Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Republicans propose drastic overhaul of CFPB.  BOE chief sees no need for tougher FinTech regulation. CBRC assistant chair reported ‘out of contact’. Today’s main analysis: Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders. The India FinTech Market Map. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How this FinTech CEO plans to prosper. Interview with Scott Sanborn. International regtechs […]

Monday April 17 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

  • Republicans propose drastic overhaul of CFPB, Dodd-Frank. GP:” This is just a proposal and it will likely change a lot by the time, if and when, it gets adopted into law. In all cases, the theme here seems to be more control and less power for the agencies.”  AT: “We saw this one coming. I didn’t expect a name change, but I think that’s interesting, especially the use of the word ‘opportunity,’ which puzzles me. Why would a regulatory agency include that word in its name? Another thing I find interesting is the deputy director holding the job at the will of the president, which I expected. However, it makes the agency serve at the whim of the winds of the political climate, like all other executive agencies. What makes that interesting is it goes against the initial conception of the agency, which was intended to be independent of the chief executive. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, good or bad either way, but we can expect the Democrats to fight this hard.”
  • How this FinTech CEO plans to prosper in 2017. GP:”The key is customer satisfaction, which itself relies on a good product, fair pricing, ease of use whom themselves depend on the cost of financing, employee satisfaction, technology quality and an infinite list of other items.”
  • Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders. GP:”This is very interesting data. If the online lenders build a reputation of being expensive, regardless if it’s true or not, it will hurt their customer acquisition costs significantly. This has to be fought and this perception is very dangerous. In general consumers, especially opinion leaders, are not stupid. I think a good way to fight for transparency and to fight the high rate and unfavorable terms opinion is by actually releasing actual verifiable data that offers more transparency and demonstrates the rate and term points. ” AT: “It’s important that online lenders not simply claim to be transparent. Most consumers, millennials, in particular, are well aware that technology is not inherently transparent. It can be used to set up walls of opaqueness as easily as see-through curtains, or blinds. If you’re going to call yourself ‘transparent’, you’ve got to be transparent.”
  • Chatting P2P marketplaces with LendingClub’s CEO. GP:” Lending Club is really turning into a large company, run as a large company, on values and brand and letting every department alone to do what they can with controls in place. I am curious how it will defer from a large bank in two or three years.” AT: “Scott Sandborn shares some interesting insights into marketplace lending in general and LendingClub in particular.”

United Kingdom

  • BOE chief sees no need for tougher FinTech regulation. GP:”I am pleasantly surprised, and once again I understand how the UK, despite being a small market, continues to be the point of reference in finance in the entire world and has been for hundreds of years. I am yet to see a single US regulator who says even once: there is no need for more regulation.” AT: “This is a sign of maturity. In the U.S., when legacy institutions sense up-and-coming competitors, the first thing they want to do is use regulation as a protectionist scheme. Competition is good–for the goose and the gander.”
  • Researcher showcases unauthorized NFC payments with cloned Android device. AT: “This is interesting. We must all understand there’s no such thing as fail-safe security in the cyber world. Every device is a potential entry point for bad actors. In fact, every app on every device is a potential entryway for hackers and other bad actors. The key goal for security experts is to stay ahead of them. This hole needs to be plugged quickly.”

European Union

International

China

India

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

Republicans propose drastic overhaul of Dodd-Frank and CFPB (Housingwire), Rated: AAA

According to the summary of bill changes, the original CHOICE Act would restructure the FHFA and OCC as bipartisan commissions. The FDIC would be reorganized as a bipartisan commission with all five commissioners appointed by the president, and both the Comptroller of the Currency and the CFPB director would be removed from the FDIC board. Also, NCUA board of directors would be increased from three members to five.

The new CHOICE Act 2.0 cuts a lot of those proposed changes, and instead, the FHFA director would be removable at will by the president, with no changes to the current law regarding OCC and NCUA. The FDIC structure would stay the same as proposed in CHOICE 1.0.

The original CHOICE Act replaced the director of the CFPB with a Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission, a bipartisan independent Commission serving staggered terms.

Instead, in the newest version, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be changed to the Consumer Financial Opportunity Agency, an executive agency with a sole director removable at will. The deputy director would also be appointed and removed by the president.

While the original CHOICE Act established a CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council, the updated one removed it because the bill eliminates mandatory CFPB advisory committees.

How This FinTech CEO Plans To Prosper In 2017 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Along with FinTech industry guru Ron Suber, Prosper’s president, Kimball is intent on growing loan volumes, offering lower average rates compared to traditional lenders, delivering higher returns to investors and returning Prosper to profitability.

Prosper, which is the original online peer-to-peer marketplace, has originated over $9 billion in consumer loans over the past decade.

Since being appointed CEO of Prosper Marketplace late last year, Kimball has stepped outside his former financial role as Prosper’s CFO to take on a more operational-driven strategy.

David Kimball: Ultimately, the long-term success of platforms will be dependent on their ability to deliver a great product and a consistent experience. The success of the partnerships will depend on the ability for the two companies to communicate and understand each other (language, transparency, and culture), and it will depend on how well objectives remain compatible.

David Kimball: Last year, the industry did a lot to lay the foundation for a successful 2017, and we’re seeing that work pay off. The [recently announced loan purchase deal] gives us the funding stability we need to continue to grow, while at the same time giving us some great long-term partners that are invested in our business and its success.

David Kimball: A successful CFO is one who partners with the business instead of playing the finance sheriff. That requires a willingness to understand the business, to think holistically, to work with peers who jointly own the results. The CFO is the finance subject matter expert, but should be able to consider other disciplines, just as a CTO should be able to understand the financial implications of engineering decisions.

As CEO, I continue to think holistically and I now have an opportunity to flex into other areas of the business.

Transparency remains a sticking point for online lenders (Tearsheet), Rated: AAA

A small business credit survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found 46 percent customer satisfaction at online lenders like Lending Club and OnDeck Capital with a 19 percent rate of dissatisfied customers – compared with large banks’ 61 percent of customers who indicated they were satisfied with their small business loan process and 15 percent of whom expressed dissatisfaction. Almost half of all customers specified that their dissatisfaction came from a “lack of transparency.”

Online lending customers are also dissatisfied with higher interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms, two common issues for the growing industry, which continues to have a higher cost of capital and for customer acquisitions.

Chatting P2P marketplaces with LendingClub CEO, Scott Sanborn (Simple Innovative Change), Rated: AAA

CL: The LendingClub story is a fascinating one and one that I’ve followed from the early days. So how does it feel to sit here and realize that so much of what is here today and the proliferation of all these different lending platforms is really because of this company and this team and what you have been able to build?

SB: I think it is exciting. It’s very gratifying to see how the initial idea has gained traction and how that has spawned new players who are bringing new energy and new ideas to different segments of the market. I think the clearest benefit is looking at how much value we’ve driven to consumers and investors.

For example, the personal loan market was actually shrinking when we first started. It shrank like 57% from 2007 to 2010, and yet we were still able to giveCL: There’s this great photo from the day of the IPO back in 2014 in which you can see just how elated you were. At the time you were the CMO and it was a very happy day, but when you stepped into the CEO role recently it wasn’t necessarily under the happiest of conditions. So, how have you handled the ups and downs of being a part of the Lending Club team, and how are do you lead the team through these challenging periods?

CL: That’s the answer you want to hear, by all means. Since becoming CEO at LendingClub, what have you learned about your own management style and how are you navigating the transition to this role?

SB: So much is swirling and changing in real-time, which means you need to keep everyone in the loop. In those early days after I stepped into the CEO role, I can’t tell you how many times we pulled all 1,500 employees together and marched them across the street to a hotel, to fit them into one room and explain, “Here’s what’s happening. Here’s what we know. Here’s what comes next.” That was certainly critical.

Lastly, we have focused tirelessly on assembling the right team. When a business is growing 80% to 100% a year for so many years it’s hard for the organization to keep up, and this was an opportunity to say, “Okay, new reality. Let’s look at what the right foundation is for the next decade of Lending Club.”

CL: One of the other reasons that I wanted to speak with you is because I often speak with seed and series A Fintech startups that’ll eventually face the challenges of being a larger organization if successful. So, what do you think are the challenges associated with trying to be an innovator while also being a larger organization?

SB: Literally, I left that conversation, and sat down with several team members in a room and said, “Okay, what are our values?” It was remarkably easy, actually, to identify what our values were. We put those down on paper and we revisit them, probably annually, maybe every 18 months or so and say, “Do they still resonate? Are they still right for this stage of the company?” Essentially all of our initial values have remained intact and we’ve added one or two as we’ve grown to reflect the new stage of the company.

Since then we have remained crisp on what our values are, and we have made sure we’re hiring to those values, and that our performance reviews reflect those values as well. That’s how you keep the essence of a company and that integrity of the company as you grow. The reality is, as you get bigger and layers get introduced and processes get introduced maintaining that value system will help the company stay, essentially, intact and stay functioning well.

CL: As we look to the vision of the future loan markets, do you think that startups will increasingly become the sourcing mechanisms of loans with financial institutions acting more as the wholesale banking providers?

SB: I think we’re not done seeing the different types of models that could emerge and how they could participate, and I think that’s part of what’s exciting. Not all of them will be great ideas, and not all of them will work, but some will.

If you look at our model, banks provide between a quarter and 30% of our funding and they have a very low cost of capital. When you combine their low cost of capital with our low operating cost it allows us to give, especially that super-prime customer, an incredible value that they couldn’t get at these institutions directly.

United Kingdom

Bank of England Chief Sees No Need for Tougher Fintech Regulation (Corporate Counsel), Rated: AAA

Fintech could pose a threat to traditional banks in the United Kingdom, according to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. But that doesn’t mean he thinks they should be subject to tougher regulation.

The Bank of England created a New Bank Start-up Unit last year, which advises companies trying to become new banks. Carney said in his speech that four mobile banks have been authorized as a result of the new division.

Some of the questions that he said need to be answered, moving forward are: “Which fintech activities constitute traditional banking activities by another name and should be regulated as such? How could developments change the safety and soundness of existing regulated firms? How could developments change potential macroeconomic and macrofinancial dynamics including disruptions to systemically important markets? And what could be the implications for the level of cyber and operational risks faced by regulated firms and the financial system as a whole?”

Researcher Showcases Unauthorized NFC Payments With Cloned Android Device (The Merkle), Rated: A

While this concept sounds ridiculous to most people, they should not underestimate the power of root malware on Android devices. By using this type of malicious software, it is possible to abuse the host card emulation protocol. Google introduced this feature in Android 4,4, as it allows for NFC payments by keeping the Android device next to a payment terminal. Unfortunately, it appears this protocol can also be used to make fraudulent purchases.

Thankfully, this exploit has been discovered by a security researcher who notified both Google and all of the applications he successfully “abused” about this vulnerability.

European Union

Aegon Leaves Legacy Behind With Ohpen’s Cloud Finserv Platform (Forbes), Rated: A

Ohpen, a banking technology company based in Amsterdam,has announced that it will partner with Aegon to develop a new platform for Aegon’s Dutch services, from banking to investments. It will also support multiple labels including Aegon’s Knab (bank spelled backwards) an entirely digital bank.

Aegon, a global financial conglomerate whose American holdings include Pimco, will replace multiple individual systems for pensions, savings, current accounts and wealth management with a single Ohpen platform running in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Aegon will plug into Ohpen’s platform through a flexible, 100% API-based interface.

Multiple companies under one corporate umbrella do many of the same things and have their own infrastructure and staff. Ohpen lets them merge all those activities onto a single cloud-based back end and then put an API on top so any application or Web site can get to it.

International

Keeping the banks honest: meet the regtech rule-obeyers (Wired UK), Rated: AAA

Under mounting pressure to become more transparent and accountable, banks and financial institutions are turning to regtech: technology that automates regulatory compliance.

London-based FundApps alerts financial institutions when regulations change, and gives them software to help compliance. Launched in 2010, it covers 88 jurisdictions.

Legislation in Europe requires companies to “know your customer” to make sure they’re not money laundering. That’s what Trulioo does.

Qumram records, retains and allows on-demand replays of digital activity across web, social and mobile.

US accounting rules require banks to store historical loan data to predict future repayment. “This is what we help them do,” says Vivek Subramanyam, CEO of Fintellix. Launched in 2006, it recently launched a website targeting US community banks and credit unions that are grappling with accounting regulations.

KYC3 (“Know Your Customer, Counterparty and Competition”) automates due diligence, so companies can screen potential clients.

How the World’s Richest Companies Can Help Its Poorest Citizens (Time), Rated: AAA

From Kenya and Tanzania, to Jordan and Peru, digital technology and simple mobile phones are opening up opportunities for millions of people by helping them to safely save and manage their money.

From Kenya and Tanzania, to Jordan and Peru, digital technology and simple mobile phones are opening up opportunities for millions of people by helping them to safely save and manage their money.

Four of the world’s largest telco system manufacturers — Sweden’s Ericsson, China’s Huawei, Canada’s Telepin and India’s Mahindra Comviva — have put aside their fierce competition and agreed to collaborate, not out of altruism but in order to better compete. Announced at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who works to bring competitors together to meaningfully address financial inclusion for the poor, these companies are developing a set of “application programming interfaces,” or in plain English, ways of making computers talk to each other. These APIs will create open-source standards for the development of digital financial services that are automatically compatible with each other, lowering costs for providers and increasing the utility of digital financial services for customers overall.

By governing how different digital accounts send and receive money, the APIs can be the basis for a new “internet of payments,” across which individuals, banks, merchants, employers, and governments seamlessly transact. The APIs are still under development, but when they’re complete they will be released as a global public good, available to anyone who wants to invent.

AI In Fintech: 100+ Companies Using AI Algorithms To Improve The Fin Services Industry (CB Insights), Rated: B

Funding to AI startups reached record highs in 2016 and applications for artificial intelligence technologies exist across nearly the entire spectrum of business. Highlighted here are the top 100 AI startups selected by CB Insights operating across numerous industry verticals.

China

Assistant chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, Yang Jiacai, reported to be ‘out of contact’ (SCMP), Rated: AAA

Fifty-six-year-old Yang Jiacai, assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) was reported to be “out of contact” since Tuesday, April 11, by Chinese media Caixin and Caijing.

Caixin reported Yang had transferred all his responsibilities to his colleague, the commission’s vice-chairman Cao Yu.

Yang made his last public appearance a week ago during a press conference for the CBRC, during which he introduced some heavy-handed regulatory moves planned by the commission.

Podcast 97: Yihan Fang of Yirendai (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The origins of Yirendai and how it was incubated inside CreditEase.
  • When and why Yirendai was spun-off from CreditEase.
  • Some background on all the divisions inside CreditEase.
  • The typical borrower who comes to Yirendai for a loan.
  • How Yirendai has broken new ground in China.
  • The different channels they use to obtain borrowers.
  • The typical size, rate and term of their consumer loans.
  • How these borrowers use their loan proceeds.
  • How Yirendai differentiates themselves from their competitors.
  • Who the typical investors are who participate on their platform.
  • The average amount each of their 200,000 investors deploy on their platform.
  • How their investor product works and details of their risk protection fund.
  • How their business model works as far as revenue.
  • A breakdown of their institutional investor interest.
  • Why they decided to do an IPO in New York rather than Shanghai or Hong Kong.
  • The impact of the new marketplace lending regulations in China.
  • Yihan’s perspective on the fraud that has happened in China.
  • Details of their new Yirendai Enabling Platform that they launched at LendIt.
  • What areas Yirendai will focus on in the coming years.

China is Cracking Down on Unscrupulous Financial Services (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

In a series of reports, ChinaNews is pointing to the increasing scrutiny of the Chinese government regarding financial fraud and over-all malpractice.

Now the China Banking Regulatory Commission has published measures to address risks in the financial and banking sectors. According to ChinaNews, CBRC highlighted 10 areas for improving risk control in both traditional and internet finance – which includes peer to peer lending.

All of this is taking place with the back-drop of Xian Junbo, Chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), being placed under investigation for “disciplinary violations.” He will be the most senior government financial regulator to be investigated in several years.

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Big Data Company Wecash raised $ 80 million in series C funding led by China Merchants Capital, Fore Bright Capital and SIG. Two new investors – Dongfang Hongdao Asset Management and Lingfeng Capital joined the existing investors in this round.

On April 10, China Banking Regulatory Commission released “Guidelines on risk prevention and control in banking industry” to make the P2P online lending market standard by perfecting the in-out mechanisms, paying more attention to the supervision and perfecting the governance of online lending companies.

According to the PwC Global FinTech Survey China Summary 2017 released on April 6, the three main areas to be disrupted by FinTech in China over the next five years will be consumer banking, investment & wealth management, and fund transfers & payments. E-retailers, large technology companies and financial institutions will be the biggest sources of disruption.

Compared with developed countries, the market-penetration level of auto finance in China is much lower. However, it also indicates that China has a tremendous room to develop and grow.

US

Australia

China

Market-penetration

80% – 85%

70%

Less than 30%

On April 6, second-hand car online trading platform Souche closed on $180 million in Series D Funding led by Warburg Pincus. Other participants in the round included VMS Investment Group, ClearVue Partners, Haitong International, CreditEase and Morningside Capital. Notably, Souche just finished Series C Funding led by Ant Financial in the last November. In the past five months, Souche has raised a total of $280 million.

 

India

The India Fintech Market Map: 72 Startups Working Across Lending, Payments, Insurance & Banking (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

Looking at Indian fintech specifically, funding to private companies in the sector boomed from about $175M in 2014 to a high of $2B in 2015 (buoyed by mega-rounds to Paytm) and then slid to $530M in 2016. Still, 2016′s total funding was more than 200% higher than total funding in 2014. A host of global corporations and their venture arms have entered the fray, eager to reach India’s mostly unbanked population and profit from the country’s tech-friendly regulatory environment.

‘Free’ credit reports from fintech portals (livemint), Rated: A

Apart from bureaus, online financial marketplaces are also offering free credit scores and reports. These reports are not counted against the free reports you can get from credit bureaus directly.

On the four fintech platforms we went to, it took no more than a few minutes to log on, authorise the fintech to access our credit report, and get it on the screen or in email. And it was also simpler to get a report here than from a bureau’s website.

On Bankbazaar, we got the report on its website and in email. Paisabazaar displays the report on its website. Both sites provided reports from Experian Credit Information Co. of India Pvt. Ltd.

FinTech: To Regulate Or Not To Regulate? Former RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi Explains (Bloomberg Quint), Rated: A

In lending, peer-to-peer lenders and online SME (small and medium enterprises) lenders are targeting clients considered too risky by banks. They claim to use technologies that can assess credit worthiness in smarter ways than the traditional income statements used by banks. In payments, wallet companies have taken the lead in retail payments forcing banks to up their game.

One gripe that banks have is that these fintech firms are getting away unregulated, which gives them a lot more flexibility in how they do business.

That’s true for now, said R Gandhi, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) who retired after a 37-year stint at the central bank earlier this month. The dilemma for the regulator is to decide when to regulate and how to regulate so as to ensure that innovative business models get a fair chance, Gandhi explained in an interview with BloombergQuint on Tuesday.

Is India ready for Peer-to-Peer lending industry? (Faircent), Rated: A

What we are trying to do is to create a P2P (Peer to peer) lending industry. Fundamentally we are providing an alternative to banking and other financial institutions.

Karun: Investors whom we call lenders can get returns up to 18% to 20% per annum which is much better than other options today. As a borrower you can avail unsecured loans at much cheaper interest rates. What we feel is that the banks make huge margins in terms of the rates that they offering customers on their savings and the rates they are lending it out to people at, in the form of loans. By reducing the margin, with Faircent as the match maker, we are able to pass value to both sides of the table, to borrowers as well as lenders.

Karun: We are purely a digital entity.   We are trying to use technology so that there is minimal offline intervention.

We’ve done a lot of marketing technology interventions, like we have a CRM which is built on top of our platform, which is a custom made CRM. We have integrated it with our lead gen channels. We have an email marketing platform using which we nurture our customers and also do promotional activities with potential customers. We have done a lot of work in trying to become Omni-channel. Three main channels which we use are email, SMS and Voice.

Karun: We are using a lot of the off- the- shelf products. But the challenge for us is really how do we integrate them with our platform. So hence we have to be much more careful about which option we choose. We are using Octane and Amazon for email. Octane is basically a mix of email and SMS which we are predominantly using for marketing.

Karun: Yes, we have a mobile app which is available on the Android and iOS platform. Right now, our focus has been more to enable our customers to access our platform on the mobile device. So for example if there is an investor who wants to invest in loans on the fly he can do it using our app. At present we’re not really focused on the app to acquire more borrowers or acquire more investors and lenders.

Razorpay plans overseas foray (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: B

Razorpay, a payment gateway solution provider focused on online merchants, plans to go international. It is looking to enter South East Asia and West Asia markets in 2018-19, Harshil Mathur, co-founder, has said.

The fintech startup, which started its journey in mid-2014, is in talks with local and global (banking) players in these markets, Mathur said.

Razorpay, which had raised Series A funding of $11.5 million, is not worried about funding for the next two years, according to Mathur.

Asia

ORIX Launches New Online Lending Business for Japanese Small Businesses (Orix), Rated: AAA

ORIX Corporation (“ORIX”) and Yayoi Co., Ltd. (“Yayoi”), an ORIX Group company, announced today that they are launching a new online lending business, a new FinTech service utilizing accounting big data and proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) based credit model.

The business will provide Internet-based lending to small businesses in Japan. A new credit model is under development, utilizing ORIX’s credit expertise, Yayoi’s accounting big data, and cutting edge AI technology by ORIX’s partner company, d.a.t. Inc. Most existing credit models in the market to date relied solely on static data such as financial reports; by utilizing dynamic data, such as day-to-day journal data and other transactional data, the new credit model is expected to offer much better predictive power than before.

ALT plans to start offering lending services on a trial basis to the approximately 600,000 companies, who are existing users of Yayoi’s online services1 in October 2017. Customers will be able to apply online, during which process they grant permission to access their accounting data.

According to a survey of 7,609 Yayoi customers, 85.0% of small corporations have a need for short-term financing, but 36.5% of those have been shying away from obtaining traditional loans, due in part to the excessive amount of time and efforts required for approval of short-term financing. With respect to sole proprietors, just 16.4% of them have obtained short-term traditional loans. Utilizing online lending can reduce complex administrative procedures, including the need to submit financial reports and other paperwork and to visit financial institutions in person, and can also shorten the time needed to obtain much needed cash, making simpler, more flexible financing possible.

AN INDONESIAN peer to peer (P2P) lending startup, KoinWorks is supporting small and medium enterprises (SME) and education by launching an art exhibition, ARTificial Intelligence which will run from April 13 to April 30 at Pacific Place, Jakarta.

Benedicto also says that KoinWorks mainly focuses on SMEs that conduct their sales and marketing activities online. He also believes that by connecting SMEs to lenders, it will bring benefits to both sides.

Benefits for lenders are through net gained interest from their investment which can be up to 19.8% annually depending on the risk level. The service also fulfils social needs by helping businesses to grow.

Users may invest in KoinWorks with a minimum deposit of US$7.50 (100,000 rupiah). The funding will be deposited in real-time at a virtual bank account. Users only need to scan and upload information from their identity card, fill in the form, and deposit the money.

LendIt China Event, Lang Di Fintech, Updates on PitchIt Competition (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LendIt, the global lending and Fintech conference, has announced the official launch of the Asian edition of their Fintech startup competition, PitchIt, in association with JadeValue, a Shanghai-based Fintech incubator. The competition is for all early stage Fintech startups in Asia-Pacific.

PitchIt will take place at the Lang Di Fintech conference, China’s largest global Fintech conference in Shanghai in July.

The 8 Finalists Will Receive:

  • Opportunity to secure investment and partners by meeting investors
  • Have your pitch heard by the international fintech community in front of an audience of international and local attendees across APAC.
  • Gain valuable exposure through global PR
  • Up to $1,000 for travel to Lang Di Fintech
  • Year-round exposure through press and brand visibility and the chance to gain mentorship from Global VCs on pitching and product positioning prior to the event.

The Winner Will Receive:

  • Mentorship, co-working space for 6 months and guaranteed investment of $150,000 from JadeValue
  • 2 free passes to LendIt USA 2018, roundtrip airfare and accommodations
  • Curated meetings for investment purposes in the US during LendIt USA 2018 (April, 2018, San Francisco)
  • Complimentary sponsorship at LendIt USA 2018
MENA

The future of digital money (Gulf News), Rated: A

At a time when the consumer relationship with cash is more virtualiser and abstract, and where use of physical cash continues to decline in many markets, the next phase of digital money offers undiscovered potential for a new period of expansive growth in transactions, beyond the limits of national borders.

The region’s e-commerce marketplace is thriving too, but it depends more on cash on delivery than on electronic payments. At the same time, a relatively low share of adults have bank accounts, while mobile money accounts have had limited success. That could be about to change. New Fintech entrants are playing their part in helping drive payment digitisation.

Furthermore, developments in payments technology are making it easier for us all to transact. Egypt’s Payfort recently has successfully helped smaller merchants accept electronic payments, and offers instalment payment options to help merchants improve sales. We’re also seeing global providers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay becoming more active in the region after a slow start and more global players are coming, for example Samsung, with Samsung Pay about to deploy payment services that are promising to be easier, faster and more secure using your Samsung smart phone.

Africa

VoguePay Wins Best Fintech Startup Award (This Day Live), Rated: B

VoguePay.com, a secure payment gateway has won the “Best Fintech Startup” at the 6th edition of the Cashless Africa Awards 2017, organised by Mobile Money Africa in Lagos recently.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: Korean company Hanwha Life Insurance acquires 4% stake in Lending Club. American Bankers Association partners with Accenture to publish a playbook for banks who want to partner with FinTech companies. Today’s main analysis : Insurance technology is the next FinTech frontier.  The African financial services industry is making great strides in changing […]

Tuesday October 18 2016, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

China

India

Africa

  • Africa is undergoing some interesting FinTech changes. In fact, technology is revolutionizing how money is handled and business is conducted in one of the most unexpected places of the world. AT: “It will interesting to see how FinTech transforms banking in Africa and whether it could lead to an increase in power and posture for a part of the world that has long been on the underside of the global power structure. This analysis is a must-read.”

News Summary

 

United States

ABA, Accenture Release ‘Playbook’ for Banks on Fintech Strategy (Banking Journal), Rated: AAA

As banks continue to grapple with a rapidly evolving technological environment and the massive growth of fintech startups — and with billions of dollars in revenues at stake — the American Bankers Association and Accenture today released a members-only Fintech Playbook to help banks understand how and when they can most profitably partner with fintech companies. ABA also launched ABA Fintech as an online hub for all the association’s resources on fintech.

According to Accenture, banks that invest in fintech stand to gain up to $20 billion collectively in operating income by 2020, while those that don’t could lose as much as $15 billion in revenues during the same period.

The playbook offers a four-phase approach — establish a baseline, close gaps, focus on the customer and drive transformational change — that addresses channels, lines of business and bank platforms and processes. It also includes sample worksheets to help identify strategic priorities, identify top IT investment priorities and select potential fintech partners.

How to win in the game of odds in the next fintech frontier — insurance (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Insurance technology is getting very popular among founders and investors, yet, as a category, is little understood.

Insurance is one of the most difficult businesses to start, because, well, the regulators don’t actually want new players in the market. The reason for this is risk — insurance is all about having a strong system and balance sheet to manage risk. However, as a result of its difficulty, insurance is now behind the times in terms of technology. This leads to a perfect storm to disrupt the industry.

Oftentimes product development cycles can be 3-5 years. In startup world, that’s an eternity and back. Meanwhile, there is $1.2 trillion in insurance premium written every year in the U.S.

The key to unlocking the insurance industry is understanding behavioral economics. Behavioral economics is the study of behavior and how it impacts purchasing.

Given the size of the market you clearly can create a win-win situation. For example, in auto insurance, even out of those who shop for carriers, more than 71 percent of people stayed with their carrier in 2015.

The most successful players in insurance tech will win by rounding the edges on existing products.

Hanwha Life acquires 4% stake in US loan company Lending Club (Korea Herald), Rated: A

Hanwha Life Insurance has acquired 4.1 percent stake in Lending Club, a US peer-to-peer lending company for 75 billion won (US$66.24 million), it reported on Oct. 17.

The insurance arm of Hanwha Group has a strategic partnership with Lending Club and “thought that its stocks were undervalued after its stock price was slashed due to the recent scandal involving its CEO, and purchased the stake,” said an official.

The distinct advantage of utilizing section 1031: The taxes could be deferred indefinitely (New York Real Estate Journal), Rated: A

A real estate investor, if fortunate comes to a point where they want to sell a property at a profit. Many investors know they may be able to utilize Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 and exchange their property for a replacement property, in turn deferring the capital gains. This has been one of the cornerstones of real estate investing because the deductions taken to make income tax deferred while owning a property also reduces cost basis. Distinct advantage of utilizing section 1031:  As long as the rules are followed each time an investor sells and subsequently buys a property, the taxes can potentially be deferred indefinitely. At the time of death, your heirs will generally receive a stepped up cost basis to the current market value of owned property, regardless of how many exchanges the investor may have done in the past (depending on the total market value of the estate).

Now, while most real estate investors know how to take advantage of a 1031 exchange in the traditional sense, there is an option to invest in an alternative structure and still defer the gains.  This is called the Delaware Statutory Trust or (DST). A DST gives investors another avenue to take advantage of the tax code while still staying within the parameters of the 1031 requirements.

The underlying real estate in a DST may be any asset class including, multifamily, office, retail, self-storage or industrial properties.

FTC Announces Agenda, Panelists for Oct. 26 FinTech Forum on Peer-to-peer Payments and Crowdfunding (FTC), Rated: A

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the agenda for its upcoming FinTech forum examining peer-to-peer payments and crowdfunding. The forum, which is the second in an ongoing event series, will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Washington, DC.

The half-day forum will feature two panel discussions. The first panel will explore peer-to-peer payment systems, the online services – often mobile apps – that allow consumers to exchange money electronically. The second panel will examine crowdfunding, the use of online platforms to fund a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people. Both panels will discuss the important trends in these industries, as well as their benefits and potential risks for consumers.

In addition to these panel discussions, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation will give a presentation examining crowdfunding practices and the types of information available to consumers about crowdfunding campaigns.

Full details are available on the workshop’s webpage. The workshop will be webcast live on the FTC’s website.

Fintech Trends: Collaboration (FinLeap), Rated: A

With Fintechs growing stronger every day by taking a bigger part of the financial market, banks have become more open to collaborations with these young companies. Those collaborations present a great opportunity for banks not only resulting in increase of revenue, but most importantly innovation.

Studies show that many banks have already established partnerships with Fintechs. According to the UBS bank management survey of 61 big banks, 38% have a partnership already – a number that’s only going to rise in the upcoming year.

Not only do Fintechs gain benefits from collaboration, but also banks. The first benefit is simple: revenue.

Collaborations between banks and Fintechs can be very beneficial, but they are also very challenging as the organizational cultures between the two differ greatly.[5] This means that culturally, banks and fintechs will have to adapt to each other while trying to avoid unnecessary dependence.

How To Value Boston’s Faneuil Hall And Other Questions Fintech Could Answer (Forbes), Rated: A

Ryan Williams surveys the room: how many people could put a price tag on this building?

His question, it turns out, is a bit of trick. This building is Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, which will never come up for sale.

On Monday, the market building constructed in 1742 was host to the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit where Williams spoke on a panel about how financial technology is shaking up stodgy industries. Williams’ co-panelists hail from different segments of fintech, but each touched on variations of  his broader point: technology is expanding access to financial information and in turn broadening financial opportunity.

Vlad Tenev argues that Robinhood, the free mobile stock trading app he co-founded, exists to get people investing as young as high school. This way they won’t be so clueless when it comes time to invest for retirement. Daniel Aisen, head of quantitative strategy at stock exchange IEX Group, notes that his company is pushing institutional investors to look closer at what is happening behind the scenes of their trades with the ultimate goal of making buying and selling stocks fairer for everyone. And SoFi, where Michael Tannenbaum is senior vice president of mortgages, is part of a group of new lenders using expanded data sets to broaden who they can give money to.

While financial technology has gained clients, accolades and venture capital dollars in recent years, high stakes separate these young financial leaders from many other young technology stars. If they get it wrong real peoples’ livelihoods, retirements and homes could be at stake. This is why all four panelists agreed that gaining domain expertise is key before starting a fintech business. They also largely agree that the evolution of finance will not come from throwing out everything that came before.

Class is Back in Session at Fintech University (BBVA), Rated: B

Some of the best-known names working on finance’s new frontiers come together this Monday in one of technology’s most important cities for the second edition of Fintech University.

The one-day gathering at San Francisco’s Bently Reserve is hosted by BBVA’s Open Innovation team, and features fintech entrepreneurs from around the globe.

Some of the hottest topics in fintech will be discussed at the second edition of Fintech University, including payments, lending, Know Your Customer (KYC) and authentication, and regulation. Fintech luminaries such as Socure’s Johnny Ayers, Prosper’s Ron Suber and Coinbase’s Fred Ehrsam will be leading and participating in the discussions.

While Fintech University has sold out, interested parties can follow along by checking out #FintechUniversity on Twitter.

United Kingdom

Amazon Echo and the future of financial advice technology (Professional Adviser), Rated: A

Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. In case you missed the news, having been available in the US for two years, its long anticipated UK launch took place at the end of last month to much fanfare and excitement.

So what does a speaker have to do with financial advice?

Today, an adviser business may need to enter the same data 21 times into 21 different systems. This sounds mad but, worryingly, it is not that unusual.

In drawing together multiple systems and tools, Echo demonstrates the potential of a connected advisory world. A single system, for example, that links to multiple investment platforms, keeps you informed about tasks and diary events, provides client information, manages business finances – and all though a single interface.

Can we expect a financial adviser version of Echo any time soon? The concept of integrated technology is available in the adviser world already.

Robo-advice would have flourished without RDR (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Robo-advice and the drive to automation would still have happened even without the catalyst of the Retail Distribution Review, experts have claimed.

Steve Thomas, professor at Cass Business School, said the disrupting advance of technology would have still forced a change in the financial services sector, even if the RDR had not taken place.

He highlighted how the advisory marketplace had shrunk from approximately 200,000 advisers in the UK in 1990 to approximately 25,000 qualified regulated financial advisers today.

Landbay launches new range of lending products for professional landlords (Property Wire), Rated: B

Peer to pear lending platform Landbay which specialises in buy to let mortgages has launched a new range of limited edition lending products aimed primarily at professional landlords.

The new tracker products have a competitive rate, no Early Redemption Charges (ERCs) and will be available exclusively via Landbay’s approved broker partners, in addition to the existing suite of both Fixed and Tracker rate products.

Landbay champions a bespoke, flexible and fast lending process, which it believes benefits borrowers in its speed of service and its competitive pricing. To date, Landbay has lent over £42 million since 2014, over 241 loans with 0% facing repayment difficulties.

Established in 2013, Landbay was the fastest growing online peer to peer lending platform in 2015.

Rebuilding the financial services industry takes the best of both (Real Business), Rated: A

The financial services sector is broken. However, it is not broke. It still generates enormous revenue, but it does so within a system that is quickly becoming unsustainable.

From Santander referring businesses to peer-to-peer lending platforms, to Zurich’s creation of a digital workplace – established players are looking to create new efficiencies, and provide greater convenience, customisation and reduced costs.

For something to become truly, disruptively innovative, it must be embraced by the mass market. And although fintech is booming, I’d argue that it still remains the province of early adopters. Many promising fintech startups have already failed due to the big gap between those early adopters and the mainstream market, and the gulf in behaviours between the two.

How come? Well, in financial services, probably more than in any other sector, it’s especially difficult to overcome the forces of inertia and trust. After all, there are few things in life more serious than money – and if someone’s going to place their savings or investments in the hands of a company, they’ll want to have confidence that the company they choose has the scale and longevity to keep their hard-earned cash safe.

SME’s beginning to rely on alternative finance in post financial crisis Britain (Huddled), Rated: A

Recent studies have shown that the Alternative Finance industry is providing SME’s with more flexible funding opportunities and much better terms for businesses. Back in 2015 Nesta revealed that the market had grown by £3.2 billion, highlighting its rapid expansion, and things look set to continue in a similar fashion.

A lot of SME’s struggle with having their invoices tied up for up to 90 days. This can create a problematic cash flow gap which can hinder businesses on a day-to-day basis. Market Invoice is becoming one of the main providers enabling businesses to release up to 90% of their invoices before the typical 90-day period.

The UK government has invested in a variety of different recent schemes and programmes to support SMEs financially. There are now a variety of different options available, from loans to investment schemes and development programmes, which businesses can take advantage of to help them out.

Short term business loans offer a much more flexible alternative for businesses, giving SME’s the opportunity to draw the funds as and when needed as opposed to taking a lump sum in one go. This proves to be a handy resource and quick fix for SME’s experiencing unexpected cash flow problems.

Crowdfunding platforms are more popular than ever before. With so many different online platforms available for donation crowdfunding SME’s can reach out to people around them and other via the power of social media to ask for any donations towards their cause.

With interest rates set to stay low and so many different types of alternative finance now available, there is a huge potential for new businesses to establish themselves in 2016.

Oinky focuses on ways to automate and simplify saving (Pensions & Investments), Rated: B

Conrad Holmboe left his position at U.K. investment consultant Redington over the summer, where he was a director in the investment consulting business, to work on Oinky, a digital piggy bank. Oinky connects to an existing bank account, determines how much a user can safely afford to save every week, and automatically transfers those savings to the piggy bank.

Mr. Holmboe is chief operating officer, chief financial officer and co-founder of Oinky alongside Ivan Soto-Wright, who also is CEO. Mr. Soto-Wright left Redington last year, where he was an investment consultant.

Oinky also has a “discover” feature, which lets savers explore peer-to-peer lending opportunities, investment platforms and other savings products.

Australia

Banks, AMP baulk at cost of financial advice watchdog (The Australian), Rated: A

The big four banks and AMP will contribute nearly $16 million to fund the creation of the federal government’s professional standards body for financial advisers, part of reforms unveiled yesterday by Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

The $15.6m bill to cover the first four years of the program has ­already faced resistance from the banking industry, which constitutes only 25 per cent of the financial advice market.

AMP, which represents Australia’s largest network of financial advisers, is also pushing to expand the financial burden of the standards body to be shared by the rest of the industry.

An independent standards body will be established as a commonwealth company and a nine-member board will seat three consumer advocates, three industry members, an ethicist, an education specialist and a chair. The professional associations, such as the Financial Planners Association, will compete to run the body, which will oversee the country’s 22,500 advisers.

FPA head of policy Ben Marshan said the reforms provided ­financial planners with an appropriate amount of time to adjust to the new system. The education and professional standards regime will come into force at the start of 2019.

Australians are using peer-to-peer loans to consolidate their debt (Finder), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, while having first been introduced in 2012, is still a new concept to many Australians. However, the idea seems to be catching on. The P2P lending space is becoming more competitive, with new lenders being announced all the time, and more Australians are starting to take advantage of the competitive rates on offer. According to new data, these rates are being utilised by borrowers looking to reduce the interest they’re paying on current debts.

RateSetter customers that are using their loans to consolidate debt:

  • $20,666 – Average loan amount for debt consolidation
  • 8.23% – Average annual rate for debt consolidation loans
  • 725 – The number of people earning between $50,000 and $100,000 that held debt consolidation loans
  • 64.5% – Percentage of males applying for debt consolidation loans

Move to lift professional standards of financial advisors backed (Professional Planner), Rated: B

The SMSF Association strongly endorses the Federal Government’s decision to legislate to improve the professional standards of financial advisors.

Association Head of Policy Jordan George says improving the educational and ethical standards of financial advisors has been a long-term policy of the organisation, especially as it relates to the $622 billion self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector.

China

Stored Value Facilities : Changing the fintech landscape in Hong Kong (Bryan Cave), Rated: AAA

Last November the Clearing and Settlement Systems Ordinance was amended and renamed as the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities (SFV) Ordinance (“Ordinance”). The Ordinance sees the implementation of a mandatory licensing system for stored value facilities, and was subject to a one year transition period. This grace period will end on 13th November 2016, after which any stored value operator not holding a licence will have to exit the market or face heavy penalties.

In general, a SFV involves the pre-payment to or storage of the value of money (or money’s worth) on a payment facility, which may be used for paying for goods or services or to another party. This includes smartcards, such as gift cards or top-up cards, through to wearable technology such as watches to non-device based SVFs that store the value of money on mobile and internet based accounts, such as e-wallets.

The Ordinance requires all multi-purpose SVFs to be licensed. Single-purpose SVFs do not have to adhere to the Ordinance, so you may rest assured your pre-paid coffee card will still work after 13th November.

The implementation of the Ordinance sees a significant shift in Hong Kong’s payment’s landscape.

More than 20 companies have applied to the HKMA for SVF licenses with 50% Hong Kong-domiciled companies and 68% engaged in the prepaid card business. Howard Lee, senior executive director at the HKMA, advised that the decision to include only five operators at this point did not mean the remaining applicants had been rejected. We expect to see more licences granted before or after 13th November.

SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator Renews Partnership with Hong Kong Exchange & Clearing (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Hong Kong-based SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator has renewed its partnership with Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX).

SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator was launched in January 2016 with big success seeing a USD $71 million capital investment in accelerator participant MicroCred secured for its expansion in China and the development of their internet finance strategy.

Applications for SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0 are open until 20 October 2016 both early stage and later stage Fintech firms may apply.

India

Barclays launches fintech accelerator programme with 10 fintech startups (The Economic Times, India Times), Rated: AAA

Rise Accelerator, a FinTech- focussed accelerator programme started by Barclays announced its first cohort today, comprising 10 FinTech startups.

The fintech accelerator will provide the selected startups with access to the bank’s technology, insight and expertise via onsite mentors and advisors. It will also enable them to access the international markets.

The 10 shortlisted startups included 4 from Bangalore, 2 each from Mumbai and Delhi and 1 each from Chennai and Hyderabad. The startups focussed on a host of areas like Artificial Intelligence, Data Integration, Predictive Lending etc to solve real time problems associated with the banking and financial sectors.

The London headquartered lender is also planning to support these nascent financial technology companies as an early stage investment which can reap them big returns if they go on to make it big in the emerging fintech space both in India as well as globally.

Online P2P lending marketplace Rupaiya Exchange fast emerging as a game changer in India (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

Putting an end to redundant lending processes in India, Rupaiya Exchange, a leading online peer-to-peer lending platform, is changing the face of the money lending industry. With its pan-India presence, Rupaiya Exchange serves as a marketplace for a wide range of peer to peer (P2P) lending activity including Consumer-to-Consumer loans, Business-to-Consumer loans, and Business-to-Business loans. The service portfolio of the company includes short-term as well as long-term loan instruments which can be either be secured or collateral-free, as per the user requirement.

The platform also holds the distinction of being the first company to introduce a lender’s protection scheme in India.

Fintech companies like BankBazaar promise smarter profits from mutual funds (The Economic Times, India Times), Rated: A

Investing in a mutual fund is considered a smart option, especially for first-time investors, and several fintech startups are looking to make the process simpler and attractive for individuals.

BankBazaar, which has a Sebi-registered investment-adviser licence, is set to use robo-advisory technology, which entails minimal human intervention in financial advice, to help customers invest in the right mutual funds. The feature will be live internally on October 30 and can be used by the public from November 17, CEO Adhil Shetty told ET.

Digital payments startup Trupay will launch a feature this month for real-time investment in mutual funds using its UPI integration.

Zerodha offers a choice of the bestperforming mutual funds, which Nithin Kamath, CEO of Zerodha, said the company is allowed to do using its stockbroker licence, and also uses a simulated systematic investment plan (SIP) to let users customise their investments based on markets instead of fixed periodical investments.

Fintech firm Lendingkart acqui-hires loans marketplace KountMoney (Tech Circle), Rated: B

Fintech startup Lendingkart Group has acqui-hired KountMoney, an online lending marketplace for personal loans, to boost its technology and data analytics capabilities.

Acqui-hire refers to the buyout of a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.

KountMoney connects borrowers and lenders, besides vetting loan applications through an algorithm. It forwards the vetted loan applications to suitable lenders in its network, who take the final call. It also helps borrowers in choosing lenders and submission of documents.

Africa

NFC FinTech Banking Technology and Speed (Finextra), Rated: AAA

Abstract – African financial services industry is in the midst of extraordinary change more and more of the population is becoming part of the formal financial system with mobile technology driven inclusion but still large portion of the market still remains untapped. The race/efforts by nonbank organization’s are still on to find innovative ways to get excluded customers on board. Included consumers are looking for everyday convenience, while businesses are looking for a competitive edge thus resulting in a new breed of products and next-generation payment options. At the same time many consumers still needs to answer for their questions like what do I do on Internet banking, with NFC sticker on back of my $10 mobile phone, with easy solution, open and integrated design technologies?

Introduction- With NFC any device can be a payment device.

NFC or any similar technologies are neither new nor a revolutionary innovation its in existence on this planet since decades, but not all of us are aware to make use of this for payments (Ok I agree most of us are). Mobile payment using NFC has been around for a long time but banks and retailers are hesitant to participate due to fear of low adoption rate.

Main Story – Using combination of technologies like mobile device, bitcoin, blockchain, fintech companies are building Internet of value. The question then is what does this means for financial institutions, governments and citizens.

The challenge to NFC is the cost of devices (Handsets & Receiving devices). Some brands do not take time to invest fully as Apple does.

Security is an integral component of all payments, as sensitive data need to be protected from any fraudulent parties. The card associations have created a set of rules and security standards, which must be followed by anyone with access to card information including gateways. This set of rules and security standards is called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. To add security for both subscriber and merchant (Yes at business cost), as in any financial transaction that’s the golden Key.

Banks will certainly have to judge whether the massive investment they could make, in order to challenge the spreading popularity of payment systems such as PayPal, will be worthwhile, given that PayPal has gained ‘first mover’ advantage and that as highly-regulated financial service companies with duties to both national and continental authorities, they have to abide by stricter rules and security protocols. They must also judge whether their customers will move with them into a new more agile, flexible and electronic future, or whether a majority of people actively prefer the new, low cost (or free) services that have sprung up as part of the digital revolution.

Conclusions- Although we have made great strides to expand access to financial services through new technologies and innovative business models, the gender divide stubbornly persists in most emerging markets.

Time has now come for banks and other entities with an interest in financial service provision, to step up as one single team, exploit technology and leverage on existing MNO infrastructure to acquire customers, enrich use cases, lower costs and increase revenue especially in markets where regulators (such as reserve banks) play a dominant role.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor