Monday July 30 2018, Daily News Digest

TransUnion

News Comments Today’s main news: Prosper tops 1 million loans. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program (2018-3) Trust. Elevate Credit earnings preview. Zopa CEO on FCA regulatory review. 60 firms apply for Hong Kong banking license. Today’s main analysis: Credit bureau earnings. Today’s thought-provoking articles: FCA to crack down on UK P2P lenders. What to expect in […]

TransUnion

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

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United States

Marketplace Lender Prosper Tops One Million Loans (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Online lender Prosper announced a new milestone yesterday. The marketplace lending platform topped one million loans this past week representing over $13 billion in originations.

In May, Prosper announced strong loan originations saying the platform experienced a 27% year-over-year increase in the first quarter to $744 million.

The net loss for Q1 decreased by $12.6 million to ($24) million but EBITDA was positive for the fourth consecutive quarter.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3 Trust (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of notes issued by SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3 (“SCLP 2018-3”). This is a $546.00 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2018-3

Class Preliminary Rating Class Principal
A-1 AA+ (sf) $278,000,000
A-2 AA+ (sf) $136,000,000
B A (sf) $69,000,000
C BBB (sf) $63,000,000

In Second Act, a Silicon Valley CEO Opens Up About Affairs (Wall Street Journal) Rated: A

Seeking a fresh start in Silicon Valley, former Social Finance Inc. chief and co-founder Mike Cagney now admits that an affair with a subordinate was a reason for his abrupt departure last year from the firm.

Now, Mr. Cagney is adding another reason for deciding to leave a startup he led for six years. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said that he had consensual sexual relationships with female subordinates, something he had previously denied publicly. He also said he had misled SoFi’s board of directors about one of the affairs.

Sex Scandal Toppled a Silicon Valley Chief. Investors Say, So What? (The New York Times) Rated: A

Yet just months after Mr. Cagney departed SoFi, two venture capitalists who had been on the company’s board and knew many details of his actions invested $17 million in his new start-up, called Figure. Since then, Mr. Cagney has raised another $41 million from others for the lending start-up, which will open soon.

Mr. Cagney’s swift comeback — from ouster to new company took four months — provides one of the starkest illustrations of the speed with which the technology industry is moving past the sexual harassment allegations that swept Silicon Valley and many other industries over the last year.

Highest GDP Growth since 2014, Credit Bureau Earnings (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The US economy grew at a blistering 4.1% pace, the highest GDP growth reading since 2014, driven by consumer spending. Consumer spending grew by 4%, higher than economists’ estimates. Consumer spending has been driving US economic growth and outstanding consumer debt has reached all-time highs, although consumer debt per capita is still well below its pre-crisis peak.

Credit Bureau Earnings

PeerIQ’s partner TransUnion released its 2Q earnings this week, along with Equifax. TransUnion’s earnings beat market expectations with revenue of $563 Mn, up by 19% YoY. TU’s revenue growth was driven by Online Data Services, where revenue grew by 23% YoY.

Source: TransUnion and PeerIQ

Equifax’s revenue increased by 2% YoY to $877 Mn in 2Q, while net income decreased by 12% YoY to $145 Mn. Below we compare the latest earnings of the 3 credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Note that Experian’s earnings are for the 6 months ending 3/31/18.

Source: Bloomberg and PeerIQ

Elevate Credit earnings preview: what Wall Street is expecting (Markets Insider) Rated: AAA

  • Elevate Credit is reporting earnings from Q2 on July 30.
  • Analysts predict earnings per share of $0.073.

Elevate Credit releases earnings for the most recent quarter on July 30.

9 analysts are estimating earnings of $0.073 per share as opposed to earnings of $0.080 per share in the same quarter of the previous year.

Analysts are expecting the company to report $186.8 million, an increase of 24.13% over the prior year quarter.

5 Ways to Earn a Truly Passive Income (Zing Blog) Rated: A

In recent years, investors have started putting their money into peer-to-peer lending companies. By lending out your own money to peers in the form of personal loans, you are able to earn interest – similar to the way that banks and other lenders produce income. On sites such as Lending Club and Prosper, you can open an account and begin investing in this passive income venture.

Like all investments, the ROI varies, but Lending Club and Prosper boast an average investment return of about 5 – 10%. Both of these platforms also give opportunities for users to make their investment semiautomatic, meaning you wouldn’t need to constantly monitor your investments or reinvest returns. But there would still be some work involved. If you want this to be a completely passive income stream, Lending Club offers a PRIME account, in which you’ll have a fully managed account. You’ll need to have a minimum investment of $5,000, though, and it will be subject to a one-time .8% fee.

85% of Small Business Owners Say They’re Living the Dream (Small Business Trends) Rated: A

According to recent findings from Kabbage, a financial services and data platform, 85 percent of small business owners believe that being your own boss and owning a business is achieving the American Dream. In addition, 84 percent said they hope their children will also one day become small business owners.

The survey, which consists of responses from more than 1,000 small business owners, found that 38 percent of those who hope their children become entrepreneurs feel that way because they want them to turn their passion into a career. 24 percent appreciate that being their own boss allows them to create a flexible schedule. And 22 percent feel that building a small business is rewarding, and they want their kids to feel that sense of pride.

ArborCrowd Wants HNW Investors to Understand the Appeal of Workforce Housing (National Real Estate Investor) Rated: A

ArborCrowd targets IRRs from 12 percent to 15 percent in top-tier markets and IRRs in the mid-teens or low 20s in secondary and tertiary markets, according to Adam Kaufman, co-founder and managing director of the online crowdfunding platform.

MILLENNIUM TRUST COMPANY REFRESHES ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT PLATFORM (STL News) Rated: B

Millennium Trust Company, LLC, (“Millennium Trust”) a leading retirement and custody services provider to advisors, financial institutions, businesses and individuals, announced today the launch of its enhanced education platform on the Millennium Alternative Investment Network (MAIN). MAIN is a free research, education and alternative investment resource to help investors and advisors increase their understanding of alternative assets, and invest through simplified and streamlined investment processes.

United Kingdom

Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana Welcomes FCA Regulatory Review of P2P Lending (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

This past Friday, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) finally released their reviewof the crowdfunding industry regulations. While the investment crowdfunding sector (equity crowdfunding) came away mostly unscathed the loan based sector (or peer to peer lending) took a bit of a lashing.

The FCA said the peer to peer lending had become “increasingly complex” and sited occurrences of operations that lacked transparency and instances where interest rates were not matched with the appropriate level of risk. The FCA subsequently announced a new consultation as it looks to firm up compliance for UK online lenders. Gillian Roche-Saunders, a partner at the law firm of Bates, Wells & Braithwaite – and Fintech expert, said this will be “the foundation of a much more sophisticated and targeted supervisory approach from the regulator.“

Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana welcomed the reappraisal and added scrutiny of P2P operations calling it a positive step. Janardana said they “wholeheartedly agree” with the FCA assessment;

Crackdown is looming for peer-to-peer lenders (The Times) Rated: AAA

The City watchdog is to crack down on peer-to-peer lending and the crowdfunding industry amid fears that consumers are being exposed to risks they do not understand.

The popularity of peer-to-peer lending, where individuals or small businesses borrow from members of the public and institutions on the internet, has soared in recent years.

About 150,000 Britons have handed over nearly £10 billion in the past decade through these forums, earning an attractive average of 4.5 per cent interest.

U.K. Watchdog Proposes New Regulations On Lending Platforms (PYMNTS) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority is looking to tighten up oversight over crowdfunding platforms, which provide short-term lending for small businesses and consumers, in part to make sure customers have clear information about the rules, terms and conditions.

A 156-page report by the watchdog found that some customers were subject to poor practices by certain online platforms and that they were provided with unsuitable products and poor treatment.

The reform measures have been backed by platforms like Funding Circle, a leading crowdfunding lender, as a way to gain more legitimacy as competition heats up with traditional banks. RateSetter, one of the three-largest P2P lenders in the U.K., has also sought clarity on regulations as a means to better compete against established banks.

We would remain in EU now, say small companies (The Times) Rated: A

The majority of small companies would vote to stay in the European Union if there were to be a re-run of the Brexit referendum, a survey shows.

A poll of 965 small businesses found that 56 per cent now want to stay in the EU and 32 per cent wish to leave. The remainder were undecided or declined to state their preference.

The survey, which was conducted by Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending platform, highlighted a 7 per cent swing towards remaining since April last year.

Tougher P2P lending rules proposed over poor practice concerns (Your Money) Rated: A

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a consultation on loan-based crowdfunding platforms (peer-to-peer) following its original review of the sector in 2016.

It said since then, it’s observed that the new and growing area has become increasingly complex and has found evidence of “poor business practices” that could cause actual or potential harm to investors.

For example, P2P platforms have a much more active role by taking decisions on behalf of investors, structuring the loans they’re exposed to, and splitting loans across a number of investors (lenders) in order to receive a target rate of return.

Here’s what the industry thinks of the FCA review (Peer2Peer) Rated: A

THE FINANCIAL Conduct Authority released its long-awaited review into the peer-to-peer lending sectoron Friday. Here are some of the industry reactions so far…

Rhydian Lewis, chief executive, RateSetter-“I believe peer-to-peer lending will become a part of every investor’s diversified portfolio and the proposals from the FCA do not change that belief.”

James Meekings, co-founder and UK managing director of Funding Circle-“Funding Circle has consistently campaigned for proportionate regulation that protects consumers, whilst allowing innovation to boost choice and competition in the lending and investment markets.”

Stuart Law, chief executive at Assetz Capital-“While we have just received this latest FCA consultation document, and therefore have not as yet fully digested it, we will always be supportive of any regulation that ultimately benefits our investors, borrowers and the wider peer-to-peer industry. Proposals that advocate greater transparency, appropriate investor remuneration and good corporate governance are very much welcome.”

China

Hong Kong prepares to usher in virtual banks, as 60 firms apply to be pioneers in financial revolution (South China Morning Post) Rated: AAA

When SagaDigits, a HK$2 million (US$254,820) start-up, wanted to add post-merger shareholders and signatories to its corporate bank account, its chief executive approached a Hong Kong bank for help.

What happened next turned into many months of back-and-forth paperwork and arguments with the lender, said the company’s chief executive officer, Arthur Chan. He even spent a month tracking down his bank relationship manager after the staff was relocated to another branch.

Good news may be at hand for him, as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is poised to issue the city’s first virtual banking licence by year’s end to promote fintech and offer customers “a new kind of experience.”

Ning Tang, founder and chief executive officer of CreditEase, a Chinese wealth-management firm and the majority owner of U.S.-listed peer-to-peer lending platform Yirendai, talks about China’s P2P lending industry. He speaks with Tom Mackenzie on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”

European Union

What Can FinTech Expect In The Next 24 Months In The Central And Eastern Europe (Forbes) Rated: AAA

Trend #1: Further development of payment and money transfer solutions., FinTech incumbents started historically with niches that were on the one hand abandoned by traditional banks and, on the other hand, not as strictly regulated. That is why there has been more transaction service providers originating in the region, compared to different types of FinTech companies.

Trend #2: Business-to-business. Retail banking requires relatively more effort and brings in lower returns in exchange than servicing Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), not to mention large enterprises, which has been one of the remaining strongholds for banks (aside from trading, mortgages and services for corporations). Therefore, FinTech startups began offering their products to individuals but are slowly entering the corporate sector.

One of the examples is

Trend #3: Growth in complexity. From single service providers with excellent client experience, FinTech incumbents have evolved into mature companies with the high tech background.

Trend #4: Blockchain.  

FinLeap moves into the fintech platform-as-a-service space (FinExtra) Rated: A

Berlin-based fintech factory FinLeap is positioning as a provider of bundled solutions for startups and banks, melding stand-alone products across a common platform.

The company is rolling out two platform-based products to connect disparate applications in the consumer markets – FinReach – and in business process management – Infinitec.

10 Irish startups to look out for in 2018 and beyond (EU Startups) Rated: A

This week we took a closer look at the Irish startup scene with the goal to introduce you to some of the most promising startups from there. Below you’ll find 10 Irish startups to look out for in 2018 and beyond.

Flender: Successfully funded through the Seedrs equity crowdfunding platform, Dublin’s Flender is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform for businesses and consumers to borrow and lend money through their existing networks. Flender was launched in early 2017, offering a combination of social network, low-interest rates and an excellent mobile experience. They have so far raised €2 million from investors to formalise the social lending market among friends, family and business connections.

International

Libra Credit Receives Investment from Binance Labs (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Libra Credit, an online lender in the cryptocurrency space, has received an investment from Binance Labs – the tech incubator and VC portion of Binance – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

According to a post on Medium, the agreement enables BNB holders to receive loans collateralized by the crypto. So Libra Credit will lend fiat and digital assets to users who pledge BNB.

Nexo Crypto Lending Platform Offers to Acquire SALT Lending’s Qualifying Assets (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) Rated: A

Known for being the first-ever instant, cryptocurrency-backed loans provider, Nexo took to Twitter to express its offering to acquire what remains of SALT Lending, a membership-based lending and borrowing network and a worthwhile competitor.

The tweet made on July 27, 2018, made it seem as if the Nexo was doing a favor or “lends a helping hand” to its competition, while sharing its willingness to “provide instant liquidity to its community, up to $2,000,000 per client without “proof-of-access” requirements.” To add to this public announcement, the firm also shared what appears to be its letter of intent to SALT Lending.

Global Debt Registry Bolsters Executive Team To Help Transform Structured Credit Market (Payment Week) Rated: B

Global Debt Registry (“GDR”), today announced two new executive hires from the banking industry. Evan Psaropoulos, formerly of Credit Suisse, has joined GDR as CFO, and Patrick Dietz, formerly of BNY Mellon, has joined the organization as Product Director. This follows Charlie Moore assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer, in addition to President, in recognition of his leadership and vision.

In his role as CFO, Evan will oversee the finance function within GDR, including overseeing equity financing and commercial strategy. He will lead investor relations for GDR across the capital markets space leveraging his investment banking and corporate development experience.

Australia

Online Lender Prospa Receives Recognition as Top Fintech (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Prospa, a leading online lender for Australian SMEs, has received a nice recognition being named National Fintech Lender of the Year in the 2018 MFAA Excellence Awards.

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia  or “MFAA” is the national body representing finance brokers, mortgage managers, lenders, aggregator/broking groups and other industry participants, in the mortgage and finance industry in Australia.

The MFA also recognised Prospa’s Roberto Sanz as the National Winner of Business Development Manager in the Lender and Support Service Provider category for 2018.

Strong First Half for Fintech Lending (Livewire) Rated: A

It has been a very active half year in the Australian Alternative Finance (AltFi) market. Since my previous wire on the key themes expected for 2018, the market has continued to grow and evolve. The themes were: 1) Continued Growth, 2) Consolidation of Lenders; and 3) Transparency via Listings.

These themes have been present in the first half, however we have seen two other themes present that will accelerate the development of the Australian Fintech lending market. One being the participation of banks in funding the AltFi lenders, the other, Government support for SME lending.

India

i2i Funding Helps Break Away from Traditional Banking (The Tech Panda) Rated: AAA

The Peer to Peer or P2P lending market has doubled in China. Though it might be at a nascent stage in India, according to co-founder of P2P lending platform i2i Funding Raghavendra Pratap Singh, it has a lot of potential. In a chat with The Tech Panda, Singh explained the intricate process and i2i Funding’s plans for the future.

I2i Funding had started with loan amounts of INR 10-15 lakhs per month, and now are doing INR 1.5 crore. Currently, they have around 30,000 registrations for borrowers and around 4000 for investors.  They add around 200-300 new investors per month. So far, the company has disbursed over 500 loans of over INR 8 crores.

How to earn money by investing (Economic Times) Rated: A

Many individuals still consider keeping money in their bank savings accounts akin to investing. Yes, it earns an interest rate but over a longer period of time, the earnings heavily fall short of negating the impact of inflation.

Currently, most banks offer 4 percent or even lower return on their savings accounts. It, therefore, becomes important to look out for other better alternatives and investment options to make your money earn you money.

Asia

Economy in brief: Half of unlicensed P2P lending from China (The Jakarta Press) Rated: AAA

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has discovered that more than 100 unlicensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending providers in the country had been developed by Chinese firms.

The OJK reported its findings on Friday, pointing out that out of 227 unlicensed P2P lenders it had listed, at least half originated from China.

What Imran Khan’s Election Win Means For Pakistani Fintech (Forbes) Rated: A

Imran Khan has claimed victory in the 2018 Pakistani election for his PTI party after a campaign that has been marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging. Although Khan’s party is expected to fall short of an overall majority and would have to form a coalition, his economic policies have been questioned.

As per his 

MENA

Thinking outside the (financing) box (CPI) Rated: AAA

Can you describe the development of peer-to-peer lending in MENA?
Marketplace lending is still a relatively new phenomenon in the MENA region. A big part of what we do is to educate investors in the potential for diversifying their existing portfolios with a different type of investment. It offers them a wide-range of choice as investors are able to browse through campaigns and select the ones that match their criteria best.

Liwwa only lends to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and we continue to scale up that lending activity. As our underwriting activity grew from $2.3 million in 2016 to $5.2 million in 2017, the level of funding from retail investors nearly doubled. Retail lenders want to see a credible company, a solid portfolio and a low default rate. As long as Liwwa continues to deliver on those three criteria, we can build trust in the platform and hopefully build an ongoing relationship with new and existing investors.

Over the last 18 months banks have significantly scaled back lending activity to the SME sector. How as this affected P2P lending activity in the region?
IFRS 9, with its provisioning rules, is one of the main drivers of banks’ reticence to lend to SMEs. The market demand for loans hasn’t appreciably changed, and one could argue that market risk has stabilised in many MENA economies—so the accounting rule change is having an outsized impact. Alternative financing structures such as these are poised to fill a need because much of the debt is treated on an off-balance sheet basis. Retail lenders and non-bank institutions can contribute to filling the SME lending gap given a difference in risk appetites and a more generous perspective on solvency ratios.

Africa

Peer to peer lending: from Nigerians, to Nigerians (Stears Business) Rated: AAA

When societies were small and closed-off, people lent freely among themselves based on trust. At worst, the lender believed that he could take up his case with the local community. But as globalisation and technology came, people began to migrate, and personal lending became inefficient. The solution? Banks.

At the centre of this story is FINT, a Nigerian online peer-to-peer lender founded in early 2017. The idea is simple. Emeka signs up to the FINT platform and requests for a loan. Chinyere signs up, funds her account, and chooses which loan(s) she wants to finance from a pool of anonymous borrowers. In its simplest form, Emeka wants ₦120,000 for six months, and Chinyere lends it to him and gets monthly payments of the principal (₦120,000) and interest (e.g. 10%) every month – or ₦13,200 each month.

FINT has been pioneering this simple form of lending in Nigeria. Its aim to “empower Nigerians by making loans more accessible and affordable; and lending more rewarding” speaks to the core idea of peer-to-peer lending.

Latin America

New rules for credit fintech companies (Lexology) Rated: AAA

The Central Bank also issued Circular 3,898 in May 2018, which set out the procedural rules for establishing such entities.

The Central Bank has introduced these rules in order to continue the modernisation of Brazil’s financial sector – something which has been ongoing since 2013, with more intensive actions being taken since 2016. The main goals of the rules are to:

  • incentivise innovation;
  • increase legal certainty;
  • enable the entrance of new players in the market;
  • increase competition; and
  • reduce interest rates.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday July 25 2018, Daily News Digest

Lending Club IPO

News Comments Today’s main news: Square, eBay partner on businesss loans. BNP Paribas launches UK fund for SME lending. Crowdstacker seeking 800K GBP on Seedrs. PPDAI to boost tech investment. Alipay, WeBank competition heats up. Today’s main analysis: The good news and bad news about Lending Club. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Americans are splurging on personal loans. How irresponsible mortgage lenders […]

Lending Club IPO

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

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News Summary

United States

eBay & Square Partner on Business Loans (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY)  and Square Capital (NYSE:SQ) have signed an agreement to provide up to $100,000 in credit to sellers – in as little as one day. The partnership is not only a streamlined offering of financing for small businesses that use eBay but also a whack at traditional banks which are mostly unable to match such a speedy lending agreement.

Scott Cutler, Senior Vice President, Americas at eBay, says that eBay is committed to helping their sellers and providing credit in partnership with Square simply makes sense.

For example, if you have $30,000 CC debt and good credit you can get a 3-year payoff at about 6% and a 5 year at about 7%. That is a big improvement over a typical rate of 17.5% on purchases and an amazing 23.5% on cash advances. So you take out the $30,000 loan, pay off your credit cards and save thousands in interest while you are at it. In addition, your CC is now zero and you can start using it again.

Source: Seeking Alpha

They came to market via an IPO late in 2014 and were an immediate hit rising over 50% their first day. They were immediately valued at over $9 billion. Today they are at less than $2 billion, a drop of almost 80%.

And finally here is LC’s chart since the IPO. Talk about ugly.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Americans are splurging on personal loans thanks to fintech startups (Quartz) Rated: AAA

The stock of personal loans outstanding has grown to about $120 billion as of March, according to TransUnion data. That compares with $71.9 billion a decade ago—worth around $90 billion adjusted for inflation—when the subprime mortgage crisis crescendoed. About 17 million Americans have this type of debt which, unlike mortgages and automobile loans, isn’t collateralized by an asset.

Source: Quartz

Upstart financial technology companies like Lending Club, Prosper, and Avant account for about a third of this lending, up from less than 1% in 2010.

Source: Quartz

How Irresponsible Mortgage Lenders Created A Second Housing Bubble (Seeking Alpha) Rated: AAA

Rents Are Falling, But Prices Are Surging

I believe the culprit is a new crop of lenders who are outside of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulations on FICO scores and DTI. For example, San Francisco lender Social Finance (SoFi) is offering up to 3 million dollar loans with 10 percent down and “flexible DTI.

Source: Seeking Alpha
Source: Seeking Alpha

Firms like SoFi are the engine driving the madness in the California housing market. Here’s what Michael Tannenbaum, former Vice President of SoFi, had to say about their loans in 2016, “Sixty-five percent of the business we do is first-time home buyers; it’s a big deal we’re opening up to the jumbo first-time market.” A year later, he was gone. Other gems from the San Francisco Chronicle article – SoFi’s average loan at the time was $800,000 and two-thirds were in California. I shudder to think what their average loan size and DTI is now. Also, in addition to not being big fans of debt to income ratios, SoFi isn’t big on using other traditional measures like FICO scores to evaluate borrowers. In 2016, they declared their company a “FICO Free Zone” in a press release. Said a former business development associate, “The volume of applications coming in was crazy.” Other sources reported on the wild sex culture at the firm. As for their underwriting practices? As long as housing prices went up, they were more or less irrelevant. But, if prices go down, SoFi and their backers stand to lose a lot of money.

A Conversation with Figure’s Mike Cagney (Financial Revolutionist) Rated: A

Mike Cagney’s return to fintech’s center stage had been foreshadowed by a handful of reports suggesting that his new company would be focused on the origination of real estate-related assets and that, somehow, blockchain would figure into the mix. But Cagney, who played a foundational role in building SoFi into one of fintech’s biggest success stories before his departure, isn’t the type of entrepreneur who thinks small and nichey. With his new company, Figure, and the blockchain protocol it has built, Provenance, Cagney and his team of 80 professionals are taking aim at the gigantic world of institutional capital markets transactions. Why? Because that’s one place where the vig (i.e., rent-seeking) still sloshes around in copious amounts. But unlike SoFi, which is taking aim at banks, Cagney is now fixing his gaze on the administrators, trustees, custodians and other intermediaries who take a cut out of each securitization and other types of deals. On the eve of the first transaction to be put on Provenance (a HELOC), The FR’s Gregg Schoenberg sat down with Cagney to learn more about his plans and how blockchain is central to his mission.

Could Fintech & Blockchain Lending Further Drive The Housing Market Boom? (Forbes) Rated: A

Those who do not have the scores to secure loans from traditional lenders now have alternatives particularly in the form of P2P lenders. These platforms pool together money from interested investors and loan them out to borrowers.

They also have a much quicker turnaround compared to what customers might experience with banks and other large lenders. While these services started out only to fund smaller personal loans, some like LendingClub have grown and expanded to allow larger-value loans like mortgages to be made on the platform.

Blockchain-based lenders have built upon this crowdfunding concept and enhanced it with blockchain’s capabilities with smart contracts and tokenization. While initial efforts as espoused by the likes of 

Employer-focused PFM company gets $ 40 million (Business Insider) Rated: A

US-based personal finance management (PFM) company Even has raised a $40 million Series B funding round led by Keith Rabois of Khoshla Ventures, and including Valar Ventures, Allen & Company, Harrison Metal, Ron Conway, and Silicon Valley Bank.

Source: Business Insider

Even integrates with attendance, payroll, and banking systems to help consumers improve their financial health. Its features include Instapay, which enables users to request the money they have earned before their actual payday, and it uses AI to give users an “okay to spend” amount, so they don’t get surprised by sudden expenses. Additionally, it offers an automatic savings feature, similar to other PFM companies including Acorns and Cleo.

Fintech Startup LoanSnap Raises $ 8m in Series A Financing (Finsmes) Rated: A

LoanSnap, a San Francisco, CA-based developer of technology that protects people against dumb loans, raised $8m in Series A financing.

The round was led by True Ventures with participation from Baseline Ventures, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Core Innovation Partners, Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, OVO Fund, Transmedia Ventures, and angel investors.

BlockFi Raises $ 52.5M for Cryptoasset-backed Loans (Business Wire) Rated: AAA

BlockFi, the leading cryptoasset to USD lender, announced today it has raised $52.5M to expand operations. Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC, a digital currency and blockchain technology investment firm founded by Mike Novogratz led the deal. This marks the industry’s first institutional investment in cryptoasset backed loans. BlockFi’s existing investors, which include ConsenSys Ventures and PJC, also participated in the funding round.

  • BlockFi planning rapid expansion of cryptoasset-to-USD lending platform
  • BlockFi partners with Galaxy Digital Lending LLC on loan purchasing facility and receives equity investment from Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC
  • Marks first institutional investment in cryptoasset backed loans

Credit Card Payoff App Tally Raises $ 25 Million (Cheddar) Rated: A

Tally, an automated debt-managing app, has raised $25 million in Series B funding with the goal of expanding its reach and finding new ways to alleviate consumers’ financial anxiety, Cheddar has learned.

Southern States Multifamily Portfolio Sells, Exceeding Targeted Returns for ArborCrowd Investors (The Daily Times) Rated: A

ArborCrowd (the “Company”) today announced its Southern States Multifamily Portfolio (SSMP) investment has been realized ahead of schedule, outpacing targeted return estimates. One of the properties in the portfolio is located in Mississippi and sold in late 2017. The two remaining properties, located in Alabama, recently sold. The aggregate portfolio sales price was $25.85 million, generating an internal rate of return (IRR) of over 29% for ArborCrowd investors.

The transaction marks the first of ArborCrowd’s six deals to complete its investment cycle, and its success is a great sign of the long-term viability of the Company’s growing platform. The SSMP investment opportunity was quickly oversubscribed when ArborCrowd presented the deal on its platform in February 2017, raising over $2.1 million in just 5 days. The over 29% IRR generated by the sale of the portfolio far exceeded the targeted 17% to 20% IRR projected by ArborCrowd at the time of the offering.

Lendio Reports Q2 Results: 90% Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth (Lendio) Rated: A

Lendio, the nation’s leading marketplace for small business loans, today announced record growth across all areas of its business, including 90 percent year-over-year quarterly revenue growth. To date, Lendio has helped facilitate more than $900 million in financing to over 45,000 small businesses across the U.S. and Canada through its marketplace of more than 75 small business lenders. The growth milestone comes after an 80 percent increase in loans funded through the Lendio platform in the last year.

From July 2017 to June 2018, Lendio facilitated nearly $400 million in loans to more than 22,000 small businesses. The average initial loan size among Lendio’s small business customers grew to nearly $35,000. The top five industries funded through Lendio’s marketplace include construction, retail, restaurants, health care and information media.

GM Maven CEO: Peer-To-Peer Auto Lending Will Be A Large Market (Bloomberg) Rated: A

Julia Steyn, Maven CEO, on their new peer-to-peer lending program for GM car owners, and the progress Maven is making in the shared economy.


Whitepages Pro Unveils Pro Insight, a Global Identity Review Solution Powered by Machine Learning (Global Newswire) Rated: A

Whitepages Pro, a global leader in digital identity verification, today announced Whitepages Pro Insight, a new and improved manual review solution designed to help businesses assess the identity risk of their customers, approve good transactions, and investigate fraud on a global scale. As the only global identity review solution that provides six ways to search, it enables users to balance accuracy and efficiency through direct workflow integrations, machine learning-informed insight, and robust analytics.

Within Pro Insight, users are first presented with Identity Review, a comprehensive interface that verifies and cross-checks both digital and traditional identity attributes (name, email, phone, primary and secondary addresses, and IP) to verify the identity behind a transaction. The solution analyzes and presents the relationships between the five core identity attributes in several intuitive ways:

  • Confidence Score – An overall measure of the risk associated with a transaction that cross-references the five core identity attributes. The Confidence Score is powered by machine learning insights from billions of transactional patterns across the Whitepages Pro Identity Network and the 70+ data signals of the Identity Check API.
  • Positive and negative signals – A concise list of primary factors that influence a given Confidence Score.
  • Results columns – A detailed list of matches, mismatches, and invalid inputs based on the links between a transaction’s identity elements. Users can click on specific attributes to further investigate associated people, historical data, and more.
  • Distance Map – A visual representation of geographical distances between phone, primary address, secondary address, and IP address.

Center For The New Middle Class: Non-Prime Consumers Spending More Responsibly On Vacation (Payment Week) Rated: A

Non-prime consumers are significantly less likely to be taking to the road for vacation this summer, opting for staycations instead, and spending far less on vacations if they take one, a new study released today from Elevate’s 

Source: The Center for the New Middle Class

Key findings from the CNMC survey conducted in June include:

  • The non-prime are 29% less likely to take a vacation
  • The non-prime are 22% more likely to “staycation”
  • If they do take a vacation, the non-prime spend half as much
  • The non-prime are 2x as likely to have turned down a vacation due to financial constraints
  • The non-prime are 61% more likely to borrow money for a vacation
  • Non-prime spend 18% less per child on summer entertainment
  • Those with children were more likely to take vacations and borrow money to cover costs

The research also indicated that across both credit segments, summer community resource utilization (i.e. pools, parks, libraries, etc.) was relatively high, with more than 85% in both segments using these facilities. Summer entertainment expenses per child were also very similar between the prime and non-prime groups.

Read the full report here.

United Kingdom

P2P Lender Crowdstacker Now Seeking £800,000 Through Seedrs Funding Round (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

Crowdstacker, a UK-based peer-to-peer lending platform, is now seeking £800,000through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. Founded in 2014, Crowdstacker describes itself as an award-winning FCA regulated online alternative investment platform that provides ISA eligible P2P loans, bonds, and loan notes.

BNP Paribas launches UK fund for SME lending (FinTech Futures) Rated: AAA

BNP Paribas Asset Management will launch BNP Paribas UK SME Debt Fund 1, offering clients access to the UK SME lending market.

The asset management arm of the bank’s new fund will invest in senior loans to SMEs with an annual turnover of less than £50 million through its BNPP AM’s SME Alternative Financing platform.

The platform uses proprietary big data technology, which pairs with the bank’s balance sheet and infrastructure.

Podcast 159: Christoph Rieche of iwoca (Lend Academy) Rated: A

Christoph Rieche is the CEO and Co-Founder of iwoca, a small business lender based in London with operations also in Germany and Poland. The name iwoca stands for instant working capital so they have leveraged technology in order to provide capital to small businesses quickly and efficiently.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • Why Christoph decided to start iwoca.
  • The segment of the small business market they focus on.
  • What is behind the continued decline in overall small business loan volumes.
  • The loan product offered by iwoca.
  • The typical size of their credit lines.
  • The kinds of businesses applying for credit at iwoca.
  • How their underwriting works and level of automation they use.

Navigating through the P2P property maze (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

Landbay investors can expect returns of around 3.54 per cent on its fixed-rate product, or 3.18 per cent with its tracker-rate option, by investing in loans secured by UK property.

The Peer-to-Peer Finance Association member launched its IFISA in February last year, meaning that Landbay customers can also benefit from tax-free earnings on their investments.

LandlordInvest’s investors have earned average annual returns of 11.3 per cent to date, secured by residential or commercial property, with the option of an IFISA wrapper

London Proptech Firm Goodlord Forms New Open Banking Partnership With TrueLayer (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Goodlord, a UK-based proptech platform, has formed a new open banking partnership with TrueLayer. Founded in 2014, Goodlord reports that its cloud-based platform is trusted by hundreds of agencies across the UK. The company has created a one-stop-shop by providing access to a dynamic suite of specialized services, including insurance, e-signing, referencing, and e-payments.

Starling Bank takes on Monzo with daring debit card design (FinTech Futures) Rated: B

UK digital challenger Starling Bank is upping its design game with the launch of a new teal-coloured vertical debit card as it plays catch up with Monzo.

The new card has all customer details, including name, card number and expiry date, on the back – and it’s rolling them out this week.

The card is inspired by the blue-green tones of the plumage of the starling bird. It is also one of the initial group of 16 original “web colours” formulated in 1987 to display web pages, reflecting Starling’s digital heritage.

China

PPDai to boost technology investment (Shine) Rated: AAA

PPDai, China’s first online peer-to-peer lending platform listed in the US, said today it would increase its registered capital to 1 billion yuan (US$149 million) and expand its artificial intelligence applications to hedge risks and improve investor confidence amid concerns over P2P lending.

The Shanghai-based company, which has about 71 million users ,employs AI, Big Data and blockchain to fight against risk and fraud.

Alipay and WeBank competition heats up as China reins in leverage (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Alipay and WeBank are set up perfectly to take advantage of new priorities from Chinese policymakers to increase the flow of capital to small companies and households, their approach is different as WeBank looks to use bank partnerships to make capital connections.

Alipay uses scale, data and technology capabilities to compete with banks for deposits and funds its borrowing through the ABS market.

Alipay and WeBank plan to list their finance arms soon which will continue to put pressure on the rivalry as well as the broader financial market in China.

Zennon Kapron on what’s next for Chinese fintech (China Economic Review) Rated: A

Analysing these questions is all part of the day job for Zennon Kapron, the head of fintech research and consulting firm Kapronasia. In this interview with China Economic Review, Kapron gives his take on some of the market’s recent developments, and explains why China’s fintech industry is such an exciting space to watch.

CER: How worried should we be about the recent panic surrounding China’s small P2P lending platforms?

ZK: The fact that P2P lending platforms are failing is not surprising. Many of these platforms had inadequate internal operational processes, poor lending practices, and in some cases, were just complete scams. What will be interesting to see is if retail investors will still want to put new money on these platforms. I get the impression at the moment that many investors are just trying to get their money out. Even if the P2P industry manages to right itself, it may find that all the investors are gone.

China’s P2P Online Lending Dominoes Continue to Fall (Ciaxin) Rated: A

Another domino in China’s peer-to-peer lending industry fell.

Beijing-based iqianbang.com was the latest online P2P lending platform to close down. The company announced a “benign exit” last Friday night, citing “deteriorating online lending environment and drying up liquidity.”

Investors in several P2P platforms, including iqianbang.com, gathered Monday at a local Beijing police station to report the loss of money to police.

Chinese P2P Lender’s Controller Disappears After Sponsoring Portugal (Yicai Global) Rated: A

Zheng Yansen, the controller of peer-to-peer lender Guangzhou Leader Internet Financial Information Service has disappeared, the firm announced yesterday.

It also acknowledged that ‘some of its projects are delayed’ and said it will set up a work group as soon as possible to inventory its assets and businesses, request borrowers to repay loans earlier than scheduled, and liquidate collateral as quickly as possible.

European Union

FinLeap Partners With Fabrick to Launch Financial Management Startup for Small Businesses (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: AAA

FinLeap, the fintech start-up platform behind Germany’s SolarisBank, announced on Monday it has teamed up with Italian open banking platform Fabrick to launch a new financial management startup specifically for small businesses. According to FinLeap, the startup, called Beesy, will simplify accounting, tax and banking services for micro-enterprises and freelancers.

As soon as Beesy is launched, FinLeap added it will provide more details about the services and how they work.

Rabobank’s novel approach to protecting customer data (American Banker) Rated: A

Take Dutch-based Rabobank, for example, which now converts customer data to the Latin names of flowers and animals in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation that sensitive client information be disguised.

At the heart of all these regulations is the mandate that companies must make sure no one can access customer data who shouldn’t, and that every effort is made to protect that data from breaches. Storing customer data in the clear — not encrypted, anonymized, or pseudonymized — is not acceptable, to regulators or anyone else.

Source: American Banker
International

MoneyGram And Visa Team To Deliver Real-Time Global P2P (PYMNTS) Rated: A

MoneyGram and Visa announced today (July 24) that they have partnered to deliver real-time digital disbursements to MoneyGram customers using Visa’s push payments platform, Visa Direct.

Launching in October in two key markets, Mexico and the Philippines, MoneyGram will expand its options in which receivers from those markets may receive and use funds instantly  via their bank-issued Visa-branded debit card or Visa-branded prepaid card  and senders may choose the option by which to send those funds. The partnership leverages the trust that consumers globally have in the MoneyGram and Visa brands, as well as the ability for receivers to access funds 24/7/365 without having to visit an agent location to pick up cash.

Australia

Property Connect enters technology agreement with Clearmatch to market new lending products (Small Caps) Rated: A

Realty services group Property Connect Holdings (ASX: PCH) has entered into a minimum five-year licence agreement to use a technology platform powered by marketplace treasury company Clearmatch, in the development and marketing of its own lending products designed to ease property market transactions.

The binding heads of agreement allows Property Connect to use the SocietyOne platform owned by Clearmatch to develop products focused on the emerging project development finance and residential mortgage sectors within the private peer-to-peer lending market.

India

P2P lending platform Monexo partners with Cube Wealth for new-clientele (Business Standard) Rated: B

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lender, has partnered with to provide clients with an alternative avenue for investments. The app-based firm’s user-base of 350,000 customers will have an option of placing a portion of their investments onto Monexo’s platform.

The market space is only three years old and until last October operated without any regulatory oversight. While there are 3,000 lenders in China with a total lending book of $500 million, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have approved licenses to around eight firms.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday June 11 2018, Daily News Digest

credit card issuers

News Comments Today’s main news: How to invest in the sharing economy. Elevate expected to report $184.82M in sales. Funding Circle scraps downloadable loanbook. Ant Financial valued at $150B. Standard Chartered to apply for virtual bank license in Hong Kong. Today’s main analysis: Marcus update. Today’s thought-provoking articles: PeerIQ lending earnings insights. Alternative uses of fixed-income markets. LendingTree Personal Loan Offers […]

credit card issuers

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China/Hong Kong

International

Other

News Summary

United States

3 Ways to Invest in the Sharing Economy (Motley Fool) Rated: A

While not a hard asset like a home or car, lending services have also come into the crosshairs of the sharing economy. Lending Club, the nation’s largest peer-to-peer lender, gets borrowers lower interest rates and smaller fees than a credit card or other traditional lending source typically offers by connecting them with investors on its online platform.

Since becoming a public company in December 2014, Lending Club revenue has soared more than 50% as seeking out alternative means of funding has increased in popularity. That sounds like a great investment, but Lending Club has actually fallen on hard times. The stock is down 75% from its 2014 debut as a result.

Other concerns, like increased competition, have surfaced: Goldman Sachs‘ online-only bank Marcus is just one of them. But there is some hope for this “sharing” company as first-quarter 2018 revenue increased 22% on an 18% increase in lending origination.

Lending Earnings Insights: 2Q2018 (PeerIQ) Rated: AAA

Where are we in the credit cycle? Most lenders see the US consumer in a good place with high consumer confidence, home prices, and higher take-home pay from tax cuts. The economy is at or near full employment with low wage and productivity growth. GDP gains are driven by consumer spending, fueled in term by consumer credit (8% YOY growth – well ahead of GDP and wage growth). Over the next few quarters due to stimulus and short-term effects there may be robust GDP prints, however, 16 to 24 months out we expect a lower pace of growth and heightened recession risk.

Credit re-normalization continues across all major lending groups. Credit performance this quarter is generally in-line with expectations. We see some of the lowest charge-offs and delinquencies at near-prime and retail lenders such as Enova and OneMain. Online lenders such as LendingClub have increased their charge-off estimates by ~50 bps.

Card issuers are increasing loan loss reserves at a higher rate than loan growth, indicating expectations of higher losses going forward. American Express increased loan loss provisions by 35% although loan growth was only 16% and Discover increased loan loss provisions by 26% on loan growth of 9%. Capital One saw a drop in loans outstanding.

Read the full report here.

Marcus Update (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

GS Marcus Update

Personal loans are just the start, with possible expansion opportunities for Marcus into mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and insurance. There are 4 key product areas – Borrow, Spend, Save, Protect with 12 separate products listed with a focus on Clarity Money. Since its launch Marcus has served ~1.5 Mn customers with $3+ Bn loans originated and $20+ Bn in online deposits.

GS views their lack of legacy banking software as a competitive advantage and has invested heavily in building their platform. GS has invested, through capital spending and operating losses, $600 Mn, including reserves, up by $100 Mn.

GS is building Marcus as a business “for the next 50 years” but is expanding the personal loan program cautiously as the credit cycle may turn. GS wants to integrate the consumer platform with its wealth management business.

Source: Goldman Sachs

PeerIQ Webinar: Lending Earnings Insights Report – 2Q2018 (PeerIQ) Rated: B

PeerIQ is hosting a webinar by CEO Ram Ahluwalia on “Lending Earnings Insights 2Q2018” on Wednesday 6/13 at 3 p.m. EDT. We look forward to hosting you! Click to register and to add the invitation to your calendar.

$ 184.82 Million in Sales Expected for Elevate Credit (ELVT) This Quarter (StockNews Times) Rated: AAA

Equities analysts expect that Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT) will report $184.82 million in sales for the current quarter, Zacksreports. Two analysts have issued estimates for Elevate Credit’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $182.44 million to $187.20 million. Elevate Credit posted sales of $150.47 million during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 22.8%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings results on Monday, July 30th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Elevate Credit will report full-year sales of $803.08 million for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $801.06 million to $805.10 million. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $930.53 million per share, with estimates ranging from $920.75 million to $940.30 million. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Elevate Credit.

Mulvaney Fires All 25 Members of CFPB Advisory Board (PJ Media) Rated: A

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of a controversial consumer finance bureau, fired an advisory board after the members criticized the new leadership for not taking their advice.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Wednesday that the 25 current Consumer Advisory Board members will be replaced, and will be ineligible to reapply to the board, the Washington Post reports.

Eleven advisory board members held a news conference Monday calling out Mulvaney for canceling several meetings — which are required to take place under the Dodd-Frank Act which created the agency.

ALTERNATIVE USES OF THE FIXED-INCOME MARKETS (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

The report, called “Building Resilience into Portfolios,” explains that the traditional use of fixed income in a portfolio is quite straightforward. That use generally involves a long position on debt of various sorts (sovereign, corporate, developed or emerging markets), that is relied upon to reap premiums from duration and credit risk.

But there are alternative uses of these instruments, and given the “rapid pace of change within fixed-income markets” in recent years they have become more available than ever, with the goal of securing absolute return, “steady positive returns above cash.”

These strategies include the exploitation of relative valuation differentials and/or the taking of short positions in order to profit from rising yields.

One obvious problem is that the central banks are about to start (in some jurisdictions have started) raising rates, reversing the tailwind that has benefitted the traditional use of FI in recent years.

Alternative investors in FX, though, have the flexibility to avoid such problems. They can “avoid issues, sectors, or sub-categories of assets altogether, as they see fit, investing solely in their highest conviction views.”

LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report – May 2018 (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

Offered APRs continue to rise for all borrowers, while lenders offer slightly lower loan amounts. Rate and loan amount offers varied widely among consumers, depending on factors including, but not limited to, credit score, income, and current debt obligations.

The most common reasons for seeking a personal loan are credit card refinancing and debt consolidation. These two categories comprise 63% of all loan inquiries.

Source: Lending Tree

Use Technology To Play The Real Estate Investment Market (Forbes) Rated: A

In Chicago, a new startup has introduced a tool that builds algorithms based on questions completed by the investor to establish the baselines. The tool then finds both on- and off-market deals that suit the preferences of the investor.

PayPal is launching a pop-up art exhibit in New York City (Tearsheet) Rated: A

PayPal wants its customers to get a tangible experience of what cash-back rewards look like, adding a physical and emotional association with the digital financial-services company.

PayPal is hosting a live walk-through pop-up exhibit in New York City on June 8 and June 9, the first time the company has hosted an experiential event of this kind. Anyone can attend the free event with music and refreshments. PayPal is the latest financial company to add realness to what many consumers see as abstract, transactional products.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Earns $ 10 Million in First Week (DS News) Rated: A

Atlanta-based real estate mogul Jay Morrison recently launched a new real estate crowdfundingprogram, and it’s finding some strong early success, having raised nearly $10 million in its first week.

The Tulsa Real Estate Fund is described as “the first African-American owned Regulation A+ Tier II crowdfund designed to revitalize urban communities across the U.S.” According to the group’s press release, the Tulsa Real Estate Fund “allows both accredited and non-accredited investors to collectively invest and own real estate projects around the country that are unique, diversified, and yield a reasonable rate of return.”

Ironhorse Funding Raises $ 30M of Capital from Crestline Investors (FinSmes) Rated: A

Ironhorse Funding, LLC, a Beverly, MA-based financing platform that provides operational and capital support for dealers and distributors in the motorcycle and powersports market, raised $30M strategic financing.

Crestline Investors made the investment through the firm’s Opportunity Fund III platform, which seeks to deploy capital where Crestline finds inefficiencies in the primary credit markets in North America and Europe.

The funding will be used to provide alternative financing solutions for consumers in the motorcycle and powersports market.

SBI HOLDINGS INC ORDINARY SHARES (OTCMKTS:SBHGF) on Focus After Report of Less Shorts (Fricisco Fastball) Rated: A

The stock of SBI HOLDINGS INC ORDINARY SHARES (OTCMKTS:SBHGF) registered a decrease of 3.53% in short interest. SBHGF’s total short interest was 3.16M shares in June as published by FINRA. Its down 3.53% from 3.28M shares, reported previously. With 11,600 shares average volume, it will take short sellers 273 days to cover their SBHGF’s short positions. The short interest to SBI HOLDINGS INC ORDINARY SHARES’s float is 1.59%.

The stock decreased 1.20% or $0.32 during the last trading session, reaching $26.41. About 3,352 shares traded. SBI Holdings, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SBHGF) has 0.00% since June 8, 2017 and is . It has underperformed by 12.57% the S&P500.

How two fintech entrepreneurs are rising from the ashes (San Francisco Business Times) Rated: A

Renaud Laplanche at Lending Club and Mike Cagney at SoFi were high-profile fintech founders, but each left under a cloud. Now they are seeking quick comebacks — and a measure of vindication.

Debt restructuring company Lendstreet receives $ 7m funding (Fintech Futures) Rated: A

US-based Lendstreet has just closed a $7 million series A equity round, led by Prudential Financial and Radicle Impact.

Prudential and Radicle join Lendstreet’s existing investors Accion, the Centre for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), Serious Change, Crunchfund, Kapor Capital, and Cross Culture Ventures in participating in the round.

Knowledge Gap Contributing To Housing Market And Affordability Concerns, Cautiousness (PR Newswire) Rated: A

Ten years after the 2008 housing crisis, Americans eye the housing market with caution, as more than half (53%) of Americans who have or plan to buy a home admit they’re concerned about their ability to afford a home in the current market, according to a recent study of college-educated adults. The findings, release today by national online lender and FDIC-insured bank Laurel Road, also reveal that Americans on average believe a similar housing crash will occur in the next five years, and nearly one-fifth of respondents anticipate a crash in less than one year.

The survey found that women in particular are potentially underestimating affordability, as they are significantly less likely than men (49% vs. 59%) to be familiar with the alternatives.

This lack of knowledge around alternative options potentially contributes to the fact that more than one-third (35%) of respondents – and 46% of millennials – do not feel confident that they could currently afford a 20% down payment. Women (45%) feel particularly less confident than men (24%), while more than two-fifths (42%) of student loan carriers do not feel confident.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle scraps downloadable loanbook (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

FUNDING Circle has withdrawn its downloadable loanbook and stopped publishing loan performance data on a daily basis.

The peer-to-peer business lender announced on Thursday that it has launched a new statistics page which will be updated every three months.

The platform also announced that it has partnered with analytics firm AltFi Data who will provide independent verification of its quarterly loan information.

Foreign investment in UK technology firms doubles in just one year (The Telegraph) Rated: AAA

British tech businesses attracted $7.8bn of funding last year, which was almost double the amount received in 2016. Research by Dealroom and Tech Nation showed that the UK’s venture capital investment last year was higher than Germany’s total of $3.2bn and France, which brought in $2.8bn.

According to a report by EY, there was a 22pc increase in digital investment into the UK, which helped to offset a decline in investment to sectors such as a financial services and logistics, due to investor concerns over Brexit.

New SME funding hub will boost awareness of P2P (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER finance resources will be included in a new funding hub for high-growth businesses looking to scale up in the UK.

The state-backed development bank has partnered with 12 industry bodies to provide information on 17 types of finance, including P2P lending.

Silicon Valley CTO joins UK fintech MarketInvoice (PCR), Rated: A

Fintech start-up MarketInvoice has appointed Rija Javed as its chief technology officer (CTO) as the company looks to invest heavily into its technology. Rija Javed joins from Wealthfront, a leading Silicon Valley based start-up.

P2P fund boss Simon Champ exits Pollen Street Capital (AltFi News) Rated: B

P2P fund pioneer Simon Champ has left his role as head of the investment manager of the £735m P2P Global Investments trust, AltFi can exclusively reveal.

Champ was a founding partner of P2P Capital Solutions which later became MW Eaglewood Europe and was the driving force behind the launch of the P2P Global Investments trust (P2P GI), raising a large seed portfolio for the investment trust from respected fund managers such as Neil Woodford and Mark Barnett.

BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME alternative lending platform, completes first UK loan (AltFi News) Rated: A

BNP Paribas Asset Management has completed its first UK loan on its new SME lending platform.

The loan, a six year senior unsecured amortising loan, was made to a specialist recruitment services company based in the West of England.

Leading the way (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: A

SINCE its fifteen minutes of fame back around ‘OB Day’ on 13 January, when excited media reports promised the dawn of a new era of high-tech banking, Open Banking has slipped back into the fintech background, accompanied from some quarters by accusations of having been something of a damp squib.

But such claims misunderstand the nature of the beast, says Imran Gulamhuseinwala, implementation trustee of the snappily-named Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) which develops and tests the APIs on which the  system is built.

There are a handful of peer-to-peer lending platforms already active in Open Banking, including Zopa and Lending Works.

LendInvest’s Buy to Let Product Propels Boom in Hiring as Demand Surges (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: B

Online mortgage lender LendInvest reports it is scrambling to hire new employees due to the demand of its Buy-to-Let (BTL) product. The LendInvest team has now grown to 15 people in the short period since the  BTL product was launched in November 2017.

Pike, joined the team from Fleet Mortgages.

LendInvest has also hired field-based Business Development Manager, Shane Wallace to cover the East of England. Shane brings over 10 years’ experience from Aldermore, where he was most recently employed as a Commercial Mortgage Manager.

China

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Valued Around $ 150 Billion After Funding Round (Wall Street Journal) Rated: AAA

China’s Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co. on Friday said it raised around $14 billion from domestic and global investors in one of the largest private-capital raises on record.

Standard Chartered says it will apply to operate a virtual bank in Hong Kong (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Hong Kong and London-listed Standard Chartered plans to apply for a virtual bank licence, making it the first traditional bank seeking a licence locally to operate purely online without physical branches.

European Union

The race to build Europe’s Robinhood: Invstr, Freetrade, Revolut, Dabbl and more (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Startups across Europe are racing to try and replicate the success of Robinhood, the hot US stock trading app. San Francisco-based Robinhood offers a zero-fee trading app that has taken off with young Americans. Founded in 2013, it claims to have 4 million customers and in May hit a valuation of $5.6 billion. This success has not gone unnoticed. Fast-growing UK fintech startup Revolut on Thursday announced plans to build a commission-free stock trading platform, similar to the way Robinhood works.

Brokers are charging people as much as £5.00 ($6.70) per trade and the user interfaces are typically clunky, slow and confusing for consumers. The pain points are clear for us and the room for improvement is massive. We’ve just done some research and found 94% of millennials don’t actually invest but do want to, Ackred said. There are 16 million millennials just in the UK and 100 million more in Europe who are new to investing and have no good options to start.

International

The Center for Financial Inclusion Digs Into the Global Findex 2017 Numbers (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

Source: Lend Academy

The Center for Financial Inclusion, part of Accion, have released a follow up report digging into the Findex data and the picture is less rosy than what was highlighted in the World Bank’s initial report.

On the surface it looks like the world is making good progress towards financial inclusion with the Findex report showing that 68% of adults globally having some kind of bank account versus 61% in 2014 and 51% in 2011. That is rapid progress.

But CFI found a different story when just focusing on active accounts, those accounts that had some kind of transaction in the past 12 months. This takes the percentage down to 55% and what is worse the gap is widening between total accounts and active accounts indicating a growing number of people who open an account but never use it. This is true for both developing and high income countries but the gap is getting much wider in developing countries as shown in the graphic below.

Source: Lend Academy

SuperMoney Launches No-fee Financing Platform (DeBanked) Rated: A

At the Finovate Spring 2018 conference, CEO Miron Lulic and CFO Jesse Stockwell presented the company’s new SuperMoney No-fee Financing platform, which allows merchants to obtain point of sale financing from online lenders and banks.

The new platform allows a small business merchant, like a furniture store, to create a free profile that is co-branded with SuperMoney. With the profile, the merchant can easily see when a customer has applied for financing and follow up.

According to a Forrester Consulting study on SuperMoney’s website, businesses that offer point of sale financing enjoy an average increase in sales of 17 percent and an average increase in order value of 15 percent.

Spotting a Scamcoin: Ethconnect (Coin Clarity) Rated: B

While the term “lending platform” might sound harmless and even beneficial to society, it was never disclosed outright to whom the coins were being lent or for what exact purpose they were being lent (though they did have the courtesy to mention “volatility software” – a trading bot concept directly plagiarized from Bitconnect). They were in fact being “lent” to Ethconnect themselves. This lack of detail did not stop hundreds of people, blinded by the prospects of huge profits, from throwing thousands of dollars at the project. But also unlike Bitconnect, none of them would ever see another penny of it again.

Australia

Prospa founders admit float lost ‘vital momentum’ (Sidney Morning Herald) Rated: AAA

The co-founders of small business lender Prospa maintain the company can return to the public markets for a future float, after a last-minute regulatory query this week created “confusion” that sapped the listing of vital “momentum.”

India

Digital SME Lenders Bank On Co-Lending To Make Their Presence Felt (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: AAA

If corporate lending was the flavour of the season at the turn of the decade, then retail lending has captured the attention of financiers over the last few years. Now, it is lending to the country’s small and medium enterprises, which is attracting increased focus from both traditional and new-age financial sector entities.

Capital Float, ranked among the country’s largest digital lending platforms, disbursed Rs 1,500 crore to MSMEs in 2017-18 out of a total portfolio of Rs 2,500 crore, according to information provided by the company. The ticket size of loans ranged from Rs 50,000 given to small local businesses to Rs 8-10 lakh loaned to larger SMEs.

Latin America

Fintech Regulation Promotes Invocation In Brazil (Mondaq) Rated: AAA

Resolution no. 4.656/2.018 published by the Brazilian Central Bank on 26 April,  which regulated credit fintechs in Brazil, opens the door of the highly concentrated banking sector in Brazil, so that financial technology companies can offer products and financial services in the credit market. Today, credit fintechs already operate in the financial market, but always through a financial institution duly regulated by the Brazilian Central Bank (CB).

With this new regulation, two types of financial institutions with different business models were created. They are: the “Sociedade de Crédito Direto” (SCD) (“Direct Credit Company”), which will carry out credit operations only using its own financial resources, and the “Sociedade de Emprésimo entre Pessoas” (SEP), (Peer-to-Peer Loan Company), which will carry out credit operations only as a financial intermediary without retaining risks or using their own resources, known in the market as “peer-to-peer lending”. Both institutions, after approval by the Central Bank (CB), will be authorized to operate, only, through an electronic platform.

Asia

China’s fintech companies are exporting AI and big data to Asia’s ‘laggard’ banking markets (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Chinese fintech companies have made headway in expanding their business to Southeast Asian markets, as they increasingly find their know-how in big data and artificial intelligence being sought after by Asian financial institutions in risk management and compliance.

Online consumer finance platform Weshare, which offers consumer loans through its mobile app, says it is applying for a P2P licence from Indonesia’s central bank.

Korean web harvesting giant is ready to scrape data around the world (Korea Joongang Daily) Rated: A

We also have smaller fintech start-ups as our clients. One of them is Bomapp, an insurance service application that is designed to offer insurance advice and find redundant coverage of registered insurance. For a start-up like Bomapp, we don’t charge per piece of data because we acknowledge that start-ups lack funds. Instead, we agreed to take equity from Bomapp.

As P2P start-ups become more active, we also provide user data for them. Among our clients are Lendit and 8percent. They use the data to assess credit ratings and get information about individual asset size. They try to use the online data because the P2P companies pursue a different credit rating approach to banks. We see there is a great opportunity in the fintech industry because they are keen to venture into new businesses.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday May 1 2018, Daily News Digest

Pace of Mobile Payment Adoption in China

News Comments Today’s main news: Former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney raises $50M for blockchain-based Figure. RateSetter IFISA attracts ‘high tens of millions’ of GBP. Brazilian online lender Agibank files for IPO in São Paulo. Today’s main analysis: The cities with the highest rates of mortgage denials. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Hedge funds are down in Q1. MPL’s new ways look […]

Pace of Mobile Payment Adoption in China

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi’s Former CEO Harnesses the Blockchain for Home Loan Startup (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Mike Cagney, who built SoFi into America’s biggest student loan refinancer before quitting amid allegations of sexual harassment at the fintech firm, is preparing for his second act: a startup offering home-equity loans.

Cagney has raised $50 million for San Francisco-based Figure, which plans to use the blockchain to help expedite loan approvals in minutes rather than days, according to people familiar with the matter. Two global banks have agreed to finance loans and several firms have agreed to purchase them, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss a private matter.

CHINA-US TRADE WAR AND OTHER WORRIES (All About Alpha) Rated: AAA

The Eurekahedge April 2018 report says that hedge funds were down in the first quarter of the year (-0.13%). This is the industry’s worst performance since Q1 2016.

The steepest performance-based losses by regional mandate were those of the North American funds, they lost $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, asset inflows remained net positive but were lower (17% lower) than were the net asset inflows for the first quarter 2017.

The highest performance gains by regional mandate were those of the Asia ex-Japan funds. (+0.5%). But those hedge funds were down in March, largely on rumblings of a US/China trade war.

Total assets under management for the global hedge fund industry are now at $2.48 trillion.

Marketplace Lending’s New Ways Look a Lot Like the Old Ones (Bloomberg) Rated: AAA

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission accused LendingClub, the largest of the peer-to-peer lenders, of misleading consumers with hidden fees and continuing to charge borrowers even after they had paid off their loans. Shares of the online lender fell to nearly $2.50, its all-time low.

Source Bloomberg

In the first quarter, peer-to-peer lenders sold $4.3 billion in asset-backed securities, according to industry tracker PeerIQ. That was slightly down from $4.4 billion in issuance in the last three months of 2017, which was a quarterly high for the industry. PeerIQ estimates that peer-to-peer ABS securitization will hit $18 billion this year, up from $14 billion in 2017.

Source: Bloomberg

 

LendingTree Reveals the Cities With the Highest Rates of Denied Mortgage Applications (Lending Tree) Rated: AAA

LendingTree delved into data from more than 10 million mortgage applications using the most recent available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data set to find out the main reasons would-be borrowers were rejected.

Key findings:

  • Nearly one in 10 borrowers get denied for mortgages. On a national level, 8% of loan applications were denied.
  • Credit history and debt are the biggest barriers. The leading reasons for denial were credit history (which includes credit score) and debt-to-income ratio, which were each responsible for 26% of denied loans. These were followed by collateral at 17% and incomplete applications at 14%. All other reasons for denial were cited in less than 10% of denied mortgage applications.
  • Debt is a huge barrier to borrowers living in California. We found three California cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose) had the highest share of borrowers who were denied because of their debt-to-income ratio.
  • Credit history is holding borrowers back in Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn. and Philadelphia. Among failed applications in these three metros, we found the highest rates of denied borrowers due to their credit history.


Memphis among top 10 cities for highest rates of denied mortgage applications, study says (Bizjournal) Rated: A

Memphis-area mortgage applications are denied at a rate of 12 percent, the third-highest out of 50 cities in a study by LendingTree Inc., an online loan marketplace based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Houston among top 10 cities for highest rates of denied mortgage applications (Bizjournal) Rated: A

The top reason for a mortgage denial in Houston was debt-to-income ratio, which is the share of monthly debt obligations in relation to monthly gross income. Most lenders want this number to be 43 percent or lower, per the report.

Other Texas cities ranked quite lower than Houston on the list. San Antonio was No. 18 with an 8.05 percent rate, Dallas was No. 21 with a 7.58 percent rate, and Austin was No. 27 with a 7.05 percent.

What’s next for Citi’s mobile app (Tearsheet) Rated: A

Banking apps are now among the most widely and frequently used apps, along with weather and social media, according to Citi’s second annual mobile banking study, released Thursday.

If that’s true — the study examines the behavior of some 2,000 U.S. adult consumers — that would mean people are checking their bank accounts more frequently than they use music, news and dating apps. Although, 20 percent of millennials actually use their mobile banking app while on a date, Alice Milligan, the chief digital client experience officer for Citi’s U.S. consumer bank, pointed out in a presentation of the results.

Could the USPS Be a Short-Term Lender for the Underbanked? (Nonprofit Quarterly) Rated: AAA

In this age of electronic communications, we often take the post office for granted, but it remains a powerful institution. As the US Postal Service (USPS) website indicates, 47 percent of the world’s mail volume is handled by the USPS; the website adds that if it were a private sector company, “the Postal Service would rank 37th in the 2017 Fortune500. In the 2017 Global Fortune 500 list, we ranked 99th.” The business employs over 500,000 career employees, has annual revenues of $69.6 billion, and operates 30,825 “retail offices” nationwide.

It is this last aspect—the ubiquity of post offices across the nation—that has spurred legislation (Senate Bill 2755), introduced last week by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), that would require every post office to provide basic banking services. Interestingly, the idea of post offices offering banking services is not new. From 1911 to 1967, post offices offered savings and deposit services for Americans (although not loan products). At one time, Americans held more than $3 billion in deposits through postal banking ($30 billion in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars). Other countries, including Japan, Germany, China, and South Korea, continue to offer banking services through their postal networks.

Daniel Maran of the Huffington Post explains that, “Under Gillibrand’s proposal, Americans could cash paychecks and deposit money in accounts free of charge at each post office location. Deposits would be capped at the larger of two amounts―$20,000, or the median balance in all American bank accounts. The postal banks would be able to distribute loans to borrowers of up to $1,000 at an interest rate slightly higher than the yield on one-month Treasury bonds, currently about 2 percent.” By contrast, a Pew Charitable Trusts report found that average payday loan of $375 typically costs a borrower $520 in interest and fees.

Financial Engines Sold To PE Firm For $ 3 Billion, Plans To Combine With Edelman (Financial Advisers) Rated: A

Financial Engines announced on Monday that it will be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and combined with Edelman Financial Services.

According to the announcement, Hellman & Friedman will make the acquisition in an all-cash transaction that values Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Financial Engines at $3.02 billion. Financial Engines shareholders will receive $45 per share in cash upon closing.

Leading Robo-Advisors Post Negative First Quarter Returns (Financial Adviser) Rated: A

The best taxable robo-advisor performers in the first quarter for total portfolios were SoFi, which posted a loss of 0.14 percent; Schwab, which returned a negative 0.33 percent; and TIAA’s socially responsible portfolios, which posted a 0.45 percent loss.

The top-performing taxable robo-advisors for total portfolios over the two-year duration of Backend Benchmarking’s study are Schwab, offering 10.98 percent annualized two-year returns; SigFig, which returned an average of 10.71 percent annually over two years; and Betterment, which returned 10.24 percent.

MetaBank, CURO to offer flexible credit to underbanked (Bankless Times) Rated: A

MetaBank, a provider of payment, community banking and financing solutions, today announced an agreement with CURO, a facilitator of short-term credit to underbanked consumers. Together, the organizations will launch a new line of credit product the parties believe will be more flexible and transparent than others in the market, and well-suited for US-based underbanked consumers. CURO and Meta expect to unveil the new, joint brand and a timeline for the pilot launch later this year.

Through the credit option expected to be launched by CURO and Meta, underbanked consumers would be able to access credit with a flexible timeline for repayment. These consumers would also be able to control their cost of borrowing through transparent fees that would apply only when credit is drawn. Estimates indicate 67 million adults are considered un- or underbanked. Many of these adults typically have poor credit ratings and, as such, have difficulty securing credit or loans — this product is expected to provide a responsible credit option for many of those consumers.

LendingTree, Inc. to Present at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Internet & Digital Media Conference (Benzinga) Rated: B

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE), operator of LendingTree.com, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today announced that it will participate in the SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Internet & Digital Media Conference at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.

Trent Ziegler, Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer at LendingTree, is scheduled to present on Tuesday, May 8, at 9:10am PT and will participate in one-on-one meetings throughout the course of the day. The presentation will be webcast live and archived at 

8 Side Hustles You Can Start Today (NAV) Rated: B

If you’re looking for a way to grow income over time, and don’t mind the risk and reward nature of investment, peer to peer (P2P) can be a great way to earn some passive income on the side.  Operating much like a bank loan — but without the bank – P2P lending connects people with money (even if it’s only a few hundred dollars) with people who need it.

United Kingdom

 

RateSetter IFISA has attracted ‘high tens of millions’ of pounds (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: AAA

RATESETTER has revealed that its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) has already attracted “high tens of millions” of pounds from investors, in less than three months since launch.

RateSetter opened its IFISA to existing customers on 8 February and to new customers on 1 March. The platform previously reported that it had seen over 5,000 IFISA accounts opened in the first month.

TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus invests in fintech chatbot Cleo (Tech Crunch) Rated: A

Cleo, the London-based fintech that offers an AI-powered chatbot as a replacement for your banking apps, continues to put together an impressive list of backers. The startup’s early investors already include Entrepreneur First, Moonfruit founder Wendy Tan White, Skype founder Niklas Zennström, Wonga founder Errol Damelin, and LocalGlobe, the seed VC firm founded by father and son duo Robin and Saul Klein, amongst others. Now TechCrunch can reveal that TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus has become a Cleo  investor and advisor.

Family Building Society And LendInvest Reduce Buy To Let Investment Rates (Residential Landlord) Rated: B

Family Building Society and LendInvest have each reduced rates on a number of buy to let mortgage deals.

Family Building Society slashed interest rates across its entire buy to let product range, whilst LendInvest has reduced rates on several of its buy to let deals.

CrowdProperty names Mike Bristow as chief executive (Peer2Peer Finance) Rated: B

CROWDPROPERTY co-founder Mike Bristow has been appointed as chief executive of the peer-to-peer property lender, taking over the reins from fellow co-founder Simon Zutshi.

Bristow, who was also a non-executive director at CrowdProperty, had been acting as interim chief executive for around two months before taking on the role on a permanent basis, effective from 1 May.

Zutshi has now been appointed as chairman of CrowdProperty.

China

Lessons From A Mobile Payments Revolution (American Banker) Rated: AAA

According to the research firm eMarketer, 76% of Chinese smartphone users made a mobile point-of-sale purchase in 2017, compared with 25% of American users. In total, 61.8% of all such transactions globally are Chinese.

Source: American Banker

In the first 10 months of last year, China processed a whopping $12.8 trillion in mobile payments, according to the state-run news agency, Xinhua — 38% higher than for all of 2016.

Though it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, the U.S. market in 2017 had just $49.3 billion in mobile point-of-sale transactions, according to Shelleen Shum, eMarketer’s forecasting director.

Start with an oligopoly

More than 90% of Chinese mobile payments run through Alipay and WeChat Pay, rival platforms backed by China’s two largest internet conglomerates — Alibaba, essentially the Amazon of China, and Tencent Holdings, owner of WeChat, the nation’s must-have messaging and social-media app with more than 1 billion users.

Peering into the murky world of China’s online P2P sector (Asia Times) Rated: A

During an 18-month period, Ezubo swindled up to 900,000 investors out of 50 billion yuan (US$7.7 billion).

In one of the country’s highest-profile court cases, the founders of what was once China’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, Ding Ning and his younger brother Ding Dian, were jailed for life last September.

Another 24 executives were sentenced to prison terms, ranging from three to 15 years, after disbelieving depositors mounted unprecedented protests in fintech’s biggest scandal.

“[Just] 500 P2P companies, out of the total 4,856, are likely to maintain their operations this year,” it added.

Fincera Reports 2017 Year-end Financial Results (Digital Journal) Rated: A

Fincera Inc. (”Fincera” or the ”Company”) (OTCQB: YUANF), a leading provider of web-based financing and ecommerce services for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in China, today reported financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Full-year 2017 Financial Highlights

  • Income for the year ended December 31, 2017, increased 16.9% to RMB1.0 billion (US$156.7 million) from RMB875.9 million in the prior year.
  • Net loss improved to RMB8.4 million (US$1.3 million), from net loss of RMB12.3 million in the prior year.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities increased 148.4% to RMB2.1 billion (US$326.6 million) for the year ended December 31, 2017, from RMB859.2 million in the prior year. This increase resulted in a 63.6% improvement in the Company’s overall cash position to RMB1.3 billion (US$191.5 million) at the end of 2017, compared to RMB764.8 million at the end of 2016.

Operational Highlights

Loan transaction volume across all loan types for 2017 totaled approximately RMB26.8 billion (US$4.1 billion), compared to approximately RMB24.4 billion in 2016.

Source: Digital Journal
International

Can FinTech Walk The FinTalk? (PYMNTS) Rated: AAA

BLOCKCHAIN

In January, the International Data Corporation (IDC) reported worldwide spending on blockchain solutions would increase to $2.1 billion in 2018 from $945 million in 2017 and will grow more than 80 percent year over year to reach $9.7 billion by 2021. Most of that spend will be concentrated in the U.S., with supporting use cases mostly related to financial services and cross-border settlement, for a grand total of $242 million in 2018.

To put that into context, the IDC projected worldwide growth and spending on mobility solutions at 15 percent a year from a 2018 base of $1.6 trillion; on security-related hardware, software and services at 10 percent a year from a 2018 base of $91.4 billion growing to $120.7 billion in 2021 and on the Internet of Things at 14 percent a year from $772.5 billion in 2018 growing to $1.1 trillion in 2021.

MARKETPLACE LENDING

LendingClub was hit with a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week over claims of “deceptive” practices.

Following that news, LendingClub’s stock price took a nosedive. Yesterday, it was trading at an all-time low of $2.70.

Launched in October of 2016, Marcus is Goldman’s $2 billion annual hedge on threats to its core commercial banking and trading businesses. Goldman Sachs reported on its Q1 earnings call that Marcus, since it launched, has originated $3 billion of new loans and taken in $9 billion of new retail deposits.

DIGITAL BANKS

If the blockchain is all about replacing the global financial system and marketplace lending is all about replacing traditional lenders, digital banks in the developed world are about upending the traditional banking ecosystem.

Crypto lending may be risky, but these firms say they’ve solved the riddle (American Banker) Rated: A

A new crypto lender, Nexo, will launch Monday in a market where existing participants have already withstood trial by fire.

Such lenders extend credit to those who want to own digital currency, such as bitcoin and ether, and hold onto it long-term while investing it in real estate and elsewhere. But crypto lenders have been severely tested of late as digital currency prices dropped about 70% between December and February.

Source: American Banker, Coindesk

Nexo

The team behind Switzerland-based Nexo runs a consumer lending operation called Credissimo that has made more than a million loans to consumers of up to $2,000 in Europe.

Salt Lending

Denver-based Salt Lending, which started crypto lending earlier this year, has made just under $40 million in loans and has had no losses, according to co-founder Blake Cohen.

Unchained Capital

Unchained Capital, which publicly launched in November, is originating “single-digit million dollars of loans per month,” according to CEO Joe Kelly. The typical loan size is $120,000; the average interest rate is 12%.

RCN Partners with IdentityMind Global to Provide KYC and AML Compliance for Its Protocol (PRWeb) Rated: B

IdentityMind Global today announced that Ripio Credit Network (RCN), a global peer-to-peer credit network based on co-signed smart contracts that connect lenders and borrowers located anywhere in the world, has partnered with IdentityMind to provide KYC and AML compliance support.

Australia

Research shows savings at online lenders (Broker News) Rated: A

The company’s research shows the average customer of one of the big four banks can save more than $2,500 a year by switching to an online deal. This has increased from a year ago, when the potential annual savings were $2,250.

Despite these savings and the fact most other services have migrated online, only 27% of consumers said they would take out a home loan with an online lender.

India

Fintech Startup MyLoanCare Raises Series A Funding (Inc42) Rated: AAA

Gurugram-based B2C online loans marketplace MyLoanCare has secured $977.7K (INR 6.5 Cr) equity Series A funding from Ncubate Capital Partners, a private investment arm of SAR Group family office.

The startup plans to use the funding for branding, technology augmentation and growth. MyLoancare also plans to enter new segments of the market including cards, savings and investments.

 

 

Asia

INDONESIAN fintech startup EmasDigi enables the investing in as well as buying and selling of gold through mobile applications with easy processes that require little time.

The idea began with EmasDigi chief executive officer and founder Claudia Kolonas selling vouchers which gave people easier access to the gold trading market.

EmasDigi is affiliated with PT PG Berjangka, which is registered and supervised by the Trade Ministry’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti). This affirms EmasDigi’s commitment to consumer protection and ensures compliance with legal provisions in Indonesia.

Fintech microfinance, the next opportunity (Prothom Alo) Rated: A

Bangladesh is widely known as the origin of microfinance. The pioneer two NGOs, Grameen Bank and BRAC, have taken this poverty reduction tool to different places in the world, especially in Asia and Africa. This has been acclaimed by the United Nations and other international organisations. Certainly the objectives of microfinance have undoubtedly already been achieved.

Microfinance was inaugurated in the 1980s for a specific, target group of people (given their poverty level). It doesn’t have the generalised character required to reach all people.

Latin America

Brazilian online lender Agibank files for IPO (Reuters) Rated: AAA

Brazilian online lender Banco Agibank SA on Monday filed for regulatory clearance to launch an initial public offering (IPO), according to a securities filing.

Agibank follows Banco Inter SA’s (BIDI11.SA) strategy of raising capital to fund its expansion and IT investments. On Monday, Inter made its debut in São Paulo stock exchange, in the first IPO by a Brazilian retail bank in nearly a decade. In late afternoon, Inter’s units were stable at 74 reais.

The bank and its owner, Marciano Testa, will sell an undisclosed amount of preferred shares in the IPO.

Canada

Fintech Select Earns a Net Profit of $ 435k and Reduces Liability by $ 7.6m for the Year Ending Dec 31 2017 (Globe Newswire) Rated: AAA

Fintech Select Ltd. (“Fintech Select” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:FTEC) is pleased to announce that its financial statements for the year ending December 31 2017 have resulted in a net profit of $435k. 2017 Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) will be filed on SEDAR shortly.

2017 Highlights

  • Reduced the Company’s liability by $7.6M including our unfavourable high-interest loan
  • Made a net profit of $435k for the year due to the reduced liability
  • Reduced interest rate of 24% per annum plus management fee to 12% on April 1, 2017, and further to 6% plus management fee on May 16 2017.
  • Raised $3.4M through two private placements in April and June of the year, and had access to un-restricted cash of $915k by December 31 2017
  • Increased its customer care service revenue
  • Established an advisory board with high skill sets in business and Cryptocurrency space
  • Filed a patent-pending for Cryptocurrency POS platform.
  • Developed and launched the Company’s first phase of the Cryptocurrency POS solution, which simplifies buying cryptocurrecny to the mass of consumers
  • Acquired software for P2P Micro Lending and initiated the project to work on required changes and enhancements to meet the regulatory required standards

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

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

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

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China

European Union

International

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United States

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

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

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

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

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


Key findings of the study:

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

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

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

Read the full report here.

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

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

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

Fintech Innovator of the Year

Affirm

Executive of the Year

Anthony Hsieh, Founder & CEO, loanDepot

Fintech Woman of the Year

Kathryn Petralia, Co-founder & COO, Kabbage

Blockchain Innovator of the Year

ConsenSys

Most Innovative Token Economy

AxiomZen

Top Consumer Lending Platform

Yirendai

Top Small Business Lending Platform

Kabbage

Top Real Estate Lending Platform

LendInvest

Emerging Lending Platform

LendingUSA

Excellence in Financial Inclusion

Oportun

Most Promising Partnership

LendingClub + Opportunity Fund

Most Successful Cross-Border Partnership

Kasisto + DBS Bank

Most Innovative Bank

Cross River

International Innovator of the Year

IrisGuard

Top Enterprise Technology Company

ThreatMetrix

Top Emerging Technology Company

MoneyLion

Top Professional Services Company

Millennium Trust

Most Innovative Mobile Technology

Juvo

Top Fintech Equity Investor

Edison Partners

Best Journalist Coverage

Tony Zerucha, Managing Editor, Bankless Times

Top Investment Bank in Fintech

FT Partners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source The M Report

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

 

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

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

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

Two’s company (Breakingviews) Rated: A

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

Its website, , has since been suspended.

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

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

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

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

Arguably, consumer lending has come full circle.

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

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

 

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

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

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article 6 – lawfulness of processing

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

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

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

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

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

International

Mega-deals continue to shape Asian market

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

Global Q1 2018 key highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Africa

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

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

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

MENA

Dipping Into Digital (Global Finance) Rated: AAA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authors:
George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday March 21 2018, Daily News Digest

fintechs

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

fintechs

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Other

News Summary

United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source Business Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Lending Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Source: Lend EDU

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

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

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

 

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

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

Purchase loans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Times

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

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia

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

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

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

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

Source: Enterprise Innovation

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

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

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

Asia

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

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

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

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

 

Latin America

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

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

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

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday January 2 2018, Daily News Digest

Yirendai

News Comments Today’s main news: Rumor: Former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney is planning a comeback with new HELOC startup. Funding Circle preparing 1B GPB float. Morgan Stanley to offer robo-advice. New bill could make IRS use API. Spice Mobility to invest $1.95M in P2P lending startup. Today’s main analysis: Yirendai still growing, and at a good price. Today’s thought-provoking […]

Yirendai

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Australia

India

APAC

News Summary

United States

The SoFi CEO who was ousted amid sexual harassment allegations is already back with a new startup (recode), Rated: AAA

Cagney has been approaching investors in recent weeks about a new fintech startup with a plan to raise about $25 million, according to multiple people familiar with his outreach. He has pitched investors such as Peter Thiel along with several others who were backers of SoFi, a company that Cagney pushed to become worth almost $5 billion.

Cagney is starting the new company alongside his wife, June Ou, who previously served as SoFi’s chief technology officer, the people said. The company does not yet have a name and has yet to be publicly announced — Ou’s LinkedIn page says she will serve as the COO of a “#newCo.”

The company is said to focus on HELOC, or home equity lines of credit, though the people said the idea was in the early stages and still required more sharpening. Ou this month shared a job posting on GlassDoor for engineers at a company soon to launch.

Morgan Stanley enters robo-advice investment market (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

Morgan Stanley has made a late push for dominance in the fast-growing market for “robo-advice” in America, launching an automated service aimed at the offspring of its well-heeled customers.

Funds managed by software will grow to $385bn by 2021, according to Cerulli Associates, more than quadrupling from today’s levels.

Morgan Stanley is the latest to pitch in, offering a choice of ETFs, mutual funds and seven themed portfolios, among them sustainability, gender diversity and next-wave technology. The new online tool, known as Access Investing, is designed to appeal to a younger generation, many of them members of wealthy families.

How a simple tech upgrade at the IRS could transform the economy (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Our credit system runs on the power of data. A simple IT upgrade at the IRS would put more of this power in your hands.

The IRS Data Verification Modernization Act of 2017, recently introduced in Congress by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), would set up an application programming interface (API) at the IRS.

This API would turn a cumbersome, manual process into an automated one. An API would allow the agency to provide your transcripts the instant you give your authorization. Credit providers would then have more information to make better decisions about your approval and rate. This could cut financial fraud and improve credit prices, speed and access for everyone.

Consumers Want Biometrics – How Will Payments Respond? (PYMNTS), Rated: A

recent study by Visa showed that, unsurprisingly, consumers are ready to say goodbye and good riddance to passwords, both because of the friction they create when trying to remember them – and the inevitable stutter step that the “forgot password” prompt creates – and because in the aftermath of the Equifax breach, the public has never been more conscious of how far passwords fall short in preventing fraud and keeping their data secure.

It was one of the big drivers, Nelsen said, behind the development of Visa ID Intelligence. Nelsen said that ID Intelligence is an ecosystem of authentication solutions to which issuers connect via a single API.

Over the last four years, Nelsen said there’s been an enormous increase in credit applications – a healthy portion of which are from fraudsters who’ve stolen legitimate credentials and have attempted to use them to open new accounts. Banks now recognize that the best way to combat new account fraud is to put knowledge-based authentication in their rearview mirror, in favor of using tools like identity documents and device data to help determine whether an identity is legitimate, stolen or synthetic.

Ebullient Equity And Credit Markets (PeerIQ), Rated: A

2017 has been a great year for equity and credit markets. The S&P500 ended the year up 20%, while CDX IG and CDX HY spreads tightened 46bps. ABS markets enjoy record issuance and all-tight time spreads.

Best of PeerIQ: 

Five ways financial laws could change in 2018 (The Hill), Rated: A

Republicans have made limited progress on President Trump‘s pledge to “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank Act, which the GOP had hoped to gut by the end of 2017. But the GOP and independent regulators could still make critical changes to key parts of the law’s legacy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week that he’d like to hold a vote on a bipartisan Senate Banking Committee bill to exempt small and mid-size banks from aspects of Dodd-Frank.

House members from both parties have lined up behind a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal the CFPB’s October rule Cyber breaches of financial companies reach across several committees of jurisdiction, and senators on the Banking Committee have expressed interest in a bill meant to protect credit-reporting information.

During the Banking panel’s markup of bipartisan Dodd-Frank rollback bill, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) sought to add language meant to boost accountability and transparency when credit reporting agencies are breached.

CFPB’s Payday Loan, Auto Lending Rules in Jeopardy (Manatt), Rated: A

As we have previously reported, the Bureau’s final rule on payday, vehicle title and other so-called high-cost installment loans created new consumer protections for a wide variety of short-term loans and provided official staff interpretations of the rules. Nearly 1,700 pages in length, the rule was issued on Oct. 4.

One of the more controversial provisions of the rule declares it an “unfair and abusive practice” for any lender to make covered short-term or longer-term balloon-payment loans, including payday and vehicle title loans, before reasonably determining that consumers have the ability to repay the loans according to their terms. Pursuant to the rule, it would also be an unfair and abusive practice to make attempts to withdraw payment from consumers’ accounts after two consecutive payment attempts have failed, unless the consumer provides a new and specific authorization to do so.

Now the rule—which is currently set to take effect Jan. 16, 2018—may see the same fate as the arbitration rule. H.J. Res. 122, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), states “That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection relating to ‘Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans’ and such rule shall have no force or effect.” Significantly, H.J. Res. 122 includes Democratic co-sponsors.

Auto Finance—Another Bureau rule may soon be on the road to CRA repeal after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) wrote to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in response to a query about CFPB Bulletin 2013-02.

Umpqua’s next transformation (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

The long-term vision of the company has not changed: to provide banking products and services to people when they want it. We call it personalized banking for all—anytime, anywhere.

But how do you create a human relationship when more and more business is being done electronically?

So we’ve decided as a long-term strategy to combine the human element with digital components. We call it “human-digital banking.”

What does that mean? We have a new retail application in pilot called BFF—Best Financial Friend—created by Pivotus Ventures [Umpqua’s Palo Alto, Calif.-based fintech/research unit], that customers download on their phones. The first phase of the pilot was a centralized hub. Now we’re rolling it out in stores in the Portland [Ore.] market, training associates to serve as a BFF digitally in addition to working with customers in person. Our intent, as a more robust application becomes available early in 2018, is to introduce it into other metropolitan markets.

Using the app, customers pick a banker in the bank who will be kind of their personal concierge—almost like a personal shopper. They will help the customer do anything with Umpqua except get cash.

 

Always Search for the Best Option (Scotsman Guide), Rated: A

More than 53,000 single-family homes and condos were flipped nationwide in the second quarter of 2017 alone for a home-flipping rate of 5.6 percent of second-quarter home sales, according to Attom Data Solutions. The estimated total dollar volume of financing for homes flipped in second-quarter 2017 was $4.4 billion, the highest level since third-quarter 2007, nearly a 10-year high.

More than 35 percent of homes flipped in second-quarter 2017 were purchased with financing, according to Attom. That’s the highest level since third-quarter 2008, or a nearly nine-year high.

A joint study by the University of Cambridge and the University of Chicago suggests that the alternative lending sector, which includes crowdfunding, “hit a stride” in 2016 and has plenty of room for growth. Total market volume in 2016 for alternative financing in the U.S., Canada, Latin America the Caribbean was $35.2 billion, up 23 percent versus 2015. Real estate crowdfunding accounted for just 2.3 percent of the alternative lending market in 2015, but its volume rose by 70 percent in 2016.

OnDeck Line of Credit: What You Need to Know (Fundera), Rated: A

And finally, short-term lines of credit are more expensive than products that you’d get at a bank. The exact interest rate you’d get on an OnDeck line of credit, for instance, depends on the exact qualifications of your business, but in general, you can expect them to range from 10% to 80%.

3 Other Investments You Should Consider Making in 2018 (LearnBonds), Rated: B

There are several ways you can invest in small businesses. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is a popular way that you definitely need to look into. This lending system eliminates middlemen completely and lets you connect with small businesses across the country with ease.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle, the UK’s biggest peer-to-peer lending platform, is preparing to hire advisers to oversee a £1bn-plus London flotation.

Sky News has learnt that the company has told investment banks that it will hold a beauty parade towards the end of the first quarter of 2018, with a listing possible as soon as the late autumn.

A Brave New World – Will Open Banking Boost The UK Fintech Sector? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Open banking is coming to the UK. To be more precise, from January 13, 2018, Britain’s nine largest banks and one building society will be required to make customer account data available to approved rivals. If all goes according to plan, the new regime will herald a bold era of competition by allowing up-and-coming challenger banks and fintech (financial technology) businesses to compete on a more-or-less level playing field with  the giants of the financial services industry.

In the business loans market, peer-to-peer platforms have become increasingly accepted as a source of debt finance. For instance, in the three months to September, pioneering peer-to-peer platform, Funding Circle rang up £114m in new net lending to small businesses. This compared with £95m in new net lending by the big four banks.

According to a survey conducted by Decision Technology, 43% of bank retail customers would consider  sourcing a personal loan from a fintech provider. Although consumers were less amenable to opening savings accounts (only 26% would do so).

Mitty Group Secures Nearly £2 Million in Funding From Assetz Capital (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Earlier this month, Liverpool-based property developer Mitty Group secured £1,982,000 worth of funding from UK-based peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital to develop two new residential and leisure sites in Merseyside.

According to Assetz Capital, Mitty Group has secured a £942,000 loan from the online lender to fund its Regency Court Development in the Old Swan area of Liverpool.

Assetz Capital also reported that Mitty Group secured a £1,040,000 loan to fund its Burscough Street Development in Ormskirk town center.

Becoming a property investor – the crowdfunding option (LinkedIn), Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular and it was valued at $3.5 billion in 2016. It is also projected to have the value of $5.5 billion by the end of 2017. It is a great time to think of investing in property UK using the crowdfunding option. However, it is important that you proceed with caution. Here are a few tips to help you make savvy decisions about real estate crowdfunding.

  1. Understand the rules.
  2. Real estate crowdfunding can be risky too.
  3. Take baby steps.
  4. Know your investment company.
  5. Always remember that real estate crowdfunding is generally the same as other investments.The higher the returns, the higher the risks. Try to limit your investment to 5% of your earnings, or 10% for higher net worth individuals.

Players who swapped the bit parts for starring roles (The Times), Rated: A

Satoshi Nakamoto is the anonymous coder, or group of coders, who created bitcoin as a stateless digital currency nine years ago. It’s a pseudonym. Her/his/their true identity remains a mystery, but, as cryptocurrencies continue to rise in influence and as investors lose faith in traditional institutions, that influence is more than likely to grow.

Imagine, for a moment, what it means to be Satoshi Nakamoto. You are, at least digitally, one of the 50 richest people alive and one of the most important people in the financial world.

Robo advisers recognise the need for human touch (Financial Times), Rated: A

Robo advisers promised to shake up the UK investment market by using algorithms to deliver low-cost automated services to the masses. However, British investors have found a bug in the system — when it comes to managing their money, they want to speak to human beings too.

The new breed of “robos” are morphing their business models to provide over-the-phone and face-to-face advisory services, recognising that more of a personal touch is needed to win over customers.

Scalable Capital, the European online robo-advice company backed by BlackRock, is launching over-the-phone and face-to-face consultations for a one-off fee of £200 from January after finding a number of clients wanted to talk to human advisers rather than answering its online questionnaire alone.

57 Insights from leading brands and experts on what it takes to deliver a Wow customer experience (Customer Think), Rated: B

Andrew Lawson, Chief Product Officer of Zopa.com, a UK online personal finance peer-to-peer lending company, believes that Wow service/experience starts with the customer and solving a problem they face. Too often customer service is a team that is set up to solve the problems that are inherent within the products/services that have been created.

China

Yirendai Limited: Still Growing, Still At A Good Price (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

  • Emerging fintech player Yirendai Ltd. is well positioned in the expanding Chinese P2P lending industry.
  • P2P lending has a potentially huge market in China that could actually be enhanced by the government’s development of its Social Credit System.
  • Yirendai has strong revenue growth, a good return on equity, an attractive valuation, a nice cash flow, is free of debt, and plans on continuing to pay a dividend.
  • An uptrend is on the company’s price chart, reinforced by 50-DMA, 200-DMA, and Relative Strength technical indicators.
Source: Seeking Alpha

China looks for right balance between financial innovation, risk (Xinhuanet), Rated: A

But it has also made things easier for scammers. QR codes are so accessible that a simple scanning of an unidentified barcode can lead to a loss of huge money or massive personal information leakage.

For instance, while offering credit support for small and micro-sized enterprises who may not have enough collateral or sound balance sheets is still a headache for the banking sector, banks now can make better loan decisions by evaluating their conditions more precisely with technologies like big data and blockchain.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Last month, a number of private banks (except WeBank, MYbank and XWBank) received notification from CBRC that they should stop offering online lending services, which caused quite a stir within the industry.

On December 23rd, a charity-crowdfunding campaign from Fenbeichou received profound attention and donations on China’s leading social platform WeChat. People were encouraged to donate and help underprivileged children who have same birthday as themselves. Applause for the campaign’s creativity didn’t last long when journalists found that there were some beneficiaries on the platform who were labelled with different names (but for the same picture) or even non-existent date of birth (e.g. 2017.2.29). People suspected this “Same-Birthday Crowdfunding” campaign was a fraud.

On December 28th, the Nanjing Municipal Public Security Bureau posted on its official Weibo that the head of online finance platform Qbao.com had surrendered himself to the local police.

On December 27th, a new range of rules were released to ramp up the security in the mobile payment sectors.

Mobile payment scale rises in 3rd quarter (Xinhuanet), Rated: A

The scale of mobile payment in China exceeded 29 trillion yuan (4.5 trillion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter of 2017, a report indicated.

According to the report released by internet research agency Analysys, the amount is a quarter-on-quarter increase of 28.02 percent.

International

The Biggest Fintech Stories of 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Online lending, including marketplace lending or peer to peer lending, is entering a new era. Goldman Sachs and their Marcus platform is schooling early entrants with good tech and access to low cost of capital that is hard to beat. Big tech is moving in too, as companies like Square, PayPal and Amazon are now providing loans. In the US, early online lenders are rushing to launch new verticals and update models to remain competitive and relevant. Elsewhere, such as the UK and China, models are becoming more established as the focus has been different and the regulatory environment more welcoming.

Equity-based crowdfunding is now accounting for 17% of all seed and venture stage equity investment in the UK. Peer-to-peer business lending provides 15% of all new loans lent to small businesses by UK banks.

Today, the Fintech Charter has not moved an inch forward and is arguably in retreat. And why is that? Because the States do not want to lose relevance and Congress is unable to do anything about it. Who loses out? Consumers and small business, of course.

In early 2017, the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney delivered a pointed speech where he said Fintech could “signal the end of universal banking as we know it.” Why is this important? Because it is the Bank of England: the second oldest central bank in the world.

Australia gets a huge shoutout for being consistently vocal in their advocacy of Fintech from both the private and public sector. FinTech Australia has accomplished quite a bit in a short time as the advocacy group promoting the virtues of financial innovation.

The UK’s impending divorce from the European Union is still meandering down the negotiation path.

The shocking downfall of Mike Cagney, founder of unicorn darling SoFi – a company that once envisioned itself as the future of banking, rocked the Fintech world.

The dramatic rise of cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO) is nothing short of spectacular.

Australia

Lowest loan rate since 1956 sparks regulatory fears and raises pressure on debt (Financial Review), Rated: AAA

Borrowing rates have fallen to their lowest level for 62 years, triggering debate that Australia’s increasing household debt will force regulators to raise further speed limits to contain new lending, despite an already slowing investor market.

Other lenders, including online lender ING and Newcastle Permanent, the nation’s largest building society, are also targeting the owner-occupied fixed-rate sector with cuts pushing the headline rate to below 3.8 per cent.

Mortgages are a key profit generator for lenders, accounting for about 55 per cent of bank loans and 30 per cent of cash earnings.

India

Spice Mobility to invest $ 1.95 mn in P2P lending startup (VC Circle), Rated: AAA

BK Modi group company Spice Mobility Ltd is set to pick up a 30% stake in Luharia Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs peer-to-peer lending platform anytimeloan.in, for Rs 12.5 crore ($1.95 million) in an all-cash deal.

 

Spice Mobility to buy 30% stake in P2P lending startup for ₹12.5 crore (TechStory), Rated: A

Spice Mobility Ltd is buying 30% stake in Luharia Technologies Pvt. Ltd which operates P2P lending platform anytimeloan.in, in all cash deal of ₹12.5 crore ($1.95 million), the company said in a stock exchange filings.

Start-ups all geared, it may well be time for India to make ‘Digital leap’ (Financial Express), Rated: AAA

THE YEAR 2017 has been somewhat of a twilight zone for digital in India.

India is the world’s second largest online market with 460 million internet users and more than 1 billion mobile subscribers. But internet penetration is still south of 20% of our overall population.

I read recently that over 2.4 billion brand-related conversations happen online every day. In one significant trend, consumers are undergoing digital saturation amidst the social media and marketing barrage. As many as 83% of consumer respondents in a recent survey felt that brands didn’t handle their emotions well across different touchpoints.

Good or bad in 2017, there is lot of hope for Indian startups in 2018 (Tech Observer), Rated: AAA

For some startups, especially for Fintech firms like Paytm, 2017 has been an incredible year as they were most ready to reap the benefits of disastrous demonetisation policy announced by Prime Minister  which forced the people to rely on  wallet firms for making payment for even their tea. Further, implementation of GST has push an environment wherein individuals and SMEs are looking to go digital.

Lohia says that 2018 will see scaling up of players in the lending space especially in small business lending.

On the other hand, for peer to peer (p2p) lending platform – OMLP2P – that brings investors and borrowers together for a seamless and transparent loan disbursal experience, the year 2017 was a mile stone year because on October 4, 2017, RBI came out with the guidelines for the P2P industry, which paved the way for the P2P players to get themselves registered as “ NBFC- P2P” with RBI.

For starups like CreditMantri, 2017 has been a good year as they were able to reach out to 3.8 million Indians with their CreditMantri platform.

For Pune based startup Loantap, which focuses on providing lending platform to Salaried Professionals, 2017 has been a good year. He bets that 2018 is going to be great year for LoanTap and his firm will cross 100 crore Loan Book within first few months.

Year 2017-FINTECH Collaboration Kick-start Year (the Banking Finance Post), Rated: AAA

In 2017, Banks have targeted below areas to practice Innovation –

  • Architecture to innovate: Challenges around quick interfacing between systems through API Banking.
  • Operations Overheads: Improvement areas in Operations and Cost optimisation through Robotic Process Automation
  • Skillset Availability: Creation of skillset around new technologies was always main Agenda in 2017
  • Traditional Banking: Banking Services on limited channels for Customers, It’s very important to provide Banking services through many other non-Banking Channels
  • Fintech Experimentations: Challenges around quick partnering with external partners. Availability of API Management interfacing for third-party partnering
  • Agility in Solution: Availability of quick solutions for payments & other Banking Services
  • Remove Barriers of digital transformation like lack of skills, lack of technology, lack of adoption
  • Innovative Culture building for of business Team to drive innovation or digital transformation
  • Digital banking Enhance of channels to drive digital services e.g. Customer Onboarding, customer serving, customer engagement, custom education

So far Bank has conducted 5 Hackathons which is something Unique in the banking industry.

Main achievements through Innovation Carnival

  • 1st Bank in INDIA: DCB BANK – First Bank to conduct National Hackathon in 6 Cities
  • Digital Culture Building at DCB bank – This program touches on all entities in the organisation
  • Corporate Partnering & Training – Model to train participants e.g. by IBM, Redhat, NPCI etc Corporate conducted Sessions
  • Established Mentorship Collaboration with 60+ Fintech Mentors in various areas added value to boost true evaluation
  • 18 Innovation Themes: It keeps motivated internal team thru idea generation for 18 Themes
  • Both Virtual & 6 Physical hackathons: It keeps touch with external parties thru Hackathon, Summit
  • Meeting Bank’s Strategy Goals: It’s helping to execute the strategy for our Bank and to grow bank
  • Unique India Collaboration: Building Innovation Community among Government, Accelerators, Institutes, Corporate, Banks

Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [25-30 Dec] (Inc42), Rated: A

Lendingkart Finance: The Ahmedabad-based SME lending startup raised $3.8 Mn (INR 25 Cr) in debt from the State Bank of India. The latest influx of funds will be utilised to bolster Lendingkart’s loan book. The fresh capital will also enable the startup to expand its geographical reach to over 950 cities.

Foyr: Virtual reality-based prop-tech startup Foyr raised $3.8 Mn in Series A funding led by property consultancy JLL and other individual and non-institutional investors.

Anytimeloan.in: Spice Mobility is gearing up to buy 30% stake in Luharia Technologies, which owns and operates P2P lending platform Anytimeloan.in.

Top fintech trends that India can expect in 2018 (Economic Times), Rated: A

Fintech lending
The fast-paced digitization has unlocked fresher avenues for fintech players, especially the ones associated with SME-based lending.

Virtual agents
With everything going digital, loan officers can’t be too far behind.

Machine Learning and user experience
2018 will also be the year for adoption of new regression models driven by Machine Learning.

Automated Personalization

All of this is being done through automated algorithms that scrape everything from historic transactions, preferences, and supply chain partnerships, down to critical metadata embedded into user information.

IndiaChain
Our nation has taken a giant stride in the realm of technology by developing its own blockchain network.

Open Banking
UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and AEPS (Aadhaar-enabled Payment System) have paved the way for an open banking channel in 2018.

Physical and Digital Merger
In India, despite a commendable effort to bank the unbanked, a majority of the Indian population is still deprived of access to banking services till date. Businesses, on the other hand, have enough data to prove their creditworthiness but fail to acquire credit because of conventional scoring mechanisms that banks use. Lately, fintech startups have begun collaborating with banks and helped them in making good use of their data and increasing ..

The 7 Key FinTech Trends To Watch Out For In 2018 (Inc42), Rated: A

EY’s Fintech Adoption Index (2017), a survey of more than 22,000 digitally active consumers, ranks India second (52%) behind China (69%) in terms of percentage of the digitally active population.

Digital payments reached 1,162 crore transactions between April and November and are expected to exceed 1,800 crore in the current fiscal.

Wallet Usage To Rise

2017 has been the year which saw e-wallets and digital payments come to the fore, placating the masses post demonetization. Come 2018, this trend will likely mature as more and more Indians turn to the digital side of things.

More Emphasis On Data Analytics And AI

Beyond payments, interest in fintech startups in areas like blockchainartificial intelligence andlending are just some of the focus areas that will garner attention.

Banks And Fintech Companies Collaborating

A Secure Digital India

The rise in digital payments and online lending also makes the sector exposed to hackers who are always on the prowl to feed on vulnerable security.

P2P Moneylending

Motivated by the intention of democratising financial services while aiming for exponential growth, these FinTech startups will come up with newer models for lending, especially in the P2P Lending space.

Instant Payments

Open banking – With initiatives such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), banking will become more ‘open’ in 2018.

Proliferation Of Chatbots

In 2018, we can expect more chatbots to be deployed with improved quality of interactions, the speed of responses and accuracy in decision-making.

P2P lending NBFCs to see a promising year ahead (MoneyControl), Rated: A

India will be more than USD 4-trillion economy by 2022. Out of this, USD 1-trillion would be digital economy—and it’s the most conservative estimate the government is working with. As Indians become digitally more aware, India’s emerging Peer-To-Peer (P2P) lending industry will flourish in 2018.

Here’re the top 5 trends to watch out for:

  1. P2P lending platforms to become an important contributor to India’s growth story… Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute about a third of India’s manufacturing output and provide employment to over 10 crore people. Despite this, the share of institutional lending in the total borrowings of MSMEs is less than 10%.
  2. Faster and cheaper loans to SMEs and self-employed borrowers
  3. Fund raising activities of the P2P lending platforms may gather pace… RBI has given 3 months to the existing players and 12 months to the new players for registration. The regulator has made it mandatory for an aspirant P2P lender to have a minimum net worth of Rs 2 crore.
  4. Personal loans to grow at a healthy pace
  5. Awareness about the P2P lending sector to grow among investors

What to Expect in 2018 in the Payments Industry (BW Disrupt), Rated: B

  • The infrastructure to enable digital payments has been strengthened through issuance of debit cards, roll-out of Point of Sale machines, launch of phone-based acceptance through the BHIM app and the Bharat 4.0 app that allows seamless acceptance of QR code and UPI based payment.
  • At the same time, incentives have been provided to merchants to accept digital payments through the new Merchant Discount Rate rules
  • The RBI is helping make digital payment instruments like Wallets more viable
  • Along with these initiatives, the Government has concomitantly undertaken a massive consumer education and information campaign.
APAC

PLDT fintech unit reaching out to unbanked Filipinos (Inquirer), Rated: AAA

FINTQ, the PLDT group’s financial technology (fintech) arm, seeks to bring insurance, investment and savings solutions to 30 million unbanked Filipinos by 2020 through a grassroots-based financial inclusion program KasamaKA.

Launched to veer Filipinos away from usurious informal lenders, KasamaKA enables members to earn by referring applicants to any of the digital financial services offered by Lendr, FINTQ’s digital loan platform.

Indian-led global fintech InstaReM looks at 600 percent growth (ANI), Rated: B

Singapore headquartered fintech start-up, InstaReM, which offers convenient and cost-effective international money transfers to individuals and businesses aims to grow 600 percent in financial year 2018-19.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor