How PayPal is Making Itself Competitive

PayPal Swift Financial

Even though the SME sector is the proverbial “backbone” of the US economy, it still faces a lot of difficulties in accessing credit. Six in 10 businesses find it difficult to borrow, which is essential to expedite their growth plans. Around 58% of SMEs rely on bank loans, and 50% of SMEs use working capital […]

PayPal Swift Financial

Even though the SME sector is the proverbial “backbone” of the US economy, it still faces a lot of difficulties in accessing credit. Six in 10 businesses find it difficult to borrow, which is essential to expedite their growth plans. Around 58% of SMEs rely on bank loans, and 50% of SMEs use working capital to fund their businesses. This has led to a spurt in considering non-traditional channels like private equity (36%) and crowdsourcing (35%) for funding requirements. Though financing conditions have eased up after the 2008 financial crisis, there is still a massive demand-supply mismatch and alternative lenders are swiftly moving in to exploit the opportunities.

Following the growth trajectory of other industry players, PayPal, the online payments giant, has acquired Swift Financial, a leading provider of working capital solutions for small and medium enterprises in the U.S., in its bid to expand their working capital unit.

Swift Financial

Swift Financial was founded in 2006 by Ed Harycki and is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Since its inception, it has provided funding to more than 20,000 small businesses. Because of its unique technology platform that combines data, technology, and outstanding customer service, it has been recognized for its excellence by J.D. Power and was awarded “contact center operation customer satisfaction excellence in the live phone channel” under the J.D. Power Certified Contact Center Program. The company has developed sophisticated credit scoring and pricing tools and data.

Swift Financial had raised over $56 million before it agreed to sell itself to PayPal. Loan amount ranges from $5,000-$75,000, and the loan-term ranges from 13-52 weeks. The loan APR ranges from 2.5% to 18.75% and the median APR is 13.52%. It has originated loans worth $800 million (approximately). On average, Swift funds applications within 3 days.

PayPal

PayPal enables its users to transact through their bank accounts, credit card companies, and more, while keeping their personal information discreet. In 2013, PayPal launched its lending arm. The Working Capital Unit provides cash advances to its clients based on their sales volume. It uses the data collected through its payment platform for assessing the creditworthiness of the borrowers. Since its launch in 2013, PayPal’s Working Capital Unit has provided more than $3 billion in funding to more than 115,000 small businesses (with maximum funding of up to $125,000). PayPal describes it lending arm, Working Capital Unit, as a strategic offering that drives merchants to increase their sales growth and helps in increasing processing volume.

How PayPal is Charting Its Own Path

After being acquired by eBay in 2002, PayPal split from the multi-national ecommerce J.D. J.D. PowerPowers company in 2015. It listed itself on NASDAQ under the ticker PYPL. Since then, it has been trying to chart its own path. 2017, particularly, has been busy for the company as it has been expanding partnerships and acquiring businesses that will help the company create a financial services behemoth.

  • Partnered with Skype (August 2)
  • Expanded relationship with JP Morgan Chase (July 20)
  • Expanded partnership with Citibank (July 20)
  • Finalized acquisition of TIO Networks (July 18)
  • Expanded partnership with Samsung (July 17)
  • Launched capability to pay for app store purchases using PayPal (July 11)
  • Launched instant bank account transfers (June 20)
  • Enabled Android users on Chrome to authorize PayPal purchases with their fingerprint (May 17)
  • Extended partnership with Google (April 18)

Apart from the above-mentioned partnerships and acquisitions, one of its biggest pushes into alternative lending is acquiring Swift Financial to bolster its lending arm Working Capital Unit. The company should have been a leader in the space considering the share of online payments it controls, but had lagged behind rivals like Kabbage and OnDeck in the previous years.

The Reason PayPal Acquired Swift Financial

PayPal’s current market cap is around $70 billion; company’s 2nd quarter revenue was $3.14 billion, a jump of 20% year over year. It has added 22 million active accounts, and its mobile payment volumes have increased by 50% since the second quarter of 2016. Its Venmo payment volume was up by 103% to $8 billion in the second quarter of this year. It has the resources to dominate the segment, and Swift Financial will give it that much-needed shot in the arm.

The company earlier entered into a commercial white-label partnership with Swift Financial for providing affordable funding solutions to small businesses. It is anticipated that the acquisition of Swift Financial will enable PayPal to expand its lending ecosystem. The acquisition will allow PayPal to increase its maximum loan size from the current $125,000 to almost $500,000. PayPal sales were dependent on serving merchants on it’s own platform. This allows PayPal to create a different sales funnel and introduce new merchants to its bouquet of products. Cross-selling opportunities are immense and will surely add a lot of value to the deal in the future.

Moreover, Swift Financial’s technology platform will provide supplementary data to PayPal’s underwriting algorithm that will help it to fully understand a business’s strength and will also support PayPal in offering add-on financial services to its clients.

Impact on SME Lending

According to the Small Business Administration, there were approximately 28.8 million small businesses in the United States representing 99.7% of all businesses. Considering the multi-trillion-dollar market opportunity, and the gap while accessing credit from traditional sources, makes the Swift Financial acquisition by PayPal extremely strategic.

Since their inception, Kabbage and OnDeck have originated loans worth over $10 billion combined. A number of tech companies have set up their own lending arms to encourage spending. Amazon set up Amazon Lending in 2011 and has so far loaned out $3 billion to SMEs. Square Capital, which was launched in 2014, passed $1 billion in loans originated in November 2016. It became imperative for the company of PayPal’s size and stature to do something radical and big in order to stay in touch with its rivals. PayPal’s move is considered a bold move and a strong statement of intent.

Conclusion

Acquisition of Swift Finance will provide a strong foundation to PayPal’s ambition of becoming a leader in the SME lending segment. PayPal’s infrastructure, database, and big pockets means that you can bet safely that the company will be a force to reckon with in this growing industry segment.

Author:

Written by Heena Dhir.

Wednesday September 20 2017, Daily News Digest

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News Comments Today’s main news: PayPal to fully integrate Swift Financial after closing acquisition.GoCardless raises $22.5M.Qudian poising for U.S. IPO.Varengold Bank AG to give $61M to MarketInvoice.Bondora hits 100M Euro milestone.Reserve Bank of India to treat P2P lenders as non-banking financial companies. Today’s main analysis: Public distrusts regulators as much as Wall Street.(a must-read) Today’s […]

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United States

PayPal will fully integrate Swift Financial ‘over the next year’ after loan provider acquisition closes (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

A little over one month after revealing plans to acquire Swift Financial, PayPal has announced that the deal is now complete.

PayPal said that it plans to fully integrate Swift Financial into its payment service “over the course of the next year,” according to Darrell Esch, PayPal’s vice president and commercial officer of global credit, in a blog post.

PayPal has actually offered a working capital program for lending money to small businesses since 2013, and it has loaned more than $3 billion through the program to date. This compares to the $3 billion Amazon has loaned SMEs since the launch of Amazon Lending back in 2011, and the $1.5 billion in loans Square has doled out since launching Square Capital in 2014.

Public Distrusts Wall Street Regulators as Much as Wall Street (Cato.org), Rated: AAA

The new Cato Institute 2017 Financial Regulation national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults released today finds that Americans distrust government financial regulators as much as they distrust Wall Street. Nearly half (48%) have “hardly any confidence” in either.

Americans have a love-hate relationship with regulators. Most believe regulators are ineffective, selfish, and biased:

  • 74% of Americans believe regulations often fail to have their intended effect.
  • 75% believe government financial regulators care more about their own jobs and ambitions than about the well-being of Americans.
  • 80% think regulators allow political biases to impact their judgment.

But most also believe regulation can serve some important functions:

  • 59% believe regulations, at least in the past, have produced positive benefits.
  • 56% say regulations can help make businesses more responsive to people’s needs.

Americans want regulators to focus on preventing banks and financial institutions from committing fraud (65%) and ensuring banks and financial institutions fulfill their obligations to customers (56%).

  • 77% believe bankers would harm consumers if they thought they could make a lot of money doing so and get away with it.
  • 64% think Wall Street bankers “get paid huge amounts of money” for “essentially tricking people.”
  • Nearly half (49%) of Americans worry that corruption in the industry is “widespread” rather than limited to a few institutions.
Source: Cato Institute

Few Americans Want “More” Financial Regulations—They Want the Right Kinds of Regulations, Properly Enforced

Polls routinely find that a plurality or majority of Americans want more oversight of Wall Street banks and financial institutions. This survey is no different. A plurality (41%) of Americans think more oversight of the financial industry is needed. However, only 18% think the problem with federal oversight of the banking industry is that there are “too few” rules on Wall Street. Instead, 63% say the government either fails to “properly enforce existing rules” (40%) or enacts the “wrong kinds” of regulations on big banks (23%).

Despite Distrust of Wall Street, Americans Like Their Own Banks and Financial Institutions

  • 90% are satisfied with their personal bank; 76% believe their bank has given them good information about the rates and risks associated with their account.
  • 87% are satisfied with their credit card issuer; 81% believe their credit card issuer has given them good information about the rates, fees, and risks associated with their card.
  • 83% are satisfied with their mortgage lender.
  • Of those who have used payday or installment lenders in the past year, 63% believe the lender gave them good information about the fees and risks associated with the loan.
Source: Cato Institute

Democrats and Republicans Want a Bipartisan Commission to Run CFPB, Divided on CFPB Independence

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans think the CFPB should be run by a bipartisan commission of Democrats and Republicans, rather than by a single director. Support is post-partisan with 67% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans in favor of a bipartisan commission leading the agency.
  • A majority (54%) of Americans think that Congress should not set the CFPB’s budget and should only have limited oversight of the agency.
  • Few Americans (26%) believe the CFPB has achieved its mission to make the terms and conditions of credit cards and financial products easier to understand. Instead, 71% say that since the CFPB was created in 2011 credit card terms and conditions have not become easier to understand—including 54% who believe they have stayed the same and 17% who think they have become less clear.

Most Support Risk-Based Pricing for Loans, Say Low Credit Scores are Due to Irresponsibility

Nearly three-fourths of Americans (74%) say they’d be “unwilling” to pay more for their home mortgage, car loan, or student loan to help those with low credit scores access these loans.

Source: Cato Institute

PayPal Officially Adds Swift Financial to Fuel More Dreams (PayPal), Rated: A

The acquisition will expand PayPal’s ability to provide access to business financing options to the millions of small business owners who rely on PayPal and our partner platforms to run their businesses. As we’ve said before, increasing access to capital is vital to the success of small businesses and is a strategic offering for PayPal, which drives merchants’ sales growth, increases processing volume, and reduces merchant churn.

A Manifesto to All Men: We Have to Do Better (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

Like many of you I was shocked and infuriated by the news out of SoFi last week. I think we all expected better from the company and its leaders. Some of the behavior that has been reported is reprehensible and it points to a much deeper problem that goes way beyond fintech. The problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is bigger than any one company, any one industry or even any one country. It is rampant throughout the globe.

Men: we cannot keep behaving this way.

I have been drinking at the bar late at night at enough conferences to know that many men believe it is still ok to treat women as objects. This kind of attitude has consequences in the workplace. And if the leaders of the company condone this behavior there will be a culture that is at best unwelcoming towards women and at worst so toxic it can endanger the very survival of the company.

Women in Fintech

People often complain to me about the lack of women in fintech. People say that LendIt does not have enough female speakers and there are not enough women in general at our events.

This article is the first step in what I expect will be a long journey towards making fintech a more welcoming place for women. I want to see us do better as an industry. We should do everything we can to make fintech an attractive career choice for young women. We have several initiatives around this that are in the planning stages that we hope to roll out at LendIt USA in San Francisco next year.

Today In Data: SoFi’s Woes (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In addition, there are rumors circulating that improperly funded SoFi loan products were sold to investors.

Here are the numbers:

  • $4 billion | Valuation of SoFi as of Sept. 15
  • $3.1 billion | Value of loans funded by SoFi in Q2 2017
  • $1.9 billion | Total venture capital funding raised by investors like Baseline Ventures, Discovery Capital and SoftBank
  • $134 million | SoFi revenue generated in Q2 2017
  • 350,000 | Number of borrowers who have used SoFi’s lending services, totaling more than $20 billion in loans
  • $75,000 | Settlement SoFi reached with a former executive assistant, as detailed by The New York Times
  • 30 | Number of employees who have leveled accusations against SoFi’s former CEO

Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevest just landed a big new round of funding (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Ellevest, a nearly three-year-old, New York-based digital investment platform built for women and led by former Wall Street titan Sallie Krawcheck, has raised $34.6 million in fresh funding.

It’s technically a Series A round, according to the company, which says a widely reported $10 million round that closed last year was seed capital.

The round — which was led by Rethink Impact, and includes participation from PSP Growth, Salesforce Ventures, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, LH Holdings, SK Impact Fund, Morningstar, Khosla Ventures, Mellody Hobson, Ulu Ventures, Contour Venture Partners and Astia Angels — brings the company’s total funding to $44.6 million.

Ant Financial to try again for U.S. approval of MoneyGram deal (Reuters), Rated: A

Chinese payments company Ant Financial is planning to resubmit its application for U.S. review of its deal to buy MoneyGram International Inc (MGI.O) for $1.2 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ant Financial and MoneyGram have already refiled for clearance from Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when they were unable to secure it within an assessment period after the first application, Reuters reported in July, citing sources.

Ant Financial’s latest attempt for approval would be its third as the maximum time of 75 days for assessing such applications nears completion.

JPMorgan Seeks to Banish Paper Payments With a Fintech Venture (Bloomberg), Rated: A

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is partnering with another fast-growing technology firm, this time to help business clients eradicate paper checks.

The bank is working with Bill.com, the largest U.S. business-to-business payments network, to enable customers to send and receive electronic payments and invoices, according to Stephen Markwell, a product strategy head for JPMorgan’s commercial bank. The New York-based lender will pilot the service in early 2018 and plans to offer it to more business and commercial clients later in that year, Markwell said.

While many consumers already are embracing digital tools for sending money, like PayPal Inc.’s Venmo or the banking industry’s Zelle, more than half of business payments are still via check, according to Markwell. Companies write 8 billion checks a year, each costing about $4 to print and handle, he said.

In an ongoing acquisition streak, LendingTree buys another online loan marketplace (Biz Journals), Rated: A

LendingTree Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE) has acquired an online loan platform for businesses called Snap Capital, known as SnapCap, in a potential $21 million deal. SnapCap is LendingTree’s fifth acquisition since June of 2016.

LendingTree says the acquisition has a potential value of $21 million. The online marketplace will pay $12 million in cash upfront and if SnapCap hits certain performance targets over time, it will receive contingent payments of up to $9 million.

Charlotte-based LendingTree has been diversifying its business over the last several years beyond mortgages. And its stock price has been on the rise as a result. LendingTree’s stock was up about 7% Tuesday afternoon after the acquisition announcement. The company’s shares were trading at $251 Tuesday afternoon, up from about $93 per share a year ago.

LendingPoint Closed On $ 500M Credit Facility In August (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Online lender LendingPoint announced Tuesday (Sept. 19) that it had closed an up to $500 million credit facility on Aug. 22.

In a press release, the company said the credit facility was arranged by Guggenheim Securities. LendingPoint noted it drew down $138.5 million of the facility at the closing, and it took an additional $32.7 million on Sept. 15. The proceeds are being earmarked to bankroll the growth of its consumer installment loan portfolio, a business element which has roughly doubled between August 2016 and August 2017.

According to the company, the up to $500 million credit facility is among the largest credit facilities raised in the online consumer lending market in 2017.

Pine River Capital Shutting $ 1 Billion Flagship Hedge Fund (WSJ), Rated: A

Pine River Capital Management is closing its $1 billion flagship hedge fund after clients asked to withdraw more money than the firm was expecting, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move will further shrink the Minnetonka, Minn.-based firm’s assets under management to $7.5 billion, half the roughly $15 billion it managed in 2015.

Don’t let court squander online lenders’ chance to reach underserved (American Banker), Rated: A

Most of the country has never heard of Madden v. Midland Funding and the common law doctrine of “valid-when-made,” but the impact of the misguided decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on consumers is far-reaching.

Rate exportation has been key to the rise of standardized nationwide financial products, like credit cards, allowing banks to lend to borrowers across state lines without necessarily establishing a physical presence in every state, giving consumers better choices.

Following the Madden decision, it is unclear in the 2nd Circuit whether certain bank loans transferred to a marketplace lending platform would be ruled valid or not. Are loans bound by the bank’s “home” state rate cap, or the borrower’s “host” state rate cap? No one knows for sure. This legal uncertainty has caused nonbank investors in these loans to pull back, which, in turn, has led to a reduction in responsible and affordable online lending. Borrowers who are still trying to build credit have lost better options. According to an August study by professors at the Columbia, Stanford and Fordham law schools, “the decision reduced credit availability for higher-risk borrowers in affected states.”

Reliant Funding and Merchants Capital Access to be known as Reliant Funding (PR Newswire), Rated: A

San Diego-based Reliant Funding and New York-based Merchants Capital Access are now joined as one under the Reliant Funding name.

Four Facts about Reliant Funding

  • Reliant Funding’s business model provides access to capital for businesses that traditional banking typically does not serve. With innovative pricing and cutting-edge risk management, it gives businesses the fuel they need to penetrate their market and grow.
  • Since its founding, Reliant has funded businesses over thirty thousand times, providing over $900 million in working capital to America’s small businesses.
  • Reliant Funding speaks directly with thousands of American small and medium sized businesses each month and services thousands more. The focus is always on the individual client, their business story and meeting their needs.
  • Reliant Funding’s Wholesale Division currently works with hundreds of partners, providing them with funding for their clients as if those clients were directly originated in-house. The key is a commitment to strategic alliances, ensuring the relationship lasts longer than a single transaction. It’s just one aspect of many which sets Reliant Funding apart from the competition.

Randstad Professionals addresses technology’s impact on finance and accounting (Business Insider), Rated: A

Cloud computing, big data and financial technologies have raised the stakes for finance and accounting professionals according to Randstad Professionals‘ new whitepaper, Technology’s Impact on Finance and Accounting.

There are three broad areas in which emerging technologies and digital tools are causing significant disruption to the way things are done:

 

  • Breaking down big data for strategy: Finance and accounting employees can use big data to their advantage by forecasting trends, pinpointing behavioral patterns and suggesting probable outcomes — all of which can tie into a company’s strategy and impact their bottom line.
  • Leaving repetitive work to the cloud: Cloud actions have the ability to handle inventory management, generate invoices and provide accurate financial data. The software also delivers convenience for employees who want to digitally share company finances among coworkers, financial advisors, customers and other key stakeholders at a moment’s notice.
  • Putting the functionality in finance: Finance is making its way into fixed markets that provide mobile phone applications and access on everyday devices. Over the years, we have revolutionized how we pay, view our bank statements and transfer money through start-ups such as Bitcoin and Linden Dollar. Technologies that also integrate peer-to-peer lending or personal loan requests allow for a frictionless experience for customers.

 

Opponents Ready For US Payday Loan Rule (America Now), Rated: A

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected in coming days to release a long-anticipated rule curbing payday lending, now that a final review by other regulatory agencies has concluded, three people familiar with the matter said.

The rule pits the country’s consumer financial watchdog against payday lenders who say the new regulation will wipe out much of their established industry, currently overseen by the states, and push poor and rural customers to use illegal loan sharks.

Because the loans can carry interest rates as high as 390 percent, borrowers can become trapped in devastating cycles of taking out new loans to pay outstanding ones, the CFPB said.

When The Payday Lending Rule Drops, Opponents Are Ready To Attack (PYMNTS), Rated: A

Payday and short-term lending is an approximately $6 billion-a-year industry, one that both critics and supporters of payday lending agree will take a major hit if the CFPB’s proposed rules on payday lending go through.

To make that block happen, Republicans in the House of Representatives added a “rider,” or amendment, to a spending bill banning the CFPB from regulating the payday loan industry.

The CFPB rules on payday lending have been in the works for some time and would require lenders to conduct background checks showing borrowers can afford the loans and to limit the number of loans made to a single borrower.

First Associates Loan Servicing Earns Morningstar’s Highest Ranking  (PR Web), Rated: B

First Associates Loan Servicing announced today the release of the Morningstar ranking report certifying their overall excellence in loan servicing. Morningstar awarded First Associates a MOR RV1 ranking of ‘stable’ which is the highest certification possible and deeply assesses risk management, call center performance, quality assurance, technology, security protocols, project management and disaster recovery protocols.

Low-cost loans help hurricane victims rebuild (TheStreet), Rated: B

Since the majority of consumers lacked insurance coverage for flood damage, the costs keep adding up from replacing furniture and appliances to renting another home or apartment until the costly repairs are completed.

The Small Business Administration offers both homeowners and renters disaster loans ranging from 1.75% to 3.5% of up to $40,000 for property damage such as furniture, clothing, cars and appliances and up to $200,000 for repairs to the house.

Using money from your IRA or 401(k) account is likely a better option than asking friends or family or seeking a loan from a payday lender.

RealtyShares Gives Investors Access To Real Estate With Just A Few Clicks (Benzinga), Rated: B

What makes it so diverse? The markets available or the types of real estate?

Amy Kirsch: All of the above. We’ve done deals in 39 states, we offer debt and equity, commercial and residential, and we’ve done basically every asset class.

Do you have a minimum for investment?

The lowest limit we have now is $5,000, but it varies on how large of a fundraise we’re completing.

What’s innovative about RealtyShares? The technology, or what it lets you access?
A combination of both—I’ve invested in real estate in the past, and it’s always come through people I knew, and it was concentrated to where I was living at the time. When you’re looking at middle-market opportunities or don’t have hundreds millions of dollars to invest, the opportunities become a little more rare. So access is definitely a differentiator here.

Prime-Ex Perpetual Launches Pre-ICO for Residential Real Estate Crowdfunding Effort (EIN News), Rated: B

On Monday, Prime-Ex Perpetual‘s real estate crowdfunding effort began in earnest with the launch of their PEX-Token cryptocurrency sale, aimed at generating $25,000,000 in USD equivalent cryptocurrencies. The PEX-Token is a dividend token in which the company will pay 80% of company profits back to the PEX-Token holders. Beginning Monday people purchasing PEX-Tokens will receive 15% bonus PEX-Tokens for purchasing PEX-Tokens early.

United Kingdom

GoCardless, a fintech that makes recurring payments easy for subscription businesses, raises $ 22.5M (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Once again, Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion, and Passion are backing GoCardless, this time to the tune of $22.5 million and on the back of what the startup says is record annual growth in the U.K. and strong, early traction in new markets. Outside of Blighty, the company operates its bank-to-bank payments network in the Eurozone and Sweden.

GoCardless isn’t disclosing revenue. Instead the company says it processes over $4bn worth of transactions across more than 30,000 organisations in the U.K. and Europe, working with small startups and large enterprises across a number of industries. It offers an API and off the shelf integrations with over 100 partners including Xero, Sage and Zuora. Customers include Sage, Thomas Cook, Box and The Guardian.

Artificial intelligence: the legal and regulatory challenges (Lexology), Rated: A

Artificial intelligence (AI) will soon be everywhere. The insurance industry is facing huge changes as AI steps boldly into every aspect of its internal operations and external relationships wearing the bright new clothes of InsurTech.

It has brought new players into the insurance market with some, like Lemonade, the world’s first peer-to-peer insurance carrier powered by AI and behavioural economics, experiencing phenomenal growth over a very short time.

It is estimated that around £1.32 billion was invested globally in the InsurTech arena in 2016, up 32% on the previous year. The lion’s share of this was in the United States but the UK and Europe are increasing their investment (see chart below).

Other innovations, such as fractional insurance where customers buy on a pay-as-you-go basis or peer-to-peer insurance, will have a deeper impact.

For Rutter, one of the key cultural challenges for the insurance industry is going to be its cautious approach to regulation.

he Financial Conduct Authority is the lead regulator in this area and it has been trying to engage the industry, setting up a ‘sandbox’ to encourage insurers to work with it to explore the impact of regulation on technological innovation. In particular, it will be aiming to test the boundaries of legislation such as the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).

There will be some InsurTech applications that get it wrong, predicts Rutter, potentially selling large numbers of policies to the very people underwriters don’t want on their books: “Insurers need to understand that once automated decisions have been made, you can’t pull back from them by cancelling policies. That is hardly treating customers fairly”.

Source: Lexology

Peer-to-peer lending: should you be worried about falling returns and the poorly-performing Innovative Finance ISA? (love money), Rated: A

Falling returns, big loans going bad and news that new Innovative Finance ISA has failed to attract investors is leaving questions hanging over the future of peer-to-peer lending.

The bad news began last month when RateSetter, one of the biggest peer-to-peer lenders, was forced to cough up nearly £9 million to stop customers losing money after a big loan went wrong.

It’s not just Ratesetter

At the same time, another peer-to-peer lender is coming under fire from its customers. Zopa is being criticised by customers who are seeing falling returns on their investments.

Paltry take up on the Innovative Finance ISA

Finally, interest in the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) has been disappointing. New stats from HMRC shows that just 2,000 IFISAs were opened in the 2016/17 tax year.

Abundance boss joins government’s Green Finance Taskforce (AltFi), Rated: B

Bruce Davis, co-founder and MD of green energy-focused P2P platform Abundance, has been appointed to the government’s Green Energy Taskforce. The group has been set up to help accelerate the growth of green finance and the UK’s low carbon economy.

Abundance is the UK’s biggest green energy-centric peer-to-peer site, with roughly £50m in finance facilitated for projects to date, according to AltFi Data. Its investors are able to invest in debentures for projects such as wind turbines and solar farms, and can hold those investments in an Innovative Finance ISA.

China

Online lender Qudian set for New York IPO (China Economic Review), Rated: AAA

Online consumer microlender Qudian said it plans to raise up to $750 million in a New York IPO, in the second of two major fintech deals this month which are expected to kick off a wave of similar listings by year-end. But a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Caixin the final fundraising amount is likely to exceed $1 billion, possibly making it the largest IPO by a Chinese company in the US this year.

European Union

German Bank Hands $ 61 Million to U.K. Online Lender Amid Brexit (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Uncertainty around Brexit may be mounting as political leaders from the U.K. and the European Union clash on the terms of separation, but that isn’t slowing down foreign investors from betting on Britain’s top peer-to-peer lenders.

Varengold Bank AG, a Hamburg-based private banking firm, will provide 45 million pounds ($61 million) in annual funding for loans to small businesses arranged by MarketInvoice Ltd., the British finance company said in an emailed statement.

28,639 investors have already invested EUR 102 million through Bondora and have received EUR 15 million in interest (Bondora), Rated: AAA

2017

Company reaches cash-flow profitability 100 million euro of loans issued.

Source: Bondora

Pan-European P2P Lender Younited Credit Raises €40 million from Historical Investors & the French Public Investment Bank (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Younited Credit, the Paris-headquartered consumer lender announced a capital increase of €40 million subscribed by a panel of the top of the crop growth investors in France. Next to its historical shareholders, EurazeoCrédit Mutuel Arkema, AG2R La Mondiale and Weber Investissements which are already very active in Fintech and alternative finance financing, the startup now takes on board new major investors: Bpifrance, Matmut Innovation, and Zencap Asset Management.

GoldMint, Provider of Gold-Backed Cryptoassets Launches ICO Today (The Merkle), Rated: A

Today, on the 20th of September, GoldMint is launching its ICO.

GoldMint is celebrating the beginning of its ICO by attending 3 major events on the same day the crowdsale kicks off.  One of these events is BlockchainLive in London  – Europe’s leading Blockchain conference bringing together over 75+ global experts in various fields.

Another one is Moscow’s ICO Event which this time mainly focuses on how legislation will impact the cryptocurrency space.

Today GoldMint is also present at the Global Blockchain Summit in Hong Kong gathering iconic speakers from various industries to discuss about the real-world applications of blockchain technology, as well as its potential benefits, risks, and regulatory concerns.

To spread the word about GoldMint in the USA  – GoldMint’s advisor and business developer Evgeniy Volfman has recently completed the official Northern American road trip representing the project in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Simultaneously, GoldMint is opting to expand its campaign globally, with the Middle East & Singapore regions being the current primary focus.

International

Nominations open to global Women in Fintech Powerlist (Disrupt-Africa), Rated: A

Nominations are open to Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist, which recognises women shaping the future of fintech around the world.

UK-based membership organisation Innovate Finance compiles its Powerlist of Women in Fintech each year, with the aim of closing the fintech gender gap by showcasing the women driving the global fintech space.

SegWit2x, NYA Bitcoin Agreement Loses Another Signatory (Cryptocoins News), Rated: A

Bitcoin peer-to-peer lending platform Wayniloans has withdrawn its support for the SegWit2x bitcoin scaling proposal and the New York Agreement (NYA).

Wayniloans joins several other companies in withdrawing support for SegWit2x and the NYA. Banking and payment processor Bitwala announced last month it will only follow the SegWit2x blockchain if it receives support from Bitcoin Core, which does not appear likely.

Australia

FinTech loans and payments (Choice), Rated: A

FinTechs are certainly in competition with other FinTechs, but the real competition is the established financial service industry, epitomised by the big four banks. Consumer banking is where FinTechs aim to cause the most disruption – and many would say it’s an area where disruption is long overdue.

One recent startup, Spriggy, is out to grab its fair share of the kids’ bank accounts market, for instance.

Over the past 10 years, consumers have lost about $5.7 billion to financial advisers and financial services providers who put their own interests first. The scandals have included Opes Prime, Storm Financial, Timbercorp/Great Southern, Bridgecorp, Fincorp, Trio/Astarra, Westpoint and Commonwealth Financial Planning.

The size of the market in Australia has grown substantially year on year. In 2014, $9.45 million changed hands by way of P2P consumer lending platforms, for instance; in 2015, the P2P consumer lending figure stood at $43.15m.

And when it comes to money raised through crowdfunding, the figure jumped from $8.2m to $26m over the same time period.

At the moment, there are at least 86 FinTech tools operating in Australia through which you can borrow money, most of which are P2P lending services.

And there are at least 24 crowdfunding services on offer. It’s no surprise, then, that the biggest external challenge for FinTechs these days is finding customers.

Nine Australian FinTech companies made the 2016 list of the top 100 FinTech innovators around the world, an annual roundup compiled by the FinTech investment firm H2 Ventures and KPMG Fintech.

  • Prospa – Offers small business loans from $5000 to $250,000 with payback terms from three to 12 months, “for any business purpose”
  • Tyro – A payment system technology designed for businesses.
  • Society One – A P2P lender that says it provides “simple, investor funded personal loans with low rates based on your good credit history”.
  • Afterpay – Allows you to pay for goods in instalments direct debited from your credit card or other payment option.
  • Brighte – Offers 0% interest loans to approved homeowners for household energy efficiency improvement, such as solar panels or more efficient windows.
  • Data Republic – A customer data exchange service to help businesses better target their services to customers.
  • Identitii – Allows banks and other financial institutions to get more information about where and when payment transactions occur.
  • HashChing – An online home loan service that connects you with mortgage brokers.
  • Spriggy – Allows parents to manage kids’ bank accounts using digital tools.
India

RBI notifies P2P lending platforms as NBFCs: Agencies (India Times), Rated: AAA

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday notified that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms would be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), an agency reported. This suggests the lending interface will now come under the purview of RBIs regulation under the RBI Act.

Company Name : Rubique (Business Wire India), Rated: B

Rubique, India’s leading FinTech company, is now taking giant strides in enhancing the level of education and training in the FinTech domain in India. In view of the highly lucrative opportunities that await young professionals in the landscape, it is leveraging its expertise to co-certify courses in FinTech at the prestigious SP Jain School of Global Management.

Latin America

Fintech Startups Attract Capital In Latin America (Forbes), Rated: A

Many Latin Americans are hard pressed to obtain credit for their businesses or family needs, as 49% of adults do not have bank accounts.

The region’s fintech industry secured $186 million in venture capital investments last year, according to the Latin America Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) – with more than one-third going to startups. Deal count increased by 81%, with 38 transactions.

In Brazil, 160 million adults have some type of banking relationship, but only 55 million are borrowers, according to the country’s central bank. This, combined with more than 20 million unbanked people, turns Latin America’s largest economy into a fertile ground for fintechs, says Jose Prado, founder of Conexao Fintech, an online hub for fintech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.

Creditas raised $19 million in a Series B funding round. The Sao Paulo-based firm provides asset-backed debt focused on auto and mortgage loans.

In Mexico, where 55.9% of adults have no access to any form of savings deposits, fintechs are offering digital, user-friendly alternatives to traditional banking products, according to Jorge Ortiz, founding president and CEO of non-profit organization Fintech Mexico.

Ripio Credit Network Announces ICO Pre-Sale, Crowd Sale Starts on October 17 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Ripio Credit Network, a company that has raised $5 million in funding from VC like Tim Draper, Pantera, DCG, Overstock (Medici Ventures) and others. Has launched their Initial Coin Offering pre-sale as they gear up for the crowd sale scheduled to launch on October 17th. This comes just as Ripio has received a nice recognition, along with a check, from the d10e Pitch competition.

Ripio, a prominent crypto-based company in Latin America, is building a global credit network solution that aims to enhance transparency and reliability in credit and lending. Ripio is designed to enable connections between lenders and borrowers located anywhere in the world, regardless of currency.

Africa

FMO and above & beyond launch Fintech platform for African Banks to accelerate financial inclusion (FMO), Rated: AAA

FMO together with Miami based Fintech and digital transformation strategists above & beyond (a&b),  launched “ FinForward”, a marketplace where Fintech companies, Financial Institutions (FIs) and Mobile Money Providers (MMPs) in Africa are matched.

The objective of the new platform is to accelerate the digitization of the financial industry in Africa by supporting innovation of the core business with digital solutions. The matching and integration tool will make global Fintech companies accessible and top-of-mind to African financial institutions in order to help them to reduce costs, innovate, add services, tap into new revenue streams and work towards open banking platforms. It will also enable them to service difficult to reach segments such as the bottom of the pyramid, women and small entrepreneurs.

The matching and integration tool will make global Fintech companies accessible and top-of-mind to African financial institutions in order to help them to reduce costs, innovate, add services, tap into new revenue streams and work towards open banking platforms. It will also enable them to service difficult to reach segments such as the bottom of the pyramid, women and small entrepreneurs.

How does it work?

  • Outreach  – Banks, Mobile Money Providers and Fintechs are invited to join
  • Fintech Opportunity Scan – Participating banks and mobile money providers define their problems and needs
  • Matching – Pairing of Fintechs based on problem definition
  • Acceleration & Integration – Testing of Fintech solutions in a sandbox and integrating the technology into the bank’s operations
  • Showcase – demonstrate success during showcase days

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Friday August 11 2017, Daily News Digest

small business credit risk

News Comments Today’s main news: Earnest has Barclays looking for a buyer. Kabbage raises $250M. KBRA assigns preliminary Kabbage Asset Securitization ratings for Series 2017-1 Additional Notes. Funding Circle revamps website. Today’s main analysis: Small Business Credit Survey. Today’s thought-provoking articles: How good is POS financing? How the People’s Bank of China is changing online payments. Goldman Sachs on China’s […]

small business credit risk

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

Asia

News Summary

United States

Kabbage Raises $ 250 Million (NewsCenter), Rated: AAA

Fintech company Kabbage completed $250 million in financing from a subsidiary of SoftBank Group.

According to the company, this investment represents the largest equity raise in the online small business lending segment to date and brings Kabbage’s total equity raised to nearly $500 million.

KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to Kabbage Asset Securitization LLC, Series 2017-1 Additional Notes (BusinessWire), Rated: AAA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to four classes of additional Series 2017-1 notes (the “Series 2017-1 Additional Notes”) issued by Kabbage Asset Securitization LLC.

Kabbage Asset Securitization LLC (the “Issuer”) issued $525 million of Series 2017-1 Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D Notes (collectively, the “Series 2017-1 Notes”) on March 20, 2017. The Series 2017-1 Additional Notes include $25 million of additional Series 2017-1 Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D Notes (together with the Series 2017-1 Notes, the “Notes”). The ratings for the $525 million of original Series 2017-1 Notes will be confirmed in conjunction with the issuance of the Series 2017-1 Additional Notes. The Series 2017-1 Additional Notes will have the same terms as the corresponding classes of Series 2017-1 Notes, including same Note Rate, Advance Rate and Legal Final Payment Date. The proceeds of the sale of the Series 2017-1 Additional Notes will be used to provide extra funding capacity for Kabbage.

Source: BusinessWire
Source: BusinessWire

Affirm – A Leading Point of Sale Finance Provider (Nanalyze), Rated: AAA

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of easy money to be made in loans. If we look at the CB Insights list of unicorns, we see 211 of these mythical creatures grazing in a field of rainbow colored grass. If we break these unicorns into categories, here are the top-3:

  • eCommerce/Marketplace – 16%
  • Internet Software and Services – 13%
  • Fintech – 12%

When we drill into the fintech category, we see that just over half of the companies are based in the USA (13 fintech companies). Of these 13 fintechs, almost half are enabling people to spend money they don’t have:

  • Social Finance – $20 billion in loans funded (vs. just $1.45 billion in savings)
  • Credit Karma – Helps you see how much money you can borrow
  • Greensky – Instant credit decisions
  • Avant – Personal loans using artificial intelligence (AI) for credit scores
  • Prosper – Loan money to your neighbors so they can buy more isht
  • Kabbage – Loan money to small businesses at ridiculous rates

San Francisco startup Affirm has taken in a whopping $420 million in funding so far from high profile investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Morgan Stanley, and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

The ability for Affirm to be right there at the point of purchase is what puts them in front of everyone else who is trying to finance purchases. When you select Affirm, then you’re required to create an account after which your ability to pay is assessed.

This is not a revolving line of credit, but rather each transaction is evaluated on its own merits. The transactions are reported to Experian so that you can build up your credit to buy even more isht. For the privilege of instant credit at the point of purchase, you’ll pay between 10% and 30% APR simple interest.

San Francisco fintech is shopping for a buyer, as it scrambles to raise $ 50 million (Biz Journals), Rated: AAA

San Francisco fintech Earnest has hired Barclays (NYSE: BCS) to help it find a buyer and raise $50 million in equity, a “dual track” process that could see the company sold for around $200 million, The Information reports.

A sale of the online lender at that price would be lower than previous valuations, which have been pegged higher after the company raised $200 million in debt and $100 million in equity.

SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT SURVEY  (New York Fed), Rated: AAA

Startups are of particular interest since they account for 34% of all small employer firms and play an outsized role in U.S. innovation and productivity. Young firms are the drivers of job growth in the United States, accounting for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20% of gross job creation. Yet, even as their importance has become more widely recognized, the rate of startup creation has been decreasing for years. And, of those ventures that launch, failure rates are high. Approximately one-third of new establishments fail within their first two years, and half fail within five years.

While funding is the lifeblood of every company, capital is especially critical for startups. To reach scale, startups need to be able to secure expansion capital. The Report on Startup Firms offers detailed intelligence on startups’ financing needs and challenges, asking questions about capital requests, borrowing qualifications, applications and success levels.

This report addresses several important borrower-centric questions:

  • How strong is demand for financing among startups?
  • Are startup firms seeking financing and credit from traditional lenders, or are younger firms attracted to new capital sources?
  • How successful are new firms in obtaining financing, and how do they rate their experiences with lenders?
Source: Small Business Credit Survey

Read the full must-read report here.

PayPal Acquires Swift Financial, Expands Loan Capabilities (The Street), Rated: A

PayPal Holdings Inc. ( PYPL) has acquired online lending firm Swift Financial in an effort to expand the online payments company’s business that offers working capital to merchants, Reuters reports.

PayPal will now be able to offer term loans of up to $500,000 to its larger merchants while taking advantage of Swift’s data and capabilities.

Is regulation really keeping banks from lending? (American Banker), Rated: A

Policymakers pushing to scale back regulation have relied heavily on a core argument — bank lending is being held back by post-crisis capital rules and other restrictions.

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen has repeatedly said that banks’ lending activities have not been appreciably affected by new rules. In a hearing last month, she pointed to a survey of members by the National Federation of Independent Business which suggested that only a small fraction of small businesses are unable to get the credit they desire.

But loan demand is a difficult thing to measure, in part because it’s hard to count loans that aren’t made. By some metrics, lending demand is down.

But the industry says there is a worrisome trend that those aggregate numbers fail to address, and that is the heightened challenges that banks — particularly larger institutions — face in lending money to borrowers with less than perfect credit scores.

Bill Nelson, chief economist and head of research at The Clearing House Association, said that the new capital and liquidity rules — and especially the Fed’s stress testing program — have made it especially hard for the largest banks to make loans that run a risk of default under economic stress.

Competition rewards student loan borrowers who do their homework (Credible), Rated: A

An analysis of rate requests submitted by students and their families through the Credible marketplace found that when borrowers prequalified with more than one lender:

  • The average difference between the high and low interest rate on 10-year, fixed-rate loans was 1.7 percentage points.
  • Borrowers choosing the loan with the lower interest rate could expect median savings of $2,769.
  • In addition, private student loans funded through the Credible marketplace so far this year carry rates that can be competitive with federal PLUS loans.

When students and families request rates through the Credible marketplace and prequalify with more than one lender, the difference between their high rate and low rate averages 1.1 to 1.7 percentage points, depending on the loan term and type.

 

Vanguard posts unrivaled digital platform AUM (FinancialPlanning), Rated: A

The firm’s hybrid advice offering, Personal Advisor Services, is now at $83 billion in assets under management, according to the firm, putting it in position to be the first digital platform to cross $100 billion.

Since the first quarter of the year, the platform’s assets have experienced a 66% growth increase.

Even during its pilot phase with no paid advertising support, assets for Personal Adviser Services rose from $755 million in 2013 to $10.1 billion at the time of its launch in 2015.

FastPay and Tennenbaum Structure an Innovative $ 80MM Credit Facility for Videology (Newswire), Rated: A

FastPay, a prominent financial technology company that provides lending and payment solutions to digital businesses, along with Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC today announced the close of an $80 million international credit facility for Videology. Videology is a leading, global converged TV and video software provider with offices across the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia.

REAL ESTATE TOPS THE WILLIS ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT LEAGUE TABLE (All About Alpha), Rated: A

The gist of its new report is that the alternatives asset industry has grown to nearly $6.5 trillion in assets under management.  The world’s largest 100 alternative asset managers make up more than 61% of the pie, with $4 trillion, which represents an increase of 10% in the latter AUM number over the course of 2016.

The survey divided those 100 managers into seven classes, and found that of the ten, the largest share of assets is that held by real estate managers. The full breakdown among the seven classes is as follows:

  1. Real estate – 35% of the whole, over $1.4 trillion;
  2. Private equity fund managers – 18%, and $695 billion;
  3. Hedge funds – 17%, and $675 billion;
  4. PE funds of funds – 12%, and $492 billion;
  5. Illiquid credit – 9% and $228 billion;
  6. Infrastructure – 4% and $161 billion;
  7. Commodities – 1% and $40 billion.

Criticism Heats up on Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform iFunding (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

iFunding, a real estate crowdfunding platform, is getting hammered on Bigger Pockets – a real estate investment forum. iFunding has had a choppy operational history at best. The platform has been peppered with high profile partnerships and then departures. Two unrelated lawsuits, in which the platform allegedly prevailed, certainly did not help. iFunding has not been originating any new deals since 2016 – as far as we know. Now there are allegations of deals gone back and the possibility of insolvency.

Largest FinTech Co. in World Accelerates, Invests in Chapel Hill’s WalletFi (Exitevent), Rated: A

Little Rock, Ark., home to the VC FinTech Accelerator, wasn’t quite as sexy a locale, but the 12-week program was sponsored by FIS, the largest FinTech company in the world. It offered funding as well as access to 30 executives from a variety of major banks and FinTech companies who’d signed on as mentors and advisors.

The decision has been a good one. WalletFi has signed on its first customer and two high profile advisors including the CEO of a publicly-traded bank.

Crop Pro Raises $ 8M in Series A (Coverager), Rated: A

Des Moines-based Crop Pro announced it has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by agriculture investors Finistere Ventures and Seed 2 Growth Ventures (S2G), with participation from specialty insurer GuideOne Insurance . Crop Pro will use the investment to expand its team and speed the development of products and services that bridge the gap between agricultural and financial technologies.

3 Possible Application of Machine Learning in finance (TechBullion), Rated: A

It is becoming extremely hard to correctly determine the eligibility of a loan borrower. Even after careful evaluation of all available parameters, some successful companies and individuals still default their bank loan.

Loan eligibility evaluation tasks will be taken over by the smart machine learning technology. To determine the credit score of a client, machine learning can apply regression algorithms which are accurate.

As the financial world transition to digital currencies and digital transactions, there is going to be no physical theft because the money is virtually held. For this reason, thieves are starting to change tact and are now switching to digital means of stealing money.

When put in place, machine learning begins by gathering and segmenting data into at least three segments to create models which eventually amounts to datasets. These datasets can be obtained from historical information. The machine learning models and datasets can then be used to predict the possibility of fraud occurring in financial transactions.

7 Reasons Why Investing in Real Estate Online is Efficient & Effective (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Forbes reported earlier this year that real estate crowdfunding was a $3.5 billion industry in 2016, up from $1 billion in 2014.

  1. Real Estate Investing Is No Longer (as) Local. With online tools and search algorithms, you can put searching for properties ‘on automatic’ and find properties that match your criteria – locally, nationally or even anywhere in the world. 
  2. Transparency. Many online platforms, in addition to doing most of the due diligence before presenting their investment opportunities, have built-in tools that allow investors to analyze risk, assess property valuations, calculate internal rates of return and loan-to-value calculations, and do market research. 
  3. Availability of Information. This availability of information has spurred some investors to create their own investment groups where they pool (i.e. crowdsource) their collective knowledge to evaluate the investments presented, and often will use other resources and means to further evaluate an investment opportunity.
  4. Document Delivery Is More Efficient.
  5. Convenience. Investors in this century no longer have to drive to view properties because images and virtual tours online make it unnecessary. Technology has taken real estate from the ground to the cloud.
  6. Lower Barriers to Entry. Many real estate investing platforms facilitate investments for  $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000. Through online real estate platforms, investing can be done with just a few hundred dollars per month, as many investments are simply equity trades where investors are buying a stake in a project or stakes in multiple projects within a single portfolio. Even debt-based instruments can be entered into with a small fraction of the investment needed 10 or 20 years ago. A few up-and-coming real estate platforms allow non-accredited investors ways to invest for as low as $100 per month.
  7. Greater Diversification. With today’s online options, an investor can diversify into fix-and-flip projects, rental properties, and debt or equity across residential, multifamily and commercial more easily than even 5 years ago.

Want to Be a Real Estate Millionaire? Here’s How to Invest with a Single Click (Inc.), Rated: B

Fortunately for investors of all types, real estate became the perfect asset class for crowdfunding: stable, tangible, and relatively predictable in its growth and eventual returns.

If you’re looking to get started in real estate in a few hours or less, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Understand how crowdfunding portals work. There are two classes of investors: accredited and non-accredited.
  2. Ascertain what kind of investor you are. There are two classes of investors: accredited and non-accredited.
  3. Carefully weigh any investment, with the help of an expert. There are two classes of investors: accredited and non-accredited.

Five Hot Atlanta Startups (NewsCenter), Rated: B

Kabbage processes data generated through ordinary business activity, such as accounting data, online sales, shipping and dozens of other sources, to understand performance and deliver fast, flexible funding in real time. Kabbage has raised nearly $500 million in funding, with a whopping $250 million Series F that closed just a few days ago. According to the company, Kabbage has provided in excess of $3 billion in loans to more than 100,000 small businesses across all 50 U.S. states.

According to the company, more than 13,000 customers around the world use PrimeRevenue to optimize their financial supply chain. PrimeRevenue has raised more than $115 million in funding from Battery Ventures, Brown Brothers Harriman, and RRE Ventures.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle Revamp: Online Lender Announces New Look & Feel to Platform (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Thursday, online lender Funding Circle announced it is revamping its platform by offering a new look and feel. The lending portal also announced its new motto, Made to Do More.

Investors Spend £7bn on Alternative Income Trusts (Morningstar), Rated: A

Over the past 12 months to August 2017 investment trusts have raised £9.6 billion from investors in these two ways – known as issuance. Of this, 74% has been within what could broadly be termed alternative income; those assets not directly comparable to equities or conventional bonds and which distribute a structured yield to shareholders.

Issuance in what could be termed conventional income, such as multi-asset or UK and global equity income trusts, totalled £668 million. Finsbury Growth & Income (FGT) led the way with £112 million of issuance. Conventional issuance amounted for around £950 million which was dominated by activity in the secondary market from Scottish Mortgage (SMT) £299 million. Alternative income accounted for the remaining £7.2 billion.

Morrow: stop pandering to banks on robo-advice (Citywire), Rated: A

The regulator should stop pandering towards banks when it develops rules for robo-advice, evestor chief executive Anthony Morrow has argued.

‘If [evestor co-founder] Duncan Cameron and I can build a business to provide financial advice to customers then banks should be able to.

‘The only reason is absolute greed. There is probably an argument to say if, and it is a massive if, interest rates went up three or four percent, would the banks even be bothered because at that sort of rate they would probably still be getting a 2% margin on current accounts which is more than they would make on these new robo-advice things, and with absolutely no risk there,’ he said.

FCA: Advice market reform is ‘on track’ (Money Marketing), Rated: B

In particular, it cited fee transparency and the removal of commissions as steps forward, and that the results of its recent suitability review, which showed that 93 per cent of advice cases were suitable, demonstrated positive results.

The FCA writes: “A market where advisers aren’t driven by commission and are better qualified will provide a better quality of advice for consumers.”

China

This PBoC circular is set to radically change online payments in China (The Asset), Rated: AAA

The new document requires all third-party platforms, such as WeChat Pay, Alipay and others, to connect with Wang’lian (网联), an independent clearing house jointly established by PBoC, other Chinese regulatory bodies and some payments companies.

The new model adopts a centralized clearing procedure where Wang’lian will act as the sole intermediary clearing entity to handle all transactions between payments companies and banks.

According to Chinese media, the document from PBoC requires that banks and payments companies be ready with the internal infrastructure changes required for the new model by October 15. From June 30 2018, all payments and transfers will be processed by Wang’lian.

Data from online transactions, for instance transactions through WeChat’s red packet function, will be monitored by PBoC.

Goldman Sachs: 2017 China ‘s financial technology rise (199IT), Rated: AAA

Click the image to read the report.

The latest monthly report of P2P industry in Chinese first-tier cities: Beijing overtook Shanghai (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

Recently, a third-party institution has launched the Monthly Report of P2P Lending Industry of Chinese First-tier Cities. According to the report, the total number of P2P lending platforms in Chinese first-tier Cities has reached to 1,100 by the end of July, among which 403 platforms are in Beijing, 279 in Shanghai, and 418 in Guangdong Province.

Meanwhile, the total Volume of P2P lending industry in the three areas has reached to $27.37bn, increased by $592m from the last month. The volume of Guangdong Province ranked No.1, which amounts to $9.53bn, with growth rate of 2.01 percent from the last month. The following was Beijing, where the volume amounted to $9.19bn, with the month-on-month growth of 6.69%. And Shanghai reached the p2p industry volume of $8.65bn, which was down 1.95% from the previous month.

China Rapid Finance Limited Sponsored ADR (XRF) to Release Quarterly Earnings on Thursday (Week Herald), Rated: A

China Rapid Finance Limited Sponsored ADR (NYSE:XRF) is scheduled to announce its earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, August 17th. Analysts expect the company to announce earnings of ($0.17) per share for the quarter.

China Rapid Finance Limited Sponsored ADR (NYSE:XRF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The company reported ($1.01) earnings per share for the quarter.

European Union

Robo.Cash Update: Investments Jump 30% in July (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Robo.Cash, an automated peer to peer lending platform with a buyback guarantee, reports that July was a solid month for the online lender as investments jumped 30%. In the first half of the year, Robo.Cash says that over 700 investors have signed up and 85,720 loans have been originated. In July, 187 investors joined the platform.

Source: Crowdfund Insider

One in five German companies faces charge on bank deposit (New York Daily News), Rated: A

Nearly one in five German companies has faced being charged for parking cash at its bank as a result of the European Central Bank’s negative rate policy, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday.

Only 8 percent of all companies eventually accept the charge, with most others escaping it through negotiations or by switching banks, Ifo’s survey of 4,000 companies showed.

International

How Financial Institutions and Fintechs Are Partnering for Inclusion (Center for Financial Inclusion), Rated: AAA

Major Findings

  • The best partnerships between financial institutions and fintechs are a win-win for both partners, as well as for financial inclusion. Mainstream financial institutions partner with fintechs to improve product offerings, increase efficiency, and lower costs – goals with special relevance to low-income customers. By partnering with mainstream financial institutions, fintechs get to scale their technology and can access capital to grow. As a result of these partnerships, low-income customers who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector have greater access to higher quality, more convenient, and less expensive financial products and services.
  • To facilitate productive fintech partnerships, mainstream financial institutions are organizing internally for innovation, strategically integrating systems and staff, and developing contractual agreements to ensure stability and success. Fintech partnerships enable legacy institutions to engage with and learn from new technology in low-risk, low-cost ways. They are also key to allowing incumbents to compete in a world where alternative players, like Facebook and Amazon, are threatening the central role of financial institutions in the lives of customers. By offering better, less expensive, and more innovative products, financial institutions can assert their continued relevance as customer-facing institution.
  • One encouraging and somewhat unexpected finding is that the partnerships between financial institutions and fintechs represent a slow but pervasive financial industry shift toward customer-centricity. Better data management and use, new digital banking products, and greater customer engagement all enable better service for underserved customer segments.

Read the full report.

Crypto vs VISA – Can Denarius Compete When it Comes to Transactions Per Second? (The Merkle), Rated: A

VISA handles on average around 2,000 transactions per second (tps) and peaks around 4,000 tps during high shopping periods. This is just a fraction of their capacity, which is said to be around 56,000 transactions per second.

Paypal, in contrast, handled around 10 millions transactions per day or 115 transactions per second according to data from late 2014.

Today, the Bitcoin network is restricted to a sustain rate of around 7 transactions per second or a little over 600,000 transactions per day.

REAL Launches ICO to Disrupt Global Real Estate Investment Markets (Cryptocoins News), Rated: A

REAL will disrupt global real estate investing by moving it on to the Ethereum blockchain and enabling the average investor to build a real estate portfolio.

Property owners and developers will apply to have their assets tokenized and listed on the REAL crowdfunding website. The REAL team – which is composed of successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and developers who have already invested $350,000 of their own funds in the project – will carefully analyze the properties to select the ones that will provide investors with the greatest long-term value, with targeted annual returns of 12-20%.

The REAL token sale will begin on August 31, but investors contributing greater than 100 ETH will have the opportunity to participate in a 24-hour pre-sale on August 24. During the ICO, investors will be able to acquire tokens at the rate of 220 REAL per 1 ETH until the investment cap has been reached.

Australia

DirectMoney closes funding deal (LendIt), Rated: AAA

The Board of DirectMoney Limited (ASX: DM1), (“DirectMoney”, or the “Company”) are delighted to announce the completion of a wholesale funding agreement with 255 Finance.

The agreement is structured around the purchase of $50 million in DirectMoney originated loan assets, with the intent to increase this in the future. 255 Finance will also receive equity in DirectMoney and options that vest based upon specific hurdles being met. Significant growth in both lending volumes and the operational performance of DirectMoney is anticipated as a result of the facility.

Asia

What’s slowing the adoption of straight through processing for payments? (The Asset), Rated: A

One technical difficulty is the need for compatible payments systems across different entities. The ISO 20022 XML format is a standardized and popular format for payments among financial institutions. However, payments under the XML standard still need to be reformatted if the transaction goes through the United States’ Automated Clearing House network.

Regulatory requirements, which can include know-your-client checks and anti-money laundering, as well as risk and control, can mandate that a part of the process is completed manually.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor