Integrity: A Two-Way Street (Lendit), Rated: A

For many businesses, data is an important aspect of decision management. When you are choosing with whom to do business, you rely on the validity of data to guide you. If it proves faulty, you may be steered into accepting bad customers or rejecting good ones, which can seriously affect your bottom line. For consumers, inaccurate data can be equally harmful—leading to the appearance of having bad credit, denials of services or products or worse, flagged as potentially fraudulent.

Spanning both digital and real worlds, and encompassing data about identity, financial characteristics, behaviors and more, an integrated view is the foundation of enhanced insights that can ultimately improve financial outcomes. TransUnion understands the importance of current, accurate data and gives its customers access to information—including both highly-regulated and publicly available forms of alternative data—that creates powerful, comprehensive views of consumers.

Here’s Why Millennials Are Choosing Personal Loans (Lendit), Rated: A

When it comes to millennial spending habits, it looks as though they’re rounding a corner to a new kind of credit. With the vast treasure trove of accumulated data available, credit bureaus like TransUnion are seeing spikes in personal loans compared to Generation X’s spending habits in the early 2000s. It’s a tremendous opportunity for marketers to capture a demographic that expects more from their lender.

The Overarching Trends

The newly minted adults of Generation Z are at the very beginning of their financial journey, but millennials are at the age where they’re expected to make major purchases. As they struggle with the economy and student debt, they’re making different financial choices along the way.

Adopting New Technology

Lenders are turning to financial technology (fintech) to help peddle their products, which millennials are all too happy to use. Ironically, applying for a personal loan without the face-to-face connection can be far more attractive than the traditional application process.

A Decline in Credit Card Usage

Right or wrong, credit cards have long been linked to perpetual debt in many people’s minds. In 2009, the CARD Act was introduced to place stricter limits on the marketing of credit cards at college campuses. Debit cards have become more of the rule as opposed to the exception, leaping from 8 billion transactions in 2000 to 60 billion in 2015.

Small Business Confidence Is Up, What Does that Mean? (Lendit), Rated: A

The year 2017 saw small business owners across the United States grow more optimistic about the future than they’ve ever been—at least since the creation of the Optimism Index by the NFIB in the 70s.  “2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the NFIB Optimism Index,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The Tax Bill Could be a Boon for Small Businesses

Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations are all examples of what are called pass-through businesses; and make up roughly 95 percent of all U.S. businesses. They also happen to be many of our customers at OnDeck, and other online small business lenders. One of the main components of the new tax bill is a 20 percent tax deduction for those businesses, where business owners can “shield” 20 percent of their business income from flowing through to their personal income tax returns.

Cincinnati-based financial tech startup raises $ 1.2 million (Cincinnati Business Courier), Rated: B

A Cincinnati-based financial tech startup that aims to help users secure low-dollar loans without having to resort to a payday lender raised $1.2 million in venture capital.

Mayor proposes employee loans to offset predatory lenders (Santa Fe New Mexican), Rated: B

A few months after a new annual 175 percent cap on small-loan interest rates in New Mexico went into effect, Mayor Alan Webber is proposing a short-term loan program to help municipal workers avoid payday lending businesses viewed as predatory by consumer advocates.

BlockFi Gives Hodlers Another Option to Borrow Against Crypto Assets (BitcoinMagazine), Rated: B

Options for borrowing and lending with cryptocurrencies are on the rise. One of the latest start-ups to join the likes of SALT and Unchained Capital is BlockFi, a New York City–based startup that issues loans backed by bitcoin and ether to individuals, companies and institutions in 35 U.S. states.

BlockFi takes cryptocurrency as collateral, offering interest rates on loans of around 12 percent. This is generally lower than unsecured loans and higher than loans secured with traditional assets such as securities or real estate.

eBus to offer visitors financial advice, credit reports (The Repository), Rated: B

The eBus is a mobile classroom which is equipped with 14 personal computers and satellite technology staffed by Fifth Third bankers and representatives from nonprofit community organizations. On the bus, visitors can request a credit report and review it with a professional; receive a personalized evaluation of finances; receive internet banking and bill pay demonstrations; speak with nonprofits about housing, money management and business advice; receive consultation on foreclosure prevention; and conduct online job searches.

United Kingdom

Scots ‘side businesses’ generate £1.7bn a year (The Scotsman), Rated: A

More than 500,000 people living in Scotland have started a side business, generating a collective £1.7 billion a year out of more than £33bn UK-wide, according to new research.

Online lender Sunny said many of those north of the Border turning to side businesses are doing so to help with the cost of bills, savings and debts, and bring in an average of £272 a month on top of their main income.

That represents a 20 per cent increase from when they first started their business.

China

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

China will soon be rolling out new licensing requirements for p2p lenders; The system will kick off in April with approvals slated to come at the end of this month, but many lenders aren’t aware of the filing process; in 2016 and 2017 many p2p lenders shut down and according to data there are around 2,000 remaining; it is expected that many of the 2,000 will not pass the new requirements; the new rules won’t allow platforms to guarantee loan payments and also limit loans to individuals and businesses; it will also require that platforms use custodian banks.

China Rapid Finance Executives Selected to Speak at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE: XRF) announced today that the Company will participate as a sponsor and exhibitor at the upcoming LendIt Fintech USA 2018, to be held between Apr 9th and 11th in San Francisco, California.

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On March 28th, cross-border payment company iPayLinks announced that it had completed, at the beginning of this year, a hundreds of million-yuan B1 round of financing led by Tencent and followed by Legend Capital.

NIFA Issues a Self-Discipline Convention for Debt-Collection Practitioners

The five-chapter convention is mainly applying to regulate the behavior of overdue debt collection within the Internet Finance industry by establishing several basic principles (e.g. observing laws and regulations, prudential regulations, protecting privacy, and strict self-discipline). In other words, the document outlines a framework of debt-collection regulation in terms of discredited punishment, business management, personnel management, information management, outsourcing management, and complaints.

China’s internet lenders fall foul of data privacy rules (Financial Times), Rated: A

More than half of Chinese internet finance lenders are failing to comply with data privacy regulations, research has found, raising risks for investors as China steps up the implementation of laws to protect consumer data.

The breaches include collecting phone numbers from users’ contact lists, which can be used to mount harassment campaigns and shame users into repaying debts.

The survey of 200 finance apps by Renmin University and Nandu Personal Data Protection Research Centre, a Beijing think-tank, ranked 111 apps as having “low” compliance.

It found that almost half — 95 apps — wanted to read users’ text messages, while 97 of them wanted access to users’ contact lists, despite such access not being necessary for the app’s functioning.

International

How retailers are growing their financial services capabilities (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Amazon isn’t the only retailer encroaching on the financial services space. It may be the scariest — just the rumor of it entering a company’s space will send its stock price down — but ultimately, Amazon only cares about getting more buyers and more sellers to join its platform.

Overstock’s Raj Karkara, vp of loyalty and financial services, echoed that sentiment earlier this year, saying that offering financial services or connecting customers with financial services providers is a natural extension of its retail function of buying and selling consumer goods.

Rakuten
Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce site and has slowly been growing outside of the country. It has a footprint in media, video-on-demand, mobile messaging, e-books, travel, fashion, marketing and even sports. It also operates the largest online bank in the country.

Overstock
For the past few months, e-commerce company Overstock.com has been quietly building out FinanceHub, a sort of marketplace for financial services that includes existing Overstock credit cards and insurance products; loans by LendingTree, Prosper and Sofi; a robo-adviser for automated investing; and, most recently, a discounted trading platform.

Sainsbury (and Tesco)
Amazon may not be interested in becoming a bank but that doesn’t mean it can’t succeed in stealing customer attention from them. The U.K.’s largest grocers have all opened banks attached to their brands —  Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

ETHLend (LEND) Token – Will It Go Down After Kyber Network Partnership? (Hot Stocked), Rated: A

ETHLend has recently partnered up with Kyber Network. The ETHLend (LEND) Token has reached a market capitalization of 45.69 Million US dollars in the last 24 hours. The token traded 9.50%higher against the U.S. dollar during the last 24 hours ending at 10:30 AM EDTon April 2nd. That rise might be as a result of the partnership. ETHLend aims to become another decentralized and secure financial marketplace, but targeting peer to peer lending agreements via Blockchain and Smart Contracts.

Source CoinMarketCap

 

Australia

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS IN AUSTRALIA: SHOULD YOU SEEK FINANCE FROM A BANK OR AN ONLINE LENDER? (Dynamic Business), Rated: A

Considering the small business sector employs nearly half the national workforce and contributes around $380 billion to Australia’s GDP [1], it’s easy to see why it’s frequently referred to as the ‘engine room’ of the economy.

Like all engine rooms, the sector requires sufficient fuel – in this case, working and growth capital – to not only keep running but also accelerate. However, poor access to capital remains a significant barrier to small businesses, accounting for a majority of failures in the sector.

Part of the reason is that banks are reluctant to lend to small businesses in circumstances where the borrower doesn’t have bricks-and-mortar security – especially if a short-term loan is sought.

APRA rejected CBA home loan data as inaccurate and incomplete (Financial Review), Rated: B

Commonwealth Bank was being pressured by the prudential regulator to appoint external consultants and fix its flawed home lending data almost 2½ years before the Hayne royal commission began exposing the big four for sloppy administrative errors and irresponsible lending.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s frustration with the failure of Australia’s biggest home lender to accurately identify what proportion of its loans were taken out by property investors and its level of exposure to big borrowers has been revealed in evidence tendered to the banking royal commission and published in a massive dump of more than 100 documents late last week.

India

Interest rates on unsecured instant loans are high (LiveMint), Rated: AAA

Financial institutions and fintech companies have launched multiple small credit products in India in the past 1-3 years. It is now possible to get loans even on your mobile phone. But how do you pay for this convenience?

