Wednesday May 23 2018 Daily News Digest

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to get into crypto investing by 2019. How Goldman Sachs predicts economic slumps. How SoFi personalizes the mobile experience. A Monzo case study. Klarna acquires Shop.co. Today’s main analysis: More Americans are struggling to pay with credit cards. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed survey […]

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi will get crypto investing by 2019, says CEO Anthony Noto (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto says the “modern finance” company wants members to be able to invest in cryptocurrency as soon as 2019.

“We want to accelerate our investment in some new products, one of which is our wealth products, and we want to add cryptocurrency to that,” Noto said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

Goldman Sachs has a novel method for predicting the next economic slump  (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

You might remember that Goldman Sachs is lending to subprime borrowers. Turns out, it’s all part of a plan to help predict the next credit cycle.

In February, Goldman Sachs surprised Wall Street when it said that more than 80% of borrowers for its Marcus consumer-lending product had a FICO score of more than 660 at year end. The implication was that nearly 20% had a score of less than 660, placing them in a group often referred to as subprime.

In September, the bank said it saw a $1 billion revenue opportunity in the Marcus loan-and-deposit platform based on a $13 billion lending opportunity over three years. Whether it reaches that goal will depend in part on how those subprime borrowers behave.

More Americans are struggling to pay their credit cards (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Interest rates, which influence the cost of borrowing, are on the rise after the Federal Reserve kept them near zero for years. That period of super-low interest rates achieved one key outcome: encouraging Americans to borrow, spend, and help grow the economy after the Great Recession.

Last June, credit-card debt finally hit a new high. But the share of borrowers who make payments more than 30 days late is rising along with interest rates.

Source: Business Insider

The Fed is set next month to raise its benchmark rate for the seventh time since late 2015.

Source: Business Insider

How SoFi is personalizing its mobile experience (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

SoFi is personalizing its digital customer experience by fusing event planning, career services and personal finance insights inside its mobile app.

SoFi is joining a group of financial institutions that are letting customers aggregate accounts to get a full financial picture — even if they’re not with the same institution, with recent examples including Citi and HSBC.

As it grows its digital offerings, the company is adding services to meet the needs of a fast-growing customer cohort. SoFi currently has 500,000 customers — up 200,000 from last year.

 

 

 

50. SoFi (CNBC) Rated: A

This has been quite a year for SoFi (short for Social Finance).

The company claims to have 500,000 members and has made $25 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. In early interviews after taking over the top spot, Noto spoke about eventually taking SoFi public, but did not outline a timetable.

For millennials, it’s about having a house, children and retiring early (CNBC) Rated: A

Julia Boorstin live with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses running what he describes as a “modern day” financial services company.

Watch the interview here

SoFi Makes Graduation From Student Debt An Epic Experience (PR Newswire) Rated: A

In a video released today on YouTube, SoFi made that moment of relief from student debt a grand occasion for one Midwestern woman. The company surprised Candice, a SoFi member who had refinanced her student debt, with an epic surprise “debt graduation” ceremony with friends, family, and some unconventional surprises planned by the company, together with production and entertainment studio GenPop.

Guaranteed Rate Partners with DocMagic to Cut Closing Time (Florida Newswire) Rated: A

DocMagic, Inc., the premier provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate can now cut closing time by electronically signing mortgage closing documents in advance.

Guaranteed Rate has branded the solution FlashClose, which allows customers to opt-in, review and complete most documents in advance of the notary arriving, saving an hour or more at the closing table – with some averaging a mere 10-minute appointment to provide inked signatures.

First wave of neobanks resets for new offensive (American Banker) Rated: A

BankSimple (now just called Simple) was bought by BBVA and went through a painful process of migrating accounts to the big bank’s systems; its founder recently announced he’s leaving. Moven became a seller of software to large banks including TD Bank and Westpac, while still maintaining its own mobile banking service. Varo Money has been trying for almost a year to get a banking license. Chime remained independent (in partnership with The Bancorp Bank) but is going through growing pains.

This year, all are taking up their swords again, renewing an anti-bank message of helping consumers lead financially healthy lives, with fewer fees and more helpful products and software than traditional banks. Following is a look at how the neobanks are fighting back.

Cadre seeks at least $ 100M from SoftBank (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding platform Cadre is seeking at least $100 million from a fund started by the SoftBank Group.

Representatives for the SoftBank Vision Fund met with a top executive from Cadre recently, Bloomberg reported. The fund gets nearly half of its $100 billion from the Saudi Arabian government and at least $15 billion from the United Arab Emirates.

Lending Express garners $ 2.7 mln (PE Hub Network) Rated: A

Lending Express, the only AI-powered marketplace for business loans, today announced the securing of a $2.7 million investment round led by Entrée Capital, iAngels, and existing investors. The funds will be used to build out their innovative loan-matching technology and scale up operations in the United States and Australia.

How fintech gave this SBA lender an edge (American Banker) Rated: A

Add Seacoast Banking in Stuart, Fla., to the list of community banks that now believe in working with fintechs.

The $6 billion-asset company is gaining traction in Small Business Administration lending after partnering with SmartBiz Loans to speed its approval process. The move halved the interval from application to funding, to as little as 10 days, said Julie Kleffel, Seacoast’s community banking executive.

Four in 10 can’t cover an emergency expense of $ 400, Fed survey finds (Market Watch) Rated: AAA

The Fed’s new survey of household economics and decision-making found 41% could not cover a $400 emergency expense using cash in 2017. That’s actually a slight improvement, since 44% could not in 2016, 46% could not in 2015 and only 50% could in 2013.

Those that couldn’t afford the expense turn to credit cards or borrowing from family or friends, while only 5% would turn to a payday loan or similar product.

Source: Federal Reserve

Read the full report here.

Why real estate tech won’t kill the middleman (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Not too long ago, it seemed like the real estate business was about to enter a new era. To some observers, websites like Zillow and Trulia or their office equivalents 42Floors and LoopNet threatened to put brokers out of business (although officially these firms said no such thing). Crowdfunding startups dreamed of doing the same to pricey fund managers. Why pay a cut to an agent if you can just find your house or office online, for free? Why give your savings to a pension fund, which gives it to an asset manager, which gives it to a real estate lender, which gives it to a developer, if you can just lend the money to a developer yourself, online, and save a fortune in fees?

ENACOMM Adds FoneLogix as Ally to Bring Data-Driven AI and Phone Banking to Financial Institutions (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

ENACOMM—a fintech company that empowers banks, credit unions and credit card companies with solutions for improving the customer experience (CX), fighting financial fraud, and increasing operational efficiency—today announced a new reseller agreement with FoneLogix, an Atlanta-based provider of cloud-hosted VOIP Phone Systems, Solutions and Support.

Through the partnership, FoneLogix’s bank and credit union customers will be able to take advantage of ENACOMM’s VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) Conversational Banking and the ENACOMM Financial Suite (EFS), which includes a hosted, dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system for personalized customer interactions.

AI Challenging Bank Lending Practices (Forbes) Rated: A

CultureBanx notes 

The Best Business Loans and Financing Options for Freelancers (The Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Most banks view freelancers as high-risk, and as such, may be unwilling to enter a loan agreement. Because a freelancer is considered a sole proprietor, he or she alone is liable for all losses and debts his or her business may incur. If the freelancer gets hurt or sick and cannot work — or is just terrible at running a business — the bank is left holding the bag.

Online lenders offer an interesting alternative. Typically, these non-traditional lenders have more relaxed loan approval criteria and a swifter approval process. Importantly, your personal income, assets and credit score are assessed for loan approval, not the value of your business. You should expect to pay higher rates of interest, a natural trade-off for the perceived risk you present.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2018 Review (Nerdwallet) Rated: A

First Tech offers unsecured and secured personal loans as well as personal lines of credit. Annual percentage rates start at 9% on unsecured loans, or 3% on secured loans, which can be backed by a First Tech savings account, First Tech share certificates, or stock you own in the company you work for or one listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or Amex.

You can apply for a loan of as little as $500, making First Tech a good option for borrowers looking for small loans. Payments for unsecured and secured loans are fixed over two to seven years, and you can choose between monthly or biweekly payments.

 

 

Trump signs resolution overturning CFPB auto lending rule (Consumer Affairs) Rated: B

President Trump has signed a resolution, passed by Congress, overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto lending rule, designed to prevent racial discrimination by dealers who finance purchases.

United Kingdom

Monzo Case Study (AWS) Rated: AAA

Monzo has grown from an idea to a fully regulated bank on the AWS Cloud. A bank that “lives on your smartphone,” Monzo has already handled £1 billion worth of transactions for half a million customers in the UK. Monzo runs more than 400 core-banking microservices on AWS, using services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Open banking regulations, which came in at the start of 2018, required the nine largest banks in the UK to provide an API for their users’ account information.

 

Meet the 35 most exciting young entrepreneurs, engineers, and advisors in UK fintech (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Business Insider has covered UK fintech since our 2014 launch. The UK Fintech 35 under 35 highlights the most promising young entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, and sector experts under the age of 35. It spans both startups and big banks operating in the sector.

35. Pierce Glennie, iwoca

The company has lent over £400 million since its founding in 2011. Glennie was one of iwoca’s first outside hires and just 21 when he joined the business.

27. Aneesh Varma, Aire

Varma, who started his career at JPMorgan, set up Aire in 2014. It is his second startup, having previously founded enterprise software business FabriQate in 2005.

24. Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice is an online platform that lets businesses borrow against unpaid invoices. The lender isn’t MarketInvoice itself but institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking for strong returns.

23. Karen Kerrigan, Seedrs

Seedrs is one of the UK’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, letting ordinary people invest in startup businesses. 600 businesses have raised over £320 million since the platform launched in 2009.

17. Simon Miller, Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital is one of a number of so-called “robo advisors” — online investment advisors and platforms — that have sprung up around the world in recent years. The company already has £600 million in assets under management and has attracted investment from asset management giant BlackRock.

13. Joe Cross, TransferWise

Cross was one of TransferWise’s first employees and has seen the international money transfer business grow from a small East London startup to business worth over $1 billion.

6. Megan Caywood, Starling Bank

She is now chief platform officer at startup, app-only bank Starling, which is trying to make a new kind of bank that functions more like an app store than a traditional lender.

5. Martin Ijaha, Neyber

Neyber works with employers to let staff borrow money then repay through salary deductions. Neyber was founded in 2012 and now works with 160 employers with a combined 1 million staff. Last year Goldman invested £100 million into the platform.

3. Tom Blomfield, Monzo

The fully licensed bank now has over 500,000 current account customers who have spent £1 billion on Monzo’s iconic hot coral cards. The company has raised over £71 million to date and is valued at £280 million.

2. Samir Desai, Funding Circle

Their platform has now lent over £4 billion to businesses across the UK, Germany, US, and the Netherlands. Desai was awarded a CBE for services to financial services in 2015 and his company is tipped to float on the stock exchange later this year with a price tag of at least £1 billion.

1. Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut

Revolut began life as a foreign exchange card linked to an app that offered rock-bottom FX prices. The company is less than three years old but the popularity of its product has already seen it hit 2 million customers and a valuation of $1.7 billion.

Proptech Startup When You Move Raises £3M in Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

When You Move, a UK-based proptech startup, secured new funding which brings the total amount raised to £3m.

Backers included Fig, a proptech VC, and a hybrid network of friends and family, private HNW investors and incumbent shareholders.

The company intends to use the funds to build out it customer excellence teams, scale up the development team and solidify its position as the solution for professionals involved in property purchases.

The UK fintech economy will create different pockets of excellence all over the country (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

He said fintechs such as Leeds based White label Crowdfunding which build peer to peer lending software, business lender Rebuildingsociety.com also in Leeds, and Accespay in Manchester have been involved with the Fintech North events.

Mark Carney: Every household £900 worse off because of Brexit (The Telegraph) Rated: A

UK households are £900 worse off than they would have been because of Brexit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has claimed.

Mr Carney revealed in a Treasury Select Committee grilling that growth has been up to 2pc lower than the central bank had expected because of the UK’s decision.

Banks ‘charging more’ for overdrafts than payday lenders (BBC) Rated: A

Unarranged overdraft fees can cost borrowers up to seven times more than a payday loan, a consumer group warned.

Which? compared the cost of borrowing £100 for 30 days in an unarranged overdraft across 16 high street banks with borrowing the same amount through a payday loan.

Ireland Issues Tax Guidance On Peer-To-Peer Lending (Tax News) Rated: B

A company that pays interest on finance raised via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding is obligated to withhold income tax at the standard rate of tax on interest payments made on the finance raised. The underlying lenders are liable to pay income tax on any interest they earn on which withholding tax has not been suffered.

‘Lenders need to be more transparent about portfolios’ (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Far from deserting the sector, lenders are now presenting landlords with a wider range of borrowing options than ever before. New figures from financial information site Moneyfacts suggests that there are currently more than 2,000 buy-to-let mortgage deals available, a new record high.

And while the various regulatory and tax changes have spelt trouble for the small-time landlords, the professionals seem to be in the ascendency. A recent study by Aldermore suggested that more than four out of 10 portfolio landlords are looking to expand their portfolios in the next 12 months.

China

Chinese fintech’s global future is arriving now (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial recently raised an oversubscribed $10bn round which values the firm higher than Goldman Sachs, American Express and BlackRock; the Alipay product has more than 500 million users and is incredibly simple to use; they have integrated into Alibaba’s retail operation and have the world’s largest money market fund with Yu’E Bao; they have begun expanding globally as well as they have built partnerships with firms in Africa and have tried to enter the U.S. market through an acquisition of MoneyGram which was blocked by regulators; regulators will need to figure out how handle a company that doesn’t look to fade from the financial scene anytime soon.

Legal concerns heat up for wanted Founders Group leader as partner testifies in China (Myrtle Beach Sun News) Rated: A

Liu’s partner in the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, a peer-to-peer lending business that seeks investors, testified May 3 in her fraud trial in Nanjing that Liu was in control of the company when it became unable to pay many investors what prosecutors estimate to be $1.17 billion — or 7.4 billion yuan.

 

European Union

Klarna acquires universal shopping cart Shop.co (Ecommerce News) Rated: AAA

Klarna has acquired Shop.co, a small German startup that wants to simplify online shopping by offering a universal shopping cart. There’s little known about the deal, but according to Klarna it’s mostly about the acquisition of intellectual property and taking over a mere Shop.co employees..

According to t3n, a purchase sum somewhere in the mid double-digit millions is also likely. But later on, Klarna told another media outlet, Tech.eu, that the purchase price is far lower than some media have been speculating. It also said that it’s most acquiring intellectual property and employees.

Keeping on Top of Emerging Payment Solutions – Q&A with Klarna (Retail Tech News) Rated: A

Luke Griffiths: Klarna’s approach to online commerce is very different from that of traditional providers. Our overarching philosophy is to give consumers the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when they want to pay. At Klarna, we offer three payment options that cover all consumer needs for seamless shopping: ‘Pay now’, ‘Pay later’, and ‘Slice it’.

Pay now enables straightforward and immediate online payment purchases. This option allows customers to pay for their purchases in full via Klarna’s speedy online checkout and payment service using a card. Many of our merchants choose the Klarna checkout as it is proven to reduce abandoned baskets and provide a better user experience for shoppers.

Our second payment option, Pay later, allows shoppers to ‘try before they buy’. Customers have either 14 or 30 days to pay for their goods (depending on the merchant) after their items have been delivered, with no interest or fees – or they can return the items if they’re not what they expected.

EMaC launches ‘Drive Now Pay Later’ service for dealers (Motor Trader) Rated: B

EMaC, the service plan specialist, is widening the services it offers dealers and end consumers with the launch of a pay later credit facility for vehicle repairs and accessories.

The company, which is has also launched a new identity, has teamed up with credit provider Klarna to offer the “Drive Now Pay Later” service.

EMaC said its new Drive Now, Pay Later product would give dealers access to a credit facility to assist their customers in financing repairs and other vehicle related accessories.

Banks seek tech talent for digital shift (Financial Times) Rated: A

European Banks have increased advertising for IT and engineering roles by more than 10 times in the last 3 years; a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Temenos shows for the first time that bank executives believe technology like AI and blockchain will have a bigger impact than regulation; being about 10 years removed from the financial crisis has help shift the view of banks to focus more of their time on digitization instead of regulatory compliance.

 

 

International

Meet the Goldman Sachs-Backed Fintech Startup Aiming to Take Over North America (Fortune) Rated: AAA

Now Plaid, which raised $44 million in a funding round led by Goldman SachsInvestment Partners nearly two years ago, is looking to expand internationally. The company announced Tuesday that Plaid is available in Canada for the first time—and compatible with both U.S. and Canadian dollars—a move designed to both support current clients’ Canadian expansions as well as attract new Canadian fintech players.

Companies use Plaid’s APIs (or application programming interfaces) as a foundation for building their own fintech products, depending on that secure way to link customers’ bank accounts. Its extension into Canada is a sign that the nascent fintech industry is gaining traction in more parts of the world. TransferWise, a London-based cross-border payments startup that uses Plaid, recently expanded into Canada as part of a global push. And Toronto-based Drop, a loyalty rewards app, is one of Plaid’s first Canadian clients.

Is Fraud a Solved Problem? (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

But one statement stood out to me. Jeff Stewart, the Chairman and Co-Founder of LenddoEFL said that “fraud is a solved problem”.

That is quite a bold statement. So, I reached out to Jeff yesterday to get some more color on what he really means here. He stood by what he said on the panel at LendIt. While we can’t get rid of 100% of fraud what we can do is catch fake identities, fraud rings, and large-scale theft of identity.

It is not surprising that the type and amount of fraud varies between countries. We learned from Thomas Wang of China Rapid Finance in this same session that a staggering 97% of loan applications in China are fraudulent. Think about that for a moment. Only 3% of the applications that a Chinese online lender receives is from a real person. The rest is fraudulent activity often from established fraud rings.

Small Business Banking Catching Up in Innovation Race (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

There are quite a few lending solutions these days for small businesses — Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square Capital, to name a just a few — but innovation and digitization are lagging in other areas, such as digital account opening. Enter Gro Solutions, a sales and marketing platform for financial institutions.

Australia

Understanding the SME mindset (Australian Broker) Rated: A

More than one in five SMEs – a total of 22% – opted for non-bank alternatives to funding their growth. A further 24% looked to borrow from their main relationship bank, and this bank lending percentage has trended down from 38% in our initial 2014 Index.

The most popular funding choices for SMEs using alternative working capital options in 2017 were debtor finance, which was used by 77%; merchant cash advances, used by 23%; P2P lending, with a total share of 10%; and crowdfunding, utilised by 9%.

India

Payday loan firm EarlySalary acquires CashCare (Media Nama) Rated: AAA

Payday loan firm EarlySalary has acquired CashCare. CashCare sells loans to customers on websites like Infibeam and Shopclues, and accepts repayments in EMIs at annual interest rates ranging between fifteen and 25%, according to CashCare’s website. The service is offered to people who don’t have a credit card too.

While CashCare’s 15% annualized interest rate is not too different from what credit card companies charge, EarlySalary’s payday loans come at a steeper cost. Charging ₹9 for each dayper ₹10,000 borrowed, their interest rate comes out to over 30%, compared to the 1.5–3% annualized interest credit cards charge, as we’ve pointed out before.

Xiaomi to start lending operations in India; to target salaried professionals (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

IPO-bound Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has launched its first lending product in India on the lines of the microlending product Mi Credit that it offers in China.

The new credit product, launched in partnership with lending platform KrazyBee, has already gone live and will be officially announced in a few weeks, as per a person aware of the development.

Called CreditBee, the credit product is a payday loan starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 lakh for a period of 90 days, as per the person cited above. The credit will be offered at an interest rate of 3% per month and will be targeted at salaried professionals, the person said.

P2P lending startup Cashkumar secures angel investment (VC Circle) Rated: A

Cashkumar, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup, has raised angel investment of Rs 5 crore (around $735,000) through deals platform LetsVenture.

The startup’s first external funding was led by Mohan Kumar, executive director at global investment firm Norwest Venture Partners, and telecom company Reliance Jio’s chief digital officer Vishal Sampat.

Capacity-building workshop by RBI (Tribune India) Rated: B

Rachna Dikshit, Regional Director, RBI, Chandigarh inaugurated the workshop. In the event, topics like RBI guidelines, credit guarantee architecture for MSME financing and recovery management, alternative tech driven approaches to financing MSMEs like big data, fintechs, P2P lending, TReDS, movable asset based financing, role of CERSAI, management of sick account, credit scoring and rating models for MSMEs, assessment of term loans and composite loans, effective communication were covered.

 

Asia

Fintech Firm Flywire Teams Up With SP Jain For New Student-Led Singapore-Based Startups Competition (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Flywire, a fintech firm that provides global payment and receivable solutions for education, healthcare, and commercial enterprises, announced this week it has partnered with SP Jain School of Global Management to launch a startup competition, the Flywire Challenge, to power a new generation of transformative entrepreneurship in Singapore and the APAC region.

According to the duo, this competition, which is set to launch this month, solidifies Flywire’s dedication to partnering with powerful regional universities, government bodies and industry, and investing in education and the start-up space, as well as their long-term relationships with international educational and healthcare institutions as a leading payments solutions provider. Flywire will host, sponsor and evaluate a contest following an open call for teams to submit proposals for innovative start-up ideas. Any and all students and graduates, not limited to SP Jain students, will be invited to compete for three awards in the Health Technology, Education Technology and Travel Technology sectors.

Latin America

Mexican investors back microlending startup Vola (VC Circle) Rated: AAA

Bengaluru and US-based Vola, which offers an alternative lending platform for students, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round from Mexican insurance and credit firm Credika and unnamed angel investors from the North American nation.

MENA

AI Business Loan Company Lending Express Raises $ 2.7 Million (CTech) Rated: AAA

Israeli business loan startup Lending Express announced on Tuesday it has raised $2.7 million in a seed investment round led by Entrée Capital and iAngels, among other investors.

The company said it would use the capital to further develop its loan-matching technology and scale up its operations in the U.S. and Australia.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Wednesday May 23 2018 Daily News Digest

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi to get into crypto investing by 2019. How Goldman Sachs predicts economic slumps. How SoFi personalizes the mobile experience. A Monzo case study. Klarna acquires Shop.co. Today’s main analysis: More Americans are struggling to pay with credit cards. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 4 in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed survey […]

Interest rates & new delinquencies on CC debt

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

India

Other

News Summary

United States

SoFi will get crypto investing by 2019, says CEO Anthony Noto (CNBC) Rated: AAA

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto says the “modern finance” company wants members to be able to invest in cryptocurrency as soon as 2019.

“We want to accelerate our investment in some new products, one of which is our wealth products, and we want to add cryptocurrency to that,” Noto said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

Goldman Sachs has a novel method for predicting the next economic slump  (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

You might remember that Goldman Sachs is lending to subprime borrowers. Turns out, it’s all part of a plan to help predict the next credit cycle.

In February, Goldman Sachs surprised Wall Street when it said that more than 80% of borrowers for its Marcus consumer-lending product had a FICO score of more than 660 at year end. The implication was that nearly 20% had a score of less than 660, placing them in a group often referred to as subprime.

In September, the bank said it saw a $1 billion revenue opportunity in the Marcus loan-and-deposit platform based on a $13 billion lending opportunity over three years. Whether it reaches that goal will depend in part on how those subprime borrowers behave.

More Americans are struggling to pay their credit cards (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Interest rates, which influence the cost of borrowing, are on the rise after the Federal Reserve kept them near zero for years. That period of super-low interest rates achieved one key outcome: encouraging Americans to borrow, spend, and help grow the economy after the Great Recession.

Last June, credit-card debt finally hit a new high. But the share of borrowers who make payments more than 30 days late is rising along with interest rates.

Source: Business Insider

The Fed is set next month to raise its benchmark rate for the seventh time since late 2015.

Source: Business Insider

How SoFi is personalizing its mobile experience (Tearsheet) Rated: AAA

SoFi is personalizing its digital customer experience by fusing event planning, career services and personal finance insights inside its mobile app.

SoFi is joining a group of financial institutions that are letting customers aggregate accounts to get a full financial picture — even if they’re not with the same institution, with recent examples including Citi and HSBC.

As it grows its digital offerings, the company is adding services to meet the needs of a fast-growing customer cohort. SoFi currently has 500,000 customers — up 200,000 from last year.

 

 

 

50. SoFi (CNBC) Rated: A

This has been quite a year for SoFi (short for Social Finance).

The company claims to have 500,000 members and has made $25 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. In early interviews after taking over the top spot, Noto spoke about eventually taking SoFi public, but did not outline a timetable.

For millennials, it’s about having a house, children and retiring early (CNBC) Rated: A

Julia Boorstin live with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto discusses running what he describes as a “modern day” financial services company.

Watch the interview here

SoFi Makes Graduation From Student Debt An Epic Experience (PR Newswire) Rated: A

In a video released today on YouTube, SoFi made that moment of relief from student debt a grand occasion for one Midwestern woman. The company surprised Candice, a SoFi member who had refinanced her student debt, with an epic surprise “debt graduation” ceremony with friends, family, and some unconventional surprises planned by the company, together with production and entertainment studio GenPop.

Guaranteed Rate Partners with DocMagic to Cut Closing Time (Florida Newswire) Rated: A

DocMagic, Inc., the premier provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate can now cut closing time by electronically signing mortgage closing documents in advance.

Guaranteed Rate has branded the solution FlashClose, which allows customers to opt-in, review and complete most documents in advance of the notary arriving, saving an hour or more at the closing table – with some averaging a mere 10-minute appointment to provide inked signatures.

First wave of neobanks resets for new offensive (American Banker) Rated: A

BankSimple (now just called Simple) was bought by BBVA and went through a painful process of migrating accounts to the big bank’s systems; its founder recently announced he’s leaving. Moven became a seller of software to large banks including TD Bank and Westpac, while still maintaining its own mobile banking service. Varo Money has been trying for almost a year to get a banking license. Chime remained independent (in partnership with The Bancorp Bank) but is going through growing pains.

This year, all are taking up their swords again, renewing an anti-bank message of helping consumers lead financially healthy lives, with fewer fees and more helpful products and software than traditional banks. Following is a look at how the neobanks are fighting back.

Cadre seeks at least $ 100M from SoftBank (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding platform Cadre is seeking at least $100 million from a fund started by the SoftBank Group.

Representatives for the SoftBank Vision Fund met with a top executive from Cadre recently, Bloomberg reported. The fund gets nearly half of its $100 billion from the Saudi Arabian government and at least $15 billion from the United Arab Emirates.

Lending Express garners $ 2.7 mln (PE Hub Network) Rated: A

Lending Express, the only AI-powered marketplace for business loans, today announced the securing of a $2.7 million investment round led by Entrée Capital, iAngels, and existing investors. The funds will be used to build out their innovative loan-matching technology and scale up operations in the United States and Australia.

How fintech gave this SBA lender an edge (American Banker) Rated: A

Add Seacoast Banking in Stuart, Fla., to the list of community banks that now believe in working with fintechs.

The $6 billion-asset company is gaining traction in Small Business Administration lending after partnering with SmartBiz Loans to speed its approval process. The move halved the interval from application to funding, to as little as 10 days, said Julie Kleffel, Seacoast’s community banking executive.

Four in 10 can’t cover an emergency expense of $ 400, Fed survey finds (Market Watch) Rated: AAA

The Fed’s new survey of household economics and decision-making found 41% could not cover a $400 emergency expense using cash in 2017. That’s actually a slight improvement, since 44% could not in 2016, 46% could not in 2015 and only 50% could in 2013.

Those that couldn’t afford the expense turn to credit cards or borrowing from family or friends, while only 5% would turn to a payday loan or similar product.

Source: Federal Reserve

Read the full report here.

Why real estate tech won’t kill the middleman (The Real Deal) Rated: A

Not too long ago, it seemed like the real estate business was about to enter a new era. To some observers, websites like Zillow and Trulia or their office equivalents 42Floors and LoopNet threatened to put brokers out of business (although officially these firms said no such thing). Crowdfunding startups dreamed of doing the same to pricey fund managers. Why pay a cut to an agent if you can just find your house or office online, for free? Why give your savings to a pension fund, which gives it to an asset manager, which gives it to a real estate lender, which gives it to a developer, if you can just lend the money to a developer yourself, online, and save a fortune in fees?

ENACOMM Adds FoneLogix as Ally to Bring Data-Driven AI and Phone Banking to Financial Institutions (Globe Newswire) Rated: B

ENACOMM—a fintech company that empowers banks, credit unions and credit card companies with solutions for improving the customer experience (CX), fighting financial fraud, and increasing operational efficiency—today announced a new reseller agreement with FoneLogix, an Atlanta-based provider of cloud-hosted VOIP Phone Systems, Solutions and Support.

Through the partnership, FoneLogix’s bank and credit union customers will be able to take advantage of ENACOMM’s VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) Conversational Banking and the ENACOMM Financial Suite (EFS), which includes a hosted, dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system for personalized customer interactions.

AI Challenging Bank Lending Practices (Forbes) Rated: A

CultureBanx notes 

The Best Business Loans and Financing Options for Freelancers (The Entrepreneur) Rated: A

Most banks view freelancers as high-risk, and as such, may be unwilling to enter a loan agreement. Because a freelancer is considered a sole proprietor, he or she alone is liable for all losses and debts his or her business may incur. If the freelancer gets hurt or sick and cannot work — or is just terrible at running a business — the bank is left holding the bag.

Online lenders offer an interesting alternative. Typically, these non-traditional lenders have more relaxed loan approval criteria and a swifter approval process. Importantly, your personal income, assets and credit score are assessed for loan approval, not the value of your business. You should expect to pay higher rates of interest, a natural trade-off for the perceived risk you present.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2018 Review (Nerdwallet) Rated: A

First Tech offers unsecured and secured personal loans as well as personal lines of credit. Annual percentage rates start at 9% on unsecured loans, or 3% on secured loans, which can be backed by a First Tech savings account, First Tech share certificates, or stock you own in the company you work for or one listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq or Amex.

You can apply for a loan of as little as $500, making First Tech a good option for borrowers looking for small loans. Payments for unsecured and secured loans are fixed over two to seven years, and you can choose between monthly or biweekly payments.

 

 

Trump signs resolution overturning CFPB auto lending rule (Consumer Affairs) Rated: B

President Trump has signed a resolution, passed by Congress, overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto lending rule, designed to prevent racial discrimination by dealers who finance purchases.

United Kingdom

Monzo Case Study (AWS) Rated: AAA

Monzo has grown from an idea to a fully regulated bank on the AWS Cloud. A bank that “lives on your smartphone,” Monzo has already handled £1 billion worth of transactions for half a million customers in the UK. Monzo runs more than 400 core-banking microservices on AWS, using services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Open banking regulations, which came in at the start of 2018, required the nine largest banks in the UK to provide an API for their users’ account information.

 

Meet the 35 most exciting young entrepreneurs, engineers, and advisors in UK fintech (Business Insider) Rated: AAA

Business Insider has covered UK fintech since our 2014 launch. The UK Fintech 35 under 35 highlights the most promising young entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, and sector experts under the age of 35. It spans both startups and big banks operating in the sector.

35. Pierce Glennie, iwoca

The company has lent over £400 million since its founding in 2011. Glennie was one of iwoca’s first outside hires and just 21 when he joined the business.

27. Aneesh Varma, Aire

Varma, who started his career at JPMorgan, set up Aire in 2014. It is his second startup, having previously founded enterprise software business FabriQate in 2005.

24. Anil Stocker, MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice is an online platform that lets businesses borrow against unpaid invoices. The lender isn’t MarketInvoice itself but institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking for strong returns.

23. Karen Kerrigan, Seedrs

Seedrs is one of the UK’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, letting ordinary people invest in startup businesses. 600 businesses have raised over £320 million since the platform launched in 2009.

17. Simon Miller, Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital is one of a number of so-called “robo advisors” — online investment advisors and platforms — that have sprung up around the world in recent years. The company already has £600 million in assets under management and has attracted investment from asset management giant BlackRock.

13. Joe Cross, TransferWise

Cross was one of TransferWise’s first employees and has seen the international money transfer business grow from a small East London startup to business worth over $1 billion.

6. Megan Caywood, Starling Bank

She is now chief platform officer at startup, app-only bank Starling, which is trying to make a new kind of bank that functions more like an app store than a traditional lender.

5. Martin Ijaha, Neyber

Neyber works with employers to let staff borrow money then repay through salary deductions. Neyber was founded in 2012 and now works with 160 employers with a combined 1 million staff. Last year Goldman invested £100 million into the platform.

3. Tom Blomfield, Monzo

The fully licensed bank now has over 500,000 current account customers who have spent £1 billion on Monzo’s iconic hot coral cards. The company has raised over £71 million to date and is valued at £280 million.

2. Samir Desai, Funding Circle

Their platform has now lent over £4 billion to businesses across the UK, Germany, US, and the Netherlands. Desai was awarded a CBE for services to financial services in 2015 and his company is tipped to float on the stock exchange later this year with a price tag of at least £1 billion.

1. Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut

Revolut began life as a foreign exchange card linked to an app that offered rock-bottom FX prices. The company is less than three years old but the popularity of its product has already seen it hit 2 million customers and a valuation of $1.7 billion.

Proptech Startup When You Move Raises £3M in Funding (Finsmes) Rated: A

When You Move, a UK-based proptech startup, secured new funding which brings the total amount raised to £3m.

Backers included Fig, a proptech VC, and a hybrid network of friends and family, private HNW investors and incumbent shareholders.

The company intends to use the funds to build out it customer excellence teams, scale up the development team and solidify its position as the solution for professionals involved in property purchases.

The UK fintech economy will create different pockets of excellence all over the country (Computer Weekly) Rated: A

He said fintechs such as Leeds based White label Crowdfunding which build peer to peer lending software, business lender Rebuildingsociety.com also in Leeds, and Accespay in Manchester have been involved with the Fintech North events.

Mark Carney: Every household £900 worse off because of Brexit (The Telegraph) Rated: A

UK households are £900 worse off than they would have been because of Brexit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has claimed.

Mr Carney revealed in a Treasury Select Committee grilling that growth has been up to 2pc lower than the central bank had expected because of the UK’s decision.

Banks ‘charging more’ for overdrafts than payday lenders (BBC) Rated: A

Unarranged overdraft fees can cost borrowers up to seven times more than a payday loan, a consumer group warned.

Which? compared the cost of borrowing £100 for 30 days in an unarranged overdraft across 16 high street banks with borrowing the same amount through a payday loan.

Ireland Issues Tax Guidance On Peer-To-Peer Lending (Tax News) Rated: B

A company that pays interest on finance raised via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding is obligated to withhold income tax at the standard rate of tax on interest payments made on the finance raised. The underlying lenders are liable to pay income tax on any interest they earn on which withholding tax has not been suffered.

‘Lenders need to be more transparent about portfolios’ (Bridging & Commercial) Rated: A

Far from deserting the sector, lenders are now presenting landlords with a wider range of borrowing options than ever before. New figures from financial information site Moneyfacts suggests that there are currently more than 2,000 buy-to-let mortgage deals available, a new record high.

And while the various regulatory and tax changes have spelt trouble for the small-time landlords, the professionals seem to be in the ascendency. A recent study by Aldermore suggested that more than four out of 10 portfolio landlords are looking to expand their portfolios in the next 12 months.

China

Chinese fintech’s global future is arriving now (Financial Times) Rated: AAA

Ant Financial recently raised an oversubscribed $10bn round which values the firm higher than Goldman Sachs, American Express and BlackRock; the Alipay product has more than 500 million users and is incredibly simple to use; they have integrated into Alibaba’s retail operation and have the world’s largest money market fund with Yu’E Bao; they have begun expanding globally as well as they have built partnerships with firms in Africa and have tried to enter the U.S. market through an acquisition of MoneyGram which was blocked by regulators; regulators will need to figure out how handle a company that doesn’t look to fade from the financial scene anytime soon.

Legal concerns heat up for wanted Founders Group leader as partner testifies in China (Myrtle Beach Sun News) Rated: A

Liu’s partner in the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, a peer-to-peer lending business that seeks investors, testified May 3 in her fraud trial in Nanjing that Liu was in control of the company when it became unable to pay many investors what prosecutors estimate to be $1.17 billion — or 7.4 billion yuan.

 

European Union

Klarna acquires universal shopping cart Shop.co (Ecommerce News) Rated: AAA

Klarna has acquired Shop.co, a small German startup that wants to simplify online shopping by offering a universal shopping cart. There’s little known about the deal, but according to Klarna it’s mostly about the acquisition of intellectual property and taking over a mere Shop.co employees..

According to t3n, a purchase sum somewhere in the mid double-digit millions is also likely. But later on, Klarna told another media outlet, Tech.eu, that the purchase price is far lower than some media have been speculating. It also said that it’s most acquiring intellectual property and employees.

Keeping on Top of Emerging Payment Solutions – Q&A with Klarna (Retail Tech News) Rated: A

Luke Griffiths: Klarna’s approach to online commerce is very different from that of traditional providers. Our overarching philosophy is to give consumers the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when they want to pay. At Klarna, we offer three payment options that cover all consumer needs for seamless shopping: ‘Pay now’, ‘Pay later’, and ‘Slice it’.

Pay now enables straightforward and immediate online payment purchases. This option allows customers to pay for their purchases in full via Klarna’s speedy online checkout and payment service using a card. Many of our merchants choose the Klarna checkout as it is proven to reduce abandoned baskets and provide a better user experience for shoppers.

Our second payment option, Pay later, allows shoppers to ‘try before they buy’. Customers have either 14 or 30 days to pay for their goods (depending on the merchant) after their items have been delivered, with no interest or fees – or they can return the items if they’re not what they expected.

EMaC launches ‘Drive Now Pay Later’ service for dealers (Motor Trader) Rated: B

EMaC, the service plan specialist, is widening the services it offers dealers and end consumers with the launch of a pay later credit facility for vehicle repairs and accessories.

The company, which is has also launched a new identity, has teamed up with credit provider Klarna to offer the “Drive Now Pay Later” service.

EMaC said its new Drive Now, Pay Later product would give dealers access to a credit facility to assist their customers in financing repairs and other vehicle related accessories.

Banks seek tech talent for digital shift (Financial Times) Rated: A

European Banks have increased advertising for IT and engineering roles by more than 10 times in the last 3 years; a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Temenos shows for the first time that bank executives believe technology like AI and blockchain will have a bigger impact than regulation; being about 10 years removed from the financial crisis has help shift the view of banks to focus more of their time on digitization instead of regulatory compliance.

 

 

International

Meet the Goldman Sachs-Backed Fintech Startup Aiming to Take Over North America (Fortune) Rated: AAA

Now Plaid, which raised $44 million in a funding round led by Goldman SachsInvestment Partners nearly two years ago, is looking to expand internationally. The company announced Tuesday that Plaid is available in Canada for the first time—and compatible with both U.S. and Canadian dollars—a move designed to both support current clients’ Canadian expansions as well as attract new Canadian fintech players.

Companies use Plaid’s APIs (or application programming interfaces) as a foundation for building their own fintech products, depending on that secure way to link customers’ bank accounts. Its extension into Canada is a sign that the nascent fintech industry is gaining traction in more parts of the world. TransferWise, a London-based cross-border payments startup that uses Plaid, recently expanded into Canada as part of a global push. And Toronto-based Drop, a loyalty rewards app, is one of Plaid’s first Canadian clients.

Is Fraud a Solved Problem? (Lend Academy) Rated: AAA

But one statement stood out to me. Jeff Stewart, the Chairman and Co-Founder of LenddoEFL said that “fraud is a solved problem”.

That is quite a bold statement. So, I reached out to Jeff yesterday to get some more color on what he really means here. He stood by what he said on the panel at LendIt. While we can’t get rid of 100% of fraud what we can do is catch fake identities, fraud rings, and large-scale theft of identity.

It is not surprising that the type and amount of fraud varies between countries. We learned from Thomas Wang of China Rapid Finance in this same session that a staggering 97% of loan applications in China are fraudulent. Think about that for a moment. Only 3% of the applications that a Chinese online lender receives is from a real person. The rest is fraudulent activity often from established fraud rings.

Small Business Banking Catching Up in Innovation Race (Bank Innovation) Rated: A

There are quite a few lending solutions these days for small businesses — Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square Capital, to name a just a few — but innovation and digitization are lagging in other areas, such as digital account opening. Enter Gro Solutions, a sales and marketing platform for financial institutions.

Australia

Understanding the SME mindset (Australian Broker) Rated: A

More than one in five SMEs – a total of 22% – opted for non-bank alternatives to funding their growth. A further 24% looked to borrow from their main relationship bank, and this bank lending percentage has trended down from 38% in our initial 2014 Index.

The most popular funding choices for SMEs using alternative working capital options in 2017 were debtor finance, which was used by 77%; merchant cash advances, used by 23%; P2P lending, with a total share of 10%; and crowdfunding, utilised by 9%.

India

Payday loan firm EarlySalary acquires CashCare (Media Nama) Rated: AAA

Payday loan firm EarlySalary has acquired CashCare. CashCare sells loans to customers on websites like Infibeam and Shopclues, and accepts repayments in EMIs at annual interest rates ranging between fifteen and 25%, according to CashCare’s website. The service is offered to people who don’t have a credit card too.

While CashCare’s 15% annualized interest rate is not too different from what credit card companies charge, EarlySalary’s payday loans come at a steeper cost. Charging ₹9 for each dayper ₹10,000 borrowed, their interest rate comes out to over 30%, compared to the 1.5–3% annualized interest credit cards charge, as we’ve pointed out before.

Xiaomi to start lending operations in India; to target salaried professionals (The Economic Times) Rated: AAA

IPO-bound Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has launched its first lending product in India on the lines of the microlending product Mi Credit that it offers in China.

The new credit product, launched in partnership with lending platform KrazyBee, has already gone live and will be officially announced in a few weeks, as per a person aware of the development.

Called CreditBee, the credit product is a payday loan starting from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 1 lakh for a period of 90 days, as per the person cited above. The credit will be offered at an interest rate of 3% per month and will be targeted at salaried professionals, the person said.

P2P lending startup Cashkumar secures angel investment (VC Circle) Rated: A

Cashkumar, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup, has raised angel investment of Rs 5 crore (around $735,000) through deals platform LetsVenture.

The startup’s first external funding was led by Mohan Kumar, executive director at global investment firm Norwest Venture Partners, and telecom company Reliance Jio’s chief digital officer Vishal Sampat.

Capacity-building workshop by RBI (Tribune India) Rated: B

Rachna Dikshit, Regional Director, RBI, Chandigarh inaugurated the workshop. In the event, topics like RBI guidelines, credit guarantee architecture for MSME financing and recovery management, alternative tech driven approaches to financing MSMEs like big data, fintechs, P2P lending, TReDS, movable asset based financing, role of CERSAI, management of sick account, credit scoring and rating models for MSMEs, assessment of term loans and composite loans, effective communication were covered.

 

Asia

Fintech Firm Flywire Teams Up With SP Jain For New Student-Led Singapore-Based Startups Competition (Crowdfund Insider) Rated: A

Flywire, a fintech firm that provides global payment and receivable solutions for education, healthcare, and commercial enterprises, announced this week it has partnered with SP Jain School of Global Management to launch a startup competition, the Flywire Challenge, to power a new generation of transformative entrepreneurship in Singapore and the APAC region.

According to the duo, this competition, which is set to launch this month, solidifies Flywire’s dedication to partnering with powerful regional universities, government bodies and industry, and investing in education and the start-up space, as well as their long-term relationships with international educational and healthcare institutions as a leading payments solutions provider. Flywire will host, sponsor and evaluate a contest following an open call for teams to submit proposals for innovative start-up ideas. Any and all students and graduates, not limited to SP Jain students, will be invited to compete for three awards in the Health Technology, Education Technology and Travel Technology sectors.

Latin America

Mexican investors back microlending startup Vola (VC Circle) Rated: AAA

Bengaluru and US-based Vola, which offers an alternative lending platform for students, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round from Mexican insurance and credit firm Credika and unnamed angel investors from the North American nation.

MENA

AI Business Loan Company Lending Express Raises $ 2.7 Million (CTech) Rated: AAA

Israeli business loan startup Lending Express announced on Tuesday it has raised $2.7 million in a seed investment round led by Entrée Capital and iAngels, among other investors.

The company said it would use the capital to further develop its loan-matching technology and scale up its operations in the U.S. and Australia.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Tuesday June 20 2017, Daily News Digest

fintech unicorns

News Comments Today’s main news: US lenders gang up on SoFi for banking play. RealtyShares closes largest commercial debt transaction to date. RateSetter launching IFISA. BlackRock invests in European robo. DCB Bank launches biometric ATM in India. Today’s main analysis: SoFi, Upstart, Lending Club and their sponsored deals. Today’s thought-provoking articles: 10 real estate investing fintech startups. Victoria making a […]

fintech unicorns

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Philippines

  • Poor Filipino farmers get alternative to predatory lending with Cropital. AT: “I wonder how many other countries could benefit from this kind of platform? Kiva has had a good run with helping small businesses in a lot of small third-world countries get the funding they need to expand and grow. With farming such a big part of the economy in a lot of these countries, there is much room for other Cropital-like platforms, some of which could go cross-border.”

Africa

Kazakhstan

News Summary

United States

US lenders rally to oppose SoFi banking move (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

A powerful lobby group for US banks is circling the wagons against SoFi, the biggest of a new breed of online lenders, urging the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to reject its application to launch a banking unit.

But the move should be resisted, said Chris Cole, senior regulatory counsel at the Independent Community Bankers of America, a trade group representing about 6,000 small banks holding almost $5tn in assets. He argued that SoFi is trying to take advantage of a “loophole” that would allow it access to the federal safety net, but without having to comply with all the laws a regular bank faces.

“We want these fintech companies to be subject to the same kind of regulations as banks are,” said Mr Cole of the ICBA.

Last year the student-loans specialist generated just over $8bn of loans, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, more than any other online lender in America.

SoFi Bank, Upstart and Lending Club’s Inaugural Sponsored Deals (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

The past week was a seminal one for SoFi, Lending Club, and Upstart.

SoFi filed for an ILC bank charter in the state of Utah. The application indicates SoFi seeks to offer deposits and a credit card product. SoFi Bank, led by Arkadi Kuhlman, would be capitalized with $166 Mn in equity. Kuhlman was the Former CEO of ING Direct (and money transfer service Zenbanx). ING Direct pioneered online deposit-banking and may provide a glimpse into SoFi’s mobile banking aspirations. SoFi’s focus on community, a credit card offering, and a rewards program reminds us of another highly successful mass affluent brand–American Express.

Collateral Comparison Benchmarks

Source: PeerIQ; Kroll Bond Ratings Agency

We find that:

  • Lending Club’s CLUB 2017-NP1 has among the highest excess spread among its peer group – indicating an exceptional return for whole loan investors in the seven party multi-seller group under the base case scenario.
  • Lending Club’s closest comp may be OneMain’s OMFIT 2016-3. Both deals have comparable credit scores, loan balances, and collateral interest rate.
    • OMFIT has approximately 50% of loss estimate as compared to CLUB 2017-NP1. This is driven primarily by channel effects (e.g., retail branch vs. online origination), other forms of security attached to the loan, and potentially a conservative ratings approach in evaluating CLUB 2017-NP1.
  • Upstart has the lowest loss range estimate across the cohort of marketplace lenders, and the lowest coupons. Upstart also has a greater mix of longer-term loans. Upstart’s closest comp is Prosper’s PMIT 2017-1.
  • PMIT 2017-1 has a comparable loss-range as UPST 2017-1 but picks up two points in excess spread due to higher WAC.

Capital Structure and Pricing

CLUB 2017-NP1 and UPST 2017-1 both secured an A- rating on the senior class.

However, CLUB 2017-NP1 has one notch higher ratings on its Class B and Class C tranches, at BB and BBB respectively, despite a 7% higher loss estimate as compared to UPST 2017-1.

Pricing Tighter 

In a notable milestone, the Class A tranche of CLUB 2017-NP1 priced at L+110 bps – the tightest pricing of any consumer loan securitization tracked by PeerIQ’s Securitization Tracker. From a funding cost perspective, the rate is competitive with term CD rates offered by GS Bank.

Source: PeerIQ

Trigger Talk

Source: PeerIQ

Although the equity tranche investors in CLUB 2017-NP1 are providing greater subordination to bond investors, they benefit from a less restrictive CNL trigger. CLUB 2017-NP1 has the highest starting CNL profile (MOB=1) vs. its peer group, starting at 7% and peaking at 29%.

By contrast, UPST 2017-1, structured and led by Goldman Sachs, has the lowest loss estimate amongst its peers, has a tighter initial trigger at 4% and peaks at 18% (a similar CNL profile to its closest comp PMIT 2017-1). UPST also benefits from somewhat higher structural leverage for equity tranche participants.

RealtyShares Closes Largest Commercial Debt Transaction to Date (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for real estate investing, today announced the close of the company’s largest commercial real estate debt transaction to date. The deal was innovatively structured to include capital sourced from RealtyShares’ institutional investor network as well as its real estate crowdfunding marketplace.

A total of $11.9 million was sourced via RealtyShares for the acquisition and partial recapitalization of a 10-property portfolio of student housing in Seattle, WA. The properties are located within 1.5 miles of the University of Washington, a campus of 54,000 students. Entirely within the city of Seattle, this student housing portfolio is attractively located in one of the highest growth housing markets in the United States.

Will Amazon become a force in fintech? (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Amazon is the tech giant most likely to become a dominant player in fintech, predicted James Lloyd, Ernst & Young’s fintech leader, when speaking on stage at TechCrunch and TechNode’s event in Shenzhen, China on Monday.

Lloyd told TechCrunch that he expects Amazon to expand further into payments, lending and credit scoring.

Why Amazon’s Growth in Small Business Lending Threatens the Banking System (Inc.), Rated: A

Meanwhile, Amazon also recently announced that it had surpassed $1 billion in small-business loans to more than 20,000 merchants involved in its Amazon Marketplace in the U.S. UK, and Japan during the past year. In fact, since Amazon Lending began in 2011, it has surpassed $3 billion in loans to small businesses. The company is making money from both the sales of products via its online platform and by charging interest on the loans.

Amazon could disrupt small business finance in the same manner that it forever changed retail.

Currently, the company only offers short-term business loans ranging from $1,000 to $750,000 for up to 12 months to micro, small and medium businesses that sell on Amazon. It has the potential to expand into retail banking. Amazon could begin setting up deposit accounts or lending to small business borrowers outside of its own network. This could help Amazon grow its core business of online sales as well as establish the company as one of the leading online lenders to small companies. Eventually, Amazon could expand such operations to the other countries across the globe where it operates marketplaces. Think about the potential of moving into markets such as India and China.

Banks and other lenders should be nervous.

Amazon And The Future Of FinTech (Seeking Alpha), Rated: A

Can you imagine people that are accustomed to this kind of retail shopping are going to be comfortable with commercial banking, with financial institutions, as we know them now?

Furthermore, Amazon has already been in serious discussions with PayPal.

Here the essence of the banking system is not holding money for customers, but transferring funds from one place to another place. That is, the banking system of the future will work through the payments system.

And, this payments system will not necessarily be tied into where you hold your assets, just how your assets might be connected to the payments system.

The experimenting of Mr. Bezos is bringing him over the edge into the realm of the banking industry. The payments system is crucial. There is no telling how his experimentation might change the whole banking industry.

Blankfein talks up Goldman Sachs’ consumer lending business (Financial Times), Rated: A

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of the Wall Street bank, took to CNBC on Monday evening to talk about Marcus, the consumer lending business that the bank launched with some fanfare last October.

Quizzed by Jim Cramer, the host of Mad Money, Mr Blankfein said that the venture had so far been a big success, crashing through $1bn in loans originated and on course to hit $2bn by the end of this year. People had responded well to Goldman’s promise to save them “three, four, five hundred basis points” on the interest rates they were paying on credit card balances, Mr Blankfein said, while charging no fees of any description – ever.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Marlette Funding Trust 2017-2 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) announced on Monday it has assigned preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by Marlette Funding Trust 2017-2. This is a $322.7 million consumer loan ABS transaction that is expected to close on June 29th.

MPL spigot on full blast with latest Marlette deal (Global Capital), Rated: A

Marketplace loan originator Marlette Funding is marketing its latest securitization following the pricing of breakout deals from Lending Club and Upstart last week.

The Marlette offering marks the second time the lender has tapped the securitization this year. The deal is structured as a club style offering similar to last week’s Lending Club securitization, which was the first time the lender issued a club deal. Marlette originates loans through Cross River.

Chinese P2P Lender Yirendai Beats Investor Suit, For Now (Law360), Rated: AAA

A California federal judge on Monday dismissed a securities fraud suit brought against Chinese peer-to-peer lending company Yirendai Ltd., giving leave to amend while warning the investors to tell him if “you’ve taken your best shot.”

At the onset of Monday’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald issued a tentative ruling granting Yirendai’s motion to dismiss, but giving permission for a revised suit to be submitted to the court.

Samsung and Diebold Nixdorf in biometric ATM tie-up (Telecompaper), Rated: A

Samsung SDS America has teamed up with US payment technology specialist Diebold Nixdorf to develop a mobile-based biometric authentication system for cardless ATM transactions. The system allows customers to stage a withdrawal via their mobile banking app prior to arrival at the ATM. They then need to simply tap their mobile device to the near field communications (NFC) reader on the ATM, confirm their transaction and instantly receive a prompt to complete authentication via facial recognition on their mobile device.

Specialty Finance: Examining Fintechs’ New Approach to Growth (ABL Advisor), Rated: A

In this year’s keynote address at the Lendit USA conference, held during the first week of March in New York City, OnDeck’s Noah Breslow highlighted the four phases that tend to characterize the evolution of any new market. He also observed that the marketplace lending industry has already progressed past the first three phases – growing awareness, initial skepticism, and the ensuing stampede among new customers and providers. Today, Breslow emphasized, lenders are now adjusting to the fourth phase, which he predicted will see the strongest players thrive amid a still-rationalizing peer set.

To be sure, marketplace lending has grown rapidly over the past three years. To wit, originations of unsecured online loans jumped from $5.57 billion in 2014 to $11.99 billion in 2015, according to Orchard Market Data. After peaking in the fourth quarter of 2015, however, originations have since receded, pulling back roughly 18% last year. At the same time, Orchard documented that the 2014- and 2015-vintage loans experienced higher and faster charge-off rates than previous years, attributable at least in part to a higher proportion of subprime originations during those two years.

As a result, online lenders have transitioned from acquiring customers at any and all costs to focusing very intently on unit-level profitability. Gone are the days when a new, tech-enabled lender would look to prove out their business model by quickly accumulating customers with little or no regard to the bottom line.

While investments in the segment hit a peak in 2015, when there were 132 new investments in the space worth a combined $5.2 billion, according to PitchBook Data, new capital has continued to pour into the market.

This $ 130 Million Fund Is Leading The Way In Real Estate Crowdfunding (Forbes), Rated: A

The real estate crowdfunding industry is projected to be valued at more than $300 billion by 2025The global crowdfunding industry has gone from $880 million in 2010 to $34.4 billion.

In real estate, especially, this has allowed companies like Origin Investments, a private equity real estate company, to raise more than $130 million for a fund — its third fund, to be exact. To date, this is the largest fund raised by a single U.S. real estate crowdfunding platform, ranking it alongside the backing that tends to launch hot tech startups into the limelight.

In fact, their expertise in asset management is what allowed them to raise $10 million in the first week of opening their third fund.

Money360 Secures Top Talent to Support Company Growth (Marketwired), Rated: B

Money360, the leading commercial real estate marketplace lending platform, recently announced the addition of eight new hires to support the company’s rapid expansion. The hires include five seasoned commercial real estate executives and three industry specialists, who were brought on to support the increased deal flow and expanding base of borrowers and capital partners in the U.S. and around the world.

The new hires include:

  • Paul Cleary, Chief Operating Officer: Cleary was Executive Vice President of Cherrywood Commercial Lending, LLC, where he helped found the company and oversaw loan production and marketing. Prior to that, he was the First Vice President of the Business Services division at Kinecta Federal Credit Union. He earned his MBA from University of California, Irvine, his JD from the University of San Diego School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • John Calder, Director of Credit Administration: Calder has worked as a commercial real estate operator and executor for more than 20 years at companies including SABAL Financial Group, Mir, Mitchell & Company, LLP and Sterling Bank & Trust. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business at University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Stratos Athanassiades, Regional Director – Midwest Region: With more than 20 years of experience, Athanassiades has held a number of managerial roles for Alliant Credit Union, Business Partners, LLC, MetLife and Wachovia Securities. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Northwestern University.
  • Nick Jans, Regional Director – Southwest Region: Jans has originated and produced more than $2.1 billion in commercial real estate financings. His background includes positions as principal at Willow Bend Commercial Capital, Vice President at New York Life Investment Management and Investment Director at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Louis University in Missouri.
  • Craig Brown, CRE Loan Underwriter: With nearly 30 years of experience, Brown has held a number of executive and managerial positions at real estate consulting companies, mortgage firms and major banks. His wide range of experience includes positions at Security Pacific Bank, CORE Realty Holdings, LLC and Wells Fargo Bank. Brown earned his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and his JD from Western State University.

In addition to the new executives, the new hires also include three support specialists: Jared Wright, CRE Loan Analyst; Annie Chantaduly, CRE Loan Expeditor; and Joel McRae, CRE Customer Service specialist.

OCC Office of Innovation Schedules Open Office Hours for Fintech & Traditional Finance Firms (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is opening up its doors at its Office of Innovation.  Announced today, the OCC will host office hours for its Office of Innovation at the OCC’s district office in New York City. The OCC is welcoming national banks, federal savings associations and Fintech companies to stop by and visit from July 24 to 26.

If you are interested, you may contact the OCC and request a slot through July 5.

You may schedule time for the Office of Innovation here.

United Kingdom

UK P2P Lending Platform to Launch Innovative Finance ISA (National law Review), Rated: AAA

RateSetter, a UK P2P lending platform, has raised £13 million in its latest round of fundraising as it prepares to launch its “innovative finance” ISA (IF-ISA).  The IF-ISA allows investors, or lenders, to earn interest free of income tax.  Before a P2P platform can offer its own ISA, it must be fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Ranger Direct Lending fund updates on loan write-off (AltFi), Rated: AAA

Investors in the £250m Ranger Direct Lending investment trust have had a bumpy 2017 after a stellar run in 2016 where the portfolio outperformed nearly all its rivals as well as the broader marketplace, as shown in the graph below.

Source: AltFi

Currency exchange fintech launches partnership API (AltFi), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer money exchange firm WeSwap has launched a new service called “WeSwap Connect”. The B2B platform is designed to allow other firms to offer WeSwap’s travel money services alongside their own, via a “one-click” API integration.

WeSwap has named peer-to-peer lender Zopa as one of 18 new partners to sign up to the new service in the last 12 months, alongside such firms as SIXT, Perkbox and Secret Escapes.

WeSwap allows holidaymakers to swap currency with people travelling in the opposite direction. That currency is then loaded onto a Mastercard capable of holding 18 currencies simultaneously. WeSwap Connect allows partner firms to offer their customers a co-branded version of that Mastercard to take on holiday.

Nuance says that biometrics have reached their “coming of age” (SC Magazine), Rated: A

Biometrics firm Nuance has said that biometrics have reached their “coming of age” in terms of usefulness to enterprises in mitigating fraud.

The company recognises biometrics’ inherent flaws: struggling to identify people in noisy environments who are using voice recognition, or failing to authenticate someone using a finger scanner thanks to dirt in the device, when used as a stack of defences, can be used as a case to dismiss biometrics.

There are a few examples of the media misrepresenting biometrics too. Prime example: the BBC using twin brothers to evade detection of HSBCs “my voice is my password” voice recognition system.

What further exacerbates the problem is that there are numerous examples of where a failure to authenticate might lead to ‘cart abandonment’ in the e-commerce space, for example, and consequently lead to lost revenue for the company.

For context, the UK’s Annual Fraud Indicator says the cost per year of fraud to the UK is stood at £193 billion. An extra 21 percent would push that figure up to £233.53 billion.

This is where Nuance says biometrics could help. Internal research from the company claims 74 percent of tier-one financial institutions and 76 percent of telcos still exclusively use knowledge-based authentication to secure transactions in contact centres.

More than 1,500 cases of fraud totalling almost £4 million were stopped in just the first eight months of voice biometrics being deployed.

RateSetter and Al Rayan CEOs named in Queen’s honours list (Financial Reporter), Rated: B

Al Rayan Bank CEO, Sultan Choudhury, and RateSetter founder and CEO, Rhydian Lewis, have both received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Lewis was named in the list as a ‘Peer to Peer and Financial Inclusion Innovator’ and was honoured for services to Financial Services.

Choudhury was honoured in recognition of his services to the UK Market for Islamic Finance.

China

Ping An Group Yao Bo: is actively promoting the listing of Lu Jin (01caijing), Rated: A

On the afternoon of June 16, at the shareholders’ meeting of Ping An Group, Yao Bo, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ping An Group, said that in addition to the listing of the land, the shareholders also mentioned the listing of Ping An Securities, Is: if you can enhance the overall value, will be actively considered.

European Union

BlackRock gets into European ‘robo advice (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, made its first push into Europe’s “robo-advice” market on Tuesday after taking a stake in Anglo-German digital investment manager Scalable Capital.

BlackRock, which manages $5.4 trillion across a range of actively managed and index-tracking funds, led a €30 million (£26.2 million, $33.6 million) funding round for Scalable alongside its two existing German venture capital backers, a joint statement said.

The funding will help Scalable expand its robo-advice business — which uses low-cost exchange-based funds and online distribution — with financial institutions and corporates to help grow assets past the €250 million raised in the 16 months since launch from more than 6,000 retail clients.

Patrick Olson, BlackRock’s chief operating officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and who will join Scalable’s supervisory board, said the decision to invest came as investors increasingly wanted to access their holdings using technology.

Wealth managers’ alternatives exposure reaches record high in 2017 (AltFi), Rated: A

Seven Investment Management (7IM) has increased its exposure to alternative strategies to the firm’s highest ever levels as it seeks defensive returns away from traditional fixed income and equities.

This has prompted its investment management team to look to new strategies, for example, the £1.6bn 7IM AAP Balanced fund has seen alternative strategies exposure increase from 2.5 per cent at the start of 2016, moving to 5.5 per cent a year ago, and up to 8 per cent in May 2017.

The previous peak was 7 per cent in October 2011 during the Eurozone crisis and US debt ceiling crisis.

International

10 Real Estate Investing Fintech Startups (Nanalyze), Rated: AAA

One asset class that’s just begging to be reinvented these days is that of realty. What’s the matter with realty and why does it need to be reinvented? A few problems:

  • The traditional way to invest in property is to buy a single house which offers zero diversification to the buyer
  • Commercial property is not very accessible for retail investors due to higher price points
  • Real estate has very, very low liquidity. You can’t buy or sell it very fast.

Founded in 2014, New York startup Cadre has taken in $133 million in funding so far from investors that include some big names like Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, and Peter Thiel’s Founders fund to name a few. Just last week, Cadre closed their Series C round of $65 million led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Over the past 9 years, LendInvest has lent $1.28 billion in loans to developers that have bought, built, or renovated 3,000 properties across the UK.

Founded in 2012, Los Angeles startup RealtyMogul.com has taken in $45 million in funding so far to develop an “online market for real estate investing”. More than 120,000 investors are using the platform to invest $270 million into commercial real estate deals.

Founded in 2013, San Francisco startup RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform for both commercial and residential real estate financing which has taken in $35.7 million in funding so far (think Lending Club for real estate).

New York startup Knock has taken in $34.5 million in funding to solve the problem of poor liquidity in residential real estate. Their online home selling platform provides a guaranteed way to sell their home in six weeks. The fees are 6% which also includes a 3% commission to the agent representing the buyer. Why we still need “agents” in this day and age is mind boggling.

Oakland California startup Roofstock has taken in $33.25 million in funding to develop an online marketplace that lets you invest in leased single-family rental homes. Essentially, you can become a landlord by purchasing homes that already have tenants.

London England startup Property Partner has taken in $32.26 million in funding so far to develop a platform that offers residential real estate crowdfunding with a secondary exchange for investors to trade holdings on.

Arizona startup Offerpad has taken in $30 million in funding so far to offer solutions that make the online buying and selling of homes more efficient. In the case of Offerpad, that offer to buy can close in as little as 5 days and up to 90 days.

Los Angeles startup Peerstreet has taken in $21.1 million in funding so far to develop a crowdfunding platform for investors to easily access high yielding loans, collateralized with real estate.

Hamburg startup Exporo has taken in $18.03 million in funding so far to build a real estate crowdfunding platform specifically for zee Germans.

Most valuable venture-backed fintech unicorns (Reuters), Rated: A

Australia

Victoria making a play to be Australia’s FinTech capital (Omny.fm), Rated: AAA

Victoria is creating a FinTech hub and will host the first FinTech festival in Australia. The Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis chats to Trevor Long and Nick Bennett on Talking Technology about making a play to be Australia’s FinTech capital and the joys of dial-up internet.

India

DCB Bank launches first biometric ATM (India Info Online), Rated: AAA

Edging over competitors, DCB Bank launched first of its kind ATM, that will not require a debit card to dispense cash as the machine will instead verify the customer’s Aadhar card details including the iris and the fingerprint of the customer.

However, the ATM will also accept debit cards swipes for the purpose of cash withdrawal.

The high-tech ATM was installed in the capital of Telangana, said a press release issued by the bank.

How this #1 Global Conglomerate Is Engulfing Indian Market (Entrepreneur.com), Rated: A

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has already made a foothold in India with its ticketing operations, cloud computing and news agency.

The company has also invested in digital wallet Paytm for the launch of Paytm Mall, a mobile shopping app which offers a mixed experience of a mall and bazaar to Indian customers.

In September 2015, Alibaba Group and Ant Financial invested about $680 million in the online payment platform.

Alibaba-Paytm Deal

In March 2015, Paytm received a $575 million investment from Alibaba Group after Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group affiliate, bought a 25% stake in One97(the parent company of Paytm), as part of a strategic agreement. Ant Financial Services Group, which operates Alipay the biggest online payment platform, will help Paytm improve user experience and continue doing good in competitive digital wallet space.

Wodehouse Capital Advisors launches exclusive investment network (Forbes India), Rated: A

Wodehouse Capital Advisors, a multi-family office and mid-market focussed investment bank has launched an investment network for high net worth individuals (HNIs).

The platform also seeks to be an “impartial peer-to-peer networking forum”. According to Manmohan Tiwana, managing director and CEO, Wodehouse Capital Advisors, “WIN is a great way to invest, as it allows you to do so in a social environment and also earns you profits at the same time.” Aside from offering investment opportunities, WIN will offer its members “various luxuries and lifestyle-related products” such as access to high-end event and conferences organised by Wodehouse Capital Advisors.

Asia

Sedania expects earnings boost with Islamic FinTech platform from 2H17 (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Technology empowerment company Sedania Innovator Bhd expects income to start coming from recently acquired Islamic FinTech platform provider Sedania As-Salam Capital (SASC) as early as the second half of financial year ending Dec 31, 2017 (FY17).

According to the independent market research report, the personal financing market under the Islamic banking system in Malaysia was valued at RM28.8 billion in 2016, amounting to 41.7% of the total personal financing market, it said.

Philippines

For Poor Filipino Farmers Reliant On Predatory Lending, This Startup Offers An Alternative (Forbes), Rated: AAA

For Cropital cofounder Rachel de Villa, her company’s mission is rooted in personal experience. After seeing her grandmother lose her pineapple farm, she became determined to prevent other farmers from losing their livelihoods due to financial hardship.

To date, Cropital has facilitated loans for 600 farmers in six provinces throughout the Philippines. The team vets potential borrowers based on the types of crops they’re growing (or livestock they’re raising) and suitability to the region. Once a farmer successfully repays a loan, he or she can recommend other local farmers to the platform, who will also go through the vetting process.

Investments begin at 5,000 Philippine pesos (about $100 USD) and increase by increments of the same. Cropital built a custom virtual wallet for its platform, and users must transfer money through that system.

Africa

TechPrenuer Africa signs fintech MoU with Abu Dhabi Global Market (Finextra), Rated: AAA

TechPreneur Africa, a social impact firm focused on harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve real economic impact across Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, to foster and support the growth and activities of FinTech in the Middle East and African regions.

ADGM is the first in the MEA region to have a FinTech regulatory laboratory (RegLab) regime to foster innovation in financial services.

Techpreneur Africa who officially launched operations in the African Market in 2015, are delighted at the potential the opportunity presents to African Fintech entrepreneurs, firms and the financial services industry in its drive towards 30% financial inclusion growth by 2020.

Africa’s payments and remittances space becoming crowded (How We Made It In Africa), Rated: A

We asked Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, about the report’s major takeaways. We asked Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, about the report’s major takeaways.

According to Disrupt Africa’s recent report, there are over 300 fintech start-ups active in the continent. I assume some of them are high-potential, fast-growing enterprises, while others are struggling for survival?

The extent to which Africans are lacking access to formal financial services means there is an innate potential in fintech on the continent, as evidenced by the fact there are more than 300 companies working in the space. However, there is a danger of saturation, especially in segments such as payments and remittances, and we would hope to see some consolidation over the coming years as there is not room for so many individual companies to all scale and succeed.

What, according to you, have been some of the more noteworthy fintech investments over the past year?

Zoona’s $15m round last August was major, with Nomanini also raising [funding]. In the payments space, Nigeria’s Flutterwave raised a sizeable round. It has also been interesting to see so many blockchain start-ups raising funding – notably BitPesa, Custos Media, The Sun Exchange and BitFinance. In fact, our data suggests that blockchain start-ups stand a greater chance of securing investment than any other type, with almost 40% of African blockchain start-ups backed so far.

According to your report, the payments and remittances market is the most popular sub-category within the fintech space. Why do you think that is?

Moving money between African countries, and in and out of Africa, is an expensive business – with transaction fees charged by banks and traditional remittance firms, such as Western Union, starting as high as 10%. Tech-enabled payments and remittances start-ups can bring these prices right down – often to around 2% or 3% – and open up new economic opportunities for Africans.

Kazakhstan

ID Finance awarded Microfinance Company status from the National Bank of Kazakhstan (ID Finance Email), Rated: AAA

George Popescu
Allen Taylor