News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi offers 6-month grace period for SoFi ReFi. Zopa to build Open Banking infrastructure. Faircent secures $4M funding round. Assetz Capital launches IFISA. Ping An make big bet on technology. Ant Financial partners with Standard Chartered. Today’s main analysis: Student loan borrowers prefer payments over iPhone X or bitcoin. Who are LendingClub borrowers? (A must-read market […]
Are instant loans helpful or hurtful? AT: “The one thing I never hear the critics say about these products is the possibility for the consumer to pay the loans off within the first 30 days, like many consumers do with credit cards.”
Zopa to build an Open Banking infrastructure. AT: “There is a shuffle for firms to place themselves at the center of open banking all across Europe. It will be interesting to see what happens once the system is in place and open banking has matured. I’m glad to see Zopa making moves.”
From 2007 through 2017, LendingClub has matched $31 billion investor dollars with 2 million borrowers’ loans.
Today, outstanding credit card and personal loan balances in the U.S. are approximately $960 billion. Of that, two-thirds, or roughly $600 billion, represents interest-earning balances carried month-to-month —the overall addressable population. About half of the addressable population (more than $300 billion) currently meets LendingClub’s target credit profile—a market that we have only just begun to penetrate.
Read LendingClub’s Marketplace Insights report in full here.
Online credit marketplace LendingClub Corporation (NYSE: LC), announced on Tuesday it has appointed Patty McCord as the newest member of its Board of Directors, effective December 13, 2017.
McCord spent 14 years creating the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix and as the video streaming giant’s Chief Talent Officer, she helped create the Netflix Culture deck and experimented and cultivated new ways to work.
Interest in marketplace loan ABS from the buyside picked up in 2017, but some investors are now saying that they could sit things out in 2018 as credit concerns grow and a lack of data presents problems in the late stages of the credit cycle.
ABS volumes doubled from $3.4bn in 2016 to $7bn in 2017, with SoFi issuing more than $3bn in deals this year, according to data from JP Morgan. The introduction of multi-seller platforms from SoFi, Lending Club, Marlette Funding, Prosper Marketplace also drove liquidity for the sector, while new …
LendEDU asked 1,000 people repaying student loans if they would prefer a popular holiday gift or a loan payment of equal value. And, despite the hype surrounding tech trends, they wanted loan payments more.
Bankers agree voice will be the biggest and most important channel to their business after mobile, only this time, it won’t sneak up on them like mobile did. They’re looking at 2018 as a year to get their companies more involved with voice by adding features to their Alexa skills, creating an Alexa skill if they haven’t done so already or expanding Alexa capabilities to other parts of the organization. But for the most part, they’re looking for a clearer sense of how people even use Alexa.
In 2017, USAA, Ally Bank and U.S. Bank launched Alexa skills. Before this year, Capital One was the only bank with the feature, which it launched in 2016.
Earlier this year, we announced an initiative to bring the industry’s first Software as a Service (SaaS) lending platform to market, which we call “Powered by Upstart”. Now we’re excited to announce that BankMobile is the first bank to launch their personal loan program on the Upstart platform. Beginning today, BankMobile offers consumers in 43 states personal loans from $5,000 to $30,000, with no origination fees and interest rates starting at 5.99%.
We are an early investor in the company ‘Kabbage” and Kabbage to me is a major disruption in the fund-lending and risk-analysis market. Established in 2009, Kabbage supported the emerging companies that were suffering the blow of a financial crisis. Banks were declining to lend money to small businesses and entrepreneurs had no access to capital to support their businesses. What aggravated the problem is that even if they did get access to money, the procedure for evaluating the risks of money lending were strictly based on scrutinizing the company’s financial background and fico scores instead of probing into the business. Deviating from the established model of risk analysis, Kabbage stepped into the market at a time of financial distress and operated on a completely different strategy. They would evaluate your UPA shipping data, ebay seller reviews, and other bits of information that are generated on different platforms and then assess credit card risks based on these factors and not just credit card fico scores. Kabbage started off by accumulating a ton of third party data which they ingested, analyzed and then created a solution. Over time, the company has gathered a substantial amount of primary data that they can use to tweak and refine their risk-analysis model. The company efficiently leveraged big data to provide an entire new service in the risk-analysis industry.
It’s a space that started out with Mint ten years ago, with a new way to look at all of one’s finances in one place. The field has now grown to accommodate an ever-expanding number of direct-to-consumer PFM apps, including apps like Digit, Clarity Money, Penny and Qapital, and banks are now folding PFM capabilities into their mobile apps.
Banks have been folding in PFM features and competing apps are having trouble differentiating. Where do you see the PFM market right now? A lot of PFM will continue to move to a business-to-business, or business-to-business-to-consumer model. Things [business-to-consumer PFMs] struggle with are being able to monetize and with customer acquisition.
What’s the problem with business-to-consumer PFM? The market is really crowded and it’s hard to provide that extra value to really distinguish themselves from other platforms in the space.
An $800 mattress for your bed. A $600 sofa for your living room. A vintage designer bag as a Christmas gift for your best friend. They’re all pretty big purchases to buy online, but now you can get an instant loan for any of them right at checkout.
Ingle says the payment plans are different than credit card options. Companies like Affirm partner with certain retailers to offer the loans, which are installment loans with interest rates, and set payments are made over time.
In a statement Faircent said it will utilise the newly acquired funds towards strengthening the platform’s technology and creating greater awareness about P2P lending’s significance as a new and highly rewarding asset class.
The race is on to become the top global app for international money transfers.
Fintech startups including WorldRemit Ltd., TransferWise Ltd. and Remitly Inc. are pulling ahead of the pack of the dozens of companies trying to disrupt the remittance industry, using the latest technology to send money internationally.
More than $600 billion is remitted world-wide every year, mostly by migrant workers from places like India, Mexico and the Philippines, who have traditionally had to deal with long lines and high fees to send money home.
Chandigarh-based Finvasia, a fintech company offering zero brokerage, has received the Certificate of Registration (CoR) from RBI to operate as a non-banking financial corporation (NBFC). This extension will allow the company to offer loan-based products to retail and corporates alike. The company plans to develop block chain technology based P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform.
News Comments Today’s main news: KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Lending Club securitization. Ant Financial extends online credit service to retailers. Credit Peers secures 45 million GBP credit line. Today’s main analysis: A significant increase in US credit cards defaults. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Brits are shunning savings. Why India’s fintech startups are flocking to the […]
Lending Club markets first sponsored deal. GP:”This should be a teamplate for further securitizations. Why is this important? Because this further diversifies the sources of capital available to Lending Club and also probably makes their capital even cheaper. This should also perhaps enable Lending Club to increase their revenue by turning some profit on these securitizations. All in all, I think it’s a very bullish sign for Lending Club.”
Americans are suddenly defaulting on credit cards. GP:”The increase is still not out of the channel bounds we have seen since beginning 2014 for the average credit card company except for Capital One. The question is: Is Capital One ahead of the pack in noting defaults or are they a special case? Further analysis seems to point that underwriting standards have recently degraded in fact. Would this be seen this quickly in the default performance? “AT:”Excellent analysis. Remember the mortgage crisis? The S&L crisis? Bank failure bailouts? The controversial CFPB was created to solve some of the problems associated with consumer financial management behavior. Could we be headed toward another political crisis? If it is perceived that banks are using poor risk assessment metrics or issuing credit card debt to people who shouldn’t have it, then we may see more headlines soon.”
Marketplace Lending: The Next 10 Years GP:”Most industries follow the same bell curve of solution and no problem, problem found, exponential increase, margin collapse, consolidation, new innovation. I don’t see why online lending is any different.”
The next industry Amazon could dominate. GP:”Amazon will probably dominate lending to Amazon vendors. That is not an industry, just a small and growing piece of it. Will Amazon dominate retail commerce in its entirety? I hope not, as in general, we don’t think that monopolies are good for society.” AT: “An overstatement. Amazon is a product retailer. While there may be a good business case for Amazon having a lending vertical, Amazon will never be a specialist in online lending, to small businesses or otherwise. But there are some good points made in this article, one of which is the cost of the loans themselves–not exactly competitive.”
The best way to beat robos: Be more human. GP:”In my experience in capital markets the robos work until the market type changes. And markets change types, due to the underlying source driving source changing, every few months. “AT: “I’m seeing more and more of this type of advice for financial advisors.”
Fintech CEO on how to create Buzz in a start-up. GP:”I sometimes wonder what is the difference between Buzz and fashion. And is following a fashion a good approach? Should we all include in our company description AI, blockchain and insuretech now?”
VCs jamming on the brakes in 2017. GP:”The VC industry goes through natural cycles that are more abrupt than most financial markets. Innovation is the best economic driver and UK will continue to be innovating. The VC industry is still going strong enough and in all cases will come back in a few years based on our experience with 2001, 2008, etc…”
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Consumer Loan Underlying Bond (CLUB) Credit Trust 2017-NP1(“CLUB 2017-NP1”). This is a $279.388 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close June 22, 2017.
This transaction is LendingClub Corporation’s (“LendingClub” or the “Company”) first sponsored transaction and the second rated securitization of near prime unsecured consumer loans facilitated by LendingClub’s proprietary technology platform. All loans in this securitization are whole loans that were purchased through a pro-rata allocation of the near prime loans originated on the platform by seven third parties unaffiliated with LendingClub.
This makes it all the more curious that Americans have suddenly stopped paying off their credit-card bills at a rapid rate.
In the past two fiscal quarters, banks reported a steep rise in credit-card charge-offs — debt that companies can’t collect from their customers — according to a report from Moody’s.
The sharp increase, the largest since 2009, is especially unusual given how strong the US employment market has been, Moody’s noted. It suggests that American consumers haven’t fallen on hard times so much as banks have started to loosen their standards and issue credit more aggressively.
Charge-offs and unemployment tend to be related: When people lose their jobs, credit cards tend to be one of the first bills people stop paying, as compared with loans for a home or a car in which people risk losing those crucial assets.
CommonBond Closes $ 231M Securitization (CommonBond Email), Rated: A
Of the transaction, CEO David Klein said:
“Our highest-rated and largest deal yet clearly reflects both the growing investor and customer demand for CommonBond’s products. By maintaining maniacal focus on our category, and delivering the best possible experience for our members, we’ve been able to consistently provide investors with superior credit quality assets. We’re pleased to welcome a standout group of investors to this transaction. And as a programmatic issuer, we look forward to continuing to bring opportunities to market for investors over time.”
The offering achieved AA ratings from Moody’s and DBRS – Aa3 and AA, respectively – which are our highest ratings to date.
The transaction was CommonBond’s fourth and largest, and was more than three times oversubscribed by investors.
CommonBond and Goldman Sachs acted as co-sponsors for the transaction. Goldman Sachs served as structuring agent, co-lead manager, and book-runner.
Barclays and Citi served as co-lead managers and book-runners on the transaction as well. Guggenheim Securities served as co-manager.
CommonBond’s inaugural securitization from 2015 was also recently upgraded by DBRS.
The marketplace for consumer and small-business loans has come a long way over the last 10 years. Since the early days of peer-to-peer lending, there has been a great proliferation of new types of intermediaries creating new layers of distribution for the risk involved with the lending process. Now marketplace lending has reached an inflection point that will create a much different scenario with fewer players and more partnerships.
The linchpin holding this model all together is technology including machine learning, which is driving more efficient distribution. “Technology is what has made marketplace lending so rich and competitive. But technology firms must now compete within the market they’ve created. And typically technology – once it exists can be commoditized,” said Hadden, adding that technology will eliminate intermediaries, not create new ones.
Meanwhile, growth for the software providers will be through partnerships.
These tech giants’ emergence and momentum in this burgeoning industry might be the boost online lending needs to become a mainstream option for small businesses.
They’re well positioned to succeed for a few reasons. First, the tech giants have massive, active customer bases; Amazon has 2 million potential lending customers already selling products on its own marketplace.
Second, while there are certainly well-known players inside the online lending space, from OnDeck to Lending Club, there’s no direct lender that’s a household name.
Third, companies like Amazon, Square, and PayPal know who they’re lending to. Since their core business model encompasses their customers’ business transactions, they know exactly how much money their customers are making and when that money comes into their business. This information makes the tech giants better prepared and more likely to underwrite loans for businesses that might have been denied elsewhere.
While Amazon’s pricing is particularly attractive, with estimated annual interest rates between 10.9 and 12.9%, PayPal’s annual percentage rate (APR) is estimated to be between 15 and 40% and Square’s is estimated between 30 and 35%. This pricing is competitive for short-term loans, but if business owners have larger, longer-term, or revolving credit needs, they could qualify for more cost-efficient options.
Rubicon says Bond Street is an affordable option for companies to finance growth investments such as hiring additional employees, purchasing inventory or equipment or refinancing a business credit card. An online lender, Bond Street provides one-year to three-year term loans that range from $25,000 to $ 1 million, with rates starting at 6 percent, according to the company.
Now her mother, who receives $11,600 a year from Social Security and suffers from dementia, is struggling with a roughly $50,000 loan paid through a $5,500 annual tax assessment — an increasingly popular form of home-improvement financing known as PACE.
Edwards said the contractor explained that “a government program” would help the octogenarian afford the improvements, but never explained how the payments would work or warned them Hill could lose her house if payments were missed.
The total amount lent for residential PACE projects topped $1.5 billion in 2016, up from $350 million just two years earlier, according to trade group PACENation.
The loans are secured by a property lien and if unpaid a borrower can be foreclosed upon. Consumers put no money down and usually don’t pay anything for at least six months. Eligibility is largely based on home equity. Credit score and income are not a factor.
Many consumers simply know their loans as the HERO program, the name of the PACE program from the industry’s biggest lender, Renovate America in San Diego.
Critics say PACE can serve a worthy purpose, but worry too many consumers are agreeing to loans they don’t need or understand after being contacted by aggressive contractors, who often make cold calls or engage in door-to-door marketing.
According to lawsuits and interviews with borrowers and their advocates, some contractors are inflating the cost of their services and misrepresenting how much the loans cost or how they are paid back.
Contractors can get consumers approved on the spot, having them sign documents on a tablet computer — an experience advocates say can be confusing, particularly for elderly homeowners. Lenders then send final financing documents to homeowners for their signature, with the process taking a few hours to several days.
The three major private lenders — Renovate America, Renew Financial of Oakland and Ygrene Energy Fund of Petaluma, Calif., — say most of their customers come away happy and point to low default and delinquency rates as evidence the programs are working.
Across the nation, less than 1% of all securitized PACE loans that Kroll Bond Rating Agency tracks have defaulted, said Cecil Smart, a senior director at the company.
Renovate America said over the last five years, none of its clients have been foreclosed on for not paying their PACE loan, but nearly 80 homeowners with such financing, or 0.08% of the total, have been foreclosed upon after they didn’t pay their mortgage.
For as long as there have been big banks, Wall Street has controlled your money. They’ve chosen who gets loans, how much they cost, who gets access – they’ve basically hand picked the economic winners and losers of the world. But not anymore, thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, financial technology, and the disruption of the traditional banking system.
The democratization of money starts with decentralizing control over that money. And that means more peer-to-peer payments, greater convenience, and a simple, easy-to-use electronic payments system working behind the scenes. Wirecard AG is a leader on all these fronts, helping consumers break free of big bank control.
We’ve had a pretty convenient way of sending money abroad, paying for odd jobs and transferring money online for goods and services for a while now. All by using an email address. PayPal came onto the scene breaking down the need for costly bank transfers and setting up recipients.
Like payment company, Square. Their convenient app, Square Cash, lets you send money from email to email.
Whether he stills feels this way or not, Burry has placed a different bet on the U.S. housing market by taking a seat on the board of PeerStreet, a peer to peer marketplace that allows investors to buy into the debt of real estate investments. Think Lending Club, but for real estate, where investors can access prime traunches of real estate debt. It’s real estate loan securtization by any other name, but by investing in the debt of a real estate investment at low loan to value ratios, PeerStreet is offering what it calls a ‘safer type of real estate investment’. If things go sour, debt investors are paid off ahead of equity investors, thereby cushioning the risk. Furthermore, PeerStreet advertises 6-12% annualized returns, and the loan periods are as short as 6 months to a just a couple years, but only for accredited investors.
Anything in an adviser’s daily routine that can be automated should be outsourced to technological tools, says Alan Moore, co-founder of XY Planning Network. According to Bloomberg, 58% of an adviser’s role can be automated with artificial intelligence.
Fava agrees, suggesting that rather than trying to best robo advisers, advisers should shift their focus to aspects of their organization that requires a human touch.
Virtual meetings can take place anytime via video chat and chat bots can help answer routine questions. In his research McDermott says he’s found a growing number of advisers using video chat for initial consultations and their clients are satisfied with telephone consultations afterwards.
Another easy automation is password management software, McDermott says. Using that tool is simpler than trying to remember 70 passwords or having to input and look them up individually on a spreadsheet, he says.
Fundbox Launching New Product for SMBs (Fundbox Email), Rated: B
Tomorrow, Fundbox, the leading cash flow optimization platform for small businesses will unveil its newest product, Direct Draw – a revolving line of credit (up to $100,000) that offers business owners instant access to working capital, without using personal credit scores and we wanted to give you an early look. The company will also reveal survey findings indicating the widespread industry need for the Direct Draw product; 65 percent of business owners don’t believe that FICO should be tied to business credit.
Direct Draw enables Fundbox to help the 18M SMBs in the U.S. that are underserved by existing funding options, most of which rely on personal credit, something that is unpopular with many SMBs. For Direct Draw, customers are approved using bank account data.
Would you like to see the embargoed release and / or speak with Eyal Shinar, Founder & CEO? Eyal has often said that he aims to be the next Visa, and they are on well on their way. Also, Direct Draw is possible because of the company’s deep investments in artificial intelligence and Eyal can speak to that as well.
In May, SoFi CEO Michael Cagney told TechCrunch the company would be applying for a bank charter “in the next month.” Well, it’s about a month later, and — surprise! — the company has actually done so.
On June 6, SoFi applied for a de novo (or “new”) bank charter, according to a filing notice on the FDIC website. There will be an open comment period on the application for the next month, which will close July 6. The company confirmed it submitted the application, which TechCrunch has received a copy of.
The company is applying for an industrial loan charter under the name SoFi Bank in Utah, listing a Salt Lake City location as its proposed depositary address.
San Diego-based Elevate Credit, a fintech startup aimed at providing credit to non-prime customers, said it has launched a new “Advanced Analytics” center in San Diego. The company said the San Diego team has more than 35 data scientists, including more than 25 member with advanced degrees, and eight with PhDs.
Lendio Pilots Online Lending Platform with Comcast Business Customers, (Email), Lendio
Lendio, a marketplace for small business loans, today announced a pilot agreement with Comcast Business designed to provide its small business customers with quick and easy access to capital. Through the collaboration, Comcast Business customers will have more streamlined access to Lendio’s marketplace and network of more than 75 lenders, where they can get matched with the financing they need to help them start, grow and thrive.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 28 million small businesses in America, accounting for 48 percent of U.S. employees. Many of these businesses face obstacles getting a loan, like researching an overwhelming number of potential lenders, soliciting financing offers, and determining what loan is right for them. The collaboration between Lendio and Comcast Business will seek to resolve these challenges by providing more direct access to capital through an established set of lenders offering a wide range of loan offerings, and personal attention from small business loan experts.
Comcast Business customers participating in the pilot will be able to choose from various loan products such as lines of credit, working capital loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, term loans, equipment loans, accounts receivable financing, and more.
ALMOST four in 10 Brits failed to save a penny in the three months to April, RateSetter research has found, with the peer-to-peer lender warning that this could lead to financial difficulties down the line.
37 per cent of UK adults did not put any money away, and just 21 per cent expected to be able to save more over the next 12 months, data from the platform showed on Tuesday.
Almost half of respondents to a survey commissioned by RateSetter blamed the non-existent returns currently available on cash, with the higher rate of inflation compressing income opportunities.
Credit Peers, one of the first peer-to-business (P2B) secured property lending platforms in the UK, announced today that it has secured a credit line of £45 million from a European investment management firm.
The financing should allow Credit Peers to expand its growing business by providing fast-tracked debt funding to experienced property investors and developers on investment grade property transactions across the UK.
Earlier this year Credit Peers launched its loan-based P2B platform offering property transactions to the public that were previously only available to institutions and banks. Credit Peers aims to significantly speed up the process of property financing compared to the traditional model.
A fintech can effectively become a ‘concierge’ directing its customers to insurance, or any other financial service if they control the data. However, linking to established insurers or banks, which often have legacy IT systems and data silos that cannot interact with newer formats, messaging standards and more modern IT, can be problematic for any start-up looking to partner with a financial institution (FI). This may be an issue for BuzzGroup in the future as it attempts develop a data-centric ‘concierge’ business and scale up.
The spin-off BuzzVault insurtech digital inventory and app, which stores and protects belongings on the blockchain, takes a fee from insurers for its services, effectively acting a sales channel. But it offers insurance partners a fresh approach to customer acquisition and retention that they would not otherwise possess.
Many older fintech firms see insurance as another vertical in which they can use the same artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, big data analysis, blockchain or other technologies that they’ve already used in the investment or retail banking arena , to disrupt a new area. Other newer start-ups are focusing on insurtech as a standalone vertical because they believe the younger unploughed field has more scope for growth. BuzzGroup falls into this later group.
BuzzGroup has so far raised $9.2m in five rounds of equity fundraising from a mix of nine angel, seed and accelerator investors.
Wayra contributed €532,610 ($579,865) in February 2015, having been part of an earlier €597,129 ($650,000) BuzzGroup fundraising round in March 2014 that included Andrew Weisz, Justin Peters, Tom Singh and Avonmore Developments.
Wayra also contributed €60,000 ($65,000) at the birth of BuzzGroup in May 2013, alongside money from the founder.
The last round of investment in August 2016 raised £6 million ($7.75m) from White Mountains Insurance Group – the largest insurtech seed investment at that time in Europe – and emanated from the SBC InsurTech London.
One possible way around the recruitment challenge is to hire hungry youngsters who want to be part of an innovative new company and to perhaps offer them an equity stake in exceptional circumstances to help retain and motivate them.
As start-ups grow the ability to hand out equity stakes naturally diminishes, especially as angel and seed fund investors will be hungry for their cut.
The tidal wave of venture capital (VC) money that flowed into global financial technology (fintech) investments during 2016 has already shown signs of receding, according to the U.K.’s fintech chief.
Continuation of such momentum is critical given than once the U.K. has left the EU – with the clock already ticking down to a March 2019 deadline – the domestic fintech industry will lose access to the European Investment Fund. This EU body provides financing to small and medium sized enterprises and contributed around EUR 2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) to U.K. VC funds between 2011 and 2015.
Two newer entrants include the £405m Funding Circle SME Income fund, launched November 2015, and £300m Honeycomb, launched December 2015. The two portfolios differ greatly but both are products of the bank-deleveraging trend and have seen their assets grow as high investor demand has also prompted new issuance of shares.
The Railways Pension Trustee Company recently increased its stake in Funding Circle SME Income to fund to a 26.18 per cent of total share capital making their holding worth – according to today’s prices – more than £100m.
Invesco Perpetual, which backed Honeycomb since launch, recently increase its stake following an oversubscribed share issuance of more than £100m. It now has 37.8 per cent held in the fund, representing £113m at today’s share price.
Ant Financial Services Group, the online finance firm backed by billionaire Jack Ma, will extend its online consumer credit service to four million retail businesses across the country to boost sales and encourage spending－as China’s consumers increasingly feel more comfortable shopping with borrowed money.
iang, vice-president of Alipay Business Unit at Ant Financial, said that sales surged by an average 41 percent per client year-on-year from 2015 to 2016 after a number of retailers adopted Huabei, or Ant Check Later, a loan and installment service.
Sesame Credit, a credibility scoring system used on Alibaba’s Ant Financial platforms, could be used as supporting documents for visa applications to Japan and Luxembourg, the People’s Daily reported on Thursday, citing the company’s announcement.
Ant Financial users with a score of at least 750 for Japan, or 700 for Luxembourg, on the scale which ranges from 350 to 900, will be “exempt from the normally required process of submitting bank records when applying through Alibaba’s travel-booking service provider for visas,” said the statement.
KM: We’ve certainly seen a number of people questioning this approach, I think it remains to be seen whether the decision was right or not. Our initial plan was to follow the advice of TokenMarket and launch in July, after at least a month of pre-marketing. We decided to go with an accelerated timeframe when we found out a competing project, that also does FX+Crypto was getting ready to launch their ICO in June.
UC: Can you tell us where are you guys based?
KM: The only physical presence we have is in Hong Kong at the moment.
UC: What is the status of the Visa connection?
KM: We’re in the process of becoming a VISA program manager. Our card designs were not approved yet, so you can’t see any VISA logos on the website and apps. We’re just following the protocol here. Another reason we want to be extra careful is that TKN case showed VISA and other companies are not really keen on being associated with ICOs at this moment.
Revolut, a financial technology (fintech) firm that offers foreign currency to consumers abroad at the interbank rate available on the financial markets is to expand into the business sector with claimed interest from large European corporations such as Virgin Atlantic.
Users of the new Revolut for Business app can set up an account within five minutes and hold, exchange or transfer money from 25 currencies, including British pounds, euros or U.S. dollars from this home bank account.
Three packages ranging from £25 up to £1,000 per month are available to business end users, who get additional features such as real-time spending notifications and data analysis alerts, plus dedicated customer support.
The latest innovation in smart investing comes from stREITwise with their use of new legislation to provide one of the first crowdfunded office REITs. The idea behind their launch was to deliver private real estate crowdfunding into the hands of a younger group of investors who enjoy crowdfunding sites and would like to invest using the same technology.
Instead of relying on buying private REITs through financial advisors with hefty sales commissions and REIT fees added on, their new REIT keeps fees around 2% while avoiding joint venture deals that tend to add an additional layer of costs. New property deals are sourced directly to avoid outside consultants. Their first REIT specializes in acquiring and managing office space in central business districts and other neighborhoods in the U.S. where there is a need.
Sandeep Jhingran, co-founder of cross-border payment start-up Remitr, says, “UAE has a high appetite for innovation. Investors here are ready to pay for creativity, and disruptive companies stand a fair chance to thrive.”
With more than 2.6 million members and a 30% population share, Indians constitute the largest expatriate community in the UAE. Specifically, there is a growing need for diverse financial services. While India’s fintech sector peaked in 2015, with investment reaching USD$2 billion, UAE’s fintech sector is showing signs of steady growth. A report titled State of Fintech by Wamda says that the number of fintech startups launched in the MENA region will reach 250 by 2020 from the current 105, and will be predominantly involved in offering payment solutions, P2P lending or raising capital. Notably, most of the startups surveyed in the report originated from the UAE.
Indian citizens cannot be forced to enroll for a 12-digit unique identity number to be able file tax returns, the country’s top court said in a ruling that may be a hurdle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to move transactions online.
The Supreme Court partially stayed a law that made the Aadhaar card mandatory for filing returns or for obtaining a 10-digit alpha-numeric code the Income Tax Department issues to tax payers. The stay is needed till a question on the right to privacy under Indian laws is decided by a constitution bench of the top court with at least five judges, a two-judge panel ruled.
PT INVESTREE Radhika Jaya (Investree), a pioneer peer-to-peer lending (P2P) marketplace in Indonesia, officially registered with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) on May 31 with the registration number of S -2492 / NB.111 / 2017 as indicated on the “Investee Radhika Jaya Registered Evidence” letter from OJK.
Investree is registered as an Information-Technology-based Lending and Borrowing Service Provider under the Directorate of Institutional and Products of Non-Bank Finance Industry (IKNB) administration.
As of June 5, 2017, Investree had successfully disbursed loans amounting 148 billion rupiah with 592 total loans, a 17.5% average rate of yield, and no defaults.
The OCC feels it is high time to create a regulatory framework for FinTech banking institutions as the number of FinTech companies in the U.S. has soared. Investment in FinTech companies has increased more than ten times in the last five years, currently around $24 billion USD worldwide.
Meanwhile, FinTech Investment in Other Parts of the World
According to Nikkei again, soon, 10 new cryptocurrency platforms will be in use in Japan. This is all building on top of Japan’s already significant FinTech investment. Both legally and financially, Japan laid the groundwork in the spring of 2016 when they passed bills to recognize cryptocurrencies as the digital equivalent of money.
Singapore has FinTech Investment deals with South Korea, the UAE, France, and Japan, and their unique position in Asia makes them an ideal partner for FinTech-friendly countries in other regions.
In an effort to make intellectual Fintech investment, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission signed an agreement with Indonesia in order to share information of FinTech market trends and regulatory developments.
Swift, operator of the global interbanking platform, recently chose Hyperledger Fabric as the core tech for its blockchain proof-of-concept.
Nostro accounts make international transactions for the global banking system possible. Simply put, banks put their money into nostro accounts that are closer to a transaction destination so that funds are available to make global transactions more efficient.
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, DBS Bank, RBC Royal Bank and Wells Fargo will all be participating in testing the Swift PoC.