P2P lending platform

Peer-to-peer lending companies such as Faircent, i2ifunding and Lendbox connect lenders and borrowers on their platforms. Usually, the lender is an individual and not a financial institution. The interest rates are between 15% and 36% per annum and the loan amount can range from Rs50,000 to Rs5 lakh. The interest rate is decided based on the credit profile of the customer. Usually, the P2P lending companies take into account your Cibil credit score. The loan tenure is 3 months to 24 months.

Fintech eco-system is moving to blockchain and AI: Rajat Gandhi, Faircent (Economic Times), Rated: A

A lot of players have come into the fintech space. There are wallet players, then there are PPI, P2B, crowdsourcing and other payment players as well. So, regulation is one of the key challenges the private players are going through. What is your take on it?

Surprisingly, the Indian regulators, I would say, are strict. You can see the example of NBFC P2P licences regulation. It is a good rule-based model. In fact, the players themselves were pushing for some kind of regulation because financial markets need them. It’s not like e-commerce or running a taxi where the risks are not that high.

India’s Finzy Raises $ 1.3 Mln At Pre Series A Funding (Reuters), Rated: A

Finzy, India’s fastest growing peer to peer lending platform, has raised USD 1.3 million in first round of Pre Series A from investors in the industry. A second round of fundraising is expected to close with pre-identified set of investors within the next 60 days.

Latin American

Brazilian Loan Marketplace FinanZero raises USD 3.6 million in Series A Funding Round (PR Newwire), Rated: AAA

FinanZero is a leading marketplace for consumer loans in Brazil. The business is an independent broker for loans, negotiating the customer’s loan application with several banks and credit institutions, to find the loan with the best interest rate and terms for the consumer. FinanZero handles the lending process from start to finish.

The Series A round was led by Swedish publicly listed investment company, Vostok Emerging Finance, with participation by other Swedish investors, including Webrock Ventures and Zentro Founders.

Africa

Fintech is central to Nigeria’s future success (Financial Times), Rated: A

Central to this opportunity is an acceleration in the development of a modern banking and financial services sector. We are already seeing huge breakthroughs in digital banking and the adoption of fintech-based services by Nigerian consumers — be they retail or business customers. But this expansion must be encouraged by policies that will see greater inclusion of women and rural communities into mainstream banking activity.

Asia

Meet the most disruptive fintech startup in South Korea (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Viva Republica is the most disruptive fintech startup in South Korea. Since the 2015 launch of its simple peer-to-peer payments app Toss, banks are finally revamping their user experiences and customers have easier access to financial products. South Korea’s mobile payments have more than quadrupled in that time to $4.6 billion, according to Bank of Korea data.

The startup, funded at $76 million, hasn’t stopped there. After PayPal joined a $48 million investment in Toss in March, Toss has grown from a simple money-transfer app to a diverse consumer-finance platform generating Viva Republica’s $20 million in expected revenue in 2017. Toss thus joins Asia’s ranks of fast-growing mobile P2P payment services, reaching a $12 billion transaction volume in 2017.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday April 3 2018, Daily News Digest

FT Partners

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi issues $2.6B in ABS notes in Q1 2018. GreenSky files for IPO. China’s P2P lenders brace for more regulations. FinanZero raises $3.6M. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ CEO alternative lending market analysis. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Cities with highest share of cash-out refinance borrowers. Retailers grow financial services capabilities. India’s unsecured instant loan interest rates […]

FT Partners

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Australia

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi Issues a Record $ 2.6 Billion in ABS Notes in the First Quarter of 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today that it completed $2.6 billion in loan securitizations in the first quarter of 2018, a 35% increase over the prior-year period and its largest-ever quarterly ABS issuance volume.

In Q1 2018, SoFi completed a total of three securitization transactions: two student loan ABS offerings ($960 million SOFI 2018-A Notes and $869 million SOFI 2018-B Notes) and one consumer loan ABS offering ($774 million SCLP 2018-1 Notes). The SoFi 2018-B Notes marked the first time SoFi included medical residency loans as a part of the collateral.

LendingTree Ranks Cities with the Highest Share of Cash-Out Refinance Borrowers (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingTree today released the findings of its study on where cash-out refinancing was most prevalent in the past year.

Cities with the highest share of cash-out borrowers

Source Lending Tree

Cities with the highest cash-out loan amounts

Source Lending Tree

Fintech Firm GreenSky Files Confidentially for IPO (Wall Street Journal), Rated: AAA

Financial-technology firm GreenSky LLC has confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a sizable initial public offering that could come as soon as this summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta company, which operates a lending platform that enables retailers, health-care providers and home contractors to offer loans to their customers, could seek to raise $1 billion at a valuation of roughly $5 billion, some of the people said.

FT Partners’ CEO Monthly Alternative Lending Market Analysis  (FT Partners), Rated: AAA

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Manu Smadja, co-founder and CEO of MPOWER Financing, an alternative lender that enables high-potential international students to finance their education. In our conversation with Manu, he discusses the inception of MPOWER, along with the unique opportunities and challenges of lending to this market.

M&A

Source: FT Partners

Read the full report here.

Max Levchin To Participate In A Keynote Fireside Chat At LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

LendIt Fintech announced today that Max Levchin, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Affirm, a financial services technology company that is reimagining consumer credit and banking, will be featured in a keynote fireside chat on April 9. The world’s most prominent and emerging fintech CEOs from Wall Street to Main Street will gather April 9-11 at Moscone Center in San Francisco to focus on the hot-button topics and issues exploring the future of finance.

In a session titled The future of credit: Reimagining the financing ecosystem, Levchin’s keynote fireside chat will delve into how the retail industry has evolved and how retail experiences are continuing to grow beyond the capabilities of traditional credit and lending. Levchin will share his thoughts on why the industry needs to reimagine the financing ecosystem from the ground up in order to unlock the future of credit. Levchin will also discuss why Affirm is committed to reinventing credit, starting with the belief that it should help improve consumers’ financial lives in addition to financing their purchases.

Kabbage: Small Businesses Turning To Mobile Lending In Big Numbers (Payment Week), Rated: A

Sometimes, businesses need ready cash to get from “the latest bills” to “the next paid invoice,” and that’s where lenders are coming in. A new report from Kabbage says that small businesses are turning to mobile devices to get in on that lender funding in increasing numbers.

Kabbage surveyed almost 150,000 small businesses, and found that loans accessed by mobile device had increased better than three-fold, over 360 percent, of what they were back in April 2014. While the total numbers went through the roof, the value of the loans accessed went through the roof and over the treetops, having increased over 1,220 percent.

Why Marcus Has Changed Everything (Orchard Platform), Rated: A

Fast forward almost 18 months and Marcus is the fastest growing online lender in history. They have lent $2.5 billion in this time to 350,000 customers and have 700 employees spread across three offices. Not only that, but they have grand ambitions in the space. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has repeatedly talked about the importance of Marcus to the future of Goldman Sachs.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal the consumer banking business of Goldman Sachs is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue for the firm by 2020. That is significantly more revenue than LendingClub is expected to generate in 2018 as an 11-year- old business.

We have heard that Barclays and PNC Financial will be launching their own lending platforms in 2018 and there are rumors that many other large banks are going to do the same.

Most people probably don’t know Goldman Sachs offers a savings account with excellent perks — and anyone can use it with just $ 1 (Business Insider), Rated: A

Marcus— named after the Goldman Sachs founder Marcus Goldman — allows any adult (except in Maryland, where Marcus is not yet available) to create a savings account.

The big selling point for Marcus is the 1.5% annual percentage yield offered. Whereas interest rates for many banks have plummeted to as low as 0.01%, Goldman Sachs’ savings accounts create significant interest.

There is also no minimum amount needed to open an account with Marcus, and a deposit of even $1 allows users to earn the 1.5% APY.

Ohio Insurtech Root Insurance Completes Series C Round With $ 51 Million in Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated:A

Root Insurance, an Ohio-based car insurtech company, announced last week it secured $51 million in funding through its Series C round, which was led by Redpoint Ventures, with Scale Venture Partners and existing partners Ribbit Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Capital Partners. 

Root will use the new funding to expand into additional states and continue to invest in technology that significantly improves the customer experience.

That Fast Online Loan Could Have Super-high Interest Rates and Hidden Fees That Bankrupt Your Business (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

recent lawsuit against fintech small-business lender Kabbage Inc., charging that it partnered with a bank in order to offer interest rates that exceeded the legal limit, highlights the need for more regulatory oversight of the growing number of online lenders signing deals with small businesses.

Online lenders are getting more scrutiny.

The recent Massachusetts federal case brought by a small business against Kabbage (and its partner Celtic Bank) highlights why non-bank fintech lenders should be regulated. The suit alleges that Kabbage used its relationship with Celtic — which “rented” its balance sheet to Kabbage — as a basis to charge interest rates that violated usury laws.

How Credit Karma is using data to become a central finance hub (Tearsheet), Rated: A

It’s not a bank, but it uses customer data to help banks find customers.

Currently valued at $4 billion, Credit Karma has 80 million customers — half of whom are millennials. The company joins a growing number of financial startups like Clarity Money, SoFi, Chime and Varo Money that are aiming to become one-stop shops for customers’ finances. The field is growing increasingly competitive. Meanwhile, banks are bundling personal finance advice into their mobile apps. But Credit Karma has two advantages its competitors often struggle with — scale and data — and it’s using a chatbot to lock in the relationship with the customer.

A Chase Sapphire experiment is getting revived and expanded after the trial run blew away expectations with millennials last year (Business Insider), Rated: B

Last year, ahead of the spring homebuying season — the busiest of the year — JPMorgan Chase engineered an experiment to gain an edge in the mortgage-lending competition.

So the bank targeted its Sapphire customers, offering another 100,000 in rewards points if they closed a mortgage with the bank — a bonus worth as much as $1,500.

HNW Clients Warming Up To Digital Advice (Financial Adviser), Rated: A

In its report, “The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Retail Investor Edition, 1Q 2018 Issue,” the researcher found that more than one-quarter of investors over 70 who have $2 million to $5 million in investable assets said they would consider online-only engagement. Beyond that, high-net-worth investors in general seemingly are more receptive to digital advice platforms.

In 2015, Cerulli found that 38% of investors with investable assets of $2 million to $5 million said they were willing to engage with digital providers. Last year, that number jumped to 46%. And among investors with $5 million-plus in investable assets, those numbers went from 30% in 2015 to 38% last year.

Why borrower experience will be the principal driver of bank revenue in the lending market (Lendit), Rated: A

Tech giants such as Google and Amazon have rewritten the rulebook for consumers when it comes to what they can reasonably expect from their service providers. Consequently, bank offerings are being judged to the same standard as the most innovative digitally native products in the world.

The benefits of improved customer experience

More generally, banks must focus on improving user experience to remain competitive as digitally native fintech products flood the marketplace. Focusing especially, the motivations for improving customer experience can be described as:

  •  Differentiation Financial services can no longer lean on long-standing relationships and brand positioning to generate new customer business.
  • Positive brand response in addition to research, some customers will also emphasize the emotive impression they receive from a product when making purchasing decisions.
  • Coping with an economic downturn During a recession or other global economic hardship businesses are placed under increased financial strain. Services viewed positively by their existing clients will stand a better chance of retaining their clients as well as growing their client base during the downturn.

Pindrop Introduces New Biometric Solution: Tongueprinting (Finovate), Rated: A

Banking Technology’s Anthony Peyton reports that the Atlanta-based anti-fraud and authentication specialist has unveiled Tongueprinting, a technology that analyses every person’s unique tongue as its newest biometric engine. Banking Technology is Finovate’s sister publication.

The idea is for Tongueprinting to stop fraudsters from taking over legitimate accounts by spoofing the call centre with automated bots, social engineering, and knowledge-based authentication questions.  

HomeUnion Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Individual Investors (Business Wire), Rated: A

HomeUnion, the leader in online residential real estate investing, has launched a crowdfunding platform that allows investors to purchase stakes in funds of single-family rental (SFR) properties on its website. Starting with a minimum investment of $10,000, retail investors now have the ability to acquire interest in the HomeUnion Fix-and-Flip Fund. The fund enables consumers to invest in SFR assets acquired for fix-and-flip purposes in seven HomeUnion markets: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Raleigh and Tampa.

Upstart tests buyer appetite with riskier loans, more sub notes (Global Capital), Rated: A

Online lender Upstart is the latest marketplace loan company to broaden the risk profile of its ABS, announcing a deal this week offering more subordinate bonds and backed by a higher proportion of longer term loans.

The California-based lender, founded by ex-Google employees, uses an underwriting model which incorporates data points beyond borrowers’ FICO scores, utilizing other factors such as schools attended, areas of study, academic performance and work history.

Is low pay hurting banks in the battle for tech talent? (American Banker), Rated: A

Conversations about pay in the banking industry typically focus on whether executives at the top are paid too much or workers at the bottom are paid too little.

But new data available as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act is drawing rare attention to the compensation of employees in the middle. In what will become an annual exercise, publicly traded U.S. companies are now required to disclose annually the median pay of their employees.

Information and Data Integrity: A Two-Way Street (Lendit), Rated: A

For many businesses, data is an important aspect of decision management. When you are choosing with whom to do business, you rely on the validity of data to guide you. If it proves faulty, you may be steered into accepting bad customers or rejecting good ones, which can seriously affect your bottom line. For consumers, inaccurate data can be equally harmful—leading to the appearance of having bad credit, denials of services or products or worse, flagged as potentially fraudulent.

Spanning both digital and real worlds, and encompassing data about identity, financial characteristics, behaviors and more, an integrated view is the foundation of enhanced insights that can ultimately improve financial outcomes. TransUnion understands the importance of current, accurate data and gives its customers access to information—including both highly-regulated and publicly available forms of alternative data—that creates powerful, comprehensive views of consumers.

Here’s Why Millennials Are Choosing Personal Loans (Lendit), Rated: A

When it comes to millennial spending habits, it looks as though they’re rounding a corner to a new kind of credit. With the vast treasure trove of accumulated data available, credit bureaus like TransUnion are seeing spikes in personal loans compared to Generation X’s spending habits in the early 2000s. It’s a tremendous opportunity for marketers to capture a demographic that expects more from their lender.

The Overarching Trends

The newly minted adults of Generation Z are at the very beginning of their financial journey, but millennials are at the age where they’re expected to make major purchases. As they struggle with the economy and student debt, they’re making different financial choices along the way.

Adopting New Technology

Lenders are turning to financial technology (fintech) to help peddle their products, which millennials are all too happy to use. Ironically, applying for a personal loan without the face-to-face connection can be far more attractive than the traditional application process.

A Decline in Credit Card Usage

Right or wrong, credit cards have long been linked to perpetual debt in many people’s minds. In 2009, the CARD Act was introduced to place stricter limits on the marketing of credit cards at college campuses. Debit cards have become more of the rule as opposed to the exception, leaping from 8 billion transactions in 2000 to 60 billion in 2015.

Small Business Confidence Is Up, What Does that Mean? (Lendit), Rated: A

The year 2017 saw small business owners across the United States grow more optimistic about the future than they’ve ever been—at least since the creation of the Optimism Index by the NFIB in the 70s.  “2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the NFIB Optimism Index,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The Tax Bill Could be a Boon for Small Businesses

Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations are all examples of what are called pass-through businesses; and make up roughly 95 percent of all U.S. businesses. They also happen to be many of our customers at OnDeck, and other online small business lenders. One of the main components of the new tax bill is a 20 percent tax deduction for those businesses, where business owners can “shield” 20 percent of their business income from flowing through to their personal income tax returns.

Cincinnati-based financial tech startup raises $ 1.2 million (Cincinnati Business Courier), Rated: B

A Cincinnati-based financial tech startup that aims to help users secure low-dollar loans without having to resort to a payday lender raised $1.2 million in venture capital.

Mayor proposes employee loans to offset predatory lenders (Santa Fe New Mexican), Rated: B

A few months after a new annual 175 percent cap on small-loan interest rates in New Mexico went into effect, Mayor Alan Webber is proposing a short-term loan program to help municipal workers avoid payday lending businesses viewed as predatory by consumer advocates.

BlockFi Gives Hodlers Another Option to Borrow Against Crypto Assets (BitcoinMagazine), Rated: B

Options for borrowing and lending with cryptocurrencies are on the rise. One of the latest start-ups to join the likes of SALT and Unchained Capital is BlockFi, a New York City–based startup that issues loans backed by bitcoin and ether to individuals, companies and institutions in 35 U.S. states.

BlockFi takes cryptocurrency as collateral, offering interest rates on loans of around 12 percent. This is generally lower than unsecured loans and higher than loans secured with traditional assets such as securities or real estate.

eBus to offer visitors financial advice, credit reports (The Repository), Rated: B

The eBus is a mobile classroom which is equipped with 14 personal computers and satellite technology staffed by Fifth Third bankers and representatives from nonprofit community organizations. On the bus, visitors can request a credit report and review it with a professional; receive a personalized evaluation of finances; receive internet banking and bill pay demonstrations; speak with nonprofits about housing, money management and business advice; receive consultation on foreclosure prevention; and conduct online job searches.

United Kingdom

Scots ‘side businesses’ generate £1.7bn a year (The Scotsman), Rated: A

More than 500,000 people living in Scotland have started a side business, generating a collective £1.7 billion a year out of more than £33bn UK-wide, according to new research.

Online lender Sunny said many of those north of the Border turning to side businesses are doing so to help with the cost of bills, savings and debts, and bring in an average of £272 a month on top of their main income.

That represents a 20 per cent increase from when they first started their business.

China

China’s P2P lenders brace for renewed regulatory crackdown (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

China will soon be rolling out new licensing requirements for p2p lenders; The system will kick off in April with approvals slated to come at the end of this month, but many lenders aren’t aware of the filing process; in 2016 and 2017 many p2p lenders shut down and according to data there are around 2,000 remaining; it is expected that many of the 2,000 will not pass the new requirements; the new rules won’t allow platforms to guarantee loan payments and also limit loans to individuals and businesses; it will also require that platforms use custodian banks.

China Rapid Finance Executives Selected to Speak at LendIt Fintech USA 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Limited (“China Rapid Finance” or the “Company”) (NYSE: XRF) announced today that the Company will participate as a sponsor and exhibitor at the upcoming LendIt Fintech USA 2018, to be held between Apr 9th and 11th in San Francisco, California.

China: WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On March 28th, cross-border payment company iPayLinks announced that it had completed, at the beginning of this year, a hundreds of million-yuan B1 round of financing led by Tencent and followed by Legend Capital.

NIFA Issues a Self-Discipline Convention for Debt-Collection Practitioners

The five-chapter convention is mainly applying to regulate the behavior of overdue debt collection within the Internet Finance industry by establishing several basic principles (e.g. observing laws and regulations, prudential regulations, protecting privacy, and strict self-discipline). In other words, the document outlines a framework of debt-collection regulation in terms of discredited punishment, business management, personnel management, information management, outsourcing management, and complaints.

China’s internet lenders fall foul of data privacy rules (Financial Times), Rated: A

More than half of Chinese internet finance lenders are failing to comply with data privacy regulations, research has found, raising risks for investors as China steps up the implementation of laws to protect consumer data.

The breaches include collecting phone numbers from users’ contact lists, which can be used to mount harassment campaigns and shame users into repaying debts.

The survey of 200 finance apps by Renmin University and Nandu Personal Data Protection Research Centre, a Beijing think-tank, ranked 111 apps as having “low” compliance.

It found that almost half — 95 apps — wanted to read users’ text messages, while 97 of them wanted access to users’ contact lists, despite such access not being necessary for the app’s functioning.

International

How retailers are growing their financial services capabilities (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

Amazon isn’t the only retailer encroaching on the financial services space. It may be the scariest — just the rumor of it entering a company’s space will send its stock price down — but ultimately, Amazon only cares about getting more buyers and more sellers to join its platform.

Overstock’s Raj Karkara, vp of loyalty and financial services, echoed that sentiment earlier this year, saying that offering financial services or connecting customers with financial services providers is a natural extension of its retail function of buying and selling consumer goods.

Rakuten
Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce site and has slowly been growing outside of the country. It has a footprint in media, video-on-demand, mobile messaging, e-books, travel, fashion, marketing and even sports. It also operates the largest online bank in the country.

Overstock
For the past few months, e-commerce company Overstock.com has been quietly building out FinanceHub, a sort of marketplace for financial services that includes existing Overstock credit cards and insurance products; loans by LendingTree, Prosper and Sofi; a robo-adviser for automated investing; and, most recently, a discounted trading platform.

Sainsbury (and Tesco)
Amazon may not be interested in becoming a bank but that doesn’t mean it can’t succeed in stealing customer attention from them. The U.K.’s largest grocers have all opened banks attached to their brands —  Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

ETHLend (LEND) Token – Will It Go Down After Kyber Network Partnership? (Hot Stocked), Rated: A

ETHLend has recently partnered up with Kyber Network. The ETHLend (LEND) Token has reached a market capitalization of 45.69 Million US dollars in the last 24 hours. The token traded 9.50%higher against the U.S. dollar during the last 24 hours ending at 10:30 AM EDTon April 2nd. That rise might be as a result of the partnership. ETHLend aims to become another decentralized and secure financial marketplace, but targeting peer to peer lending agreements via Blockchain and Smart Contracts.

Source CoinMarketCap

 

Australia

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS IN AUSTRALIA: SHOULD YOU SEEK FINANCE FROM A BANK OR AN ONLINE LENDER? (Dynamic Business), Rated: A

Considering the small business sector employs nearly half the national workforce and contributes around $380 billion to Australia’s GDP [1], it’s easy to see why it’s frequently referred to as the ‘engine room’ of the economy.

Like all engine rooms, the sector requires sufficient fuel – in this case, working and growth capital – to not only keep running but also accelerate. However, poor access to capital remains a significant barrier to small businesses, accounting for a majority of failures in the sector.

Part of the reason is that banks are reluctant to lend to small businesses in circumstances where the borrower doesn’t have bricks-and-mortar security – especially if a short-term loan is sought.

APRA rejected CBA home loan data as inaccurate and incomplete (Financial Review), Rated: B

Commonwealth Bank was being pressured by the prudential regulator to appoint external consultants and fix its flawed home lending data almost 2½ years before the Hayne royal commission began exposing the big four for sloppy administrative errors and irresponsible lending.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s frustration with the failure of Australia’s biggest home lender to accurately identify what proportion of its loans were taken out by property investors and its level of exposure to big borrowers has been revealed in evidence tendered to the banking royal commission and published in a massive dump of more than 100 documents late last week.

India

Interest rates on unsecured instant loans are high (LiveMint), Rated: AAA

Financial institutions and fintech companies have launched multiple small credit products in India in the past 1-3 years. It is now possible to get loans even on your mobile phone. But how do you pay for this convenience?

P2P lending platform

Peer-to-peer lending companies such as Faircent, i2ifunding and Lendbox connect lenders and borrowers on their platforms. Usually, the lender is an individual and not a financial institution. The interest rates are between 15% and 36% per annum and the loan amount can range from Rs50,000 to Rs5 lakh. The interest rate is decided based on the credit profile of the customer. Usually, the P2P lending companies take into account your Cibil credit score. The loan tenure is 3 months to 24 months.

Fintech eco-system is moving to blockchain and AI: Rajat Gandhi, Faircent (Economic Times), Rated: A

A lot of players have come into the fintech space. There are wallet players, then there are PPI, P2B, crowdsourcing and other payment players as well. So, regulation is one of the key challenges the private players are going through. What is your take on it?

Surprisingly, the Indian regulators, I would say, are strict. You can see the example of NBFC P2P licences regulation. It is a good rule-based model. In fact, the players themselves were pushing for some kind of regulation because financial markets need them. It’s not like e-commerce or running a taxi where the risks are not that high.

India’s Finzy Raises $ 1.3 Mln At Pre Series A Funding (Reuters), Rated: A

Finzy, India’s fastest growing peer to peer lending platform, has raised USD 1.3 million in first round of Pre Series A from investors in the industry. A second round of fundraising is expected to close with pre-identified set of investors within the next 60 days.

Latin American

Brazilian Loan Marketplace FinanZero raises USD 3.6 million in Series A Funding Round (PR Newwire), Rated: AAA

FinanZero is a leading marketplace for consumer loans in Brazil. The business is an independent broker for loans, negotiating the customer’s loan application with several banks and credit institutions, to find the loan with the best interest rate and terms for the consumer. FinanZero handles the lending process from start to finish.

The Series A round was led by Swedish publicly listed investment company, Vostok Emerging Finance, with participation by other Swedish investors, including Webrock Ventures and Zentro Founders.

Africa

Fintech is central to Nigeria’s future success (Financial Times), Rated: A

Central to this opportunity is an acceleration in the development of a modern banking and financial services sector. We are already seeing huge breakthroughs in digital banking and the adoption of fintech-based services by Nigerian consumers — be they retail or business customers. But this expansion must be encouraged by policies that will see greater inclusion of women and rural communities into mainstream banking activity.

Asia

Meet the most disruptive fintech startup in South Korea (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Viva Republica is the most disruptive fintech startup in South Korea. Since the 2015 launch of its simple peer-to-peer payments app Toss, banks are finally revamping their user experiences and customers have easier access to financial products. South Korea’s mobile payments have more than quadrupled in that time to $4.6 billion, according to Bank of Korea data.

The startup, funded at $76 million, hasn’t stopped there. After PayPal joined a $48 million investment in Toss in March, Toss has grown from a simple money-transfer app to a diverse consumer-finance platform generating Viva Republica’s $20 million in expected revenue in 2017. Toss thus joins Asia’s ranks of fast-growing mobile P2P payment services, reaching a $12 billion transaction volume in 2017.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday January 18 2018, Daily News Digest

mobile banking user growth

News Comments Today’s main news: Marcus passes the $2B loan origination mark. Varo Money secures $45M in Round B. Funding Circle’s fund announces Citibank deal. Qudian enters budget auto financing. PeerStreet intros 30-day notes. Today’s main analysis: Investing in Mintos’ secondary market. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Mobile banking is more important than ever. Credit score changes would force banks to help […]

mobile banking user growth

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United States

Goldman Sachs’ Online Lending Platform Marcus Has Originated Over $ 2 Billion in Loans, Deposits Rise to Over $ 5 Billion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Meeting a prediction from this past June set by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, online lending platform Marcus topped $2 billion in loan originations. Additionally, Marcus reported online deposits of over $5 billion. Deposits and consumer lending have now been combined under a single brand, thus, in reality, creating a challenger bank for the future.

Overall, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reported net revenues of $32.07 billion and net earnings of $4.29 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Diluted earnings per common share were $9.01 compared with $16.29 for the year ended December 31, 2016. Goldman reported a Q4 loss of $5.51 per share. The results were impacted by a tax related expense of $4.4 billion. Without this expense, Goldman said earnings per share would have been $5.68.

Varo Money Closes $ 45M Series B Financing Round (Varo Money Email), Rated: AAA

Mobile banking is more important than ever (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

As we’ve seen for the past few quarters, mobile banking is continuing to rise, but the rate of growth is decelerating as offerings mature.

  • JPMorgan Chase 

    How a 23-year-old Max Levchin got Peter Thiel to invest in PayPal in under 24 hours (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Levchin told Shontell, “I saw [Thiel’s] name on the pinboard, wandered into a class that was taught by him, which turned out to be more like seminar with six people in the room. So it was a very small group of people. One: I couldn’t sleep because it would be obvious, but two, he was actually pretty interesting. So I stayed awake and chatted him up afterwards.”

    That turned out to be a good move. Here’s Levchin:

    “In the inimitable Peter Thiel fashion, we basically spend about 20 minutes talking after his lecture, and he said, ‘Well, what are you doing in Silicon Valley?’ I said, ‘I just got here two weeks ago. Probably gonna start a company.’ He said, ‘Oh, great. We should meet for breakfast.’

    “We met the next day. He said, ‘All right, so what companies are you thinking of starting?’ I had two ideas that I was concurrently thinking about. I described No. 1., No. 2. He said, ‘No. 1 is better; you should do that.’ ‘OK.’ ‘I’d like to invest.’ It was less than 24 hours later. Peter was a committed investor in my new project.”

    Credit score changes would saddle banks with risk to help nonbanks (American Banker), Rated: AAA

    Recently, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has been evaluating whether to allow originators that sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use something other than the currently mandated FICO model. Specifically, the FHFA is evaluating whether originators can also use the VantageScore model offered by a company owned by the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

    VantageScore contends that its model will provide credit scores on more than 30 million additional consumers and make 7.6 million of these scores eligible for a loan sold to Fannie or Freddie because of the model’s supposed ability to more accurately assess blemished and dormant credit histories and accommodate thin credit files that most often effect younger consumers. VantageScore also argues that, since the model consolidates data from all three credit bureaus, it eliminates scoring differences caused by data discrepancies. The result, the company maintains, will be expanded home ownership, a more vibrant housing market, more consistent underwriting and faster economic growth.

    The major proponents of the alternative credit scoring model are large nonbank originators and credit reporting firms — companies that make their living from the quantity of loans they originate, not the quality. Their business models shield them from ongoing credit risk and require ever-increasing volumes to achieve scale economies. In short, nonbank originators generally don’t eat their own cooking — either in the form of loans or in the form of securities backed by the loans they originate. Therefore, they have everything to gain from this FHFA change, and very little to lose.

    PeerStreet Announces New Investment Product “30-Day Notes” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

    On Wednesday, PeerStreet announced the launch of its new investment product, 30-Day Note, to provide increased liquidity for accredited investors at 30-day terms. According to the online lender, the 30-Day Notes product was launched quietly in October as a pilot program, is now offered monthly.

    Axial Members Surpass $ 25 Billion in Closed Middle Market Deals (Axial Email), Rated: A

    Axial, the deal network for the middle market, today announced its members have closed more than $25 billion in deals on 2,000-plus M&A and growth capital transactions since Axial’s launch in 2010. To facilitate these closed transactions, Axial arranged more than 2.1 million private member-to-member deal connections. Nearly one-third (650) of the total transactions closed in 2017.

    In 2017, the revenues of businesses that privately transacted using the Axial deal network ranged from $2.9 million to $610 million, with EBITDA ranging from negative $19 million to $223 million. Top sectors of deal flow activity include Business Services, SaaS, Healthcare IT, Distribution & Logistics, and Manufacturing. Notably, 24% of all growth capital transactions attempted in 2017 were in the Technology sector, more than doubling year-over-year from 10% in 2016.

    Worthy Peer Capital Receives SEC Qualification for 5% Money Market Alternative (Worthy Financial Email), Rated: A

    Worthy Financial, Inc., a modern personal finance company that delivers alternative investment products and digital savings solutions to a wide-range of retail investors, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Worthy Peer Capital, Inc. has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under Regulation A+, to bring a new liquid peer-debt product to the entire investing ecosystem.

    The new Worthy Bond offers all investors – including non-accredited investors – a 5% fixed return. Although the bonds have a 36 month term, they can be cashed in at any time for those with imminent liquidity needs, thereby serving more as an alternative to traditional money market products. Bonds may be purchased at .

    Democrats Add Momentum to G.O.P. Push to Loosen Banking Rules (The New York Times), Rated: A

    But unlike the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which passed along party lines, the effort to loosen the post-crisis rules is somewhat bipartisan. A group of Senate Democrats has joined Republicans to support legislation that would mark the first major revision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama that has been deemed “a disaster” by President Trump.

    The bill would allow hundreds of smaller banks to avoid certain elements of federal oversight, including stress tests, which measure a bank’s ability to withstand a severe economic downturn. Under current law, banks with assets of $50 billion or more are considered “systemically important financial institutions” and therefore governed by stricter rules. The bill would raise that threshold to institutions with assets of $250 billion or more, leaving fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to the stricter oversight.

    Banks with assets of $50 billion to $100 billion would be immediately freed from those requirements. Financial institutions with $100 billion to $250 billion in assets, such as BB&T and American Express, would no longer be subject to tougher rules after 18 months, although the Federal Reserve would retain the authority to periodically conduct stress tests on those firms.

     

    The One Big Reason It’s So Hard to Refinance Your Student Loans (Money), Rated: A

    More than half of borrowers who applied for refinancing in 2017 were turned down, according on a report released Wednesday by LendEDU, a student loan marketplace that tracked 32,000 applications to eight refinance companies.

    Using data from users of the LendEDU marketplace, the report found that 58% of 2017 refinance applicants were ultimately rejected. And those who passed muster had very high FICO credit scores—the average approved applicant had a score of 764. Nationally, the average credit scoreis 700 out of 850; anything above 720 qualifies as excellent.

    Refinancing companies are currently advertising fixed interest rates that start at about 3.5%. Yet the average on refinanced loans in 2017 was 5.56%, LendEDU found.

    Source: Money

    Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it’s scary how accurate he was (Business Insider), Rated: A

    Gates’ prediction: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”

    No. 3: Instant payments and financing online 

    Gates’ prediction: “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”

    The Top Ten Fintech Predictions for 2018 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    10. Resurgence of Peer to Peer Lending and the Emergence of A New Asset Class

    We’ve seen coin-backed lending such as Salt Lending. There will be many more platforms that will attempt to solve solvency and liquidity issues with lending in fiat currency backed by coins.

    9. Alternative Internet

    The cost of a simple PayPal transaction might go up dramatically because it was routed through Comcast’s fiber. You may have to pay an additional $3.99 a month for an “Online Banking” package if you want to do online banking…

    8. Banks will rule again

    Most of the online platforms (payments or lending) plus secondary markets are at the mercy of banks. Without a bank charter, you are simply limited on growth.

    6. Baby Boomer Financial, Inc.

    The youngest baby boomers are approaching retirement age. The baby boomer generation is about 75 million people (on par with Millennials) in the US and represents a vast amount of wealth in this country. They want to transact, invest, bank and most importantly transfer their wealth in a responsible way. I predict that there will be Fintech startups specifically addressing the needs of this generation of folks.

    4. Mass Adoption of Zero Latency Payment Clearance/Credit.

    Over the past few decades, we went from a cash society and in-person / in-branch interviews to “same-day” ACH (direct deposit) and next day loan funding. I predict that in 2018, we will see instant credit approval and funding.

    3.  Social Networks Venture Into Credit.

    I am making another prediction that Facebook or Snapchat will venture into extending credit.

    2. Vertical Integration.

    WeWork will get into the Working Capital lending business. And dare I say Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn, will start lending money based on your resume and activities within your professional connections?!

    BlackRock makes impact a necessity for companies (ImpactAlpha), Rated: A

    Larry Fink flips social impact from a luxury to a necessity for every company. The chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6 trillion under management, served notice on corporate CEOs their companies “must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” Fink made his point as clearly as possible: “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

    Would a bank payday loan be any safer? (Daily Journal of Commerce), Rated: A

    Thanks to a recent regulatory change, it now may be possible for banks to offer small, short-term loans that could be a lot less dangerous for borrowers. Whether banks will actually do so remains to be seen.

    Standard Chartered creates fintech investment unit (Fintech Futures), Rated: B

    Standard Chartered has established a new business unit, SC Ventures, to invest in fintechs and other start-ups.

    Christopher Blake Joins Cross River Bank Loan Team (Long Island Press), Rated: B

    Veteran loan officer Christopher Blake joined Cross River Bank, where he’ll serve clients in Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn in the lender’s Commercial and Multi-Family Real Estate division, the company announced Tuesday.

    Freefly has teamed up with three fantastic financing partners (Freefly), Rated: B

    AFFIRM FINANCING

    Ideal for individuals looking to finance their Freefly purchases.

    SCL EQUIPMENT FINANCE

    A flexible lender designed for U.S. business, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.

    GLOBAL FINANCE

    A creative lender with options for businesses in the U.S. and many countries across the globe.

    United Kingdom

    Funding Circle’s fund unveils Citibank deal (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

    FUNDING Circle’s listed fund has inked a deal with Citibank, whereby the financial institution indirectly channels £50m to small businesses through the peer-to-peer lending platform.

    The transaction was announced by the Funding Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) on Wednesday.

    Under a rather complicated structured finance deal, Citibank’s London branch will advance a senior, floating rate loan of £50m through two Irish special purpose vehicles. The facility matures in December 2026.

    Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited (London South East), Rated: A

    The Board is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a formal agreement with Citibank, N.A. London Branch (“Citibank London”) to establish a funding transaction to make loans to ?UK small businesses through the Funding Circle platform?. The transaction will serve to support the Company’s target dividend yield of 6-7% per annum.

    Under the terms of the agreement Citibank London will provide �50 million of funding into the transaction, by entering into a senior, floating rate loan. The Company will contribute a portfolio of existing UK small business loans at par, and in return shall receive ?approximately �50 million of cash to be deployed in accordance with its investment policy, and junior notes.

    Fintech firms struggling to get a foothold with established lenders (The Irish Times), Rated: A

    Banks and other financial institutions remain extremely wary of working with fintech firms, particularly in Ireland where few are willing to give start-ups the endorsement they need to help secure business elsewhere.

    Andrew Patrick White, founder and chief executive of FundApps, a regtech firm that provides compliance and regulation monitoring services to asset managers and hedge funds, said many financial institutions were afraid of fintech solutions because of a fear that they would be used to replace staff.

    “Your grandmother probably has more sophisticated apps on her iPad than many banks have inhouse,” Mr White added.

    Your morning briefing (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

    ‘All-in-one’ cards get another shotCurve has debuted a card in the U.K. that allows consumers to switch a card used to fund a payment after they have left the store. Through the card’s “back in time” feature, card preferences can be changed for up to two weeks, a system the company is selling as a financial management tool. Curve, which is being offered for free with a $60 premium option with more rewards, works like a regular card and is usable anyplace that accepts Mastercard. While all-in-one cards have struggled to gain traction over the years, more than 100,000 people signed up during the card’s testing phase and spent more than $120 million, according to a release.

    OnePlus’ fraud hit: Electronic equipment company OnePlus became the latest to get hit with card fraud, with consumers reporting unauthorized transactions and the company disabling credit card payments but still allowing PayPal transactions. The company is doing a complete audit of its systems and is looking for alternative payment options.

    When we asked, which, if any, Isas have you used over the 2017/18 tax year, nearly a third (32%) said they’d only used a Stocks and Shares Isa.

    This was followed by nearly a quarter (24%) who’ve only used a Cash Isa, and 17% who use a mixture of different Isas.

    This decline in Cash Isa savings is likely to be attributed to poor cash savings rates and the introduction of the personal savings allowance in April 2017.

    Interestingly, Innovative Finance Isas – used for peer-to-peer lending – don’t appear to have taken off, with just 3% of those who voted in our poll only using this savings vehicle.

    Source: Moneywise

    Name Change for Funding Knight as GLI Finance Updates to Sancus Funding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

    As part of an ongoing strategic update, GLI Finance has renamed peer to peer lending platform FundingKnight to Sancus Funding Limited with immediate effect. GLI Finance, an AIM listed company, has also transferred ownership to Sancus BMS Group Limited.

    China

    Qudian is Moving into Budget Auto Financing (CapitalWatch), Rated: AAA

    The newly listed peer-to-peer lending company in China, Qudian (NYSE: QD), has moved into auto-purchase financing, a new business initiative called “Dabai Auto,” according to the company.

    Launched in late November 2017, Dabai Auto is currently targeting Qudian’s existing high quality users, who have been approved with credit lines, but have not actively transacted in small cash installments. The company also announced that it plans to spend around RMB 100 million ($15.5 million) to promote Dabai Auto through online and offline channels. The offline channels would include Qudian user engagement and delivery centers that are located in the shopping districts of over 100 cities across China.

    HNA-owned P2P lending platform doing business normally, executive says (Global Times), Rated: A

    Payments of investment products on jbh.com, an online peer-to-peer (P2P) platform owned by HNA Group, remain normal and there have not been any capital losses since the platform was set up three years ago, an executive of the company said on Wednesday.

    Payments for all maturing investment products on jbh.com are being made as normal, sina.com.cn reported Wednesday, citing Xia Aobi, president of jbh.com.

    International

    Funding Circle and Lufax: Two High Profile IPOs for 2018 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

    Neither IPO is a surprise as both companies have indicated their intentions before. But we now have a clearer indication on the timing. First off the rank will likely be Lufax. The South China Morning Post reported that Lufax is planning to do their IPO in Hong Kong in April at a possible valuation of US$60 billion. This would be more than three times the valuation of their previous funding round in 2016.

    The Funding Circle news actually broke just before the New Year with this article from Sky News. They reported that the company was preparing to hire advisors in the first steps towards an IPO. They are supposedly going to interview investment bankers this quarter with a possible listing in London in late fall which would put us in the latter part of the third quarter.

    A successful Funding Circle IPO, one where the valuation rises after it goes public will be very good for the marketplace lending industry in both the UK and the US. We have had little good news here in the last couple of years when it comes to the public markets and I would very much like to see a success story here.

    Investing on the Mintos Secondary Market – Hint One (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

    On the Mintos p2p lending marketplace the majority of investors invest on the primary market into loans, either manually or via autoinvest. But for the 29% of investors that do invest on the secondary market picking loans presents them with a huge choice of about 125,000 offers (no typo, really 125K loan parts on offer!).

    Source: P2P-Banking

    For the shown loans there is a very high probability that they will miss the payment and therefore run an additional 60 days until they are repaid under the buyback guarantee. If that happens the remaining actual loan duration would be 62 or 63 days and the impact of the 0.1% discount on the YTM would be much smaller. The resulting YTM would be somewhere around 11 to 13%. So they would not be a good buy and there are much better offers on the secondary market.

    Source: P2P-Banking

    With two weeks remaining the effective YTM for a buyer is not 36% but rather around 12%. Again there are offers with better YTMs on the secondary market.

    Chinese tech groups undermine banks’ dominance of finance (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

    The recent refusal by US regulators to sign off on Ant Financial’s $1.2bn acquisition of Dallas-based money transfer firm MoneyGram International does not signal the end of the Alibaba-affiliated payments group’s US financial ambitions.

    On one level, the scuppered deal suggests that Chinese companies, whether state-owned or otherwise, will have an ever harder time winning approval for US acquisitions. The move also confirms that the Americans now believe that the definition of national security — their basis for scrutinising overseas deals — embraces anything related to information and data.

    But Ant Financial’s attempted US play also shows how much technology is undermining the dominance of traditional global titans, especially in the financial sphere. It is especially noteworthy that many of the upstart challengers to banks and other legacy companies increasingly either have a Chinese face or Chinese capital behind them. That, in turn, underscores how some Chinese players have leapfrogged into prominence across the world.

    Blockchain is revolutionizing the loan industry – a look at Valorem… (Global Crypto Press), Rated: A

    Smart contracts are providing the solution to the trust issues that are usually the main concerns in the micro loan industry.  Whether it be student loans, cars, or any other kind of micro lending – blockchain technology provides what’s needed to move away from the banks, and towards a peer to peer lending model.

    Volerem Foundation is building the infrastructure to facilitate exactly this.

    India

    Govt should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending: LenDenClub (India Info Online), Rated: A

    Additionally, we also expect the government should think of new ways to boost sectors like P2P lending. Eg.- Enable tax exemption for the lenders on P2P lending platforms, under section 80C. This will result in raising the trust bar and credibility, leading to more and more people investing in such platforms. It will also bring in a good enough capital infusion in the P2P lending space.

    Introducing Syndicates for India (Angel.co), Rated: A

    Today, we are announcing Syndicates for India, a new way for investors in India to invest alongside experienced angels and VC funds that invest in India’s vibrant tech ecosystem.

    To date, over 1,800 startups have raised more than $700M through Syndicates on the AngelList platform, receiving more than $6B in follow-on funding.

    APAC

    Gov’t urged to increase ceiling for individual investment in P2P lenders (Yonhap News Agency), Rated: AAA

    A business lobby of peer to peer (P2P) finance firms said Thursday it has asked financial regulators to raise the annual ceiling on individual investment in P2P lenders.

    The Korea P2P Finance Association has asked the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to increase the limit to 100 million won (US$93,632) per year from the current 10 million won, an association official said.

    ZorroSign Among Top 25 FinTech Companies (PR Newswire), Rated: B

    ZorroSign, Inc., today announced the company has been recognized among the top 25 FinTech companies in Asia-Pacific (APAC) by CIO Outlook. The honor spotlights organizations that are fundamentally disrupting the way companies in the global finance sector do business. ZorroSign offers unique secure eSignature, end-to-end Digital Transaction Management, and post-execution fraud protection solution. With security being on top of mind for financial services providers, ZorroSign Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token technology offers a major advantage to its customers.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

Wednesday December 13 2017, Daily News Digest

Wednesday December 13 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Court dismisses case against OCC Fintech Charter. Affirm’s valuation confirmed at $1.75B. RateSetter Australia reaches $200M milestone. SoftBank invests $450M into Compass. Starling Bank expected to profit in 2019. Linked Finance launches P2P lending pension accounts. ID Finance raises $85M through ETF bonds. Today’s main analysis: TransUnion reports on consumer credit markets. Today’s thought-provoking articles: What […]

Wednesday December 13 2017, Daily News Digest

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United States

Court throws out New York regulator’s suit against OCC fintech charter (American Banker), Rated: AAA

A New York District Court judge threw out a lawsuit by the New York Department of Financial Services that sought to block the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s attempted fintech charter, saying the charter doesn’t exist yet so the suit is premature.

Lending startup Affirm valued at $ 1.8 bln in latest financing round (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Silicon Valley lending startup Affirm said on Monday it has raised $200 million in a fresh round of funding, boosting prospects as the firm aims to go after the market for millennial shoppers needing loans.

The new financing put Affirm’s total fundraising to date at about $450 million, and increases its valuation to $1.75 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Max Levchin On What Comes After $ 200M Worth Of Capital Affirmation (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

The CEO with the measured response is PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, who told Karen Webster that with any capital raise of size, the temptation is to believe that “it is a big victory and it is validation … but all it really is, is a temporary tally of how far you have gone.”

He noted that with big investments come big responsibility (and Affirm has raised roughly $450 million to date), as he remarked that there is the implicit end goal of taking the money and parlaying vision and strategy into strong returns on that cash.

Affirm says that its retailers report that consumers who use Affirm leave with a basket size 75 percent greater than those who don’t use Affirm to pay for their purchases, and enjoy site-wide conversion rates as much as 20 percent higher, with revenue per visitor lifts of more than 10 percent.

Doing customers wrong allows your competitor to make things right (American Banker), Rated: A

Consider Affirm, a startup that offers consumers installment loans for individual purchases and markets the loans as a simpler and more honest financing alternative — a message that is clearly targeted at consumers who are frustrated by a perceived lack of transparency in the costs associated with using credit cards. This message appears to be resonating in the market; Affirm is processing relationships with more than 1,000 internet retailers and is reportedly working with Walmart on a pilot project.

In an interview with American Banker, Douugh founder and CEO Andy Taylor said: “When we dug deeper, we realized the consumer debt levels are out of control. Big banks are running off legacy business models that are driven to keep customers within these debt cycles. They’re not properly incentivized to foster financial wellness.”

Affirm, Marcus and Douugh are all basing their strategic direction on a simple but powerful insight: There is a difference between the way many consumers use credit cards and the way that those consumers should use their credit cards in order to maximize their financial wellness.

Retailers now offers Instaloans to pay for purchases (ABC30.com), Rated: A

A growing number of major retailers offer shoppers instant loans to pay for your purchases.

But how do they work? And are they better than credit cards?

Each lender may be slightly different, but typically: you give basic information, decide the length of the loan -usually anywhere from three to twenty-four months and in less than a minute you’ll know if you’re approved.

Prosper Appoints Former J.P. Morgan Chase CMO Claire Huang to Board of Directors (Crowfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lending platform Prosper announced on Tuesday it has appointed former Chief Marketing Officer of J.P. Morgan, Claire Huang to its board of directors. According to Prosper, Huang has held senior leadership positions at various well-known financial services companies, which includes Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, and American Express.

OnDeck Adds Former GE Capital and SunTrust Executives to Finance Team (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), the leading online lender to small business, today announced the hiring of two senior financial services executives to join its management team. Kelly Merrill and Erich Wust will assume new leadership roles that directly support OnDeck’s mission of empowering small business owners with the fastest and most flexible credit solutions.

Kelly Merrill joins OnDeck as the Senior Vice President for Finance, where she will help lead the company’s short-term and long-term financial planning initiatives. Merrill brings over a decade of finance experience to OnDeck from GE Capital, where she played a leading role in developing and executing the disposition strategy for GE Capitals’s $200 billion balance sheet.  Previously, Merrill was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of GE Capital Real Estate, where she led a team of more than 50 employees.

Erich Wust has been appointed as the Senior Vice President for Portfolio Management at OnDeck. He will be responsible for managing portfolio credit strategies, balance sheet optimization and other components of the company’s loan portfolio. Wust joins OnDeck after more than a decade in credit and risk leadership roles at SunTrust Bank.

Compass gets $ 450M from SoftBank; real estate portal now valued at .2B (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Less than a month after raising $100 million led by Fidelity, real-estate startup Compass is striking while the iron is hot. The company has now picked up an even bigger investment of $450 million, this time from the SoftBank Vision Fund, plus another $50M in secondary deals, to fill out a vision of its own: taking its real estate rental and sales platform global.

New York-based Compass is now valued at $2.2 billion post-money, up from $1.8 billion just four weeks ago, with $775 million raised to date.

Consumer Credit Market Expected to Remain Strong in 2018 Even in a Rising Rate Environment (NASDAQ), Rated: AAA

In spite of rising interest rates, the U.S. consumer credit market is poised to perform well in 2018, with well-managed delinquencies and continued wide access to credit across all products. TransUnion’s (NYSE:TRU2018 consumer credit forecast found that expected increases to GDP, personal income, total employment and the Housing Price Index, among other factors, will outweigh potential negatives such as increasing interest rates and slowing vehicle sales.

5-Year Trends: Serious Borrower-Level Delinquency Rates for Key Credit Products**
Credit Product Q4 2013 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2017* Q4 2018* PCT Change in Last 5 Years (2013-2018)
Auto Loans  

1.23

%  

1.19

%  

1.27

%  

1.44

%  

1.43

%  

1.46

%  

+18.7 %

Credit Cards 1.60 % 1.48 % 1.59 % 1.79 % 1.86 % 1.96 % +22.50 %
Mortgage Loans 4.31 % 3.40 % 2.46 % 2.28 % 1.83 % 1.65 % (-61.7%)
Unsecured Personal Loans 4.01 % 3.73 % 3.62 % 3.83 % 3.37 % 3.36 % (-16.21%)
*Projections; **Serious mortgage, auto loan and personal loan delinquencies are defined here as those with payments 60 or more days past due. Serious credit card delinquencies are defined as those with payments 90 or more days past due. 

Inside the Mortgage Forecast

60-Day+ Mortgage Delinquency Rate and Average Mortgage Debt per Borrower
Q4 2009 Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Q4 2012 Q4 2013 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2017* Q4 2018*
7.16% 6.65% 6.15% 5.38% 4.31% 3.40% 2.46% 2.28% 1.83% 1.65%
$190,324 $186,488 $185,594 $184,753 $187,228 $187,311 $189,914 $194,415 $200,935 $205,534
*Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 include projections

Inside the Credit Card Forecast

90-Day+ Credit Card Loan Delinquency Rate and Average Credit Card Loan Debt per Borrower
Q4 2009 Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Q4 2012 Q4 2013 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2017* Q4 2018*
2.97% 2.17% 1.90% 1.75% 1.60% 1.48% 1.59% 1.79% 1.86% 1.96%
$6,043 $5,609 $5,485 $5,371 $5,324 $5,329 $5,337 $5,486 $5,626 $5,675
*Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 include projections

Inside the Auto Finance Forecast

60-Day+ Auto Loan Delinquency Rate and Average Auto Loan Debt per Borrower
Q4 2009 Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Q4 2012 Q4 2013 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2017* Q4 2018*
1.59% 1.27% 1.11% 1.15% 1.23% 1.19% 1.27% 1.44% 1.43% 1.46%
$14,922 $15,031 $15,377 $16,061 $16,781 $17,456 $18,004 $18,391 $18,588 $18,694
*Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 include projections

Inside the Personal Loan Forecast

60-Day+ Personal Loan Delinquency Rate and Average Personal Loan Debt per Borrower
Q4 2009 Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Q4 2012 Q4 2013 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2017* Q4 2018*
4.98% 4.78% 4.20% 3.93% 4.01% 3.73% 3.62% 3.83% 3.37% 3.36%
$6,650 $6,138 $5,895 $5,904 $6,247 $6,741 $7,360 $7,640 $8,066 $8,461
*Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 include projections

Why JPMorgan, Amex, HSBC are backing ‘isolation’ web browsing (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Often users are tricked by phishing emails that mimic a legitimate note from the boss or a senior corporate leader. And the links and sites can look secure. According to PhishLabs, nearly 25% of all phishing sites in the third quarter were hosted on HTTPS domains — almost double the rate of the previous quarter.

As part of their effort to deflect these attacks, some banks are turning to isolated browsing, or remote browsing, technology. Such systems force all internet activity to happen in a protected space on the cloud, preventing malicious code from reaching a company’s network. The technology is not brand new, but it is starting to gain traction as some large banks have finished their testing of it and are going public with their use of it.

JPMorgan Chase, American Express and HSBC announced Monday that they are leading a $40 million round of funding in the isolation-tech provider Menlo Security, bringing its total funding to $85 million.

Source: American Banker

 

Niche lending and fintech cross paths in Silicon Slopes (Utah Business), Rated: A

There are, however, entire demographics not serviced by tried-and-true lending institutions. Often, these folks’ credit score fails to meet a bank’s minimum standards. Or they need unconventional terms on an equipment or business loan. Whatever the reason, these transactionally marginalized sectors find themselves at the mercy of high-interest lenders. Or with no access to capital at all.

“There is a significant population of U.S. consumers who can’t get a loan,” notes Nate Heward, CFO at Acima Credit, a company that provides a point-of-sale credit platform.

Capitalism abhors a void

From the ubiquitous strip mall payday lender to the world of microfinance, a plethora of entrepreneurial solutions has emerged to get cash in the hands of would-be borrowers cut off from other avenues. These alternative lending practices have various degrees of reputability; a wide spectrum exists between the purely predatory lending shop, on the one hand, and the creative value-adding venture, on the other.

Scratching the consumer itch

In practical terms, Acima asks four simple questions of the would-be borrower:

  1. Do you have a three-month history with your current employer or source of income?
  2. Do you deposit $1,000 or more into your checking account each month?
  3. Have you had a checking account for at least 90 days?
  4. Is your checking account free from NSFs, excessive overdrafts and negative balances?

It’s all fintech

The companies profiled in this article may not be considered fintech firms per se; they’re not using technology to create a new financial paradigm a la Paypal, Indiegogo or Coinbase. They’re merely offering tried-and-true solutions to untapped consumer markets. Viewed from another angle, however, they’re fintech companies through and through. Acima, Progressive, et al are racing to deliver the most convenient financial solutions to the most people in their target customer base. And to do so, they’re relying on technology all the way.

Finance teams are ‘bottlenecking’ banks’ digital transformations (Tearsheet), Rated: A

Banks are working hard to beef up their technology and innovation teamsembrace agile developmentand move to acting like digital companies, but bank finance departments still do a lot of manual work and will start to hold their companies back from becoming digital entities. Finance teams are the control functions and scorekeepers of an organization, but if they can’t process data at the same speed as the rest of the organization they could slow down the speed of company mergers or product rollouts when competing transactions are already taking place.

Royal Business Bank Invests $ 500K in Lendistry Loan Fund, Providing Opportunity for Small Businesses in Underserved Communities (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Royal Business Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBB Bancorp, has made a $500K commitment to the Lendistry CRA Loan Fund I. Launched at a time when most banks were struggling, Royal Business Bank has been successfully serving the Asian-American community since 2008. While specializing in businesses engaging in trade with Pacific Rim countries, the bank also offers small business loans and residential mortgages.

First financial industry brief filed in CFPB English v. Trump case (Ballard Spahr Email), Rated: A

This afternoon (LT Editor: December 12,2017) the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), represented by Ballard Spahr’s Alan Kaplinsky, filed the first amicus brief from the financial industry in the English v. Trump litigation over who will succeed Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CUNA supports the President’s authority to appoint an acting director.

Lawsuit: Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney has ‘no more right’ to lead CFPB ‘than Santa’ (Washington Examiner), Rated: A

A new federal lawsuit says President Trump’s “plainly illegal” appointment of Mick Mulvaney to be acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must be reversed in favor of Leandra English, who also claims the title.

Ilann Maazel, an attorney for the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, told the Washington Examiner that the credit union is suing because of the feared effect of Mulvaney policies.

The legal dispute centers on whether the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform, which set up the CFPB, makes the deputy director the acting director if there’s a vacancy, or whether the older Federal Vacancies Reform Act gives the president that power.

US Bank sees success with Zelle (Business Insider), Rated: A

US Bank integrated Zelle — which has over 30 other banking partners like Bank of America (BofA), JPMorgan Chase, and Citi — last year. The bank saw a 104% increase in Zelle transactions in the past four months, and a 50% increase in customer enrollment in the P2P offering during that time.

Source: Business Insider

To compete with big tech firms, banks need big-tech talent (American Banker), Rated: A

Nine years ago, D.J. Patil and Jeff Hammerbacher coined the term “data scientist.” Four years later, Patil and Thomas Davenport deemed the profession “the sexiest job of the 21st century” in the pages of Harvard Business Review.

For banks, this imbalance is particularly challenging at a time when the industry is increasingly vying for the same talent the tech giants are aggressively courting. To stay competitive, the financial services industry must defend against a new cast of competitors by changing how it attracts, hires and develops data science talent.

 

BitGo Raises $ 42.5M in Series B Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

BitGo, a Palo Alto, CA-based company which makes digital currencies usable for businesses in a regulated economy, raised $42.5m in Series B financing.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate enabling businesses to integrate digital currencies into their existing financial systems.

AI 100: The Artificial Intelligence Startups Redefining Industries (CB Insights), Rated: A

Source: CB Insights

5 Promising Early-Stage Startups to Watch (Tech Startups), Rated: B

Throtle is a 2nd generation data onboarding company focused on deterministic matching, identity resolution and closed loop enablement, powering brands and companies with their omnichannel marketing efforts.

Affirm is a San Francisco-based financial service startup that offers installment loans to consumers at the point of sale. Its aim is to improve the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers.

Homebuying With Alternative Credit (Microbilt), Rated: B

Source: Microbilt
United Kingdom

Digital challenger Starling to hit profit in 2019 says founder Anne Boden as European expansion takes crucial step (City A.M.), Rated: AAA

Digital-only challenger bank Starling will “definitely” be in profit by the end of 2019, its chief executive told City A.M., as it announced a major step in its plans for European expansion.

The bank will today announce it has become a direct member of the single euro payments area (Sepa), which allows credit transfers, direct debit and card payments in euros across the whole of the EU.

Crowdfunding a mission to save capitalism from itself (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Jeff Lynn is on a mission to save capitalism from itself at a time when millions feel locked out, and unable to foresee themselves better off than their parents. His answer: to democratise capital.

That is one reason he founded Seedrs, an online platform through which individual investors can buy shares in high-growth companies at an early stage — a privilege once reserved for institutions and private equity funds. The other reason was to make money.

Seedrs, which along with Crowdcube dominates the UK market, has funded more than 540 deals, representing £280m of investment. Some were follow-on rounds, and in total about 400 companies have been funded. About 20-30 companies are live on the site at any time.

Crowdfunding by numbers

Critics say a big difference between crowdfunding and the stock market is liquidity — you cannot just sell your stake. But Seedrs has begun a secondary market and says it has had several exits already.

Free Agent, a Scottish maker of accounting software, floated in November 2016 at 87p. Its shares remain below the 100p Seedrs investors paid, though some sold when it hit 140p this year. Chapel Down, a vineyard, was already quoted on the Nex exchange (formerly ISDX) when it raised money at 28p a share in October 2014. It has been trading around three times that level.

China

SenseTime Raises US$ 410M Series B Financing (Finsmes), Rated: A

SenseTime, a Chinese artificial intelligence company focused on computer vision and deep learning technologies, raised US$410m series B1 B round of financing.

SenseTime has powered many industries such as finance, security, smart phone, mobile Internet, robotics, and automobile with core computer vision technologies including face recognition, video analysis, character recognition, and autonomous driving.

European Union

Linked Finance Launches New P2P Lending Pension Accounts (Better Business), Rated: AAA

Irish peer-to-peer lending company Linked Finance has launched a new type of account that allows holders of self-administered pensions to make P2P lending to Irish SMEs part of their pension investment portfolio.

With net returns of between 7 and 8.5 per cent, 24/7 online account access, complete control of lending activity, and monthly repayments of principal & interest, P2P lending is becoming an attractive asset class for a growing number of investors.

Mobile bank N26 partners with crowd-lending platform Younited Credit in France (Telecompaper), Rated: A

European start-up N26 has expanded the range of its banking services on offer in the French market via a partnership with Younited Credit, a fintech start-up specialising in short-term loans and crowd-lending.

The Advantages of #Peer-to-Peer Lending (EU Reporter), Rated: A

For many years, if someone wanted a loan, they would have to apply for one through a bank. Before they received that loan, the bank investigated their credit and decided what the rate of interest would be applicable.

However, there is another way to get a loan without worrying about a low credit score or high interest rates. This is peer-to-peer lending or P2P. Through peer-to-peer lending platforms, individuals can invest their money in other individuals, with an interest rate that the two groups have agreed is fair.

Hungarian fintech secures EUR 6 mln in Czech funding (Portfolio.hu), Rated: A

The investor will first acquire a 20% stake in Barion, which is active in online and mobile payments, for EUR 2 mln.

Finnish Crowdfunding & P2P Lending Platform Fellow Finance Receives Payment Institution Authorization (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Finnish crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform Fellow Finance announced on Tuesday it received payment institution authorization from the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland. The online lender claims it is the first funding platform to receive this type of authorization, which will notably enable Fellow Finance to provide new services to its consumer and corporate customers, to expand its services further in Europe and to utilize the new payment service directive (PSD2) in the development of Fellow Finance service.

With Norrsken House, ex-Klarna executive envisions a global network of co-working spaces focused on impact (TechCrunch), Rated: A

He launched the Norrsken Foundation later that year with about $20 million of his own money. By early 2017, the first fruits of that funding took shape with the opening of Norrsken House, a co-working space in Adalberth’s hometown of Stockholm dedicated to companies that are developing technologies that have a social impact.

Now, Adalberth has committed an additional $62 million of his own money to expand that vision. The goal, he said, is to eventually create a network of 25 impact-focused co-working spaces and foundation hubs around the globe in the next 10 years. The first Norrsken House has 112 companies in it and seven have received direct investment from the Norrsken Foundation’s fund (more on that in a bit).

International

ID Finance raises $ 8.5m via exchange-traded bonds to support growth (Finextra), Rated: AAA

ID Finance, the emerging markets fintech company, today announced successful completion of its first issuance of exchange-traded bonds.

The company raised $8.5m from the bond registered in Russia and listed on the Moscow Exchange. It was the first tranche of a $170m bond issuance programme that the company plans to support global expansion.
The bond, which was oversubscribed, has a maturity period of three years and a quarterly coupon payment frequency.

Banks, fintechs and a Brit royal to build green-lending blockchain (American Banker), Rated: A

Could fintech help the planet cope with climate change?

Some major players — Prince Charles; bankers from Barclays, Standard Chartered, and BNP Paribas; three fintechs; and professors from the University of Cambridge — all hope the answer is yes.

On Tuesday at the One Planet Summit in Paris, they are expected to announce they are developing blockchain technology that lets banks see which potential borrowers use environmentally sustainable practices and therefore are worthy of preferential lending terms. Such disclosures presumably would put pressure on companies to pollute less.

Australia

RateSetter’s Australian business hits $ 200m milestone (AltFi), Rated: AAA

RateSetter Australia has hit the AUD$200m mark in lending a little over three years removed from launching down under. The platform, which lends to both businesses and individuals, has doubled its lending volumes over the past six months.

Interestingly, 56 per cent of its investors withdrew money from bank savings accounts in order to divert them into the platform, while a further 17 per cent reallocated money from bank term deposits. The greatest proportion of the platform’s investors are millennials, at 58 per cent, although they invest the least amount of money on average of any age group at $9,454. Retirees (aged 65 and over) by contrast invest an average of $66,118.

India

Understanding the Data Protection White Paper Part XI: Establishing proper deterrent consequences for privacy violations (Tech 2), Rated: AAA

This article is Part 11 of a multi-part series explaining the recently issued white paper on data protection in India. You can read Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9 and Part 10.

Consider also the case of Sitesearch in the US, where the company bought payday loan applications and sold them to third parties, which included fraudsters, who used the data to steal more than $25 million from user accounts. Such careless buying and selling off of data should not be justifiable in the name of consent. While safeguards such as requiring that companies transfer data to only to companies with a comparable level of privacy provisions help, these must be backed up by huge penalties for violations.

For example, consider the Equifax data breach, the breach of a credit information company, leading to the loss of crucial data of over 143 million Americans. This breach was the result of a vulnerability in their web application software, a vulnerability that was discovered and for which a patch had been issued at least 2 months before the actual hack. The breach of this crucial data was thus the result of negligent, or non-implementation of the patch.

A landmark privacy judgment in India is the Canara Bank case, which struck down a provision in a law, which allowed the authorisation of ‘anyone’ to conduct investigations and demand the production and seizure of documents, including bank documents. Such a wide delegation of powers can allow any and everyone, even unscrupulous actors, permission to gain access to confidential data, which should not be allowed.

This case draws attention to an important aspect of data protection — it must be ensured that investigations, at all times, must be authorised, and by authorised personnel only. Any violations, or even exceeding of powers must be punishable.

Asia

8Percent leverages power of platform (Korea Herald), Rated: A

Companies that have used the 8Percent platform include Korea’s leading vehicle-sharing app operator Socar, solar energy firm S-Power and restaurant chains Power Plant and The Booth.

For example, a P2P investor into Socar was given a 1-hour free-driving offer each month for a year, until the loan matured. The offer was part of a return to about 600 retail investors, who lent a combined 1.3 billion won ($1.19 million) to the car-sharing firm in July 2015.

Vouchers for restaurants, such as Power Plant and The Booth, were given as rewards to investors.

According to a December estimate by 8Percent, three-fourths of investors, who offered an accumulated 97.7 billion won in loans, were from metropolitan areas — either Seoul or Gyeonggi Province — while those in their 20s or 30s accounted for over three-fourths of investors. The investors, without tax being deducted, are offered on average 9.78 percent interest for investments.

Some 65 percent of its borrowers — about 5,000 – had a credit rating between 4 and 6 on the scale of 1 to 10.

MENA

Crowdfunding real estate: a new reality booming? (Gulf News), Rated: AAA

Similarly, online REITs use online platforms and digital technology to enable wider access to REITs and quicker dissemination of REIT information. This allows mass participation and broader wealth distribution.

The ticket size to crowdfund a $1-billion airport is not exactly for everyone. However, a three-bedroom apartment in Mumbai, Manchester or Dubai Marina jointly owned by a hundred individuals sounds realistic. It also helps diversify risks for investors.

Smart Crowd is a crowdfunding platform, very different from an online REIT. The company believes it can enable anyone with Dh5,000 in savings to enter the Dubai property ladder. Its platform is awaiting final regulatory approval from the Dubai Financial Services.

Israel

MK Rachel Azaria threatens banks with P2P legislation (Globes.co.il), Rated: AAA

MK Rachel Azaria, chair of the Knesset Reforms Committee (officially known as the Special Committee on the Planning and Building Bill and the Maternity Leave and Parenting Bill) did not like the draft circular released by the Bank of Israel on regulating the relationship between the banks and the digital peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms on Sunday.

Azaria is now threatening to promote legislation that will regulate relations between the banks and the platforms, but this appears to be designed to pressure the Bank of Israel to publish new, more focused guidelines .

South America

Creditas Raises $ 50M in Series C Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A

Creditas, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based digital secured loan platform provider, raised $50m in Series C funding.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club stress test

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Lending Club stress test

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor