Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest

consumer debt

News Comments Today’s main news: iintoo picks the meat off the bones of RealtyShares. Kabbage, Affirm, SoFi among CNBC’s Disruptor 50. LendInvest cuts rates, product fees. Tencent profits, revenues surge. Pleo raises $56M. Prospa closing in on IPO. Paytm offers credit card. Today’s main analysis: LendingTree Personal Loan Offers Report. Is POS trend putting pressure […]

The post Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

consumer debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

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News Summary

United States

This crowdfunding firm just picked the carcass of RealtyShares (The Real Deal), Rated: AAA

New York-based iintoo acquired RealtyShares’ assets, Inman reported. The move boosts the company’s portfolio size to $2.5 billion assets under management from $1 billion, according to the company.

Current and former investors in RealtyShares will be able to access iintoo’s crowdfunding platform, the report said. The deal — terms of which were not disclosed — is a joint venture between iintoo and Texas-based real estate firm RREAF Holdings, LLC, which will manage the investment porftolio.

Meet the 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies (CNBC), Rated: AAA

14. Kabbage

Founders: Rob Frohwein (CEO), Kathryn Petralia (President), Marc Gorlin
Launched: 2009
Headquarters: Atlanta
Funding:
 $489 million
Valuation: $1.2 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning
Industry: 
Credit, financial services, lending

26. SoFi

So far, 600,000 members, $30 billion in loans

33. Affirm

Founders: Max Levchin (CEO), Nathan Gettings, Jeff Kaditz
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding:
 $800+ million
Valuation: $3 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
 Machine learning, software-defined security
Industry: 
e-commerce, financial services, fintech

New LendingClub Account Performance – Q1 2019 (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

In April 2018, LendingClub provided us with $5,000 to open a brand new account. Since then we have been chronicling the status of the account on a quarterly basis. Below are links to the full series of blog posts in chronological order:

Source: Lend Academy

Personal Loan Offers Report – April 2019 (LendingTree), Rated: AAA

Excellent credit (760+ score): Offered APRs to consumers with a credit score of 760+ averaged 9.23% in April.

  • The average best APR offered to all borrowers with credit scores of 760 or above was 9.23%, an increase of 13 basis points from the prior month and an increase of 188 basis points from the same period one year ago.
  • At $20,810, the average loan amounts offered with the best APRs to all borrowers with a score of 760 was up 0.33% ($69) from last month, and down 9.44% ($1,964) from the same period one year ago.
  • The top 10% of offers, presented to borrowers with the best profiles within this group, had offered APRs of 5.15% on average, and loan amounts of $19,489. A borrower with this APR and loan amount would save $1,565 by consolidating debt with a 10% APR over a three-year term.

Is the Point-of-Sale Trend Putting Pressure on Plastic? (Markets Insider), Rated: AAA

The latest entrant to the credit market, point-of-sale loans, may be shaking up how consumers finance large purchases. According to the TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Q1 2019 Industry Insights Report, this phenomenon, combined with the popularity of credit card reward programs, may be particularly taxing for the private label card category.

Year-over-Year Origination Growth

Card Type Q4 2018 Q4 2017 Q4 2016 Q4 2015 Q4 2014 Q4 2013
Private Label -5.5% -6.7% -3.8% -0.1% 4.1% 9.2%
 Bankcard 2.9% 0.1% -4.4% 15.1% 7.4% 18.1%

Q1 2019 Credit Card Trends

 

Credit Card Lending Metric

Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Q1 2017 Q1 2016
 Number of Credit Cards 432.8 million 416.5 million  405.8 million 386.4 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)  1.89%  1.78%  1.69%  1.50%
Average Debt Per Borrower $5,554 $5,472 $5,332 $5,193
Prior Quarter Originations* 16.5 million 16.0 million 16.0 million 16.7 million
Average New Account Credit Lines* $5,296 $5,283 $5,262 $5,091

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Growth in Personal Loans Led by Super Prime Consumers

Personal loan balances continued to climb in Q1 2019, growing 19.2% year over year to a new high of $143 billion. Over the past four years total balances have nearly doubled, growing from $72 billion in Q1 2015. Growth is occurring across all risk tiers with originations increasing 9.7% to 5.0 million in Q4 2018.  Super prime borrowers had the largest growth on the origination front with an increase of 22.5% year-over-year, compared to 19.5% over the same period last year.

Q1 2019 Unsecured Personal Loan Trends

 

Personal Loan Metric

Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Q1 2017 Q1 2016
 Total Balances $143 billion $120 billion $102 billion $93 billion
Number of Unsecured Personal Loans  21.4 million 19.2 million 16.9 million 15.4 million
Number of Consumers with Unsecured Personal Loans  19.3 million 17.6 million 15.7 million 14.7 million
 Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD) 3.47%  3.51% 3.72% 3.59%
 Average Debt Per Borrower $8,618 $7,986 $7,603 $7,544
 Prior Quarter Originations* 5.0 million 4.6 million 3.7 million 4.1 million
Average Balance of New Unsecured Personal Loans* $5,432 $5,044 $5,132 $5,077

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

Credit Card Loan Performance (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

US consumer credit grew by $10.3 Bn in March, at a 3.1% annualized rate, the slowest in nine months. Revolving credit outstanding decreased by $2.18 Bn indicating that consumers ended the quarter more cautious about borrowing. US GDP growth has been propelled by rising consumer spending and a slowdown could put a dampener on growth.

Source: Bloomberg, PeerIQ

30 and 90-day delinquency rates from credit card master trust data

Source: Bloomberg, Bank Credit Card Trust Data, PeerIQ

Declining Credit Enhancement in US MPL ABS is Unwarranted (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fitch is out with a report on marketplace lending (MPL) asset-backed securities (ABS) stating declining credit enhancement is unwarranted.

Fitch states that credit enhancement (CE) levels of ‘Asf’ category rated US MPL ABS have meaningfully declined since 2017, while asset quality remained relatively steady. As a result, bondholders of more recently issued transactions have less loss protection for the same amount of asset risk.

PeerStreet Reports Accelerating Growth as the Real Estate Platform Tops $ 2 Billion in Property Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

This past March, PeerStreet, a real estate crowdfunding platform, announced that it had topped $2 billion in transactions and over $1 billion in Assets Under Management. Three months early in January, that transaction number stood at $1.7 billion. If that pace holds, PeerStreet should be nearing $3 billion in transactions by the end of the year thus firmly establishing itself as a leading property lending platform. While some sectors of real estate crowdfunding have struggled, PeerStreet does not appear to be one of them.

WealthStone Announces Real Estate Platform (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

WealthStone LLC announces the formation of its new real estate platform.

Typical investments require between $10 million to $100 million in total capitalization per project, including prudent leverage. These assets are expected to provide a total annualized return of 10% to 12%, including an annual cash dividend of 5% to 8% to the equity invested in its projects.

WealthStone aims to allocate approximately $300 million of equity capital for an estimated $700 million of total investments in a variety of real estate ventures during its current deployment phase.

Fintech seeks to help customers avoid overdrafts — with assist from a big bank (American Banker), Rated: A

The savings app provider Digit on Tuesday unveiled an instant withdrawals feature that will let users move money from their Digit account to their bank account instantly. This can help them meet emergencies and avoid incurring overdraft fees and resorting to payday loans.

Startup Launches To Combine All Of Your Credit And Debit Cards Into One Digital Card (Forbes), Rated: A

Forget checking your balance on your mobile phone. Startup Binji wants you to use your debit card instead.

In stealth mode for the past twelve months, the Irvine, California fintech is launching a debit Mastercard that enables consumers to consolidate as many as twenty-four credit cards and debit cards into a single account.

Connecting the Unbanked to A Friendlier Ecosystem (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

P2P lending platforms like AssetStream are introducing significant improvements in the world of financing, which makes lending and borrowing friendlier and more easily accessible services.

How do We Empower a Growing Number of Small Enterprises? (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

To be exact, if a company with relatively worse credit score applies for a large loan, let’s say $1 million, they’re more likely to be approved than a smaller, more trustworthy company that applied for a $100,000 on the same terms.

Data privacy, AI, regulation: Small-business lending is changing fast (American Banker), Rated: A

“We used to have 14,000 banks. When I started at the SBA, we were down to about 8- or 9,000 banks. Now we’re down to 5,000 banks.”

Much of the technology that is transforming how small-business lending gets done is coming from fintechs, and Mills sees “the next wave of the fintech evolution” as a partnership between these innovators and banks. “Particularly small banks,” she says.

Listen to the podcast here.

Goldman Sachs execs are opening up about their plans for Marcus (Business Insider), Rated: A

The bank has made more than $5 billion in consumer loans since making the first loan in October 2016. It has also attracted more than $46 billion in deposits.

Talwar’s comments may foreshadow the next phase of Marcus’ growth, which will center on three pillars:

1. Free financial-management software offered by Clarity Money, which was bought by Goldman last year and is likely to be rebranded at some point.

2. Direct-to-consumer products such as loan and deposit products, potentially in addition to wealth-management and insurance products.

3. Strategic partnerships.

Walmart Offers Even.com To Improve Employee Financial Health (Forbes), Rated: A

Although Even.com can let Walmart employees access their wages ahead of payday, that is its least important features, according to its CEO, Jon Schlossberg. For $8 a month — like many employees Walmart pays a share of the fee — it aims to improve financial wellness. It shows  users with a glance at a smart phone how much they have left to spend safely and helps them save for specific goals.

Millennials Are Helping to Sound the Credit Card Alarm (Bloomberg), Rated: A

First, the charge-off rate among card issuers in the first quarter increased to the highest level in almost seven years. The figure is effectively a gauge of “bad debt” — it reflects the percentage of loans companies have concluded will never be repaid. As Bloomberg News’s Jenny Surane noted last month, executives like Capital One Financial Corp. CEO Richard Fairbank chalked that up to the length of this economic expansion causing some negative credit events during the financial crisis to disappear from credit bureau reports, essentially making risky borrowers look stronger.

Crypto Startup Launches Bitcoin Term Deposit Offering 9% Annual Interest (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

A Delaware-based cryptocurrency startup called BitLeague has recently launched a Bitcoin term deposit product designed to bring mainstream-like services to the crypto economy and attract new users.

The move was announced at Consensus 2019 and, according to a press release, the term deposit will offer 9% annual interest, with a lock-in period of 3 to 36 months.

Human Rights Watch Comment on CFPB Proposal (HRW.org), Rated: A

According to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately 12 million Americans take out payday loans and 2.5 million take out vehicle-title loans each year.[3] The short-term nature of these loans and their repayment structure drive about 80 percent of borrowers to re-borrow frequently and repeatedly pay fees to refinance their accumulated debt.[4]  The 2017 rule establishes logical baselines for consumer protection, including by requiring lenders to verify that borrowers have the ability to repay the loan and its associated fees prior to issuing a loan.

The vast majority, around 73 percent, of survey respondents reported household incomes under US$40,000, with an average of two children each, and nearly half had taken out a payday, auto title, or both types of short-term loans. People reported taking out loans most often to cover unexpected expenses, but also for their everyday expenses and groceries. More than half of those who took out a loan said they had trouble repaying their loans and associated fees.[8]

Fintech charter delayed following court ruling: Otting (American Banker), Rated: A

In a recent sit-down with American Banker, Otting said he no longer expects to have a fintech firm formally apply for the new special purpose bank charter in the second quarter of the year, after a federal judge ruled May 2 that the New York State Department of Financial Services could continue with its case to invalidate the charter.

Accomplished Human Resources Executive Joins Online Small Business Lender (OnDeck), Rated: B

OnDeck today announced the appointment of Deb Stroff as the company’s Chief People Officer.  Ms. Stroff will be responsible for leading all aspects of people strategy, including overseeing organizational design, total rewards, talent management, recruiting, leadership development and learning, as well as driving the talent agenda forward as OnDeck continues to grow in scale and complexity.

Roostify and Docutech Join Forces to Amplify the Consumer Experience (Roostify), Rated: B

Roostify announced the finalization of its integration with Docutech, a provider of document eSign, eClose and print fulfillment technology.

By joining forces with Docutech, Roostify consumers can now view, complete, and eSign documents, all within the Roostify platform.

CrowdStreet Appoints Award-Winning FinTech Innovator Donna Wells to its Advisory Board (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

CrowdStreet, Inc., a technology provider with an online marketplace for direct equity investment in commercial real estate (CRE), today announced the appointment of financial technology entrepreneur Donna Wells to its Advisory Board. The news comes on the heels of the company passing the $500 million threshold in total online investments with a record number of new individual investors.

Cadre Expands Executive Team, Appointing Sam Mischner as Chief Commercial Officer (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Cadre announced today that Sam Mischner has joined the company in the role of Chief Commercial Officer. Mischner brings expertise in strategic sales and operational excellence to Cadre, where he will oversee marketing, sales, and operations.

LendingPoint CEO Chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Southeast by EY (BusinessWire), Rated: B

LendingPoint is excited to announce that CEO and founder Tom Burnside was selected as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Southeast. The program recognizes entrepreneurs in more than 145 cities around the world who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

United Kingdom

LendInvest cuts rates and product fees (Mortgage Introducer), Rated: AAA

LendInvest has dropped its product fees and lowered interest rates for both of its 5-year fixed rate buy-to-let remortgage products for a limited time.  

The products will be available on standard property cases up to 75% loan-to-value and up to £250,000 in loan size.

The products are offered at an interest rate of 3.60%, with the ICR calculated at the pay rate, or at an interest rate of 3.49% with the ICR calculated at 5%. Both products will have zero product fee.

CapitalRise secures new institutional funding line to write larger loans (AltFi), Rated: A

Specialist property lending platform CapitalRise has secured a £30m institutional funding line from a major financial institutional investor, as it looks to expand its loan book.

The new £30 million facility was received from a UK bank, whose name is undisclosed.

OakNorth completes £30m loan-on-loan facility with Hilltop Credit Partners (Fintech Finance), Rated: A

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed its first finance deal with Hilltop Credit Partners, a specialist funding partner for small and mid-sized residential property developers and housebuilders.

The £30m loan-on-loan facility will be used to support the recently launched real estate development lending platform, led by Paul Oberschneider, who has more than 25 years of experience in property development and asset management. Backed by Round Hill Capital, a global real estate investment firm with a focus on macro-driven residential real estate investment strategies, Hilltop Credit Partners aims to help developers who know their local markets but need access to tailored financing solutions in order to fund their projects.

Crypto lending platform for business launches this month (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

London-based financial services firm Mode has announced its first product – a crypto-backed lending platform for businesses – will launch later this month.

The company is aiming to become the UK’s first fully-regulated digital-asset bank as it works on building an ecosystem of products and services designed to bridge the gap between digital and traditional finance.

The service is aimed at companies which hold Bitcoin and Ethereum – whether through direct purchase, investment, or as payment from clients.

How to Build Your Own Startup with Micro-financing? (Cryptopolitan), Rated: A

A report on This is MONEY shows that more than 50% of UK startups with less than 50 employees were rejected for bank loans. More so, 37% of SMEs are likely to give up their search for loans after their first approach is rejected.

P2P investing not always ‘high-risk’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A

Imagine an asset class where investor returns have been overwhelmingly positive every year since its inception and incredibly stable, hovering around the mid-single digits, without the rollercoaster of the stock market.

OakNorth completes £2.5m loan to multi-site specialist school, Cressey College (fe news), Rated: B

OakNorth completes £2.5m loan to multi-site specialist school, Cressey College, to support the groups growth strategy.

Finastra appoints Mark Miller as Chief Financial Officer (Virtual Strategy), Rated: A

Finastra has announced the appointment of Mark Miller as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective May 13, 2019.

Mark is a seasoned finance executive, with nearly 25 years of global technology, finance and operational experience. He has worked at several industry-leading companies including, most recently, Marketo, where he was CFO and travel technology firm Sabre Corporation, where he spent 18 years in a number of leadership and executive roles including CFO.

China

Tencent profit tops forecast as fintech and cloud revenues surge (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Tencent Holdings Ltd posted record quarterly profit on Wednesday, smashing market expectations, as the social media and gaming giant booked a rise in the value of its investments while fintech and cloud revenues helped make up for declines in games.

In the three months ended March, Tencent saw 17% growth in net profit to 27 billion yuan ($3.93 billion), beating the 19.4 billion yuan average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Boosting profit was a 46% rise in “net other gains”, such as from investments, to 11.1 billion yuan. Revenue, however, came in just shy of analyst estimates at 85.5 billion yuan, with growth at an all-time low of 16%.

European Union

Business card management platform Pleo raises $ 56m (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

Fintech Pleo, the business spending platform based around smart company cards, has raised $56 million in a Series B financing round led by Stripes, a New York-based growth fund.

Pleo will use the funding round to more than triple its headcount, from 120 to 400 employees by the end of 2020 and to accelerate product development as it aims to service the entire purchase process for SMEs across the whole of Europe. This includes adding credit, invoices, mobile payments, a vendor marketplace, VAT reclaim and more.

International

More global banks commit to Finastra’s Fusion LenderComm (Realwire), Rated: A

Finastra has signed three global banks on its Fusion LenderComm platform as part of a coordinated campaign, including BNP Paribas, Natixis and Societe Generale. With NatWest, which joined recently, the ramp up signals a move towards a new era of efficiency in this complex space.

How to capture Gen Z spend (Drapers Online), Rated: A

In a survey, 58% told Klarna that they would pay more than $5 (£3.90) for one-hour delivery – if brands cannot compete, then consumers will take their custom elsewhere.

Leading the way in terms of sustainability, 72% said they would pay more for sustainably sourced products, 55% would abandon a purchase if it was not sustainable, and 83% said it is important that brands prove be “pro-equality”.

Klarna found that most of this generation still frequent the high street, and do so more than any other age group.

Australia

Prospa IPO books close; on track for June 11 listing (AFR), Rated: AAA

Investment banks Macquarie and UBS are set to underwrite Prospa’s $610 million sharemarket float after running a bookbuild to sell the shares.

The brokers closed the bookbuild at 2pm on Wednesday and funds were told the lead managers had secured enough support to raise the $110 million required for Propsa’s initial public offering.

Home loan discount frenzy drives bargains for borrowers (Mozo), Rated: A

Popular online lender Tic:Toc has launched a $1,000 cashback offer for all new customers, while competitor loans.com.au has dropped its variable rate below 3.50% to match Tic:Toc’s ultra low rates. Homestar has a competitive low rate plus fee waiver offer on the market, while Virgin Money is enticing new customers with Velocity rewards points.

India

India’s largest mobile wallet company Paytm now offers a credit card (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

The firm, operated by One97 Communications, today unveiled Paytm First Credit Card with lofty benefits as it races to bulk up its financial offerings. The cards, issued by Citi Bank, will be the first in the country to offer unlimited, one percent cashback on purchases, Paytm claimed in a statement. The company is hoping to rope in about 25 million credit card customers in the coming months.

The penetration of credit cards remains very low in India with under 50 million peoplepossessing one.

SIDBI’s pilot scheme for fintech NBFCs to boost digital lending (Business Line), Rated: A

To give a fillip to digital lending, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has put together a pilot scheme to extend financial assistance of up to 10 crore to new-age fintech non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing small businesses and other income-generating activities.

Asia

P2P lending in Vietnam (krASIA), Rated: AAA

In Vietnam, where the economy is booming, approximately 79% of the population is unbanked. Without a banking account, it is almost impossible for people to access financial services such as insurance and loans. The phenomenon is called “financial exclusion.”

The country has an internet penetration rate of 67%, higher than the region’s average of 58%, and nearly three-quarters of the adult population owns a smartphone.

Vietnam is fertile ground for massive fintech adoption, particularly in peer-to-peer (P2P lending).

P2P Lending to Overcome Financial Exclusion (SME Magazine), Rated: A

The global P2P market is estimated to be worth US$490 billion in 2020. By then, Vietnam’s own P2P market is expected to be US$7.8 billion, almost doubling from US$4.4 billion in 2017 according to estimates by APAC-focused consulting firm Solidiance. Currently, there are over 40 P2P lenders operating within Vietnam; several of which are prominent due to their size and reach.

Innoven Capital pulls in USD 200 million from Temasek and UOB (krASIA), Rated: A

Singapore-headquartered venture debt firm Innoven Capital received an additional USD 200 million in funding from its shareholders – Temasek Holdings and United Overseas Bank (UOB). The firm said it’s doing this in anticipation of the massive potential that Asia’s venture debt space offers.

Canada

Koho Secures $ 42M in Series B Funding (Finsmes), Rated: AAA

Koho, a Toronto, Canada-based fintech company that provides Canadians with a mobile current account and Visa card, closed a $42m Series B funding round.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Business card management platform Pleo raises $56m

The post Thursday May 16 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

The Technology Edge: How Non-Banks are Seeking to Dominate Point of Sale Lending

The Technology Edge: How Non-Banks are Seeking to Dominate Point of Sale Lending

LendIt Fintech USA 2018, April 9-11 in San Francisco, was a huge success. One of the more interesting panels was on how the non-banking sector is taking over point-of-sale (POS) lending. Kim Gerhardt, director at the San Francisco office of Edgar, Dunn and Company, moderated the panel. Other panelists included Peter Kalen, Michael Garrity, Mark […]

The Technology Edge: How Non-Banks are Seeking to Dominate Point of Sale Lending

LendIt Fintech USA 2018, April 9-11 in San Francisco, was a huge success. One of the more interesting panels was on how the non-banking sector is taking over point-of-sale (POS) lending. Kim Gerhardt, director at the San Francisco office of Edgar, Dunn and Company, moderated the panel. Other panelists included Peter Kalen, Michael Garrity, Mark Lorimer, and Camilo Concha.

Kalen is founder and CEO of Flexiti Financial, a Canadian company founded in 2013 that specializes in providing easy, instant POS financing through its award-winning mobile application process.

Garrity is co-founder, CEO, and president of a platform that has enabled merchants to facilitate consumer lending since November 2010. Financeit has processed over $2.5 billion in loan applications from thousands of merchants.

Lorimer represents LendingPoint, a lending company founded in 2014 that focuses on personal loans and debt consolidation. He is chief marketing officer. LendingPoint recently acquired LoanHero, which is in the POS lending business.

Finally, Concha is founder and CEO of LendingUSA, a company that provides innovative financing solutions with a specialization in POS lending. LendingUSA was launched in 2013 and caters to consumer finance in a variety of sectors from medical, pet care, consumer goods and services, etc.

Over the years, the POS lending industry has gained scale and seen a radical change. A convergence can be witnessed in the way payments are made and fintech lending is facilitated. The opportunity in POS financing is massive, and banks seemed to have missed the ball. Traditional banks strive to serve everyone, but when it comes to POS lending, merchants have to filter their prospective customers through a narrow funnel extending loans to a comparatively small customer base.

Flexiti Financial’s Entry in POS Lending

When Peter Kalen was asked about what brought Flexiti Financial into the business, the product that it is offering, and the level of traction it has been able to create in the market among other merchants, he articulated that Flexiti’s product is somewhat similar to what Synchrony or Alliance Data System is offering. Flexiti differs in the way transactions take place and aims to reduce the time consumed in the loan application process.

Many organizations issue private label credit cards, but application processes are long and approval rates low. With its experience and vision, Flexiti Financial has successfully introduced a 100% paperless process to offer instant POS financing. Its virtual credit card application can be downloaded from the Google Play store and the Apple store.

These private label cards speed up the loan application process, bringing the process down to three minutes. This is a win-win for retailers and customers. The platform improves the online retailer’s UX by removing the friction at the front-end.

Financeit and Point of Sale Lending

Garrity also shared his views on point of sale lending. He put emphasis on the fact that personal lending is more about new transactions and focuses less on lending. Everything in POS lending, from the technology to APIs is obsessed with enabling easy sales for merchants, improving their experience, and supporting them as they try to close more business. Merchants and customers want financing options, but they do not want to indulge in complicated programs.

Another area that Financeit targets is debt consolidation. The company has delivered a platform that makes it easy for businesses to offer powerful financing options to their customers from any device.

When asked about how they excel at delivering services to customers, Garrity said they have acquired Centah Inc, a company operating in home improvement work-flow and lead management software with joint partner and investor Goldman Sachs. The company redesigned its website to create a platform that manages the process, helps businesses connect with customers, provide dispatch scheduling systems, and represent financing options to customers throughout the process. He warnes other players that if they only focus on financing and not on the transaction, they will be missing out on an important aspect of dominating this space.

LendingUSA’s Role in POS Lending

Gerhardt asked Concha about his journey into this industry. Concha shared that LendingUSA focuses on point-of-need financing, which sits at the intersection of point of sale and fintech. He believes that businesses in today’s era are not required to be good but great if they want to be successful, and they are required to be great in all aspects, namely, marketing, technology, underwriting, and risk mitigation.

Concha started with a company called 1800mysurgeon that matched cosmetic surgeons with consumers. After starting the company, he realized the need for financing as an important part of the business. He decided to create a platform to interact with both surgery and finance to enhance the merchant’s experience.

LendingPoint’s Emergence In POS Lending

LendingPoint started as a direct consumer online lender specializing in 600-700 FICO score customers. Lorimer emphasized that the company understood very early that customer experience is crucial to POS transactions. Although the players in the market now are very good at generating products that banks like to own, they do not necessarily focus on the merchandise. LendingPoint simplifies the lending process by sharing risk and administering payment plans. LendingPoint also offers merchants risk programs to extend in-house, end-to-end services.

Marketing With Established Merchants

All the banks playing in the market are working to deliver better services to customers in different ways. The biggest players historically are Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Synchrony Financial. They all have significant relationships.

The question is whether these big banks can be a part of this game. Concha believes that banks are an important part of the ecosystem. These banks are good for purchasing loans but are constrained by reputational risks, marketing, and other issues. Lorimer added that LendingPoint also works with some established banks. Talking of the role of hard pull and soft pull in availing credit, he shared that because a hard pull impacts the credit report of the customer, it is a cause for low approval rates. Soft pulls, on the other hand, do not affect the credit score of the credit seeker leading to a higher approval rate for loans.

Garrity shared his point of view on the tie-ups with established banks and financial institutions that become balance sheet lenders. He said they are participants in securitization, originations, and selling. He believes there is clearly an opportunity for all the stakeholder businesses to grow. Online POS lending usually operates separately considering the fact that it is complicated and technology-driven. Banks are, therefore, slow followers of fintech companies.

The Technology Edge Leads to Domination

The next important aspect analyzed was whether it is the technology that enables online POS lending businesses to dominate the lending space.

Kalen believes technology is the most important element of this space. Concha believes this space is all about keeping merchants and customers happy and building long-lasting relationships with them in the process. Lorimer questions the integration of technology among banks and whether banks will be able to adapt to complex technologies. He believes banks aren’t set up to do that, but to deliver a mass homogenous customer service. Garrity, on the other hand, believes the less you see the technology, the more attractive it is; he also thinks it is better for the merchant to focus on increasing the business close rates.

Talking about data management, Lorimer believes technology definitely provides an edge to the business on the back end. The data is the source for everything and it is analyzed and configured to improve the experience. As technology enables automation and brings security, users can access everything at one place and find it already stored in the system.

Kalen agrees that technology is a boon for backend data management. He added to the discussion saying that the more established players have an edge as they have been in business for many years. They have been able to hone their skills over a period of time.

Concha also believes that technology will work for the POS lending as it is different from other businesses. There is a major role of risk, debt, and strong relationships in POS lending, and none of these can be managed properly without technology.

The Challenges of POS Lending

Technology, scale, and partnerships:
Kalen from Flexiti views POS lending as a very different business than retail lending. Getting customers and coping with technology are major challenges. Other challenges that non-bank businesses face are focusing on the scale. It is important for the business to look at the credit cycle and beware of fraudulent practices as it increases the scale of operations.

Credit cycle:
Being on the right side of the credit cycle is crucial to every lending business. The access to credit in the credit cycle determines the risk and therefore the value of the business. Businesses must prepare their strategies, keeping the future in mind.

Regulation:
Lorimer believes this space requires more regulation since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not very active. Poor regulation and lack of control pose a major risk to the players in the market.

Availability of capital and credit risk:
Another challenge is the availability of capital to extend lending facilities. The fear of credit facilities drying up in a day also bothers businesses.

The Takeaway

Kalen has realized that success does not come easy. The companies in this space need to understand that a lot of lending capital is required along with an understanding of the tricks of the trade.

Concha believes it is a 3-step learning process where the business is required to go through a testing phase, an education phase, and an adoption phase.

With LendingPoint’s recent acquisition of LoanHero, it is comparatively a new entrant in the market.

The crux of the entire discussion is that POS lenders must be specialized to survive in the market. The business has to endeavor to offer value added merchant services instead of being a one-stop shop to be successful. There is a lot of room for growth provided one understands the complexities of the trade.

Author:

Stephanie Vaughan is vice president at  Allen TaylorPosted on Categories Alliance Data System, alternative lending, Analysis, balance sheet lending, Banks, CFPB, Citigroup, consumer lending, Credit, credit risk, Featured, FICO, Financeit, Flexiti Financial, instant financing, LendingPoint, LendingUSA, LendIt 2018, Online Lending, point of sale financing, point of sale lending, POS financing, POS lending, Regulation, Synchrony Financial, Wells Fargo

Friday February 9 2018, Daily News Digest

personal loans

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi brightens startup scene in Helena, Montana. LendingTree rates Upgrade #1 personal loan. UK P2PFA gets a new head. India considering digital payments tax rebate for P2P lenders. Today’s main analysis: Why point-of-sale lending is hot. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Industrial loan company (ILC) applications may soon be seen in a positive light. P2P lending […]

personal loans

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

India

Canada

Africa

News Summary

United States

Startup Fever is Catching on Everywhere (Even in this Little Montana Town) (Inc.), Rated: AAA

There is a new millennial-friendly mixed-use development with a high-end steakhouse, movie theater, and hotel. And yes, even a town of 30,000 located more than 500 miles from the closest major metropolitan areas (Salt Lake and Seattle) has an entrepreneurial ecosystem. In fact, in some ways Helena has a startup scene larger cities would be jealous of. A few years ago, SoFi, the online student loan servicer that also provides personal loans and mortgages, contracted with two local programmers to help build their platform.

One of those programmers, David Thompson, is a graduate of the University of Montana-Western, Montana Tech, and the University of Montana. David had no interest in moving to the Bay Area, and successfully convinced SoFi to locate a substantial portion of its engineering team in Helena. Today SoFi is multi-billion-dollar startup, and David is the VP of Engineering, managing more than 100 programmers and engineers out of two locations in Helena.

For the last several decades–and especially over the last few years–we’ve heard a lot about the death of small towns and middle America. However, the success of SoFi and the emerging startup scene in Helena shows the potential for tech companies to be agents of economic revitalization in small towns and cities outside of the coasts.

LendingClub Schedules Fourth Quarter 2017 Earnings Release and Conference Call (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

LendingClub (NYSE: LC), America’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, announced that it will report earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, after market hours. LendingClub will host a conference call to discuss the fourth quarter financial results at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on the same day.

A live webcast of the call will be available at  under the Events & Presentations menu. To access the call please dial +1 (888) 317-6003 or outside the U.S. +1 (412) 317-6061 with conference ID 8062913 ten minutes prior to 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (or 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

Elevate Credit Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Release Available on Its Investor Relations Website (BusinessWire), Rated: B

Elevate Credit, Inc. (“Elevate”), a leading tech-enabled provider of innovative and responsible online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. Elevate has posted its fourth quarter and full year earnings release to its Investor Relations webpage at 

The Company will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter and full year financial results on Thursday, February 8th at 4:00 p.m. Central Time / 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Interested parties may access the conference call live over the phone by dialing 1-877-407-0792 (domestic) or 1-201-689-8263 (international) and requesting the Elevate Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Participants are asked to dial in a few minutes prior to the call to register for the event. The conference call will also be webcast live through Elevate’s website at 

Upgrade, Inc. Rated #1 Personal Loan by LendingTree (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Upgrade, Inc. (), a consumer credit platform that combines personal loans with tools that help consumers understand and monitor their credit, announced that it has been named #1 in the personal loans category for the fourth quarter of 2017 by LendingTree.

Why point-of-sale lending is hot right now (American Banker), Rated: AAA

But research conducted by banks and fintechs has found that many younger Americans are uncomfortable carrying credit card balances, partly because they saw their parents struggle with debt during the financial crisis and prefer the more certain repayment terms of installment loans.

Personal loans issued by banks — these exclude credit cards and auto and home equity loans — hit a record $807 billion at Sept. 30, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., up 9% from two years earlier and nearly 30% since 2012. That’s not even including the many billions of dollars of loans made by upstart online lenders that don’t end up on banks’ balance sheets.

San Francisco-based Affirm originated more than $1 billion in point-of-sale loans last year — and, increasingly, regional banks that are funding the loans, either directly or behind the scenes.

Source: American Banker

Inside Overstock.com’s financial services strategy (Tearsheet), Rated: A

For the past few months, the 19-year-old e-commerce company has been quietly building out FinanceHub, a sort of marketplace for financial services that includes existing Overstock credit cards and insurance products; loans by LendingTree, Prosper and Sofi; a robo-adviser for automated investing, as of last week — and as of Tuesday morning, a discounted trading platform.

Fintech Firms Look to Enter Banking Via Century-Old Tactic (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Financial-technology firms eager to offer banking products are eyeing a century-old model that fell out of favor during the financial crisis but could see a revival under the Trump administration.

The industrial loan company charter, available in a handful of states and particularly popular in Utah, allows nonfinancial companies to enter the banking sector without being subject to many of its restrictions, including oversight by the Federal Reserve. Companies seeking the charters must still obtain deposit insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which last approved insurance for an industrial loan company in 2008.

That could soon change. President Donald Trump’s pick to head the FDIC, Jelena McWilliams, suggested during Senate testimony last month that she would look favorably on new applications.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Who Is Chris Larsen? Founder Of Ripple Tops Forbes Cryptocurrency List (International Business Times), Rated: A

According to Forbes, Larsen’s net worth is between $7.5 billion and $8 billion in cryptocurrency, in large part thanks to his massive holding of Ripple—the cryptocurrency he co-founded in 2012.

Larsen, a Stanford M.B.A. and veteran Silicon Valley player, is no stranger to the world of digital finance. Prior to his involvement in cryptocurrency, he co-founded the online mortgage lender E-Loan. The company was valued at $1 billion in 2000. In 2006, he co-founded Prosper Marketplace—the first peer-to-peer lending marketplace in the United States.

Goldman Sachs is trying to build the ultimate financial destination for the masses (Business Insider), Rated: A

Individuals looking to saddle up with the prestigious bank needed to fork over a minimum investment of $10 million for wealth management services. The typical client had more than $50 million in investable assets.

Personal Capital Launches Socially Responsible Investing (Finovate), Rated: A

Wealth tech company Personal Capital is making it easier for investors to put their money in causes that are important to them with the launch of its Socially Responsible Personal Strategy today.

Autobooks Raises $ 10M in Series A1 Funding Round (Finsmes), Rated: A

Autobooks, a Detroit, MI-based fintech startup, raised $10M in Series A1 funding.

Toyota partners with AI firm Aire to spot finance delinquency (Motor Finance), Rated: A

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) has launched an evaluation of AI software from Aire to spot customers with higher risks of delinquency.

Aire’s machine learning technology will identify which lessees have entered customer delinquency by skipping a payment, and will give TFS an estimate on how likely they are to default on further instalments.

Aire’s software has already been used by lenders, including p2p lender Zopa, in the initial credit application phase.

Confluent Continues Momentum in 2017 with 4X Subscription Growth (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Confluent, provider of the streaming platform based on Apache Kafka, today announced 2017 results, which include 4X subscription growth year over year and 98 percent customer satisfaction.

In the 2017 Apache Kafka Report, many companies reported using the distributed streaming platform for more accurate and faster decision making, reduced operating costs, improved customer experiences and reduced risk. 1 in 4 respondents work for organizations with more than $1 billion in annual sales, illustrating how quickly this technology has gained traction across large enterprises. In addition, more than 15% of respondents are processing more than a billion messages a day.

Other 2017 highlights include:

  • Raised $30 million from Sequoia, Index Ventures and Benchmark to meet global demand for streaming platforms.
  • Expanded employee base by 120 percent, added numerous offices throughout the US and extended its footprint to six additional countries.
  • Added new customers around the globe, including Alight Solutions, Capital One, Funding Circle, HomeAway and Nordea Bank.
  • Announced the general availability of Confluent Cloud, an Apache Kafka as a Service offering that empowers enterprises and developers to move faster with streaming data.
  • Surpassed 200 partners, including some of the largest Systems Integrators and Platform partners in the industry.

Fintech partnerships can work (American Banker), Rated: A

That Radius Bank in Boston would strike another fintech partnership — it announced one Wednesday with the startup Mantl, which is trying to cut down online-account openings to four minutes — is less revealing than its part in Radius’ evolving MO.

When Nathaniel Harley, CEO of Mantl, first visited Radius, he was seeking feedback on a personal financial management technology the company was working on. But he was quickly talked into changing the direction of his company.

The two companies started building an account-opening system for all digital channels in March 2017. They worked to reduce manual entry and other hassles from the account-opening process. Mantl brought in one of its own fintech partners, Alloy, to handle much of the decisions, including anti-money-laundering checks, identity verification and fraud detection. Radius and Mantl used Alloy’s workflow management tool to configure the decision-making process.

Source: The American Banker

Mulvaney can’t just kill CFPB payday rule, but here’s what he can do (American Banker), Rated: A

Banking rules cannot be rewritten overnight, and so acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney has a tall order remaking the payday loan regulation crafted under his predecessor. But observers say Mulvaney has options for altering the rule to the industry’s favor.

One option would be to refocus the rule on disclosure requirements, which would be several steps short of a repeal but more amenable to lenders than the current CFPB regulation.

Democratic senators demand answers on CFPB’s stalled Equifax data breach investigation (Housingwire), Rated: A

Did the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau kill its investigation into Equifax’s data breach that exposed the personal information of 145.5 million U.S. consumers to hackers?

On Thursday, a group of 32 Democratic senators sent a letter to the CFPB, demanding answers on the state of the bureau’s investigation into the Equifax breach.

CFPB Seeks Comment on its Enforcement Processes (The National Law Review), Rated: A

The CFPB has issued a request for information that seeks comment on how the agency can best achieve meaningful burden reduction or other improvement in the processes it uses to enforce federal consumer financial law while continuing to meet the CFPB’s statutory objectives and ensuring a fair and transparent process.  Comments on the RFI must be received no later than 60 days after the date it is published in the Federal Register, which the CFPB expects to be February 12, 2018.

In the new RFI, the CFPB now seek comment on all aspects of its enforcement processes but lists the following seven topics:

  • Communication between the CFPB and subjects of investigations, including timing and frequency of such communications and information provided by the CFPB on the status of an investigation
  • Length of CFPB investigations
  • Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (NORA) process, including whether the NORA process should be mandatory rather than discretionary and the information contained in letters the CFPB may send to potential subjects of investigations pursuant to the NORA process
  • Whether subjects of potential enforcement actions should have the right to make an in-person presentation to the CFPB before the CFPB decides whether to initiate legal proceedings
  • Calculation of civil money penalties, including whether the CFPB should adopt a civil penalty matrix
  • Standard provisions in CFPB consent orders
  • Manner and extent to which the CFPB can and should coordinate enforcement activity with other federal and/or state agencies with overlapping jurisdiction

Altegris To Merge With Artivest (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Altegris, an alternative investment research and management firm, and Artivest, an alternative investment technology firm, announced today that they plan to merge under the name Artivest, pending customary corporate and regulatory conditions to closing. The joint 100-person team will service over $3 billion in client capital—immediately becoming the largest independent alternative investment technology and solutions firm for wealth managers, fund managers, and independent advisors.

SharesPost Launches Unit Focused On Initial Coin Offerings; Hedge Fund Executive John Wu To Lead Group (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Taking a next step in its mission to provide liquidity to private growth companies,SharesPost today announced the launch of its Digital Securities Group.

The Digital Securities Group will bring security token issuers and investors into the SharesPost private marketplace. Token issuers and investors will use SharesPost’s existing Alternative Trading System to invest in ICO’s and trade in digital securities in compliance with U.S. securities laws.

Lenders to allow Airbnb income on mortgage forms (MarketWatch), Rated: A

Homeowners soon will be able to count income they earn from Airbnb Inc. rentals on applications for refinance loans.

A new program — expected to be announced on Thursday by Airbnb, mortgage giant Fannie Mae and three big lenders — will allow anyone who has rented out property on Airbnb for a year or longer to count some or all of that money as income.

SEC Exams to Focus on Disclosures, Robos, Cryptocurrencies (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: B

In 2018 the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations plans to pay closer attention to matters involving retail investors, particularly when it comes to disclosures, and zero in on cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and secondary market trading, the regulator says in a press release.

The regulator will also continue monitoring digital advice platforms, with a special focus on their compliance programs, including algorithm oversight, investor data protection and disclosures of conflicts of interest, according to the exam priorities. The SEC has made progress in the ratio of investment advisors it examines each year, from just 8% five years ago to 15% in fiscal year 2017, the regulator says. In 2018, the SEC plans to target those advisors it has never examined before, according to the regulator.

Former Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller joins loanDepot brand family as CEO of mello Home (loanDepot), Rated: B

LD Holdings Group, LLC, parent company of loanDepot, the nation’s fifth largest retail lender, today appointed top real estate executive Chris Heller to head its recently-launched mello Home business. Combining digital simplicity and smart local advice, mello Home seamlessly connects home buying, financing, and improvement services into a single consumer experience.

Fintech looks to the future of financial advice at T3 (InvestmentNews), Rated: B

If the theme of the 2017 T3 Conference was the fiduciary rule, 2018 was all about the future of financial advice.

Quovo launched Cue, a new alerts engine that leverages Quovo’s aggregation technology to notify financial advisers about account activity and client milestones.

MoneyGuidePro announced a new partnership with MX, a data aggregation provider, that lets advisers bring held-away assets into the financial planning software.

 

United Kingdom

UK P2P Finance Association Announces a New Leader (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

It was through the work of the P2PFA, led by Christine Farnish, that these regulations were sensible and promoted the growth of the industry there. And while this initial regulatory framework is currently being reviewed by the FCA, today, the UK is one of the most competitive markets in the world in no small part because of these initial regulations.

Paul Smee brings more than 17 years experience in leading trade bodies in the UK. Previously, he was Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders for six years so he comes with experience leading finance trade bodies. He looks like a great choice to take over from Christine.

City Moves for 9 February 2018 – who’s switching jobs at Lendy, RegTek.Solutions and M&G? (City A.M.), Rated: B

Lendy, one of Europe’s leading P2P secured property platforms, is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Wawrzyniak as its new head of finance. Andrew was previously head of finance at Fund Partners, a leading fund manager, which specialises in the operation of collective investment schemes.

RegTek.Solutions, the market-leading control and compliance software provider for global trade and transaction reporting, has appointed Rob Bernstein as chief financial officer (CFO).

Rebuildingsociety partners with Leeds Council to support local businesses (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

PEER-TO-PEER business lender Rebuildingsociety has secured an agreement with Leeds City Council whereby the local authority funds loans through its platform.

The council will review business loan requests from companies with an LS postcode prefix, consider the industry and location of the company, and contribute to the loan amounts required by suitable applicants.

European Union

P2P Lending Is Becoming A Significant Income Source For Young Investors (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

According to Robo.cash, P2P lending is turning to a significant source of additional income for the growing number of the European investors.

The online lending platform also confirmed:

“The majority of investors are in the age groups: 25-34 years — 40%, 35-44 years — 31%, 45-60 years — 20%. The less number is the age of 18-24 years (6%) and 61 plus (3%). These figures are supported by the employment of investors: employees — 72%, entrepreneurs — 15%, students — 6%, retiree — 2%. At the same time, the most investors are just getting acquainted with P2P-services (52%) and the comparable number already has at least one-year practice: 1-3 years — 34% and over 4 years — 13%.”

Is Lithuania the most fintech-friendly destination in Europe? (Finextra), Rated: A

The country has been actively promoting itself as gateway destination to the European marketplace for non-EU firms and British startups fleeing Brexit. Registering a company takes merely three days, while getting a Payment Institution or Electronic Money Institution license takes only three months, two-to-three times faster than in other EU jurisdictions. Other perks include remote Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, low profit tax, startup visa options and a sandbox regime for fintech startups in their first year.

The country also boasts a growing talent pool of up to 31,000 trained IT professionals with a further 8000 in the pipeline.

Lithuania Registered 35 New Fintech Companies in 2017 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

This week, Invest Lithuania released the Lithuania Fintech Report 2017, which revealed that a total of 117 fintech companies were operating in the country in 2017, with 35 of them being registered last year.

International

IOU financial partners with goEBT to offer funding to network of 25,000 convenience store owners (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”; TSX-V:IOU), an online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Marietta, GA-based c-store solutions provider goEBT (goEBT.com).  Through this strategic partnership, goEBT’s network of 25,000 convenience store owners nationwide will be able to access IOU’s fast, convenient, non-collateral funding solutions.

LENDDO AND EFL TEAM UP FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION (#Include1Billion), Rated: A

Our companies come together united by the common vision of providing financial inclusion for more than one billion new and underserved individuals across the globe. We will together provide a suite of credit scoring and identity verification products to more than 20 emerging markets.

Our companies have individually facilitated over 5 million credit assessments since inception, allowing more than 50 financial institutions to disburse over $2 billion USD in credit to people with limited information.

The first joint product offering is already live in Asia and Latin America, with additional products and features scheduled for release in the coming months.

From #Include1Billion

Fuse Business Loans from Mynt began working with LenddoEFL to assess credit risk for its clients that were 80% unbanked.

Foxconn’s Gou said to invest in US crypto merchant bank venture (EJ Insight), Rated: A

Terry Gou, the billionaire chief of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, is said to have invested in a cryptocurrency merchant bank being set up by Mike Novogratz, a former Wall Street macro hedge fund manager.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Novogratz has raised about US$250 million for his cryptocurrency merchant bank venture through a private placement.

India

Google search bias fine, Swiggy funding, Digital payments tax rebate & more (ET Tech), Rated: AAA

The government might consider giving tax rebates to merchants accepting payments digitally in order to promote the overall fintech sector, which is at its infancy at present but growing at a rapid pace, suggested the Reserve Bank of India.

Talking about the fintech sector the RBI has identified tech startups working in the space of peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, big data, smart contracts, robo advisors and online aggregators.

Read more.

HOW TO FUND YOUR HIGHER STUDIES (Money Today), Rated: AAA

Traditionally, one’s option was limited to getting an education loan from a public sector bank. Now that the demographics are favourable and the education loan market has the potential to grow, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), fintech players and peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders are jockeying for a piece of the market.

Seek more funding: Education loans are part of the priority lending category, but unlike the US, there is no provision for student loan waiver in India. It means your loan will not go away until you pay it off. Try and find out if there is any other source of funding available, including financial aid, bursary and scholarship or upfront savings, which will bring down the loan amount.

What Banks Offer

Most of them offer education loans for studying medicine, engineering or management at graduate and post-graduate levels or for pursuing further studies in India and abroad. Some also provide categorised loans. For instance, State Bank of India (SBI) offers Scholar Loan for students who get admitted to premier institutions like IITs, IIMs, NITs and AIIMS, and a Global Ed-Vantage loan for studying in global counterparts. Bank of Baroda offers Baroda Scholar loan for studying abroad and Baroda Gyan loan for higher studies in India while separate schemes are available for courses conducted by the country’s top institutions.

Source: Money Today

Fintech/P2P Players

Landing an education loan may not be easy anymore, given the spurt in defaults. And that is where the new-age fintech firms and P2P lenders see a lucrative opportunity. “For those who fail to qualify for education loans from banks and NBFCs, P2P lending platforms can be an alternative way to borrow,” says Gaurav Aggarwal, Associate Director, Unsecured Loans, at Paisabazaar. In other words, aspiring students can raise personal loans from banks or fintech players like MoneyTap and LoanTap, or P2P lenders like Faircent and CreditMantri to cover their educational expenses.

What Lies Ahead For India’s Fintech Sector? (CXO Today), Rated: A

To understand what lies ahead for India’s fintech sector, it makes sense to understand the fintech growth is expected to boom in the Asia Pacific region. A Frost & Sullivan report predicts that the region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 72.5% from 2015 to 2020, reaching US$72 billion.

According to Quah Mei Lee, Industry Principal, ICT, Asia-Pacific, the mobile payments market in Singapore was estimated to be worth US$1.4 billion in 2017. The market is still small but is growing fast.

Indian digital payments industry is expected to reach $700 billion by 2022 in terms of value of transactions.

It is expected that more than 80% of the urban population in India will adopt digital payments as a part of their routine by 2022, and 70% of the retail chains will adopt the same.

Canada

A Canadian Way to Access US Small Business Lending (Stockhouse), Rated: AAA

Enter IOU Financial.  As “online lending” has become a 21st century reality, a financial niche has sprung up with online lending institutions that are prepared to cater to small businesses and provide badly needed capital, efficiently and affordably.

Compared to the above, IOU Financial provides easily manageable, working capital term loans for small business, and does so:

  • Quickly
  • Efficiently
  • Affordably

The speed of IOU’s loan application process is a big draw for small business owners.  IOU’s application generally takes roughly three to five minutes to complete.

Source: Stockhouse

 

Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse is OnDeck’s Small Business of the Month (PR Newswire), Rated: A

OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), the online lender to small businesses, today announced that Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse, owned by Amir Rahim, has been selected as the OnDeck Small Business of the Month for February, 2018. The Ottawa-based restaurant is the first small business in Canada to earn the OnDeck spotlight award.

Africa

Glaring Ponzi Schemes In Ghana Now (Modern Ghana), Rated: A

So assuming I have $1000.00 I have no use for and would want to make a little interest on, All I have to do is go unto one of these platforms to match me with someone in need of $1000.00. These platforms because of the high risk they take (borrowers don’t provide tangible collaterals) usually charge higher interest and in return given higher interest to lenders than Treasury Bills will normally do. This idea is supposed to be easy and help people financially as there is gap between loans needed and financial institutions willing to give (“The two largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, Prosper and LendingClub founded in 2005 and 2006 respectively, have originated over $6 Billion in loans to date. Although they have only begun to scratch the surface of the $3 trillion consumer debt market” Nav Athwal Cofounder and CEO of RealtyShares, a crowdfunding for real estate platform). Yet like most good things miscreants, hooligans and hoodlums find a way to make the system corrupt.

These swindlers promise up to a 100% interest rates within 5 working days. So they lure greedy but naïve people to roll in cash through mobile money. With a Minimal amount of GHC100.00 you get registered and paired with another person. You’re required to send the money to this person who they claim registered 5 days ago and the said day is the day of maturity.

Ways to spot financial scams and Ponzi schemes
1. If your interest is too good to be true, then its probably a lie. When you’re being offered an interest bigger than the T Bills in lending you should be wary and do due diligence.

2. They usually don’t tell the project in which your money will be invested.

3. Pressurised to respond quickly? 4. Are the contact details vague?

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor