Monday February 5 2018, Daily News Digest

Nav financing

News Comments Today’s main news: Banco BNI starts lending through Fellow Finance. eBay drops PayPal for Adyen. Aviva exec backs robos. OneConnect secures $650M funding. Stripe sets up engineering hub in Dublin. EBANX gets $30M in funding from FTV Capital. Today’s main analysis: FT Partners’ Alternative Lending Market Analysis for January, and an interview with Nav CEO. Today’s thought-provoking articles: […]

Nav financing

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

APAC

MENA

Latin America

News Summary

United States

eBay ditches PayPal for Adyen (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

What the good fintech can giveth, it can taketh away. eBay has given PayPal the boot and turned to Dutch firm Adyen as its primary processing partner.

Looking to sweeten this bitter pill, eBay says PayPal, a “long-time” partner, will be an option at the checkout for its buyers.

PayPal powers BofA Merrill digital payments (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofA Merrill) US-based commercial clients can now make payments in local currencies to payees who hold PayPal accounts.

Strong Job Gains, Marcus Acquihires, MLA Testimony (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Janet Yellen chaired her last Fed meeting as the committee kept interest rates on hold in January. Futures are pricing in a 93% probability of a rate hike in March and 3 rate hikes for 2018. The recent sell off on the long end of the curve has seen 10-year treasury yields edge past 2.85%, providing respite to banks who were seeing their loan margins compress as the curve flattened.

In securitization news, Marlette completed its largest securitization to date, with MFT 2018-1 coming in at $464 Mn. The deal was significantly over subscribed and eventually upsized continuing the trend of larger deal size that we pointed out in ourQ4 securitization trackerThe senior tranches were rated AA by Kroll. The collateral pool has 40,303 loans with an average loan balance of $12k, weighted average coupon of 14.3% and a FICO score of 703. All the loans were originated by Cross River Bank.

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

This month’s report features an exclusive interview with Levi King, Co-founder and CEO of Nav, which is a data aggregation platform and marketplace that bridges the gap between small businesses and financial institutions. In the interview, Levi discusses the motivation behind founding Nav and how the company solves the challenges small businesses face managing their credit and securing financing solutions, among other topics.

Source: FT Partners

Download and read the full report here.

Open banking’s early adopters bet on ‘tremendous gains in value’ (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Only a few banks have embraced open banking and offer APIs to almost anyone. But they are betting on having a head start on competitors, as trends in the industry, such as increased bank-fintech partnership and evolving regulation, will push the banking-as-a-platform movement toward reality.

Operating as BBVA Compass in the U.S. in Birmingham, Ala., in 2016 it named a head of open APIs, and has engaged in several data-sharing agreements with fintechs. It is one of a handful of U.S. banks engaged in open banking — Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Citi and CBW Bank in Weir, Kan., also have such programs.

Last May, BBVA opened up its API Marketplace and made commercially available eight APIs so companies, startups and developers would be able to build new products and services by accessing and integrating customer’s banking data — with their permission — into their applications.

Source: American Banker

Fiserv Has Largest U.S. Marketshare of Top Bank Core Processors (Bank Innovation), Rated: A

According to data gathered by FedFis.com, the top processor is Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv. With more than 37% of the market share, Fiserv is well ahead of its competitors. The second, Monett, Mo.-based Jack Henry & Associates, has just half Fiserv’s market share with 17.6%. Close behind JHA is Fidelity National Information Services Inc., better known as FIS.

Enova Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Enova International (NYSE: ENVA), a financial technology company offering consumer and small business loans and financing, today announced financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $243.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 20.4% from $202.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 47.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 51.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, driven by growth in the installment loan and receivables purchase agreement segment as well as a higher mix of new customers, which requires higher loan loss provisions.
  • Net income was $6.9 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to net income of $8.7 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $38.1 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $35.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $8.9 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $8.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Full Year 2017 Summary

  • Total revenue of $843.7 million in 2017 increased 13.2% from $745.6 million in 2016.
  • Gross profit margin was 53.0% in 2017 compared to 56.0% in 2016.
  • Net income was $29.2 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, in 2017 compared to net income of $34.6 million, or $1.03per diluted share, in 2016.
  • Full year 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $157.8 million, a non-GAAP measure, increased from $142.3 million in 2016.
  • Adjusted net income of $46.9 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, a non-GAAP measure, in 2017 increased from adjusted net income of $37.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share in 2016.

No Credit? No Problem! Microlender for Women Uses Novel Approach (WSJ), Rated: A

Daniela Morales’s lender is demanding. Every Friday morning, at 9:45 sharp, she has to visit a small apartment in Woodside, Queens, to make her weekly payment—currently $293 plus $17 interest on a $6,900 balance.

Ms. Morales’s lender is Grameen America, a nonprofit microlender for women entrepreneurs. To get a Grameen loan, you don’t need any collateral or credit history, just the support of a small group of Grameen loan recipients who can vouch for you. It is, essentially, a reputation-based loan.

There are other nonprofit microlenders operating in the city, including Accion and BOC Capital Corp. But Grameen America, modeled on a Bangladeshi microlender, is unique in its peer support and loan-approval model.

The loans, which start at $500 and command an interest rate of 18% on a declining balance, must be repaid in six months. The interest rate falls as the loan is repaid. Members who establish a good track record qualify for larger sums.

How This Founder Is Using Fintech To Give Women More Financial Control (Benzinga), Rated: A

Morty is an online mortgage broker. Our mission is to empower homebuyers to make smarter home financing decisions. With a modern tech stack and a marketplace of lenders, we offer customers the most options, great rates, and a transparent process.

What surprised you the most in the fintech industry in 2017?

That there wasn’t more innovation in the mortgage space. It’s the only lending vertical that hasn’t moved online- credit cards, student loans, small business loans, personal loans- all have a big online presence. There is still so much to be done in mortgage, it’s exciting.

Hackers Targeting Payroll Direct Deposit (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In an article penned for JD Supra by law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., experts warned of a type of payroll scam that sees fraudsters diverting direct deposits from employee accounts to criminal accounts.

According to the firm, fraudsters use a phishing scam by sending an email from an address similar to a legitimate company account.

Ogletree Deakins warned that not only does this scam result in lost funds, but it is ultimately a data breach, with scammers gaining access to corporate systems and data. The report also noted that scammers are targeting all types of businesses using all types of payroll providers.

Will Markets Ever Live Up to Our Expectations (Guru Focus), Rated: A

The fintech industry is the powerhouse behind the meteoric rise of the peer-to-peer lending market. After several platforms launched online payments, it was only a matter of time before new ones emerged offering lending services that are offered by and to registered members.

LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) has been one of the most notable players in this space and its popularity pushed it public in 2014. However, since then, the company has struggled to live up to expectations, reflecting the actual picture of the status of the peer-to-peer lending.

According to critics, while peer-to-peer lending is an attractive option for borrowers looking for alternative financing solutions, it appears to have growth limitations due to lack of funding for new products. Peer-to-peer lending platforms do not take deposits and this is a limiting factor, but analysts suggest that if they are to grow to the point of rivaling the mainstream lending market, then they may have to start taking customer deposits.

How to Win Man vs. Machine Advice Game (ThinkAdvisor), Rated: A

TD Ameritrade put the competitive pressures tied to robo-advisors and other technology left, right and center at its LINC 2018 RIA conference this week in Orlando. Industry leaders highlighted the power and threat of technology and how to address these trends in the advice business.

The dealmakers financing top adviser technology (InvestmentNews), Rated: A

It’s impossible to look at the landscape of modern adviser technology without seeing Steve Lockshin’s footprints.

As an early investor in Betterment, Mr. Lockshin, 41, was instrumental in encouraging the robo-adviser to pivot from competing against advisers to partnering with them.

Brad Bernstein could see the role of advisers was changing.

What was once an industry of investment managers and salespeople was shifting to financial planning. Driving the change was technology — automating and commoditizing many of the ways advisers traditionally added value for clients. Mr. Bernstein, 51, managing partner at growth equity firm FTV Capital, believed there was a demand for products that helped advisers better articulate their value to clients.

That’s what attracted Brooks Gibbins, 45, to the industry when he founded FinTech Collective with his partner, Gareth Jones, in 2012. The venture capital firm has been one of the most active early-stage fintech investors over the past five years, seeding some of the biggest names on the adviser fintech scene.

Seeing the opportunity for adviser fintech startups to get acquired by, or partner with, financial institutions, Ian Sheridan decided to draw on his more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry — working in wealth, retirement and investing in startups — to identify which technology would be part of the next wave of innovation.

Fidelity rocked the adviser fintech world in 2015 when it acquired eMoney, one of the most popular financial planning and client portal tools among independent advisers. The reported $250 million price tag proved there was money to be made in adviser fintech.

“Prior to that, there was good technology out there, but there wasn’t this stream of new business models, this new equity flowing in,” said Mike Durbin, 50, the president of Fidelity Institutional who spearheaded the deal. “The pace has clearly quickened.”

After a career that took him from E.F. Hutton to founding the Lockwood family of companies, Len Reinhart turned toward private investing in retirement.

American Association of Private Lenders Opposes Florida Mortgage Licensing Bills (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The Florida legislature kicked off its legislative session by introducing Florida Senate Bill 894 and House Bill 935, legislation that could cover private mortgage lenders. The bills, introduced by Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Miami) and Rep. Jeanette Nunes (R-Miami), would eliminate a longstanding business purpose exemption for loans secured by a Dwelling.

On January 18, the bill passed the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee with a 13-1 vote. On January 24, the House Commerce Committee passed the bill on a unanimous vote. The Senate similarly passed the bill on a unanimous vote in the Senate Banking and Insurance committee on January 23.

American Association of Private Lenders’ (AAPL) position is that the proposed regulation would harm Florida residents, business and the state’s economic growth by consolidating power to a few licensed parties. Private lenders provide much needed capital to a marketplace which is underserved by large financial institutions. Professional business parties need to be able to work with each other without significant regulatory intervention. The proposed regulation would result in less market competition, translating to higher interest rates, a higher cost of credit and would force business out of Florida and into neighboring states including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, all of which exempt business purpose loans from licensing requirements.

Amy Johnson Named as Chief Operating Officer at dv01 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

dv01, the data management, reporting, and analytics platform that provides institutional investors insight into lending markets, today announced the appointment of Amy Johnson as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson will report to dv01 founder and CEO, Perry Rahbar.

As COO, Johnson will be responsible for dv01’s finance, legal, and sales efforts, including helping execute the company’s vision and scale its operations.

The 10 D.C. Area Startups That Raised Capital in January (DC Inno), Rated: B

Reston, Va.-based online lender StreetShares closed $23 million in equity funding on Jan. 24. The lender focuses on veteran-owned small businesses and relies on a peer-to-peer lending model. About $20 million of the new round is from Bethesda, Md.-based firm Rotunda Capital Partners. Previously, StreetShares had raised $8.3 million between three rounds.

United Kingdom

Aviva executive backs robo-advisers in call for financial advice shake-up (New World News), Rated: AAA

An Aviva executive has backed the rise of robo-advisers and called for a shake-up of financial advice to help open up the industry to the mass market.

Andy Briggs, chief executive of Aviva UK Insurance, said the current regime is freezing out large swathes of the population because only the upper echelons can afford the hefty fees.

Mr Briggs said robo-advisers could also be more powerful and beneficial to customers if the artificial intelligence did not have to carry out full financial assessments.

Treasury begins SME finance inquiry (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

The Treasury committee has launched an inquiry into SME finance to look at the state of the market and the lessons to be learned from RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
The Treasury’s inquiry will look at the extent of competition in the market, the various sources of funding available to SMEs – including P2P lending and crowdfunding – and whether the current regulatory framework provides enough protection to SMEs when they borrow money.

The committee will also consider the regulation of SME lending and whether banks should be bound by a broader set of duties when dealing with SMEs.

The pros and cons of each of the six types of ISA on the market (Your Money), Rated: A

6) Innovative Finance ISA

An Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is a peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding product. In some instances, you can generate returns of around 8 – 9% by lending to private borrowers or by taking stakes in ‘crowdfunded’ investments. The IFISA is also subject to the same £20,000 annual ISA allowance so you can split your money between this ISA, as well as cash and stocks and shares.

While this is regulated by the FCA, peer-to-peer lending is not covered by the FSCS meaning your capital is at risk.

Things can only get better, says Christie & Co (The Caterer), Rated: B

Easily available debt from banks, financial institutions, peer-to-peer lending and even crowdfunding, together with forecasts of revpar growth of 2.4% in London and 2.3% in the regions, will help drive investments. Strong leisure business enjoyed by hotels last year – up 20% – is expected to continue to grow, depending on a continued weak pound.

Sainsbury’s and British Land chairmen join late payments start-up (Financial Times), Rated: B

A UK start-up that is aiming to end the culture of late payment that plagues British business has recruited two FTSE 100 chairmen as investors and advisers.

David Tyler, chairman of supermarket chain J Sainsbury, and John Gildersleeve, chairman of property group British Land, have joined the advisory board of Previse.

The London-based business pays supplier invoices instantly and collects the money from customers later. By analysing years of payment data it uses artificial intelligence to calculate the likelihood it can collect from the big customer. It has pilots running with two large corporations and is in talks with dozens more, Mr Gildersleeve told the Financial Times.

China

Ping An OneConnect fintech subsidiary raises $ 650 million in financing (Finextra), Rated: A

OneConnect is the only one-stop FinTech-empowered solutions provider in China. Financing of the three subsidiaries received positive responses, particularly from international institutional investors, including the SoftBank Vision Fund (which invested in Ping An Good Doctor and Ping An Healthcare Technology), International Digital Group (IDG) and SBI Group etc., proving that the capital market fully recognizes Ping An’s technological innovation, the business model for its technology as well as the growth potential and business value of the Group.

European Union

Banco BNI Europe Starts to Lend on Multiple P2P Lending Platforms (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Today Banco BNI Europe announced it will start lending on Fellow Finance.

‘Investing via Fellow Finance in consumer and SME loans offers us a great opportunity to easily expand our operations and we are very satisfied with the analytical and professional approach of Fellow Finance in credit intermediation’ echoes Pedro Pinto Coelho, Executive Chairman of Banco BNI Europa.

U.S. Fintech Stripe Picks Dublin for New Engineering Hub (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

U.S. payments firm Stripe said on Monday it would place its first engineering center outside its home market in the Irish capital Dublin, attracted by the city’s growing technology workforce and global outlook.

Robo Advisers Start to Take Hold in Europe (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Estimates differ, but according to TechFluence, a technology research firm with offices in Frankfurt and London, the European market had assets under management of about $3.5 billion at the end of 2017. That compares with an estimated $200 billion to $250 billion in the U.S., according to Burnmark, a fintech research firm. Estimates of the number of services range from 98 to 126 in Europe, compared with about 200 in the U.S.

The cost of entry is also much lower: generally €5,000 to €10,000 (about $6,200 to $12,400), versus hundreds of thousands at least for a discretionary service through a bank, says Timo Pfeiffer, head of research and business development at Solactive AG, an index provider that has researched the growth of robo advisers in Europe.

Popular with banks

This has led to a number of banking groups preparing robo-adviser offerings, Mr. Mellinghoff says. One example is Comdirect, a subsidiary of Commerzbank , CRZBY -3.17% which launched a robo-advisory platform in May. This service, called Cominvest, had gained assets of more than €200 million as of end of December and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, says Sabine Schoon, head of corporate strategy and consulting at Comdirect.

The European market has also attracted interest from major U.S. providers; BlackRock Inc. BLK -2.98% announced in June 2017 that it was taking a minority stake in Scalable Capital, a robo-adviser specialist that operates mainly in the German and British markets.

BBVA’s digital push helps drive 20% profit rise (Financial Times), Rated: A

Spanish bank BBVA’s dash to get customers to buy products digitally rather than in branches helped it report a 20 per cent rise in underlying full-year profits, with results boosted by lower costs as well as higher revenues.

Top P2P Cryptocurrency Token Etherecash Gets Listed on QRYPTOS, Following Successful Crowdsale (The Daily Telescope), Rated: A

Top P2P cryptocurrency startup Etherecash has announced that its ECH token will be listed on popular cryptocurrency exchange QRYPTOS on 6th of February 2018, following a successful crowdsale in which the company raised over 40 million USD. This news comes as The Estonian-based lending startup saw a very successful Q4 to 2017 as it gears up for its token distribution in early 2018.

Crypto-lending ICO Etherecash recorded contributions of over 40 million USD and over 46000 new registrations.

GN Compass Creating More Liquidity for its Token, GNCT (PR Web), Rated: B

GN Compass is the first peer-to- peer lending platform for Cryptocurrency-Backed Loans.

All transactions are verified and distributed on the Ethereum Blockchain. GN Compass is joining an expanding group of pioneering projects integrating the Bancor Protocol to maximize the trading liquidity of GN Compass tokens.

Mifid tips balance against active funds in favour of ETFs (Financial Times), Rated: B

New business inflows almost doubled for Europe’s exchange traded fund industry in 2017, in the run-up to the EU’s introduction of rules designed to improve market transparency and strengthen investor protection.

Net inflows into European-listed ETFs reached a record $108bn last year, up from $55.7bn in 2016, according to ETFGI, a London-based consultancy.

International

Disruptive innovation in equity crowdfunding (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” studies the disruptive forces shaping the future of equity crowdfunding.

View the infographic here.

Disruptive innovation in digital banking (Deloitte), Rated: AAA

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” examines disruptive innovation in digital banking.

View the infographic here.

IdentityMind Global Introduces KYC and Anti-Money Laundering Plug-in for ICOs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

IdentityMind Global, Digital Identities You Can Trust, an SaaS platform that builds, maintains and analyzes digital identities worldwide, allowing companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and to detect and prevent identity fraud, announced the immediate availability of its KYC Plug-in for ICOs which provides a turnkey solution for customer onboarding functionality and user experience to walk ICO participants through the know your customer (KYC) process to meet regulations worldwide.

BFB partners with US real estate fintech start-up (Trade Arabia), Rate: A

Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the Fintech Consortium (FTC) have announced a strategic partnership with OffrBox, a New York City-based Fintech start-up that has developed an end-to-end real estate transaction platform on which one can buy and sell residential properties online.

India

How early-stage startups raise money (Times of India), Rated: A

The first ’round of funding’ Abhishek Latthe got when he was setting up his wearable device startup SenseGiz in 2013 was from his family and friends. The next year, he set up a crowdfunding page on Kickstarter and raised $47,000. Late in 2014, he took out a bank loan. It was only two years later in 2015, that he could convince Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund to back him with Rs 3 crore.

Banks do not back companies without collateral and since the business model is unproven, other investors too hesitate. So, funding options include getting help from friends and family, crowdfunding, or dipping into one’s savings, but how do founders decide on the path to take?

Gadkari says peer-to-peer lending and bridge funding, which fulfil a company’s short-term working capital needs, have also become popular. Choosing the best funding option depends on the company’s need. The next step for an entrepreneur is to negotiate the company’s valuation.

FinTech will revolutionise lending in India, says Faircent CEO (money control), Rated: A

Lending is one of the oldest professions in the world and is one of the pivotal reasons for the banking system to take shape.

There is evidence of lending activities dating back to 2,000 BC between merchants, farmers and traders.

However, up till now, lending as an activity has been largely limited to financial institutes such as banks and Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

For instance, lenders on Faircent.com usually avail average gross returns of 18% to 26% per annum. This makes online P2P loans a lucrative alternative investment avenue for them.

What makes online P2P lending even more lucrative as an asset class for potential investors is the fact that it offers lenders the opportunity to diversify their investments across multiple risk buckets and loan requirements.

Source: money control

Everything you need to know as pressure mounts on cryptocurrencies (GK Men), Rated: B

Sapan Gupta a Practice-Head at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas said, “capitalising on the blockchain technology could open new ways of securing peer-to-peer lending transactions, boosting trade finance, fintech and information repository sectors”.

APAC

After a Successful Crowdsale Campaign, Karma (KRM) Begins Trading With Blockchain (Coin Idol), Rated: AAA

Decentralized p2p lending platform Karma has just announced trading as well as access to its platform and blockchain solutions. The project has now been backed by Danish fintech startup OpenLedger. Karma’s p2p lending platform can be used on the OpenLedger DEX platform and the Korean exchange CoinLink.

Why Blockchain’s Growing Pains Could Benefit Underbanked SMBs (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

According to a report released earlier this month by EY, 21 percent of people in the world — about 1.6 billion people — are underbanked. More than 200 million micro and SMBs fall into the underbanked category, too, with access to finance the largest hurdle for many of these firms.

EY pinpointed the APAC region as a particularly wide opportunity for financial services players to address this gap: Bank revenue in this market, researchers said, could reach $88 billion by 2020. If traditional banks don’t step in, alternative financial services firms will.

“A lot of smaller, private small businesses are under-funded,” Tran noted. “It’s not like here [in the U.S.], where we have an established financial and banking system. If you implement something like a decentralized blockchain, a P2P lending system, that would enable [SMBs] to get funded a lot easier than going through the normal banking system. With blockchain technology, you can put a platform together that is smart contract-based, allowing individual investors to participate in a growing economy. On the other hand, you allow [SMBs] to get funded very quickly.”

MENA

Top 20 Fintech Startups In The Middle East (Forbes), Rated: AAA

1 PayTabs
Online payment processing solutions

2 Souqalmal.com
Financial products comparison site

4 Beehive
SME focused peer2peer lending platform

5 Yallacompare
Financial products comparison site

8 liwwa
Peer-to-peer lending platform

StartAD launches on February 18 for fintech startups (Arabian Business), Rated: A

Innovation platform startAD will host a ten-day entrepreneurship programme, Venture Launchpad, at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), from February 18-27.

It will see ten fintech startups pitch their business ideas to investors. UAE-based early-stage startups are encouraged to apply by February 12, 2018, the application deadline.

The programme will equip them with the tools and knowledge to develop a scalable and capital efficient scheme. These include insights into crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, algorithmic trading, credit scoring, cryptocurrency, payments, insurance tech and money transferrals.

Latin America

Brazilian Fintech EBANX Secures $ 30 Million Investment From FTV Capital (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Brazilian fintech EBANX announced on Wednesday it has secured a $30 million investment from FTV Capital.

EBANX also processes payments for major merchants from 50 different countries, including the U.S. and China. The company reported that just last year it processed $1.2 billion in cross-border transactions and achieved the milestone of helping more than 30 million users from the region gain full access to major international e-commerce merchants.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 3 2017, Daily News Digest

funding circle

 News Comments Today’s main news: China Rapid Finance goes public at $350M valuation, down from C round valuation of $1bil. VPC Specialty Lending Investments annual results continues to disappoint Morty launches fully-automated mortgage marketplace. Barclay’s opens Europe’s largest fintech site in London. Airwallex wins $17M funding. India to see fintech regulations soon. Today’s main analysis: National survey shows instant […]

funding circle

 News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

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International

European Union

Australia

India

News Summary

United States

Elevate Announces Expanded Elastic Funding Capacity (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”) announced today that Elastic SPV, which purchases loan participations in the Elastic line of credit product originated by Republic Bank & Trust Company (“Republic Bank”), increased its debt facility with Victory Park Capital from $150 million to $250 million. This is the first step in a two-step process to further increase and diversify the funding capacity for the Elastic line of credit product.

During the second quarter of 2017, an additional SPV will be created as another funding source for the Elastic line of credit product. This additional SPV for Elastic would provide additional funding, diversified funding sources and further lower the cost of funds.

SoFi’s first PR campaign answers the question, ‘How do I ask for a raise?’ (PRWeek), Rated: AAA

Starting May 15, SoFi staffers will participate in an online series that will offer users tips on communicating their value in the workplace and tell inspirational stories. The company will hold workshops in eight U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, on negotiating pay raises, non-monetary benefits, and other topics. Career expert Nicole Lapin will appear at the New York event.

The average SoFi student loan customer is about 33 years old and has a student loan balance of about $75,000, more than twice the national average. A SoFi survey also found 50% of young, college-educated professionals had not negotiated their own salaries, and 54% said they don’t know their “market value.”

PayPal launches a small biz toolset, ‘Business in a Box,’ with WooCommerce & Xero (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

PayPal today launched a new service, called Business in Box, aimed at bringing more U.S. small business owners to its payments platform. The service, which was developed in partnership with WooCommerce and Xero, offers merchants a suite of tools for running their online businesses, including an online storefront, accounting tools, the ability to apply for working capital from PayPal and, of course, support for taking payments either online or offline, via PayPal.

Business in a Box is largely aimed at first-time business owners who already know what they want to sell and have a roadmap in mind, as well as at established offline businesses that want to make the move online.

Often, these business owners would otherwise turn to an e-commerce platform, like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce or WooCommerce, to establish their online presence and take advantage of other add-ons that can help them with other aspects of their business, like running promotions, marketing, order management, shipping, social media and more.

The company also noted today that PayPal Working Capital has now helped more than 115,000 businesses worldwide access more than $3 billion in loans and cash advances since the service launched in 2013.

National Survey Shows Instant Financing Will Drive Business to Online Retailers (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

American consumers appear to be warming up to instant financing options when purchasing goods and services online. According to a new national survey, three quarters (75 percent) of consumers indicate they would be likely to select an online retailer that offered instant financing compared to another that did not; 28 percent would be very likely to change merchants in order to use instant financing.

Instant financing is an easy-to-use, revolving line of credit that consumers apply for within a merchant’s online checkout. It allows consumers to spread purchases over time with low APR financing offers, and provides an alternative to credit and debit cards when paying for an online purchase.

The online study was fielded between April 10 and 13, 2017 by Researchscape International on behalf of Klarna North America (www.klarna.com). The survey of 2,024 consumers, ages 18 and older, was designed to better understand the behaviors and attitudes of consumers towards instant financing. Consumers were quota-sampled using 32 different cells (gender by age by region) to closely match the overall national population.

In terms of how instant financing might impact their spending while shopping online, 39 percent of consumers indicated they would spend more money on a purchase if they had the option of instant financing compared to 42 percent who would not and 19 percent who did not know if they would spend more money.

Smartphone owners, 88 percent of consumers who responded, were asked about the ease and willingness to enter certain types of personal information when applying for instant financing. Among the information seen to be “too much trouble” to enter were Social Security number and bank account numbers (51 percent each), and credit card numbers (40 percent). On the other hand, just over a tenth of consumers found it to be too much trouble to enter an email address (11 percent), birthday (12 percent) or spouse’s name (12 percent).

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) would like to be presented with an instant financing option while shopping online
  • Just over a quarter of consumers surveyed (28 percent) have used instant financing while 68 percent have not and 4 percent were not sure if they had

Beyond probing consumers’ thoughts regarding availability, the survey also asked about the convenience and ease-of-use factors of instant financing. For instance, a majority of consumers (52 percent) expect to wait three or more minutes to be approved for instant financing. Twenty-eight percent would expect to wait two minutes and just 20 percent would expect to wait under a minute. Klarna’s approval process typically provides an approval in under a minute with only simple, top-of-mind information required.

This infographic illustrates the impact of instant financing on consumers’ purchasing decisions as revealed in a survey conducted by Klarna in April 2017. (PRNewsfoto/Klarna)

Morty launches fully-automated mortgage marketplace (PRNewswire), Rated: A

Focused on empowering homeowners to make smarter decisions about their mortgages, today Morty (www.himorty.com) launches its fully-automated mortgage marketplace, where homebuyers can shop, compare — and close — any loan option from among its network of lenders. Morty is initially rolling out with 10 major lenders across 10 markets in the United States, with plans to expand nationally by the end of 2017.

Leveraging the founding team’s diverse experience and learning first-hand from homebuyers during its initial pilot, Morty was able to identify pain points from start to finish and prove the benefits of a marketplace model. In the over one thousand real-life loan scenarios it has run for homebuyers, Morty has observed rate and fee variances across lenders that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in fees and monthly payments.

Morty is creating an entirely new model: access to any lender or mortgage product within a single, unified mortgage process from first click to closing day.

Here’s how it works:

  • Homebuyers create a simple financial profile by linking their income, assets, employment, and property information and describing their homeownership goals.
  • Morty’s pricing engine algorithmically matches the homebuyer’s profile with each lender’s eligibility and pricing guidelines to show accurate, customized quotes, inclusive of all lender fees and closing costs.
  • Borrowers see their loan options in full transparency and compare across lenders and products.
  • Never once leaving the Morty platform, the homebuyer chooses a loan and Morty automates the process all the way to the closing table.

In addition to its launch, Morty also announces that it has raised $3 million in funding led by Thrive Capital with participation from SV Angel, FJ Labs, Corigin Ventures, MetaProp, Techstars and several angel investors.

RealtyeVest Is the One-Stop Platform for Real Estate Investing and Project Financing (PR Newswire), Rated: A

RealtyeVest, Formerly IHT Realty Group, officially unveiled their new brand and optimized website. Destined to become one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms in the US, the new RealtyeVest website () provides a simple, secure and transparent platform for accredited investors, real estate developers and owner-operators.

“Our decision to rebrand from IHT Realty Group to RealtyeVest was a result of listening to feedback from our strategic partners and observing best practices in the industry,” said Daniel Summers, CEO. “We believe our new name better represents the essence of our business, and we are excited about the innovative technology that powers our new online marketplace. We spared no expense in the new build, providing a win-win to our investors and Sponsors.”

RealtyeVest is an online marketplace that connects investors and Sponsors (real estate owner-operators) to crowdfund exclusive real estate investments. Their platform allows its members to browse, research and make informed investment decisions on these exclusive properties.

Lending IPOs Find Cautious Investors Amid Consumer Credit Fears (Bloomberg), Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Ltd. on Friday became just the second consumer lender this year to list in the U.S., following Elevate Credit Inc. earlier in April. Although they do business on opposite sides of the world, the duo has much in common: Both face investor questions about the reliability of their borrowers, both begin trading amid a particularly iffy time in the credit cycle and — perhaps consequently — both slashed their IPO price days before going public.

When LendingClub Corp. went public in 2014, some hailed the event as the dawn of a new era for finance. Shares have since fallen 60 percent from the IPO price.

“China Rapid Finance is coming to the market during a turbulent time in the China peer-to-peer industry as regulators roll out more controls to clean up what has so far been chaotic growth in the past few years,” MCM Partners analyst Ryan Roberts wrote in a note on the stock’s first initiation, a buy rating. “The company reduced the pricing range by about 40 percent, which we suspect reflected tepid demand from backers,” the note said.

Both recent IPOs are now trading up from their reduced offering prices by nearly 25 percent. MCM says the IPO valued China Rapid Finance at 4.7 times its book ratio. William Blair on Monday said that Elevate Credit is trading at 7.5 times its 2018 estimated earnings per share.

This Startup Wants to Be the Amazon of Real Estate (Inc), Rated: A

Even so, the 29-year-old Williams is a force, as is his company. Since launching, Cadre has generated nearly $1 billion worth of deals, raising close to $70 million in funding from high-profile investors such as Peter Thiel, Goldman Sachs, and Jack Ma.

So Williams set up a website where he could analyze these homes using a tax parcel ID–which tracks the value of a property over time–and measured this against what they were selling for. Using the data, and bolstered by the cash of wealthy Harvard alums including the Kushners, he started buying dozens of properties and flipping them for three times their original price. “By the time I graduated, I was at a crossroads: Do I scale this business nationally, or do I do tech banking at Goldman Sachs?” he recalls thinking.

Williams decided to do both. He pulled 18-hour days as an investment banker–and then would quietly work on his startup from the comfort of a supply-closet-size room by night. Real estate, he figured, was a valuable asset that ought to be made available to more (and more average) investors.

Cadre is an e-commerce site for investing in real estate. It connects customers–primarily wealthy individuals, referred to as “qualified purchasers”–to property deals across the U.S. (Cadre requires a minimum investment of a few hundred thousand dollars; that’s somewhat less than what a traditional fund requires, but likely more than what you’d pay to buy into a real estate investment trust, or REIT, which trades like common stock.) Williams declined to comment on what exactly the company charges its investors–it asks for an upfront fee and a recurring subscription rate–though notes that it’s in the range of a “couple hundred basis points.” A fund, by contrast, will typically take 2 percent of the investment, and then 20 percent of profits over time.

Although Cadre faces competition mainly from the traditional brokers, a growing number of startups have emerged in the real estate leasing space, such as 42Floors, a San Francisco website that lists commercial real estate and office rentals, and Rofo, an online marketplace for property listings and potential tenants that can facilitate lease deals without broker intervention.

NCAP Notice to Clients regarding Public Record Standards (Experian Email), Rated: A

In 2015, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion announced the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP), a set of initiatives designed to improve the accuracy of credit report information, as well as to provide consumers with a better experience interacting with the nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs).

In June 2016, the CRAs announced enhanced public record data standards for the collection and timely updating of public record data reported on consumer credit reports.  The enhanced standards require: (i) minimum consumer identifying information (name, address, social security number and/or date of birth) (“PII”) and (ii) minimum collection frequency for public records (at least every 90 days).  These enhanced standards will apply to new and existing public record data on the CRAs’ respective consumer credit reporting databases. As previously announced, these enhanced standards are effective July 1, 2017.

Based on information provided by our public record vendor about the data available from courts and recorders’ offices, we expect bankruptcy public record data will continue to meet the enhanced collection and reporting standards. However, civil judgments and approximately half of tax lien data are not expected to meet the enhanced standards.

During the week of July 10, 2017, the CRAs will remove from their databases previously collected public record data that does not meet the enhanced PII standards. This includes the removal of all judgment public records and the portion of tax liens not meeting the enhanced standard. Public record data will also be monitored for adherence to the enhanced PII and collection frequency standards after July 1, 2017.

Despite the anticipated loss of significant volume of public record data from credit files, impact analysis conducted by the CRAs, as well as leading scoring model companies using CRA data, show a modest risk scoring impact and minimal loss in predictive performance as a result of these changes.

Please contact any member of your Account teams with questions you may have or forward questions to:

Robo Advice: Better Than No Advice? (Forbes), Rated: A

The proliferation of Robo-Advisors bringing low priced financial services out into the market has received significant buzz over the past few years.

When it comes to managing your money, minimal human intervention can be good or bad. The good comes when the algorithms and mathematical rules produce an asset allocation that is sensible for the purpose for which it is intended. The good also comes when the “human advisor” interjects personal preferences and judgments that are in the clients’ best interest.

Now, let’s analyze the downside, which can be a very deep and chasm. How we consider money, how we use money, how we value money, and what we believe about money is very human, indeed, and cannot be solved by mathematical equations.

For those who are looking for an asset allocation and a low-cost entry into investing, Robo advice can be a great place to start.

Helping Clients Determine Risks in Alternative Investments (Wealth Management), Rated: A

Alternative investments constitute a growing $7 trillion industry and more than 10,000 hedge funds have money in alternative platforms. Yet, most retail investors are just learning about these lucrative asset classes.

To illustrate the difference for clients who may not be familiar with alternative investments, ask them to imagine this scenario. A successful real estate flipper has bought and sold 25 properties in five years. After finding a great deal on a house in foreclosure, he applies for a bank loan to purchase it. The bank declines, spooked by four open mortgages he holds on current projects.

He’s never defaulted, but the bank still judges him as overleveraged because his loan-to-value ratio is 50 percent. It doesn’t fit into the bank’s rigid evaluation box, which has become even more stringent after the 2008 financial crisis. The perceived risk is much higher than the actual risk.

Then, he approaches an alternative lender who sees he’s willing to put his own money into a property in a desirable neighborhood and to offer a personal guarantee. The decision comes down to actual risk. Can this property fall in value by 50 percent in nine months? Will the borrower flip it in nine months for a handsome profit? By understanding the data and the flipper’s borrowing track record, the lender concludes that he will flip the house and fronts the capital.

FLEETCOR to Acquire “Cambridge Global Payments,” a B2B International Payments Provider (BusinessWire), Rated: A

FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: FLT), a global provider of fuel cards and workforce payment products to businesses, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cambridge Global Payments (“Cambridge”), a B2B international payments provider.

Lantern Credit Appoints Ricardo Gomez-Acebo to Board of Managers (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Lantern Credit, a financial technology company working to solve systematic inefficiencies in the consumer credit industry, adds Ricardo Gomez-Acebo to its Board of Managers. He joins Chairman John Mack, Vice Chairman John Sculley, James Held, Seth Johnson, Kevin Knight and Chad Swensen on the Lantern Board.

Gomez-Acebo has more than 30 years of experience in the Spanish and International Retail Banking sector, holding various executive roles at Spanish banks Banesto and Banco Santander including General Manager of Europe for Banesto. Gomez-Acebo led business development with strategic financial partners at Banco Santander and most recently is heading risk management for the bank.

Incumbent financial services’ millennial strategy (The New Yorker via CB Insights Email), Rated: B

Attorney Jonathan Frutkin Featured Speaker at Washington D.C Crowdfunding Conference (Benzinga), Rated: B

Radix Law’s principal attorney, Jonathan Frutkin, will be a featured speaker at the “Fourth Annual Conference and Workshop for Crowdfunding USA” scheduled for May 4 to 5 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Frutkin is the author of the book Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners.

United Kingdom

RateSetter upgraded transparency to “top-tier” level, says 4th Way (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER’S upgraded data disclosure on its loan book and expected losses has brought its transparency to a top-tier level, according to peer-to-peer lending research firm 4th Way.

Based on the amended methodology, expected cumulative losses now stand at £18.06m, which paired with the current £22.44m provision fund buffer result in a 124 per cent coverage ratio – six per cent higher than last reported.

RateSetter’s data table now provides a clear estimate of the losses expected over the lifetime of its loan book, spelling out the losses that have already materialised and future expected losses for each year of origination, as well as a detailed breakdown of different types of arrears, provision fund adequacy levels, and investors’ expected returns.

Sharing the voice of British small businesses (Funding Circle), Rated: AAA

What we discovered is that small businesses are going for growth, unfazed by the uncertainty caused by last year’s referendum result and the snap election. Nearly 70% of UK small businesses expect their turnover to increase within the next 12 months – half of whom expect a steady increase of between 6 and 20%, and only 6% expect turnover to decrease.

Small businesses, who already account for 60% of private sector employment, will continue to drive much needed job creation this year. More than half of the businesses we spoke to are planning to hire at least one new full-time member of staff over the next year. With more than 5 million small businesses across the country – this could mean the creation of millions of new jobs in the next 12 months!

When asked what their one policy priority is in the run up to the election, tax was by far the most important issue. With business rates mentioned specifically nearly 300 times, 40% said that they want the new Government to focus on this area after the election. The second most important policy area, according to a quarter of businesses, was of course Brexit.

To date investors have lent £2.2 billion to more than 23,000 UK small businesses.

 

UK SMEs set to back Tory leadership (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A vast majority of the 2,300 firms interviewed by the country’s third largest small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) lender are poised to throw their weight behind Theresa May’s party as the best positioned to deliver Brexit, despite half of them opposing the separation from the 28-nation bloc in the referendum last year.

The research also confirmed that UK SMEs have quickly shrugged off Brexit-induced economic worries, as seven in 10 firms expect to deliver stronger profits in the next 12 months and only six per cent forecast a drop in turnover over the same period.

Flender is granted its P2P credit license (AltFi), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer friends and family lender, Flender announced it has now received its full authorisation from the FCA and has also launched operations in Ireland.

The platform says it has funded loans of over €900,000 since its soft-launch, without any marketing or advertising. It has seen demand from companies in a wide range of industry sectors including construction, F&B, energy companies, retailers and more. It reports that it has attracted over 750 registered users, 138 campaigns submitted with 11 currently live on the platform.

RateSetter Partners with George Banco, Acquires Two Motor Finance Businesses (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

RateSetter previously provided financing to George Banco. RateSetter will now lend directly to George Banco’s growing customer base with George Banco generating the leads.der George Banco. RateSetter has also acquired an equity stake in the George Banco company.

Additionally, RateSetter has acquired specialist motor finance providers Vehicle Stocking Limited and Vehicle Credit Limited out of their parent company’s administration. RateSetter will rebrand both businesses and invest in them to build on its current motor finance capabilities. RateSetter previously provided wholesale finance to these businesses.

UK P2P Lender Growth Street Celebrates Marketplace Rate Drop, Signals Increased Momentum (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Growth Street’s marketplace rate dropped on Monday from 6.5% AER to 6.4% AER, rewarding borrowers with a 10bps drop in their costs of funds. The UK P2P lender attributes the drop to the momentum it has built on its platform, welcoming over 700 investors to date since the launch of its investment offering in November.

FUNDING CIRCLE REVIEW (Orca Money), Rated: A

Loans are split into a minimum of £20 chunks or loan parts allowing investors to achieve a high level of diversification when investing relatively low amounts. Funding Circle suggests lending to a minimum of 100 businesses to achieve a 1% exposure to any one business. When investing a minimum of £2,000, Funding Circle’s auto-bid function will achieve this level of diversification automatically.

Borrowers across Funding Circle are all small to medium sized businesses (SMEs), borrowing between £5,000- £1million for loan terms of 6 months to 5 years.

Funding Circle is the only peer-to-peer lending platform of scale which operates across multiple geographies. The P2P platform has expanded from the UK to the USA, Germany and Spain. 74% of Funding Circle’s group (Funding Circle Holding Limited) revenue in the period ending the 31st December 2015 came from its UK business (Funding Circle UK Limited).

VPC Specialty Lending Investments Annual Results Continues to Disappoint (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

VPC Specialty Lending Investments PLC (LSE:VSL.L) released 2016 annual results last week and according to Chairman Andrew Adcock, results continue to disappoint. Shares in the fund that invests in various online lending assets continue to trade at a significant discount to the net asset value per share. As of December 31, 2016, VPC had deployed 87% of its NAV (with its cash holding of 13% temporarily elevated due to the recent sale of the Funding Circle U.K. portfolio). During 2016, VPC generated an NAV return of 0.85% for the Ordinary Shares and distributed dividends of 6.00 pence per Ordinary Share relating to the income earned during the year.

Going round in circles (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: B

The recent news that peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle plans to stop all property development lending by mid-2018 came as something of a surprise.

Risk is always a factor in construction, but it is how that risk is managed that is important. Funding Circle’s withdrawal could allow other lenders to enter this space, and increased competition will be no bad thing in giving developers greater choice.

While we appreciate that there are always certain areas of the market that give cause for concern, many of our clients have a clear appetite for further growth. While demand is strong, and developers continue to be starved of funds by traditional lenders, the market for alternative finance – and peer-to-peer lending particularly – will come to the fore.

China

Former Unicorn China Rapid Finance Goes Public at a $ 350M Valuation (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

The IPO price was set at $6.00 and the company raised $60 million which was adjusted down from their anticipated raise of $105 million. Back in 2015, it was reported that the company had a pre-money valuation of $1 billion after closing a $35 million Series C. The company is now valued at $350 million.

At time of writing shares were trading around $7.10 per share.

The fact that China Rapid Finance and Yirendai before them chose to go public in the US is significant. In a recent Lend Academy podcast with Yirendai CEO Yihan Fang, she stated that they felt the US was more educated on marketplace lending. This coupled with the fact that Ning Tang (Founder of parent company CreditEase) and other management members had experience in the US and were more comfortable with the US capital markets led to their decision to list in the US.

Another company that could seek a US IPO is Ppdai.com who last year said it could go public in the first half of 2017.

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

Financial Company of XIAOMI Raised A Round of 100 Million RMB

Today, FuMi Tech, MI’s related eco-chain company, announced it has finished A round of financing and raised 100 million RMB. This round of financing led by Buddhism Capital, with MoBai Capital and the previous investor ShunWei Capital participated. The fund will be continuously used to improve users’ experience.

WeBull, one of the products of FuMi Tech, providing trading services of US and HK stocks, and supporting real-time quotes of global stock, foreign exchange, funds and derivatives markets of over 20 countries. In fact, FuMi Tech has previously raised a joint investment of 50 million RMB from MI and ShunWei Capital.

China’s State-owned Commercial Bank Breaking the Ice between P2P platforms

Recently, China Construction Bank(Guangdong Branch) has launched its P2P funding depository product “Dragon depository”, and currently the bank has reached agreements with several P2P lending platforms.

According to an insider of CCB, the two critical measurements for their P2P cooperators are: bad debts and overall strength of the platform.The participation of CCB will promote the compliance process and bring a sustainable development of P2P lending industry.

NDRC(National Development and Reform Commission): Promote the Construction of Asia Credit System

The first Asia Credit Rating Agencies CEO Fair & Systemic Risk International Seminar was held in Beijing recently. Hongwan Chen, the deputy director of the financial department of National Development and Reform Commission, said that the regional cooperation across Asia is important for it could accelerate the Construction of Credit System in the area. He also advise to build credit record for local companies incorporated overseas and foreign investors, and set up a “blacklist” about those seriously illegal enterprises.

China Rapid Finance a consumer lending force in China (Bankless Times), Rated: A

Dr. Wang completed his Ph.D in statistics at the University of Chicago in 1995 before moving on to Sears Credit where as head of analytics he developed models employing credit bureau data while also overseeing the creation of a credit data warehouse. He returned to China, where in 2001 he founded  China Rapid Finance which began by developing credit scoring and decisioning models that helped companies issue more than 100 million credit cards.

In 2010 they made the move into marketplace lending, where they teamed up with more than 100 Chinese internet companies to analyze and score data that allowed them to preselect customers.

Seven years later China Rapid Finance has become China’s leading online consumer credit marketplace after facilitating 15 million loans to two million borrowers, beginning with small amounts for short durations and growing into longer-term loans for larger amounts.

EMMAs total 500 million and have been underserved by traditional credit providers, who focus on the 300 million super prime people who work for government or large institutions, Dr. Wang explained. He estimates China’s consumer credit coverage at roughly one-fourth that of the United States. While roughly 60 per cent of Americans have credit coverage, that rate is 16 per cent in China.

EMMAs are prime and near-prime consumers who are educated and have stable employment in the services and with startups and SMEs, but they have little credit history and cannot obtain bank credit.  They also largely stayed away from the notorious shadow banks, a large (no one knows precisely how large) opaque industry which helped fuel both real estate and small consumer loans.

International

International P2P Lending Volumes April 2017 (P2P-Banking), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle leads ahead of Zopa and Lendinvest. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 445 million Euro.

Milestones reached this month are:

  • Younited Credit crossed 500 million Euro loan volume since launch

European Union

Barclays Opens Europe’s Largest FinTech Site in London (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Barclays has today opened its flagship open innovation site, Rise London, in Shoreditch. It is Europe’s largest co-working space dedicated to financial technologies (FinTech).

Rise, created by Barclays, brings together from across the world a carefully curated community of FinTech startups, along with our corporate clients and other experts, to work on Barclays’ customer and business opportunities and together help to create the future of financial services.

Rise London will house more than 40 FinTech companies, along with Banking and Technology teams from Barclays, and will serve as a gathering place for leaders in the FinTech and venture capital communities. Rise London will play host to more than 200 hours of learning, workshops, hackathons and networking on a monthly basis.

Australia

Melbourne fintech Airwallex just won $ 17 million funding from Mastercard, Sequoia and Tencent (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Australian cross-border payment startup Airwallex has secured US$13 million ($17.4 million) in a funding round to continue its expansion overseas.

For Sequoia — the 45-year-old firm famous for investing in famous tech brands such as Apple, Google and AirBnB – the deal represents its Chinese arm’s first investment in an Australian startup.

Airwallex founder and chief executive Jack Zhang told Business Insider that the company, which already can make payments to 100 countries, will use the cash injection to expand its physical presence in locations such as London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.

FinTech Australia Reflects on First Year (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

FinTech Australia, the advocacy group promoting all things fintech related in Australia, celebrated its one year anniversary by sharing its “Year of Review.”

India

India to see regulations for fintech space soon: KPMG report  (Outlook), Rated: AAA

The government is expected to come out with regulations for fintech (financial technology) space as the industry is likely to witness increased payments and lending activities, a study said today.

Over the next quarter, insurtech may come into its own in India, according to the report.

Citing Paytm attracting Asia’s largest funding round of USD 200 million in March quarter, it said AI and blockchain may be big bets for investors apart from payments, open data and data analytics.

Over the quarter, investment into Asia’s fintech space hit USD 492 million across 33 deals, as per the report.

SoftBank Said in Talks to Invest $ 1.4 Billion in India’s Paytm (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to invest about $1.4 billion in India’s One97 Communications Ltd. in a deal that would value the owner of the country’s largest digital-payments provider at about $7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal is not yet finalized and the terms may yet change, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. One97 Communications, whose Paytm unit has seen business surge as India took most of its paper bills from circulation, has also had discussions with two other investors, one of the people said. The company was last valued at $4.2 billion, according to research firm CB Insights.

3 Alternative Lending Trends That Have Made Fintech Startups Popular (Inc42), Rated: A

Traditional banks have left quite a few gaping holes when it comes to unsecured loans, especially for salaried people who are not employed in companies that they classify as A/A+ category.

Quick Personal Loans

Customers, it appears, are warming up to online alternative lending portals, and it is predominantly due to the speed with which the loan application is processed, verified and approved. Tedious documentation, in addition to ambiguous rules and non-transparency in the whole process that a customer faces with banks, has made entrepreneurs reinvent lending for salaried employees. The ease and convenience of digital (and painless) transactions are considered priceless. There are lenders such as Qbera, which disburses personal loans up to INR 5 Lakhs in 24 hours.

Alternative Fixed Income Products Become More Popular

2016 saw RBI releasing a set of directives regarding P2P loans in India. The paper recommends NBFCs status for P2P lenders, which is almost consistent with what the P2P sector has been demanding. This liberal approach helps to protect the interest of all stakeholders without choking innovative ideas. P2P lenders are hoping for these recommendations to become regulations after the budget announcement, which will give the arena a facelift.

Short-Term Payday Loans

You don’t get instant cash from banks and online payday loan providers often save the day. As they are offered for shorter tenures compared to online personal loans, it gets repaid more quickly, which is a definite plus. You can even opt for monthly, fortnightly, weekly or daily loans.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor