- Today’s main news: Virgin Money to launch a challenger bank. Equifax partners with Entersekt on digital ID authentication. 1st loan originator in UK joins Mintos. Citi drops $75M into Pagaya. IOU Financial extends Midcap credit facility.
- Today’s main analysis: Global fintech VC investment sets new record. Global marketplace lending investment in 2017.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: Goldman Sachs’ plan to become a local bank. Digital experiences factor into life’s most important financial decisions.
- How Goldman Sachs plans to become a local bank. AT: “Goldman has made no secret of its plans. Ever since rolling out Marcus, the elite financial advisor has moved closer to Main Street, and it is only getting closer.”
- The best place to open a small business.
- Digital experiences factor into important financial decisions. AT: “This trend is growing. Digital experiences will likely some day factor into all of life’s most important decisions.”
- Banks are striving to strengthen fintech partnerships.
- Alt lenders need bank partnerships to thrive.
- Varo Money discusses bank fees in marketing.
- Predictive analytics coming to banking apps.
- Bank of America getting aggressive with branch expansion. AT: “I’m sure this is based on recent surveys that indicate consumers still want to speak to a person and visit a bank branch. What will happen if consumer sentiment changes to indicate they don’t want to visit a branch?”
- Don’t write off bank branches yet.
- Fintech charter hopes rest with new FDIC board.
- Can mortgage crowdfunding make homes more affordable?
- How real estate crowdfunding impacts taxes. AT: “Very basic.”
- PeerStreet named a finalist in LendIt Fintech awards.
- PawnGuru raises $2.5M.
- 5 financial mistakes startups make.
- The international student lending ecosystem in the U.S.
- A new student loan calculator.
- Virgin Money to launch a challenger bank. AT: “I suspect we’ll see more challenger banks, and at some point, it will no longer be news. I’d like see more challenger bank launches in the U.S.”
- Amigo Loans hires JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets to prepare IPO.
- 1PM joins Mintos.
- Banks ordered to help people pay off credit card debt.
- Equifax partners with South African digital ID verifier.
- Citi injects $75M debt financing into Pagaya.
- Global fintech VC investment sets new record.
- Marketplace lending equity investments look good in 2017.
- Creditcoin turns digital wallets into investment market.
- Allianz co-leads funding round for C2FO.
- United States
- Goldman Sachs, Adviser to the Elite, Wants to Be Your Local Bank (WSJ), Rated: AAA
- Where’s the best place to open a small business? (The Sacramento Bee), Rated: A
- Fiserv Consumer Survey Finds Digital Experiences Factor in Life’s Most Important Financial Decisions (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
- As online lending grows up, banks work to strengthen partnerships (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- Fintech Startups Need Industry Partners to Thrive, Report Says (Bloomberg), Rated: B
- Varo Money is bringing bank fees and financial health into its marketing (Tearsheet), Rated: A
- Coming to your banking app soon: Predictive analytics (Bankrate), Rated: A
- B of A is latest big bank to announce aggressive branch expansion (American Banker), Rated: A
- Don’t write off branch banking yet, says KeyBank Colorado exec (Denver Business Journal), Rated: B
- Fintechs’ charter hopes may lie with new FDIC board (American Banker), Rated: A
- Can Crowdfunding Mortgage Down Payments Make Homes Affordable? (SavingAdvice), Rated: A
- HOW INVESTING IN CROWDFUNDED REAL ESTATE IMPACTS YOUR TAXES (The College Investor), Rated: A
- PeerStreet Named a Finalist in Top Real Estate Platform Category in the Second Annual LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Competition (BusinessWire), Rated: B
- PawnGuru pulls in $ 2.5 mln Series A (PE Hub), Rated: A
- 5 Financial Mistakes That Push Striving Startups Into Bankruptcy (Newsmax), Rated: A
- Understanding the International Student Lending Ecosystem in the U.S. (Lend Academy), Rated: A
- Navigate your student-loan maze with this Philly-made calculator (Technical.ly), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- U.K.’s Virgin Money to Launch Digital Challenger Bank (Bank Innovation), Rated: AAA
- Amigo Loans hires JP Morgan and RBC to prepare 500 million pound London IPO (Reuters), Rate: AAA
- 1PM Joins Online Business Loan Marketplace For Retail Investors Mintos (London South East), Rated: AAA
- British banks ordered to help people pay off credit card debts (Reuters), Rated: A
- European Union
- MIFID II aids RoboAdvice (AltFi), Rated: A
- Equifax is partnering with a digital ID verification company (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Fintech Pagaya Receives $ 75 Million in Debt Financing from Citi (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- Global Venture Capital Investment in Fintech Industry Set Record in 2017, Accenture Analysis Finds (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
- P2P and marketplace lending equity investments recover in 2017 to set new record (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- Creditcoin Turns Digital Wallets into an Investment Market (Coinspeaker), Rated: A
- Allianz Investment Arm Co-Leads Funding Round in Fintech C2FO (Bloomberg), Rated: B
- MSTS Taps World Fuel VP As Head Of Business Development For APAC (Payment Week), Rated: B
- Fintech business lenders to self-regulate (Financial Review), Rated: AAA
- Extending access to credit: Are alternate finance platforms creating tangible impact? (ET Rise), Rated: A
- Equity crowdfunding in Japan poised to grow fivefold this year (Asian Review), Rated: AAA
- Indonesia’s P2P firm UangTeman likely to raise up to $20m Series B (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A
- IOU Financial Extends Credit Facility with Midcap Financial (Cision), Rated: AAA
Goldman Sachs, Adviser to the Elite, Wants to Be Your Local Bank (WSJ), Rated: AAA
In a glass-walled tower in Utah’s capital, hundreds of Goldman employees are building what amounts to one of the world’s most ambitious consumer-finance startups.
Their address, 111 Main St., stands as a symbol of the changes afoot inside the firm, better known as an elite adviser to big companies and billionaires. Struggling to make money in the postcrisis world, Goldman is pushing into businesses it once dismissed as pedestrian and gimmicky, assembling a suite of banking products for the middle class it hopes will power growth.
Goldman 18 months ago began making online loans of a few thousand dollars under the brand Marcus, named after founder Marcus Goldman. Individuals once needed $10 million to get the attention of Goldman’s elite private bankers. Today, customers can open a Marcus savings account with as little as $1.
Where’s the best place to open a small business? (The Sacramento Bee), Rated: A
LendingTree said Sacramento ascended to the top of the list in a study that included data from more 80,000 queries submitted by new small business owners seeking loan offers through LendingTree’s small business loan marketplace to determine where businesses tend to do the best.
Sacramento was one of three California cities on the 10-best list, joining Fresno at ninth and Los Angeles at 10th. Following Sacramento on the list were Grand Rapids, Mich; Portland, Ore.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Denver; Seattle; Tulsa, Okla; Albuquerque, N.M.; Fresno; Los Angeles; and Oklahoma City, respectively. Los Angeles and Oklahoma City tied for 10th.
Cincinnati topped the list of the 10 worst cities to start a new small business. No California cities were on the 10-worst list.
Fiserv Consumer Survey Finds Digital Experiences Factor in Life’s Most Important Financial Decisions (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
For instance, four of the top five loan payment methods are now electronic, and 21 percent of millennial investors use a robo-advisor service to make investments.
Affluent Consumers and Financial Advice
Human interactions remain an important part of financial advice, especially for the 34 percent of consumers with at least $100,000 in household investable assets. Fifty-eight percent of these affluent consumers work with a financial advisor. Among those without an advisor, only 11 percent report high interest (8-10 on a scale of 0-10) in using one. At the same time, 32 percent of affluent consumers who invest their own money grade their knowledge and expertise as a “C” or lower, suggesting an opportunity to bridge the gap with a hybrid of human and digital advice.
Among all consumers who invest on their own, only 8 percent use a robo-advisor service. However, use of such a service is much more likely among millennials (21 percent) and urban consumers (18 percent).
Rates, Fees and Service Prevail
Topping the list of selection factors among those with at least one loan are interest rates (83 percent) and low fees/service charges (83 percent), followed by customer service (75 percent), company reputation (70 percent), and knowledge of staff (65 percent). Sixty-five percent of consumers say prior experience with a lender is important.
Many consumers expressed willingness to try new ways of interacting with their lender, if there’s a benefit. For instance, if it makes the loan process faster, more than half of consumers would be willing to use a mobile device to e-sign loan documents (56 percent), take and upload photos of loan documents (54 percent), and verify their identity with a photo (51 percent). Forty-two percent of consumers indicate they would be willing to provide access to their financial information by providing their credentials to other online banking applications, up from 32 percent in 2016.
Digital channels, especially mobile, are now leading ways of communicating with a lender, although context matters based on the interaction. A lender’s mobile app is the preferred way to check when a next loan payment is due (21 percent), check the balance term (20 percent) and request a payoff (17 percent), among consumers who have conducted each of these activities in the past six months. For account questions, consumers significantly favor speaking live with a representative via phone (21 percent) over using an automated voice response system (12 percent), e-chat (11 percent) or the mobile app (11 percent).
As online lending grows up, banks work to strengthen partnerships (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Marketplace lending as an industry is hitting its stride. Some platforms are becoming profitable, some are diversifying, new players are entering the market with new business models and the competition is heating up. But that means banks need to start strengthening ties with their online lending partners.
As more consumer-facing fintech companies are learning, that’s best done by building products that make people’s lives easier.
Fintech Startups Need Industry Partners to Thrive, Report Says (Bloomberg), Rated: B
More than 75 percent of fintech executives surveyed in a new report said their primary business objective is to collaborate with traditional firms, such as banks and insurance companies. Only 18 percent said the main goal was to compete with the established players.
According to the World FinTech Report 2018 from consulting firm Capgemini and corporate networking website LinkedIn Corp., most of the startups are likely to fail if they don’t build partnerships, despite raising more than $110 billion since 2009. The survey, published Tuesday, was based on the responses of 110 global financial technology firms.
Varo Money is bringing bank fees and financial health into its marketing (Tearsheet), Rated: A
Varo Money has been targeting customers of big banks whose fees they’re tired of having to understand and pay. Despite its appeal to potential customers to switch to Varo, its ads don’t call out specific companies, as some of its peers do.
Coming to your banking app soon: Predictive analytics (Bankrate), Rated: A
Bank of America will let mobile banking customers use its new digital assistant, Erica, in March. Besides helping consumers complete routine tasks like transferring funds, Erica will offer financial advice tailored for each user.
If you have a low balance and you’ve spent a lot of money, Erica might warn that you are in danger of overdrawing your checking account. Or she could share opportunities to save additional money.
Wells Fargo has made providing customers with advanced digital tools a top priority. In February, its 17 million mobile users with consumer deposit accounts found themselves with a new predictive banking feature.
Wells Fargo confirmed that these new mobile capabilities are powered by Personetics, a company providing banking solutions that anticipate what consumers might need in the future. Personetics also powers Royal Bank of Canada’s free automated savings tool, NOMI Find & Save, which gives mobile banking customers customized tips and alerts.
Companies like Saylent are trying to help banks make sense of their data resources by identifying the customers they should focus on. Saylent gives customers tools to target people that are shopping for a car loan or a mortgage. The platform will be used by institutions like BankFirst Financial Services, a community-based institution headquartered in Mississippi.
B of A is latest big bank to announce aggressive branch expansion (American Banker), Rated: A
Bank of America plans to open more than 500 branches over the next four years as part of a large-scale investment in retail banking.
The $2.28 trillion-asset company said in a press release Monday that it will hire more than 5,400 employees as part of the expansion. The Charlotte, N.C., company did not specify where the new branches will be located, nor did it say how much the proposed brick-and-mortar expansion plan would cost.
Don’t write off branch banking yet, says KeyBank Colorado exec (Denver Business Journal), Rated: B
Customers “want to talk to people. They want to be guided,” says Michael Walters.
Fintechs’ charter hopes may lie with new FDIC board (American Banker), Rated: A
Among federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has been the most active on fintech chartering options. But another agency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., may provide crucial guidance for fintechs in the shorter term.
The FDIC still has pending an application by Square for an industrial loan company, a limited-purpose bank typically chartered in Utah that receives deposit insurance.
Can Crowdfunding Mortgage Down Payments Make Homes Affordable? (SavingAdvice), Rated: A
A lot what’s being called crowdfunding is actually more like matching funds or subsidies for down payments. The growth of these options seems to be a sign of the times — so few people can afford to buy homes nowadays that the industry has gotten creative.
Unison Financial (formerly known as Rex Home Buyer) offers down payment subsidies in exchange for equity stakes in the home. The program requires that the home buyer put up a down payment of at least 10%.
HomeFundMe provides incentives for individuals to seek out grants that are actually matching funds on down payments. Although the match ratio is impressive, two-to-one, the total grant limited to $2,500 — do the math and you see that the buyer would need to come up with another $5,000 at that maximum amount.
With most residential mortgage lenders requiring minimum down payments of at least 5%, that limits the buyer to homes worth no more than $150,000. That’s well below the average home price in the U.S. — and even beneath affordable housing program prices in many cities.
HOW INVESTING IN CROWDFUNDED REAL ESTATE IMPACTS YOUR TAXES (The College Investor), Rated: A
There are two types of investors in a crowdfunded real estate investment: Accredited and non accredited.
An accredited investor has more opportunities to invest than a non accredited investor but they also bear more risks. SEC Rule 501 of Regulation D defines accredited investor.
These investors have an annual income of least $200,000 for the previous two years and a net worth of more than $1 million.
Non accredited investors buying shares of a fund have the simplest tax impacts.
They receive a 1099-INT from the crowdfunding real estate company they are investing with and are taxed at their ordinary income tax rate.
If the investor is invested in multiple funds, their investments can be aggregated into one 1099-INT rather than receiving an individual 1099-INT for each fund.
For investors who are investing in equity investments, things get more complicated. These investors will receive a K1 tax form. A K1 is for income through business partnerships.
PeerStreet Named a Finalist in Top Real Estate Platform Category in the Second Annual LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Competition (BusinessWire), Rated: B
LendIt Fintech recently announced that they have selected PeerStreet as a finalist in the Top Real Estate Platform category for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards.
PawnGuru pulls in $ 2.5 mln Series A (PE Hub), Rated: A
PawnGuru, an online marketplace connecting pawn shops and consumers, today announces the close of a $2.5 million Series A. With this funding, PawnGuru intends to expand its network of shops within the US, as well as to international markets, giving consumers worldwide the power to buy directly from local pawn shops online.
5 Financial Mistakes That Push Striving Startups Into Bankruptcy (Newsmax), Rated: A
- Think Big/Start Big Syndrome – You are permitted to think big but start small to have adequate fund to invest in other areas of the business. When you don’t properly handle these areas, your business might join the 90% businesses that never survived after 5 years.
- Lack of Financial Mentorship
- Inability to Utilize Viable Loan Options – Bank loans, equipment loans, invoices financing, car title loans, peer-to-peer lending networks and more, are avenues small business owners can obtain loans. It’s however pertinent to get information and evaluate the cost implications of taking a loan to finance your business.
- Under-utilization of Digital Technology – In terms of advertising, marketing, automation, time management, human resource functions, cloud computing, data management, blockchain technology etc. digital technology has infused speed and efficiency which has resulted in reduced cost to carryout daily business operations.
- Poor Recording of Cash Flow
Understanding the International Student Lending Ecosystem in the U.S. (Lend Academy), Rated: A
There are almost 1.2 million international students currently studying in the United States. They hail from countries all over the world with almost a third – more than 360,000 – coming from China and just over 205,000 coming from India. South Korea and Saudi Arabia follow behind dropping down to just over 70,000 and 55,000, respectively. With education costs often approaching six figures and beyond, an international student loan ecosystem has emerged both in the U.S. and abroad to serve the educational funding needs of this demographic.
Navigate your student-loan maze with this Philly-made calculator (Technical.ly), Rated: B
From his home office in Fishtown, Temple University grad Mason Gallik, 23, is hoping his college debt calculator can help others from making bad choices.
“It’s about being realistic about your decisions,” said Gallik, the founder of LoanMajor. “Sometimes it’s smart to look at college from a financial side and not just an emotional one.”
Currently, the company’s source of income is through affiliate links with loan marketplace Credible. For every visitor that LoanMajor leads to Credible, they get a fee. Another source of revenue Gallik hopes to set up is through affiliate links to credit card companies and banks.
U.K.’s Virgin Money to Launch Digital Challenger Bank (Bank Innovation), Rated: AAA
U.K.-based lender Virgin Money said it will offer current accounts and savings products.
In its earnings call today, Virgin Money said it will begin testing these products later in the year and has already spent £38.3 million ($53.3 million) over the past year developing this digital bank.
Amigo Loans hires JP Morgan and RBC to prepare 500 million pound London IPO (Reuters), Rate: AAA
British subprime lender Amigo Loans is preparing for a stock market float in London that could value the consumer credit firm at more than $700 million.
1PM Joins Online Business Loan Marketplace For Retail Investors Mintos (London South East), Rated: AAA
1pm PLC said Tuesday that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with AS Mintos Marketplace to be a loan originator on its online loan marketplace.
The AIM-listed financial services provider to UK businesses said that it is the first loan originator from the UK to join the Mintos marketplace, which already has about 30 other loan originators globally.
British banks ordered to help people pay off credit card debts (Reuters), Rated: A
Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority ordered banks on Tuesday to take steps to help people with persistent credit card debt to keep up with repayments.
The FCA’s new rules will, however, will still allow banks to ultimately suspend a credit card if a customer fails to make any progress in repaying debts.
MIFID II aids RoboAdvice (AltFi), Rated: A
Unfortunately, in the current marketplace many opaque structures lead to charges that even a Finance degree can’t help unravel. But technology is here to help and most of the new Robo-Advisors have simple and transparent fee structures enabling savers to compare different product offerings quickly and easily.
Whilst many in Financial Services have been critical of the growing ‘regulatory burden’ the changes MiFiD II will bring should be net positive for end users and ultimately society. Although legacy providers are likely to see revenues and margins shrink.
Equifax is partnering with a digital ID verification company (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
US credit bureau Equifax has formed a partnershipwith South Africa-based Entersekt, a company specializing in customer authentication and device security.
Fintech Pagaya Receives $ 75 Million in Debt Financing from Citi (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
Pagaya Investments, a Fintech company in the asset management space, has received $75 million in debt financing from Citi. Simultaneously, Pagaya announced the creation of the “Opportunity Fund” to meet growing institutional interest in consumer credit as an asset class.
Global Venture Capital Investment in Fintech Industry Set Record in 2017, Accenture Analysis Finds (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA
Fintech financing rose 18 percent in 2017, to US$27.4 billion, with the value of deals in the U.S. jumping 31 percent, to $11.3 billion. Deal values almost quadrupled in the U.K., to US$3.4 billion, and soared nearly fivefold in India, to US$2.4 billion. The number of fintech deals also rose sharply, from just over 1,800 in 2016 to nearly 2,700 in 2017, underscoring continued appetite from investors scouring the globe for innovation in insurance, banking and capital markets startups.
“Much of the growth, particularly in the U.S. and UK, has been driven by big new investment flows from China, Russia, the Middle East and other emerging economies,” said Julian Skan, senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice.
“Much of the growth, particularly in the U.S. and UK, has been driven by big new investment flows from China, Russia, the Middle East and other emerging economies,” said Julian Skan, senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice.
India, US, UK drove global growth
Kabbage Inc, a U.S. online lender for small businesses, alone raised US$900 million in three separate rounds in 2017. Online lender Social Finance Inc, also known as SoFi, raised US$500 million in February, and LendingPoint raised US$500 million from a credit transaction in September. As startups grow and their businesses mature, funding rounds have increased in size, while some companies have opted to use credit facilities to speed up their expansion.
In the U.K., digital insurance distributor BGL Group raised US$900 million, pushing overall fintech investments in the country to an all-time high of US$3.4 billion. Payments venture TransferWise had the second-largest fundraising in the U.K., raising US$280 million.
India’s digital payments startup Paytm received US$1.4 billion in venture capital, helping drive fintech fundraising activity in the country to nearly five times the 2016 levels. The number of fintech deals in India increased 65 percent over 2016.
More deals in China, fewer megadeals
Mega fintech deals that had catapulted China to the top destination in the world for venture capital money in 2016 fell in 2017, as investors pulled back after pouring billions of dollars into giant-sized transactions. Fintech funding in the country declined 72 percent in 2017, to US$2.8 billion, from a record US$10 billion in 2016, when several companies – including Ant Financial and wealth management platform Lufax – had multi-billion-dollar financing rounds. The average deal size in China in 2017 was US$19 million, down from US$186 million in 2016, though the country still had large transactions, such as the US$440 million that real estate broker Homelink raised in April and the US$290 million that online finance firm Tuandai raised in June.
P2P and marketplace lending equity investments recover in 2017 to set new record (AltFi), Rated: AAA
Deals in the sector slowed down in 2016 with a year on year decrease of 12.8 per cent, possibly as a result of Lending Club’s annus horribilis. Total amount invested fell from $8.6bn in 2015 to $7.5bn the next year.
However, investment rebounded in 2017 to reach $8.9bn, a year on year increase of 18.6 per cent. The top ten P2P and marketplace Lending deals in 2017 raised half of the total funding for the year, raising a combined total of $4.4bn. The largest deal in 2017 was the previously mentioned $1.2bn Series B round to Lufax, led by COFCO with co-investment from China Minsheng Bank and Guotai Junan Securities.
Creditcoin Turns Digital Wallets into an Investment Market (Coinspeaker), Rated: A
In response to this, two reputed fintech innovators, Gluwa and Aella Credita have joined forces to launch Creditcoin, an inter-blockchain P2P lending market that operates across distributed ledgers ensuring permanent record of transactions that cannot be alter or tampered with.
Allianz Investment Arm Co-Leads Funding Round in Fintech C2FO (Bloomberg), Rated: B
Financial technology startup C2FO raised $100 million in funding in a new round led by the investing arm of global insurance and asset management giant Allianz SE as well as Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co.
MSTS Taps World Fuel VP As Head Of Business Development For APAC (Payment Week), Rated: B
Extending access to credit: Are alternate finance platforms creating tangible impact? (ET Rise), Rated: A
Equity crowdfunding in Japan poised to grow fivefold this year (Asian Review), Rated: AAA
Crowdfunding campaigns that offer stock in exchange for capital are set to swell this year in Japan as the prospect of high returns draws investors to a relatively new channel for fledgling companies.
Indonesia’s P2P firm UangTeman likely to raise up to m Series B (Deal Street Asia), Rated: A
Indonesian peer-to-peer lending platform UangTeman said it is set to raise a Series B financing round by mid-2018, claiming it would be one of the largest such rounds for a fintech firm in Southeast Asia.
IOU Financial Extends Credit Facility with Midcap Financial (Cision), Rated: AAA
IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV: IOU), online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), announced today that it has modified and extended its secured credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) with MidCap Financial, (“Midcap”) until December 31, 2020. The amount of the Credit Facility is USD $20 million, with a term portion equal to USD $15 million and a revolver amount of USD $5 million.
IOU and Midcap have further agreed to allocate USD $1 million from the Credit Facility amount of USD $20 million, to support Canadian loan originations. This will be formalized in a separate amendment to this facility.