Thursday October 17 2019, Weekly News Digest

LendingClub

News Comments Today’s main news: Zopa launches tool to compete with credit bureaus. KBRA assigns preliminary ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2019-4. OnDeck Capital financial results. ID Finance raises 1.7M euro on Crowdcube in minutes. Canada’s fintech adoption rate has doubled since 2017. Today’s main analysis: LendingClub account performance (A MUST-READ). LendingTree’s Personal Loan Offers Report […]

The post Thursday October 17 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

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News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

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News Summary

United States

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2019-4 (Business Wire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2019-4 (MFT 2019-4). This is a $326.27 million consumer loan ABS transaction.

Preliminary Ratings Assigned: Marlette Funding Trust 2019-4

Class

Preliminary Rating

Initial Class Principal

A

AA (sf)

$260,298,000

B

A (sf)

$30,117,000

C

BBB- (sf)

$35,854,000

On Deck Capital Inc. Financial Results Comparing With Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. (Mesa Weekly), Rated: AAA

On Deck Capital Inc.’s volatility measures that it’s 85.00% more volatile than S&P 500 due to its 1.85 beta. Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. on the other hand, has 1.53 beta which makes it 53.00% more volatile compared to S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
On Deck Capital Inc. 3 0.12 45.93M 0.45 7.99
Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. 4 0.55 13.97M 0.50 7.37

Profitability

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
On Deck Capital Inc. 1,349,850,114.62% 12.2% 3.1%
Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. 396,042,410.84% 7.6% 0.6%

Global cooling; Upgrade Card (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

In industry news, Upgrade led by CEO Renaud Laplanche released the “Upgrade Card”. The product is a cross between credit card and an installment loan. How does it work? Every month any new charges on the card transition into an installment loan of 12, 24, or 36 months. Customers can select the default payback period when applying for the card and they have the option to change the term for new charges at any time. Upgrade Card offers true risk-based pricing with a range of 6.49% to 29.99%. LendIt Co-Founder Peter Renton has a nice summary here.

In macro news, the Fed is expected to cut rates for a third time later this month to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%.

Source: OECD Interim Outlook Projections, Blackstone, PeerIQ
Source: WSJ, Cantor Fitzgerald, PeerIQ

New LendingClub Account Performance (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
Source: Lend Academy

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

At 1,270 basis points, the spread between the highest and lowest offered APRs offered to the same consumers were especially stark for high-score borrowers.

  • The average spread for those with scores of 760 or higher was 1,270 basis points, amounting to a difference of 58.5% on the average loan amount offered for a three-year personal loan.
  • Consumers with scores between 720 and 759 saw an average offer spread of 1,145 basis points, representing a 49.9% difference in interest paid.
  • For those with scores between 680 and 719, the average spread was 971 basis points, representing a 37.3% difference in interest paid.
  • Borrowers with scores between 640 and 679 had an average spread of 860 basis points, representing a 28.2% difference in interest paid over the three years of the loan.
Source: LendingTree

Kiva Lending Team: Lendio Gives (Kiva), Rated: A

Lendio has provided over 10,000 Kiva microloans through its

Source: Kiva

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Consolidate Credit Card Debt (Credible), Rated: AAA

According to data collected by the Federal Reserve, borrowers who were assessed interest on their credit card accounts paid 16.97% on average during the three-month period ending Sept. 31. But the average rate on personal loans was only 10.07%.

That’s a spread of 6.9 percentage points — an all-time high in Federal Reserve records dating back to 1998.

Apple and Goldman Sachs aren’t reporting Apple Card information to credit bureaus (MarketWatch), Rated: A

Apple and Goldman Sachs have yet to start reporting consumers’ payment information for the Apple Card to the major credit bureaus, a source close to Goldman Sachs confirmed to MarketWatch on Monday. The source later said that the companies will begin reporting to the credit bureaus later this quarter.

Goldman Sachs CEO says Apple Card is the most successful credit card launch ever (CNBC), Rated: B

“In three short years, we have raised $55 billion in deposits on the Marcus platform, generated $5 billion in loans, and built a new credit-card platform and launched Apple Card,” Solomon said, adding “which we believe is the most successful credit card launch ever.”

Rise of fintech weakens law to prevent lending discrimination (Roll Call), Rated: AAA

As online banking threatens to make in-person banking at brick-and-mortar branches as archaic as video rental stores, it may do the same to a 1977 law created to counteract decades of underinvestment in minority neighborhoods.

Fewer branches, more online

While that includes some wholesale banks or limited purpose institutions, like credit card banks, online banking is driving the sector’s growth.

At the same time, the number of bank branches with an obligation under the CRA to provide loans and other services is falling. Branches have declined every year since a peak in 2010, at 99,550, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Banks closed 1,700 branches in 2018, dropping the total number to 86,375.

After steadily rising to a peak of $505 billion in 2016, the number of CRA-compliant loans that banks issued dropped in 2017 to $482 billion, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

CNB Bank Moves to Revolutionize its Retail Lending with nCino (PR Newswire), Rated: A

nCino, the worldwide leader in cloud banking, today announced that Pennsylvania-based CNB Bank will utilize nCino’s Bank Operating System to digitize its retail lending process from end-to-end to enrich the customer experience.

California has reformed consumer loan interest rates. But will lenders find loopholes? (Cal Matters), Rated: A

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law Assembly Bill 539 by Assemblywoman Monique Limón, Santa Barbara Democrat. The measure sets an annual interest rate cap of roughly 36% on consumer loans from $2,500 to $10,000 made by non-bank lenders.

For the prior 34 years, under state law, the sky was the limit on rates charged for such loans. Last year, 333,416 non-bank consumer loans in the $2,500 to $10,000 range had annual percentage rates of 100% or higher. That represented 40.7% of such loans. In the $2,500-$4,999 range, the triple-digit APR ratio was 55.5%.

DrawBridge Lending CEO Discusses Risk and Compliance for Lending Capital to Bitcoin Holders (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Earlier this month, DrawBridge Lending (DBL Digital), a digital asset lending, borrowing and investment management firm, partnered with Kingdom Trust, a qualified custodian providing a self-directed IRA incorporating several digital assets with property and traditional asset investments.

To be eligible to invest, investors must be eligible contract participants (ECPs), which means they should have a minimum net worth of $1 million. The minimum investment in Drawbridge Lending’s series fund is $1 million, which can be met with the contributions of multiple investors.

There are more than 600,000 millennial millionaires in the US, according to report (CNBC), Rated: A

There are 618,000 millennial millionaires in the U.S. and their wealth is only expected to grow.

Currently, 93% of millennial millionaires have a net wealth between approximately $1 million and $2.5 million, according to the report. Nearly 60% live in either California or New York and they are investing more in real estate than their elder-millionaire counterparts.

The Pros and Cons of Using Peer-to-Peer Lending When Investing in Real Estate (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Today’s real estate investors have many financing options at their disposal. There are traditional options like government-backed loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and investment property mortgages. But on top of those, you also have new-age choices like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms.

Real Estate Earnings: What To Watch For This Quarter (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

The “REIT Rejuvenation” of 2019 has restored the coveted NAV premium for most sectors, giving these REITs the currency to re-open the acquisition pipeline. This valuation premium has allowed REITs to kick-start external growth, which has historically been responsible for more than half of FFO per share growth across the REIT sector. REITs were net buyers again in 2Q19, buying $12.5 billion in assets while disposing of $6.6 billion. The $5.9 billion in net acquisitions was the largest quarterly “buy” since 4Q17, and we expect this trend to continue into 2020 given the favorable valuation environment. We break down the acquisition activity for each of the REIT sectors later in this report.

Source: Seeking Alpha

AMERICAN FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND FINICITY PARTNER TO SIMPLIFY THE MORTGAGE EXPERIENCE (Finicity), Rated: B

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR) announced today it is working together with Finicity—a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, to provide its business partners and their borrowers with a faster, simpler and more secure way to verify assets and income while originating loans.

Roofstock Accelerates Innovation with New Chief Product Officer at the Helm (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Roofstock, the marketplace for investing in real estate, announced the addition of Ketan Babaria to the fintech’s leadership team as Chief Product Officer. Formerly the Head of Product for LifeLock and Capital One’s D3 incubation unit, Babaria will enhance Roofstock’s current offerings and introduce new, creative ideas to accelerate the fintech’s growth and make real estate investing radically accessible.

Director of Operations Joins Fintech Startup LenderClose (DS News), Rated: B

Des Moines fintech startup company LenderClose has welcomed Andrew Deignan as Director of Operations. Deignan will manage the Operations and Vendor Relationships group, ensuring LenderClose delivers the highest level of service to its credit union and community bank lender users.

United Kingdom

Zopa launches tool to dispel “mystery” of credit worthiness (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Zopa, the first ever peer-to-peer lending platform, is launching the tool, called Borrowing Power, as it says that lending decisions and credit worthiness have been “shrouded in mystery” for too long.

The tool, which is free of charge, works by giving Zopa customers a borrowing score between one and ten. Customers are shown why they are given the score and how they can help improve the score.

In the Spotlight with Mario Lupori, RateSetter (Financial Reporter), Rated: AAA

We spoke to Mario Lupori, chief investments officer at RateSetter, about whether there is more consolidation to come in the peer-to-peer market and whether forthcoming regulatory changes will hinder the sector.

Samsung.com partners with Klarna to offer pay later payment plans (IBS Intelligence), Rated: A

Samsung.com has partnered with payment provider Klarna in the UK to provide customers service to make purchases from its website and pay later. The customers will get a convenient and hassle-free way to pay later at Samsung.com.

Klarna: too good to be true for students? (Mancunion), Rated: A

Klarna is perfect in those situations, giving you a ‘try before you buy option’. You can get as many items as you wish, in as many sizes, returning all the items you don’t need before a penny leaves your bank account. There’s no waiting around for refunds to reach your depleted bank account – you only pay for what you actually keep.

Octopus Choice’s P2P loans now available within a SIPP (AltFi), Rated: A

The firm has announced that its P2P investment platform is now accessible within a SIPP wrapper.

Could banks become redundant in the future? (Finextra), Rated: A

P2P lending as it right now stands absolutely no chance in competing with traditional banking, as it requires a bit too much time from the lender’s side.

However, should technology such as Artificial Intelligence be successfully implemented on these platforms, it’s likely that P2P lending will occupy a large percentage of the financial market share.

Starling launches TV ad campaign after reaching 900,000 customers (AltFi), Rated: A

Today Starling Bank will premiere its first TV ad on ITV and Channel 4 during England’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria, and Jamie’s Meat Free Meals.

Celsius Now Offers up to 10% Return on TrueUSD Lending Service (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, has partnered with TrustToken, the team behind dollar-pegged TrueUSD (TUSD), to offer up to 10 percent interest on four new stablecoins.

Casa Italia to expand its restaurant in Liverpool following £650k loan from OakNorth Bank (Fintech Finance), Rated: B

China

PayPal wants to help Chinese online shoppers buy from overseas (Business Telegraph), Rated: AAA

By the end of this year, Chinese online shoppers will have a new way to buy things from abroad: PayPal.

Despite the tensions between Beijing and Washington, China’s central bank has allowed the US company to take a toehold in the country’s valuable payments market by buying a majority stake of Chinese payments group Gopay.

European Union

Barcelona-based fintech ID Finance secures €1.7 million within minutes on Crowdcube (EU-Startups), Rated: AAA

Barcelona–based ID Finance, a fintech that operates in Europe and Latin America, has raised over €1.7 million in crowdfunding within minutes of its campaign going live on Crowdcube, amidst strong demand from investors. The data science, credit scoring and digital finance company has a target of €2.3 million.

The company has a well established global team and over 3 million users, with over 40,000 new users joining each week. It is on track to double revenues this year to €90 million – up from €13 million in 2017 – and is targeting over €267 million in revenue by 2021, with the goal of becoming the number one digital lending platform in Hispanic and Latino markets.

Fintech exits have raked in €83bn since 2013 amid European funding boom (sifted), Rated: AAA

The sale of European fintechs via initial public offerings or acquisitions has pulled in €83bn over the past six years, according to a new report by Dealroom.co and Finch Capital. This is twice as much as the next biggest category, enterprise software, and highlights the scale of opportunity for investors as well as the growing maturity of the fintech market.

Some of the biggest exits were the €7.1bn flotation of Dutch payments company Adyen and the sale of Swedish start-up iZettle to Paypal for $2.2bn last year.

The same report also estimates that the continent’s remaining private fintechs have an “unrealised” value of €43bn combined, including companies such as N26 and Starling Bank.

Source: sifted
Source: sifted

Which P2P Lending Marketplaces in Europe Accept American Investors? (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

European p2p lending services are growing. And yields of 10+% are achievable on some of the platforms. This attracts international investors.

Here is an overview of 5 services (sorted aplphabetically) that do allow US investors.

Assetz Capital is a marketplace for UK SME and property development loans. The liquid ‘access’ products offer 4.1% to 5.75% interest.

Bondora is an Estonian p2p lending marketplace for consumer loans. The highly liquid Go&Grow product offer yields 6.75%. With other products higher yields of 10+% are achievable.

Estateguru is an Estonian marketplace for property loans. Typical interest rates are 10-12%.

Flender is an Irish marketplace for SME loans. Typical interest rates are around 10%.

Mintos is a Latvian p2p lending market place. A wide range of loan types is offered. The fairly liquid ‘Invest&Access’ product currently promotes around 8% rate. Yields of 10+% are possible with manual and autoinvest.

Europe’s top tech startups to know (sifted), Rated: A

Europe’s startup scene is often overshadowed by Silicon Valley, but the continent is gaining ground with more than 160 tech firms valued at over €1bn.

Klarna
Founded 2005 — Stockholm, Sweden — Unicorn

In 2019 it launched a new $460m fundraising round, giving the company a post-money valuation of $5.5bn and making it the highest-valued private fintech company in Europe. That was a 250% increase on its last valuation at the beginning of the year.

Starling Bank
Founded 2014 – London, UK – Rising Star & Female Led

Led by Anne Boden, Starling has made a dent in the UK’s thriving fintech ecosystem. As of August 2019 the bank has just shy of 800,000 customers, including around 60,000 business accounts. The company says it’s on track to pass a million this year and already has £1bn in deposits.

These numbers are not quite as impressive as Monzo, which boasts 3m customers, or Germany’s N26 with 3.5m.

Greensill
Founded 2011 — London, UK — Unicorn

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron is an advisor to the firm, which is backed by Softbank’s vision fund. The most recent funding round of $800m valued the company at $3.5bn — firm unicorn territory.

Its working finance solution is funded through issuing its own bonds, making it one of the largest bond issuers of the world, with an average of 47 bonds a day.

Nigerian SME Digital Lender Lidya Expands to Europe (Forbes), Rated: A

In an increasing trend where African technology companies are finding a global audience, Nigerian digital SME lending platform Lidya has expanded to Poland and the Czech Republic.

International

London-based finance platform Divido inks deal with US payment company Splitit offering point-of-sale finance (AltFi), Rated: A

Divido, the London-based consumer finance platform which lets consumers take out credit at the point of purchase to help spread the cost of purchases, has signed a deal with US payment company Splitit to offer a monthly instalment option to customers.

4+ INTERNET BANKING OPTIONS FOR GAMING (One Vale Fan), Rated: B

Klarna has become famous among the players in many countries since its creation in 2005. This virtual bank is seductive for its fast transactions and its privacy. The gamblers will remain anonymous when they deposit or withdraw funds utilizing Klarna as a method. In fact, this Swedish company does not ask any personal details or private information. What’s more, Klarna is also an excellent service to the mobile casino allowing the users to move funds at their convenience.

India

How Can Neobanks Potentially Transform SME Lending? (Inc42), Rated: AAA

Neobanking is a relatively newer concept in India as compared to the West, and is still on a take-off mode. However, market experts observe the gradual and steady adoption of Neobanks and credit their fast growth to its lender and SME-friendly characteristics.

IN CONVERSATION WITH CRIF’S ATRIDEB BASU & HOW HE SCALED DATA & ANALYTICS PRACTICE IN INDIA (Analytics India Mag), Rated: A

CRIF is an Italian company, based out of Bologna and caters to more than 6K banks and financial institutions across 30+ countries globally. In India, CRIF has two broad arms – one is the 100% subsidiary (called CRIF Solutions India) – which focuses on consulting, analytics and products and the other is the credit bureau where it has major ownership (CRIF Highmark) – which focuses on multiple services on retail and commercial side.

Asia

Investors Pour Record $ 735 Million Into Singapore Fintech Deals (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Investors poured a record $735 million into financial-technology ventures in Singapore in the first nine months of this year, according to research from Accenture Plc, which analyzed data from CB Insights, Pitchbook and Tracxn.

That’s up 69% from the same period a year earlier and exceeds the $642 million raised in all of 2018, the study found. Investments in payments startups and those in lending made up the bulk of fintech fundraising, accounting for 34% and 20% of the total, respectively. Insurance technology deals comprised 17%.

MENA

Region’s P2P lending platform Beehive funds first SME in Bahrain (Statup MGZN), Rated: A

Beehive, the region’s first regulated peer-to-peer lending platform announces that it has funded its first SME in Bahrain.

The funding was granted to Bahrain-based Mira Packaging Factory, which manufactures disposable cups in addition to other food packaging solutions for the GCC, and the African F&B industry.

Canada

FinTech adoption in Canada has increased from 18% to 50% since 2017, according to the EY Global FinTech Adoption Index 2019. Among the reasons driving consumers to FinTech services are better rates and fees (42%), ease of setting up an account (19%) and more innovative products and services (10%).

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

The post Thursday October 17 2019, Weekly News Digest appeared first on Lending Times.

Tuesday December 26 2017, Daily News Digest

cumulative loss

News Comments Today’s main news: 3 Reg CF portals no longer FINRA-approved. Zopa launching a bank. LexinFintech completes $108M IPO. European banks prep for PSD2. Australia releases second MPL survey. Today’s main analysis: PeerIQ’s MPL Loan Performance Monitor. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 2017 was a wild ride for alternative lending. Is Congress expanding credit for the poor or enabling high-interest rates? Megatrends […]

cumulative loss

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

Australia

India

Asia

News Summary

United States

The Wild Ride In Alternative Financing In 2017 (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA

But as 2017 pulled into the station, it became clear that a decade-long era in financial services was officially drawing to a close, other than this transitional year between what was and what’s next.

It became clear that Act I of digital era financial services was drawing to a close – and that Act II is getting warmed up backstage.

The CFPB

The CFPB has spent a year generating surprising questions – with even more surprising answers.

Moreover, there was some thought that the federal courts might render much of the discussion moot, by ruling the CFPB’s independent structure rendered it unconstitutional in the CFPB v. PHH case.

That ruling was thrown out by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit court of appeals, and a final ruling is still awaited.

The Congressional Review Act (And The Fate Of The Old Rules)

The 20-year-old law, which had only been used once before 2017, has been used 15 times since January of last year to undo Obama-era rules.

The law was effectively used to bounce the CFPB’s arbitration rule from going into effect. That rule would have made it illegal for financial services companies to insert mandatory arbitration clauses into consumer contracts, thus forcing consumers to surrender their right to form class-action lawsuits.

A similar maneuver was attempted to block controversial rules the CFPB passed regarding the regulation of prepaid cards. The House approved the CRA resolution, but the bill was unable to garner majority support in the Senate. That means going forward, prepaid cards that offer overdraft protection will be regulated as though they are credit cards, as opposed to debit cards.

The Future Of Innovation Instead Of Regulation

Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, built a POS financing product dedicated to offering consumers an honest, transparent way to pay for items on installment.

Affirm’s mission to expand consumer access to honest financing will rev into high gear next year, on the heels of a $200 million capital raise on an estimated $1.6 billion valuation, and now with the ability for any consumer to take advantage of its credit option at any merchant.

LendUp wants to calibrate financial services to what it calls “the new average consumer” or the “emerging middle class.”

EVEN’s new partnership with Walmart is a new tool to help smooth the income volatility for its workers by allowing them to be paid in real time for the hours they have already worked, instead of having to wait for the traditional payday.

“This isn’t that people just don’t have the money to pay their bills in general, but that they are forced to make bad decisions because the money they have already earned by working is not available to them at the right time,” EVEN CEO Jon Schlossberg told Karen Webster. “That adds up to a $100 billion industry a year in payday loans and late fees. That’s crazy; we can fix that and we should fix that.”

So EVEN – now with Walmart as a partner – is fixing it, both by giving customers access to their funds early, but also by providing access to financial management software so they can better control their money.

What’s Next

Perhaps in 2018, they will even find ways to write studies that use terms properly and do not directly contradict the research of other regulators.

Millennials, she noted, tend to enter the credit system with a bang once they start having families.

MPL Loan Performance Monitor (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

This week, we introduce our redesigned MPL Loan Performance Monitor where we track the delinquency rates, cumulative losses, and transition matrices on public marketplace lending data that is comprised of loans originated by LendingClub and Prosper.

Source: PeerIQ
Source: PeerIQ

Is Congress expanding credit for the poor or enabling payday lenders? (Salon), Rated: AAA

Ken Rees has made a fortune selling loans with triple-digit interest rates to borrowers with poor credit history or no credit history.

But in 2008, federal regulators ordered First Delaware to stop working with payday lenders — including ThinkCash — so Rees changed his company’s name to Think Finance and started striking deals with Native American tribes, which, as sovereign entities, are also exempt from state usury laws. Think Finance filed a still-pending lawsuit claiming Think Finance used the tribes as a front to make deceptive loans. Think Finance denies the charges and Rees started a new company, Elevate Credit, which operates from the same building in Fort Worth, Texas. Elevate deals in online installment loans, a cousin to payday loans, and partners with a Kentucky-based bank to offer lines of credit with effective annual interest rates much higher than would otherwise be allowed in some states.

Sponsors say the Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act facilitates bank partnerships by ensuring third parties like debt buyers and rapidly growing financial technology firms can buy, and collect on, loans originated by federally regulated banks regardless of state laws governing interest rates. These partnerships can help make credit available to those left out of the traditional banking system, primarily low-income individuals, backers say.

“The bill covers every flavor of online lending,” said Adam Levitin, a consumer law professor at Georgetown University. “Some members of Congress have gotten snookered that they are fostering innovation, but a loan is just a loan whether you do it online or not.”

But now more payday-style lenders are moving online and donning the friendly face of a tech startup. Some, like LendUp, a lender charging more than 200 percent on some loans and counting Google Ventures among its investors, have attracted mainstream support. Like many high-interest online lenders, LendUp says it is “a better alternative to payday loans” because they use alternative data sources to determine interest rates but consumer advocates say the product, a high-interest loan that can quickly lead to a cycle of debt, is essentially the same thing.

Elevate said in an email it is committed to lowering rates further, and said its loan terms are more transparent and it doesn’t charge expensive fees associated with payday lenders.

Elevate’s installment loan called RISE is licensed in 17 states that don’t impose interest-rate caps and charges annual interest rates as high as 299 percent. Elevate says repeat borrowers can eventually qualify for interest rates as low as 36 percent on subsequent loans.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia impose interest-rate caps, most around 36 percent, to protect consumers from high-interest loans.

This article originally appeared on publicintegrity.org.

Three Reg CF Crowdfunding Portals are No Longer FINRA Approved (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Ufunding was the first to depart FINRAs list of approved platforms. In hindsight it is a wonder the platform was ever approved. The action by FINRA took place a little over a year ago as “potential for fraud” was evident on Ufunding as was “an almost complete failure to follow disclosure and filing requirements.”

DreamFunded Marketplace has hit the exit. We are not certain exactly why DreamFunded left but, if one speculates, it is most likely due to the fact real estate investing is better suited for Reg A+ and Reg D crowdfunding rules which allow issuers to raise more money.

The other former CF platform is Crowdboarders out of Texas. Crowdboarders appears to have pivoted to more of a promotional platform.

After the tech wake-up call… (Banking Exchange), Rated: A

Not long ago, Indiana’s Peoples Bank SB had a business prospect come in who had a loan with Kabbage, the online lender, at 20%. “We reviewed their credit, and we got them into the bank at close to 5%,” says Benjamin Bochnowski, president and CEO at the $914.2 million-assets bank.

With credit that was worthy of a rate like that, the bank asked the customer why it had gone to Kabbage in the first place—and been willing to pay nearly 15 percentage points more for credit. Simple, the new customer responded. Kabbage was easy to use and delivered the proceeds of the loan quickly.

Camilo Concha of LendingUSA (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The founding story of LendingUSA.
  • The different verticals they operate in today.
  • How their point of sale lending process works.
  • The typical terms on these loans.
  • A profile of the typical borrower who uses LendingUSA.
  • How they do marketing outreach to the merchants offering their loans.
  • The different revenue streams they have.
  • The scale that LendingUSA is at today.
  • How their loan performance has been to date.
  • Why LendingUSA is not competing as much on price as other consumer lenders.
  • Their overall approval rate for loan applications.
  • How they approach fraud prevention.
  • Who is providing the capital for these loans.
  • Where they are on the path to profitability.
  • Why the marketplace lending challenges of 2016 did not impact LendingUSA that much.
  • Why their cost of customer acquisition is going down.
  • Their biggest challenge in getting their business to where it is today.
  • Camilo’s long term vision for LendingUSA.

P2Binvestor CEO Krista Morgan on Marketplace Lending: What to Expect in 2018 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

P2Binvestor CEO Krista Morgan founded P2Binvestor in 2012 with a mission to help growing businesses succeed. Morgan is not only CEO of a fast growing Fintech, she is also the cohost of the podcast “Women Who Startup Radio”, an ardent mentor to other women entrepreneurs who speaks regularly on business finance, fundraising, and scaling a startup.

I recently connected with Morgan via email to learn her 2018 predictions for the Marketplace Lending sector and more specifically, her predictions for P2Binvestor. Her observations follow:

  • More focus will be placed on business models and profitability
  • Platform mergers and shut downs will occur as equity investors remain on the sidelines
  • Capital will start to look for shorter duration assets
  • The conversation about diversity will continue

When asked what PB2i has in store for 2018, Morgan targeted the platform’s growth in four areas:

  • More bank partnerships
  • Tech focused on portfolio monitoring
  • Tighter credit standards

Modo Creates A Payments Data Highway Between The World’s Largest Financial Institutions (Benzinga), Rated: A

Bruce Parker, Modo CEO: Modo creates interoperability in the payments industry by conducting the exchange of data between systems via our translation utility service. Modo allows clients to bring together capabilities from around the payments and commerce industry by directly solving for interoperability between different payment systems.

We’re doing this for some of the biggest names in the payments game: Bank of America Corp BACVeriFone Systems Inc PAY, FIS, Klarna, and Alliance Data Systems CorporationADS, and are proud to say that list is growing.

Who are your customers?

Banks, networks, payments providers and their partners.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman talks Fintech on Capitol Hill with Georgetown’s Chris Brummer (MENAFN), Rated: A

Other topics touched on during the interview with Mr. Brummer included how fintech can and should improve financial inclusion—and the continued need to eradicate banking deserts—as well as the necessity to better coordinate and launch public-private partnerships. Despite PayPal’s notable profile and 210 million users, it operates in a $100 trillion industry with approximately 1% market share—and there are still nearly 2 billion people around the world who live outside financial mainstream.

Getting Smart About Thin File Student Grads and Their Credit Card Worth (PaymentsJournal), Rated: A

The CARD Act of 2009 disrupted student credit card marketing with a means test and parental approval for certain types of accounts.  The market, which used capture about 12% of total card consumer spend now only contributes a fraction.

The American Banker covered an interesting story about how BankMobile, a digitial only bank with 800 university partners, is attempting to build a model based on academic history and how they maintained their student bank accounts.

3 Real Estate Investing Trends That Gained Steam in 2017 (Realty Biz), Rated: A

In 2016, the real estate crowdfunding industry produced 3.5 billion dollars in a market that has largely gone unnoticed. It’s anticipated by 2025 that the industry is going to be valued at more than 300 billion. Three trends emerged in 2017 that can help the informed investor understand the best approach to this dynamic and explosive industry.

  1. Investors Move Toward Institutional Capital
  2. Non-Accredited Investors Gain Steam
  3. Consolidation allows for the emergence of new players

Can real estate crowdfunding help the homelessness crisis? (Curbed), Rated: A

In addition to commercial space and two market-rate residential lofts, the two-story Jolene’s complex will also contain an 11-room SRO, or single-room occupancy, a dorm-like living arrangement where each resident gets their own 100-square-foot bedroom and access to shared common space. Six of the room will be given to working homeless Portlanders, as part of a partnership with the Street Roots non-profit, while the other five will be rented out to the general population for $425 a month.

After seeing that 90 percent of the participants in Fair-Haired Dumbbell were from Portland, they experimented with a slightly different form of crowdfunding that allowed anybody in Oregon making $70,000 a year or more to invest $3,000 or more in the project (technically, it’s taking advantage of Rule 504 of Regulation D, qualified by the SEC and the Oregon Secretary of State).

EquityStat Brings Portfolio Management To The Cloud (Benzinga), Rated: A

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

Karl Swierenga, founder: EquityStat is an online investment portfolio manager. It allows investors to track and manage their stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, online in the cloud. Many investors own a combination of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are individual investors who own mutual funds, stocks, bonds and ETFs.

FindBob Closes $ 1.26M USD Seed Round (Business Insider), Rated: A

FindBob () announced today that its seed round is closed at over $1.25 million USD. Grinnell Mutual led the investment.

The capital will allow FindBob to grow its sales and marketing teams, expand into additional U.S. markets and execute on its multi-generational product roadmap.

FindBob champions better transition behavior among financial professionals and their firms in order to perpetuate and protect their most precious asset: their book of business. By allowing company principals to take control of their futures on a secure digital channel, FindBob helps them safely discover opportunities to buy, sell, merge, partner or address succession and to be confident in their plan for the business they worked so hard for.

Fintechs that flamed out or faded in 2017 (American Banker), Rated: A

Source: American Banker
Source: American Banker

Fintech Outlook For 2018: US Banks Look To AI (The National Law Review), Rated: B

With 2017 at a close, US banks have set out their 2018 FinTech new year resolutions. According to American Banker, US banks are likely to focus their FinTech investment in 4 major areas in 2018:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Open banking
  • Cybersecurity and biometrics
  • Commercial banking innovation

Anyone invest in p2p lending? (blind), Rated: B

Just found out that I can earn annual returns of 6-12% by investing in p2p lending platforms like lendingclub and prosper. Way more than the measly 1.3% I get from my savings account.

Lendio Announces New Franchise in Rochester, New York (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Lendio, an online lending marketplace for small business loans, announced on Thursday the opening of a new Lendio franchise in the Rochester area.

LendingTree,Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE) Files An 8-K Departure of Directors or Certain Officers (Market Exclusive), Rated: B

On December 19, 2017, our Board of Directors and Nikul Patel mutually agreed to change Mr. Patel’s position to Chief Strategy Officer, effective January 1, 2018. He currently serves as Chief Product and Strategy Officer, a position he held since November 2016.

United Kingdom

Zopa to launch a bank (Monzo), Rated: AAA

It’s why we’re applying to launch our own next-generation bank. We’ve listened, and we’re confident that we can deliver the bank that will be the best place for your money.  

Leading comparison websites have removed potentially misleading information from their sites after a Moneywise investigation found peer-to-peer (P2P) investment products included in the same best buy tables as high street savings products.

Moneywise looked at the UK’s leading product comparison websites and found issues with the four sites which offer P2P comparisons – Go Compare, Love Money, Money.co.uk and MoneySuperMarket.

A helping hand for small businesses (Money Week), Rated: A

A decade after the credit crunch, too many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK still feel their potential is being hampered by a lack of access to appropriate financing. The government’s Industrial Strategy report, published at the end of November, identified financing issues as a clear problem for SMEs that are looking to grow; surveys of sentiment continue to reveal frustration.

Research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance shows that two-thirds of SMEs with growth plans for the year ahead fear that their expansion plans could be derailed if they cannot secure appropriate finance. A third of SMEs applying for finance aren’t securing enough funding to underpin their investment plans, according to similar research from Close Brothers Group; a quarter of SMEs think funding is still too dear.

New rules clarify P2P business borrowers are not deposit takers (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

In an announcement titled ‘protecting the future of P2P lending’, the Treasury said that no P2P business borrower needs to be regulated as a ‘deposit taker’ – often referred to as a ‘banking licence’ – unless that is their core business.

This clarification will be added to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Carrying on Regulated Activities by Way of Business) Order 2001.

10 business trends to look out for in the coming year (inside.co.uk), Rated: B

“I think we will see a strong increase in the number of Scottish businesses sourcing peer to peer lending, which matches borrowers directly with lenders, in 2018,” Hardie said. “Companies such as the Lending Crowd are currently the business world’s best kept secret, but their ability to deliver speedy transactions with attractive terms are firmly establishing them as strong alternatives to the banks.”

“A European directive being implemented in January 2018 will ban businesses from charging customers extra for making payments using a debit or credit card in the EU,” said Lynne Walker, head of business advisory at Johnston Carmichael.

China

China’s LexinFintech Completes $ 108M Listing As Sixth Chinese Fintech IPO In US (China Money Network), Rated: AAA

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:LX), a Chinese online lender previously known as Fenqile backed by investors including Matrix Partners and JD.com Inc., has completed a listing on the NASDAQ to raise US$108 million.

Chinese online lender LexinFintech surges in US market debut (China Economic Review), Rated: A

Chinese online lender LexinFintech Holdings Ltd’s shares surged in their US market debut on Thursday, as investors brushed aside worries about Beijing’s recent crackdown on China’s booming microlending industry.

LexinFintech’s shares jumped 53% from its IPO price, which valued the Shenzhen-based company at $4.5 billion, to reach a high of $14.88.

China IPOs In New York Rebound To 16 In 2017, Online Lender Lexin Aces Nasdaq (Forbes), Rated: A

The 16 Chinese companies in 2017 raised $3.7 billion or about 8 percent of the total $35.6 billion raised by 160 IPOs.

Chinese tech titans Tencent and Alibaba are behind some of this pick-up, as they backed recent new listers including Chinese search engine Sogou, e-book company China Literature, microlender Qudian and logistics company Best.

Squeezing in its IPO before the year, Chinese online lender LexinFintech Holdings listed on Nasdaq on Dec. 21, raising $120 million and trading upward on its opening day by 19.4 percent.

Fintech Pioneer Sees Money in the Masses (Caixin), Rated: A

China’s booming fintech sector will see growth come from small business loans, wealth management tools for the “affluent masses,” and technology that helps you sift through thousands of insurance products in minutes, according to Tang Ning, founder and CEO of financial conglomerate CreditEase.

As of September, the company’s wealth management business oversaw assets worth $20 billion for nearly 50,000 high net-worth customers in China. It also manages $1 billion through a venture fund, which is among the ten most active venture capital investors in global fintech companies, according to data provider CB Insights.

Caixin: What are the most promising fintech trends over the next decade?

Tang Ning: We see small business lending being a key area of growth. In the past 10 years, creative lending models have done a good job at serving individuals, but there is much more to be done for small businesses.

We also see the emergence of insurance tech.

How are Chinese investors’ needs changing?

We are seeing the Chinese wealth management industry go through profound changes. It is moving from fixed-income investments to equity investment, from short-term speculation to long-term investment, from China-focused investment to global opportunities, from investing into single products, single opportunity to comprehensive risk management and comprehensive asset allocation, from managing this generation’s wealth to thinking about succession planning and inheritance.

Chinese peer-to-peer lender Golden Bull sets terms for $ 9 million US IPO (NASDAQ), Rated: A

The Shanghai, China-based company plans to raise $9 million by offering 2 million shares at a price range of $4.00 to $4.50. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Golden Bull would command a market value of $64 million.

European Union

Europe’s banks brace for a huge overhaul that throws open the doors to their data (CNBC), Rated: AAA

On January 8, banks operating in the European Union will be forced to open up their customer data to third party firms — that is, when customers give consent.

Banks will be required to build application programming interfaces (APIs) — sets of code that give third parties secure access to their back-end data.

Spain’s BBVA, Denmark’s Saxo Bank, Nordic lender Nordea and Ireland’s Ulster Bank have already published open developer portals ahead of the EU legislation.

HSBC has also made early moves toward meeting the incoming rules. In October, the bank launched a beta version of an app that lets customers see all of their bank accounts — including those from competitors — on one screen.

Several small lenders set up with the aim of competing with larger institutions are hoping to take advantage of the move toward a more open data infrastructure. U.K. firms Starling and Monzo, for instance, are want to make banking more like a “marketplace,” by connecting consumers with a number of products and services — including those from other providers — within their apps.

How PSD2 will make personal lending more competitive (IT ProPortal), Rated: A

Today, banks sell few unsecured personal loans to new customers – of seven of the UKs tier one banks only two offer personal loans to new customers – instead focusing on the needs and data of their own clients. The establishing credit risk and difficulties of pricing accurately has simply made it too complex to be competitive.

Also, although many peer-to-peer lending sites now have better protection for consumers as the industry became regulated by the FCA in April 2014, it can be argued this protection is greater for savers and lenders than it is for those borrowing and that the industry is still high-risk when compared with traditional routes.

This could all be about to change with the introduction of the intertwined The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and open banking regulation.

First, XS2A will significantly improve the customer experience for loan applicants.

Hive Project buzzing after ICO (Bankless Times), Rated: A

After securing $8.95 million (BTC 2,087) from 2,234 participants through an ICO in August, Hive Project has released a demo version of their platform and completed an eight-market deal.

Hive Project uses distributed ledger technology to grant every issued invoice a unique fingerprint.

“In the Russian market alone there are  5.67 million SMEs with a combined turnover of €700 billion,” Mr. Soklic said.

Australia

ASIC releases second marketplace lending survey (Lexology), Rated: AAA

ASIC has released its second survey on the marketplace lending industry, which indicates steady growth in both borrowing and lending activity in the market since the last report.

Key findings from the report are outlined below:

  • there are three new marketplace lending platforms in the industry;
  • with $300 million in loans written to consumers and SMEs, there was a doubling of activity in relation to the number of borrowers and total amount borrowed since 2015-16;
  • the average reported default rate across the respondents was 2.2%;
  • there are an additional 4,187 retail investors since 2016, representing $12 million of extra investment in the industry; and
  • loan origination fees remained the primary source of revenue for marketplace lending providers.

The True Threat to Aussie Banks (Money Morning), Rated: A

The updated code of practice brings a number of changes. Most are simple consumer protections. Making it easier to cancel credit cards online, for example, and preventing banks from soliciting customers for credit limit increases.

India

Digital payments, P2P lending among key mega-trends of the year gone by (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: AAA

It was a great year for digitalisation and digital payments in the country.

Besides reducing the merchant discount rate for debit card transactions, the Centre announced a subsidy on transactions up to ₹2,000 via debit cards to expand the digital payment ecosystem.

P2P lending boost

Also, 2017 was a milestone year for the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry, as the RBI issued some guidelines in October.

Other defining changes

In April 2017, five associate banks of State Bank of India and Bharatiya Mahila Bank were merged into SBI, catapulting the latter into the league of top 50 global banks.

In May, the much talked about NPA ordinance giving greater power to the RBI to handle the bad loan crisis came about.

The other key decision of the RBI this year to improve transparency in the system was the move to make it mandatory for the banks to disclose in their balance sheets the extent of divergences between the gross NPAs in their book and those determined in RBI inspection. Private sector lenders such as Axis Bank, YES Bank and ICICI Bank were found to have under-reported their bad loan assets in recent years, prompting the central bank to take this decision.

How retail lending is set to scale up in 2018 (Financial Express), Rated: A

Major factors like steady decline in lending rates, strong focus and performance on growth and credit metrics in retail lending, investor interest in the segment, P2P regulation formalising the new category, increased focus on digitisation and path-breaking initiatives towards affordable housing are helping set a strong base for retail lending. Some of the big trends I see in the New Year are:

Consumer lending

Contrary to the slowdown in credit offtake by the corporate sector, retail credit segment has registered a strong growth of around 20% this calendar year.

Mobile: India today has more than 300 million smartphone users, removing geographical constraints of access to financial products. New venture investments will drive experiments in alternate lending.

Growth in MSME lending

With around 55 million MSME units employing over 80 million people, this sector contributes about 8% to the national GDP. Around 90% of these units are classified as micro businesses.

Growth in affordable housing segment

With home loan to GDP ratio of just 9%, the Indian housing finance sector remains relatively under-penetrated when compared to its Asian peers like China (20%), Thailand (17%), and Malaysia (34%).

The P2P Lending Segment will Drive the Next Phase of Growth of the Indian Fintech industry (BW Disrupt), Rated: A

With the much-awaited legitimacy, the sector is only at growth radar and trust in the segment is developing at a much faster pace. With more and more people moving towards online payments and transactions, the P2P lending space will witness a remarkable rise in the number of borrowers as well as investors. The growth will not only arrive from the urban India but also from Tier II and Tier III cities, leading the country towards the national goal of financial inclusion.

As predicted by NASSCOM, the Indian fintech space is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2020, 2018 will act as a major contributor towards this direction.

How can P2P lending disrupt MSME sector in India? (MENAFN), Rated: A

There are more than 5 crore MSMEs in India and their contribution to the Indian economy is quite significant. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are creating massive employability i.e. up to 12 crore people which is close to 33% of Indias manufacturing output. But still MSMEs suffer from an incredible capital shortage that amounts to Rs. 32 trillion as per the International Finance Corporation.

Fintech start-ups tap small-town users (Business Standard), Rated: A

Paynear, a start-up, has more users in small towns than in the metros. The Hyderabad-based firm, which provides a platform to traders for accepting digital payments, has seen a surge in growth from small towns. Of its 50,000 merchants, two-thirds are in small towns.

Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [18-23 Dec] (Inc42), Rated: B

This week 19 Indian startups raised about $41 Mn in funding altogether in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Peel-Works: The consumer focussed SaaS and big data analytics startup raised an undisclosed amount in Series B funding led by Mumbai-based Unilever Ventures and Amazon Internet Services.

Faircent: Gurugram-based P2P lending startup Faircent raised $3.9 Mn (INR 25 Cr) in a Series B round of funding.

Asia

Financial inclusion is in your hands (National Multimedia), Rated: AAA

Aside from offering new innovative financial services to their existing customers, the use of Fintech also allows banks to serve potential |customers – those considered “underbanked” and “unbanked” – who in the past did not have access to financial services due to costs, lack of credit or access. The ability for the banks to serve everyone is known as “financial inclusion.” According to the World Bank, around 2 billion people don’t use |formal financial services and over 50 per cent of adults in the poorest households are unbanked.

A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance in 2016 shows that 56 per cent of Thais received micro finance from special financial institutions and less than 9 per cent from commercial banks. Clearly, most Thais often turn to non-bank providers for small sums of money.

The K Plus Shop is an example of fintech for financial inclusion from KBank. It is a mobile application designed to be a one-stop solution for micro businesses such as small shops and street vendors. The app is a point of sale, sales tracking, sales reports and PR tool combined into one app that anyone can download and use free of charge on any smartphone – iOS or Android. With K Plus Shop, the vendor can receive QR payment from any customer using K Plus, other mobile banking or e-Wallet applications via the standard QR for PromptPay, as well as from WeChat Pay and Alipay.

FintruX partners with blockchain data exchange DataWallet (Cryptoninjas), Rated: A

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor