Thursday February 1 2018, Daily News Digest

software hacks

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi lays off 5% of workforce. BlueVine doubles invoice financing credit lines. Chime reaches 750K bank accounts, $2.5B transaction volume. SoftBank injects funding into Moven, who could be buying a bank. Zopa hits 3B GBP in lending. Crowd Genie kicks off ICO. Today’s main analysis: Coincheck’s recent hack could mean big changes in crypto lending, […]

software hacks

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

Bermuda

News Summary

United States

SoFi Lays Off 5% of Staff (WSJ), Rated: AAA

The San Francisco-based financial-technology company told staffers on Tuesday it is cutting around 65 jobs, roughly 5% of its 1,300-person workforce, the people said. The layoffs are centered in SoFi’s mortgage-operations centers in Healdsburg, Calif., and Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

He added that SoFi is currently looking to fill more than 175 open jobs.

‘A 401(k) of the future’: How SoFi wants to grow student loan refinancing with WeWork (Tearsheet), Rated: A

SoFi wants to sell its loan refinancing products to WeWork and its member companies by offering them an additional 0.125 percent discount.

growing number of companies have been adding student loan repayment as a workplace benefit. With $1.4 trillion in outstanding federal and private student loans, it’s a huge market.

SoFi’s Top 20 Law Schools Producing the Highest Salary Averages (JDJournal), Rated: A

SoFi examined the salary earned upon graduation from different law schools compared to the cost of the education. They looked at 60,000 student loan refinancing applications that had been submitted to them between January 2014 and December 2016. They took that data and formed SoFi’s Return on Education (ROED) Law School Rankings. The ranking uses the average salary and student debt load of the graduates three years out of law school that is reported to them by graduates looking to refinance their loans.

The top 20 law schools with the highest average salaries are:

  1. Cornell University – $183,377
  2. Columbia University – $177,962
  3. New York University – $177,203
  4. University of Chicago – $174,238
  5. Harvard University – $173,578
  6. Georgetown University – $173,464
  7. Northwestern University – $173,204
  8. Yale University – $171,779
  9. University of Pennsylvania – $170,954
  10. Duke University – $169,096
  11. University of Virginia – $166,396
  12. University of Michigan Ann Arbor – $164,713
  13. University of California Berkeley – $163,940
  14. University of Southern California – $161,823
  15. Fordham University – $160,590
  16. Stanford University – $158,088
  17. George Washington University – $153,302
  18. University of California Los Angeles – $152,469
  19. Vanderbilt University – $149,475
  20. University of Texas at Austin – $147,444

BlueVine doubles invoice financing credit lines to up to $ 5 million (Finextra), Rated: AAA

BlueVine has doubled the credit line size for its invoice factoring product to up to $5 million, underscoring the online business lender’s push to offer fast and flexible working capital financing to small and medium-sized businesses.

BlueVine also increased the limit for its business line of credit product to $200,000 from $150,000, making its Flex Credit product an even more attractive financing option for larger or fast-growing companies.

Court upholds constitutionality of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Politico), Rated: A

A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s structure, a decision that preserves the agency’s independence in the face of challenges from business interests and conservatives.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-3 on Wednesday that a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that limits the president’s ability to remove the CFPB director during his or her five-year term does not violate the president’s authority to appoint and remove executive branch officers.

Chime Reaches 750,000 Bank Accounts, $ 2.5 Billion Transaction Volume (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Chime is on track to open more than 100,000 bank accounts per month and expects to reach 1 million total this quarter. With more than 750,000 bank accounts opened to date and over $2.5 billion in total transaction volume, Chime has emerged as the clear leader in the challenger banking segment.

While most Americans pay more than $27 a month on average in bank fees, Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees, monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. With its award-winning mobile banking app, Chime members avoided more than $225 million in potential overdraft fees from traditional banks in 2017 alone, while putting over $72 million into savings accounts with help from Chime’s automated savings tools.

Moven to receive funding from SoftBank, plans to buy bank (American Banker), Rated: AAA

Moven, the mobile-first “neobank” founded by Brett King in 2011, is getting a multi-million dollar infusion from the Japanese company SBI Group, owner of SoftBank. At the same time, Moven says it is pursuing the acquisition of a bank.

SBI Group will hold one of the six seats on Moven’s board, and the two companies will set up a joint venture in Japan.

At the same time, Moven is making major changes to its overall business, including splitting the company in two.

On one side will be the software provider that already develops digital banking software for TD Bank in Canada and Westpac in New Zealand.

On the other side will be the neobank, which will be called MovenBank.

Is Marcus Going to Launch a Credit Card? (Lend Academy), Rated: A

Ainsley Harris reported in Fast Company today that Goldman Sachs is acquiring the employees who built Final, a credit card startup based in Oakland. Final offered a unique kind of credit card, one that would create a different virtual card number for every merchant, thereby reducing the risk of credit card fraud.

It has been a busy couple of years for Goldman Sachs when it comes to their consumer facing business. This latest deal follows a long list of acquisitions for Goldman recently:

  1. Acquisition of GE Capital Bank – this jumpstarted GS Bank giving it a huge deposit base.
  2. Acquisition of Honest Dollar – the digital retirement savings app was acquired in March 2016.
  3. Launch of Marcus with debt consolidation loans.
  4. Acquisition of Genesis Capital – not really consumer facing but could add a real estate development arm to the bank.
  5. Bond Street – employees of the online small business lender moved to Goldman Sachs.
  6. Addition of home improvement loans to the Marcus offerings.

Why big financial firms are building robos instead of white labeling (Tearsheet), Rated: A

In November, Wells Fargo launched Intuitive Investor, its digital-human hybrid offering from Wells Fargo Advisors. The following month Morgan Stanley launched Access Investing and JPMorgan Chase launched JPMorgan Digital Investing. Goldman Sachs, Raymond James, YF Financial and ICBC are all currently developing their own.

The start of the robo phenomenon was meant to address small, do-it-yourself investors, said Tom Streiff, special consultant to HBW Partners.

“A lot of these big firms have a lot more small accounts than they’re willing to admit,” he said. “Robos were one answer to that. Now they want to have something that has more of their own mark on it … not just to get the technology but to get the smart people inside.”

Typically, the white label provider will take 15 basis points of the total and leave the rest to the bank for distribution, Saxena said. Pricing from independent players, like Betterment or Wealthfront, is competitive.

SmartBiz Loans Launches AI-powered Digital Advisor Tool for Small Business Owners (Digital Journal), Rated: A

SmartBiz Loans, the SBA loan marketplace and bank-enabling technology platform, today announced the launch of SmartBiz Advisor, the first, AI-driven, online education tool that makes the financial insights and analysis provided by a typical CFO available to small businesses at no cost.

SmartBiz Advisor is an intelligent online platform that allows small business owners to easily and quickly learn how banks typically evaluate their business on key criteria before applying for a loan.

The Future of Real Estate, Part 2: A Crowdfunding Revolution? (GuruFocus), Rated: A

A well-managed crowdfunding platform should provide a range of deals, after having done sufficient due diligence itself so as to not place potential investors in financial jeopardy, and itself in legal jeopardy. When dealing in investment assets, whether equity or real estate, investors are still expected to be sophisticated and have the means to weather losses that are part and parcel with any private investment deal.

A growing cast of players

Interestingly, even as equity crowdfunding in startup companies has been slow to take off (Indiegogo’s platform raised just $7.53 million in equity investments during its first year of operation), real estate crowdfunding platforms have been popping up like weeds. RealtyMogul.com, for example, has an investor community of 150,000 people that have invested $318 million through its platform since it went live in 2012. The crowdfunder claims to have returned $70 million to investors thus far. RealtyShares, founded in 2013, has also posted big numbers, with platform users reportedly investing $700 million across more than a thousand deals.

A new breed of of private REIT

Private REITs are obviously opaque and potentially dangerous, but the crowdfunding platform has forged ahead all the same. Perhaps, with their interactive dashboards and high levels of investor transparency, these crowdfunded REITs will be able to correct some of the ills of their less technologically sophisticated forebears.

This College Grad Found an Affordable Way to Start Investing in Real Estate (The Penny Hoarder), Rated: A

The Fundrise Starter Portfolio would invest her money into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States. It would do all the heavy lifting for her — and play landlord on her behalf.

She didn’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed away, either. She could get started with a minimum investment of just $500.

Fundrise lists an average annualized return of 11.44% in 2017. Investors pay 1% in annual fees — a 0.85% asset-management fee and a 0.15% investment advisory fee.

Breaking down the barriers of real estate investment: A Q&A with Peter Vekselman from WeLend (AtlantaAgent), Rated: A

Q: What sort of problems were you experiencing when it came to financing real estate projects?

The problem is that behind the scenes the money is handled by hedge funds. All of the hedge funds on Wall Street do their own thing and no one knows who they are. So what happens is you have a potential investor and the first problem for them is finding the financing.

Q: How exactly does We Lend work, and how does it help solve some of the problems previously mentioned?

I’ve consolidated and cut deals to put all the hedge funds under one roof, so now investors don’t have to go through this huge undertaking to find the funds. They can came to us, and we can underwrite them and then figure out on the back end the best match.

It’s like LendingTree for the investor world.

Q: What types of projects and people does We Lend work with?

We work with small developers or a mom-and-pop builder that does five properties a year. And we mainly work with residential properties only because there are more residential opportunities than anything else.

In terms of price points, we try to stay as low as $50,000 per project.

On Deck Welcomes Paul Rosen & James Hobson As Two New Senior Vice Presidents (OnDeck), Rated: A

Today, On Deck announced the appointments of Paul Rosen as Senior Vice President of Sales and James Hobson as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Platform Solutions.

Santander Consumer USA And AutoFi Team Up To Provide Car Buyers And Dealers With Fast And Easy Online Sales And Financing (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC, or the Company) today announced that it will work with automotive technology leader AutoFi to streamline and simplify the car-buying process for consumers, while giving dealers a robust digital sales channel.

Climb Credit Reveals A Solution To Student Lending Crisis (Climb Credit Email), Rated: A

A few key findings include:

  • The median student saw a 66.7% salary increase
  • For Climb students who have held two different jobs since attending their program, there is a median pay increase of 38.9% from the first to the second job
  • Nearly three out of four students surveyed said they would not have been able to attend their education program if they didn’t have Climb Credit as a financing option

House Approves New Payday Loan With 200 Percent Interest Rate (Indiana Public Media), Rated B

The Indiana House approved legislation Wednesday to create a new type of payday loan – with interest rates of up to 200 percent – that opponents argue amounts to predatory lending.

The legislation creates a loan of between about $600 and $1,500, with a term of up to 12 months.

Consumers warned not to borrow from unlicensed online lenders (International Falls Journal), Rated: B

The Minnesota Commerce Department warns Minnesota consumers not to borrow money from unlicensed lenders that advertise and offer short-term, payday or installment loans through the internet.

United Kingdom

Zopa hits £3bn lending landmark (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA said that it now has more than 60,000 active investors and more than 300,000 borrowers.

It has now lent out more than £3bn since inception, Zopa said on its website on Wednesday, having lent more than £985m in the past 12 months.

Investors are lending on average £13,000 while the average loan amount is £6,000.

China

Chinese internet users grow to 772 million (Technode), Rated: AAA

China now has 772 million internet users according to a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) today (in Chinese).

Growth rates of internet users have remained steady. During 2017, a total of 40.74 million new netizens were added with a growth rate of 5.6%. Internet penetration rates have reached 55.8% in China, more than the global average (51.7%) and the average rates for Asia (46.7%).

The number of mobile phone users in China has reached an impressive 753 million. The proportion of internet users using mobile phones rose from 95.1% in 2016 to 97.5% in 2017.

Since the end of 2016, the proportion of internet users that pay with their phones rose from 50.3% to 65.5%.

There was another number that went up at an impressive rate. The number of internet users buying internet financial products in China has reached 129 million, up 30.2% from the same period last year.

Alibaba-backed online lender MYbank owes cost-savings to home-made tech (Reuters), Rated: A

MYbank expects double-digit increases in all growth measures in 2017 due to lower costs enabled by technology, the bank’s president, Huang Hao, said in an interview at his office in Hangzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

As a result, the cost of approving a small business loan can be as little as 2 yuan, compared to at least 2,000 yuan ($317.97) at a traditional bank, according to data provided by the bank.

European Union

Remarks by Vice-President Dombrovskis at the European Financial Forum 2018 in Dublin (Europa.eu), Rated: AAA

 

Our immediate priority is to complete the Banking Union. For this, we should move in parallel on risk reduction and risk sharing. All elements are on the table. On risk reduction, this includes our November 2016 bank reform package and our ongoing work to reduce Non-Performing Loans. On the risk sharing side, we recently came with ideas on how to unblock negotiations on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. And we have broad support to finalise the work on the backstop for the Single Resolution Fund. So the time is ripe to move at political level on completing the Banking Union.

The second immediate priority for deepening the EMU is setting up the Capital Markets Union. Deeper capital markets across Europe will increase risk-sharing among private investors and improve the shock-absorption capacity of the economy. In the past three years, we have taken fundamental steps towards deeper and more integrated EU capital markets. Of the 33 actions we announced in 2015, 25 have now been completed.

One strength of Ireland’s financial sector is asset management. As of September last year, Irish fund managers had more than €4.2 trillion assets under management. A true Capital Markets Union would enable Irish fund managers to further benefit from the full scale of the single market. In March of this year, revised rules for the EU venture capital label – EuVECA – will enter into application. Large managers can then run EuVECA funds, providing economies of scale and trusted brands. We have also expanded the range of eligible assets, and decreased the costs associated with cross-border marketing.

We are also looking more broadly at the rules for offering funds across the EU. This market is still predominantly organised along national lines. For example, 70% of the assets under management are held by funds available for sale in only one EU country. The share of alternative investment funds that is marketed in more than three countries is very low – only 3%.

Europe has what it takes to develop a globally competitive Fintech sector. We can rely on our strengths in research and engineering. For example, we have 32 artificial intelligence research institutions in the world top 100, which is more than the US or China. I also see great Fintech potential here in Ireland, with its strong information technology culture.

We will also present a legislative proposal to enable EU-wide crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

The future of finance will not only be digital, it will also have to be green.

• Third, we could boost green investments and loans by introducing a so-called green supporting factor. This could be done at first stage by lowering capital requirements for certain climate-friendly investments, such as energy-efficient mortgages or low-carbon cars. However, this exercise would be delicate. Green does not mean risk-free. Any measures would have to be carefully calibrated, and based on a clear EU classification.

CreditEase Founder, CEO Ning Tang Spoke at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: B

CreditEase, a Beijing-based leading financial technology conglomerate specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, announced that its Founder and CEO, Mr Ning Tang, participated and spoke at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

Under the central theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, this year’s meeting has drawn an estimated 2,500 participants, including a record number of heads of state and leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society.

“Technology has greatly improved access to financial services for Chinese consumers and small businesses in the past decade, and we expect more progress to be made in the SME lending space with the help of FinTech in coming years,” said Mr Tang. “Financial services like angel investing and VC/PE, powered by technology, will bring more high-quality growth to the Chinese economy.”

International

IOU Financial partners with CDE solutions in funding CDE’S network of 26,000 convenience store owners (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”) (TSXV: IOU), an online lender to small businesses (IOUFinancial.com), is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Marietta, GA-based POS solutions provider CDE (CDEsolutions.com).  Through this strategic partnership, CDE’s network of 26,000 convenience store owners nationwide will be able to access IOU’s fast, convenient, non-collateral funding solutions.

Crebit: Blockchain DLT in wave of transforming P2P financing (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Adopting Blockchain and DLT for P2P lending system can facilitate capital mobilization within the financial system through flat-out transfer of monetary values from parties unrestricted by barriers-to-entry. Thus, the potential for P2P lending in support of free international financial flows remains vastly untapped.

Ipsos MORI veracity Index shows 75% of investors complain about banks data provision, but rather P2P investment groups maintain a credible and transparent operation.

Crebit is a blockchain-empowered network provider that offers global microfinance lending collateralized by crypto assets, based on the artificial intelligence credit scoring system. This microfinancing solution leverages blockchain technology to finance through top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple against up to 80% of investors collateralized crypto assets value. Crebit leads the way into crypto financing by building P2P lending agreements on smart contracts in the secured and decentralized Ethereum blockchain. The platform matches funding gaps for crypto holders, traders as well as multiple exchanges and transaction solutions. Crebit aims to provide businesses and individuals a decentralized credit scoring database for innovative and trustless transaction solutions unrestricted by geographical boundaries.

Australia

Trial by fire in an untested market (CMO.com.au), Rated: AAA

But this is precisely why Rebecca James, Prospa’s new chief marketing and enterprise officer, took the job almost five months ago.

“In just five years, the team has lent over $500m. But there are 2.1 million small businesses in Australia, and over half need cashflow support to take advantage of opportunities, to grow, or to cover an unexpected cost. My hope is to take the Prospa proposition and meet the growing needs of this audience. We’re just getting started.”

Launched six years ago, Prospa is now Australia’s number one online lender for small business, providing loans to more than 12,000 small businesses across the country. In November, it placed second in the AFRFast 100 for 2017 thanks to a 239 per cent average revenue growth since 2013-14. Last year, Prospa secured over $50m in equity and debt funding, and doubled the size of its loan book.

Online Cash Flow Loans Australia Announces Unsecured Cash Flows Loans Up To $ 500k (PRWire), Rated: A

Online Cash Flow Loans is a fast emerging player in the online cash flow loans marketplace. The organization is an arm of Magnolia Finance that specializes in offering low cost business loans to small businesses in Australia.

These cash flow loans are tailored to meet the growing business finance needs of businesses operating in the hospitality, retail, construction, medical and agribusiness. Basically any small business operating in Australian and in need of unsecured business loans can apply for business loan online on the company website.

Loan terms from 3 to 24 months
Same day funding
Flexible repayment options
Redraw facility available
India

Budget Reaction Rajat Gandhi, Founder & CEO, Faircent. com (Faircent Email), Rated: AAA

Hon. Finance minister budget speech reflects the government’s intent to increase the credit access for the MSME sector and women entrepreneurs under MUDRA scheme. P2P lending is using technology and new-age data and diligently working towards taking organised credit to the non and under-banked segments of the Indian economy. This is an opportunity for the government to directly invest or co-fund through registered P2P Lending Platforms and ensure credit access for MSMEs, New-To-Credit as well as female entrepreneurs. P2P lending is an asset class ensuring flow of investments from those with surplus to those in need. Hence it’s important that the lenders are supported through tax incentives. We look forward to working with the govt towards common goal of financial inclusion.

The popular FinTech platforms serving MSMEs in India (KNN India), Rated: A

Keeping in view the credit crunch faced by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in India due to various reasons, new FinTech platforms are coming up to improve loan disbursal to the sector.

According to a media report, there are four popular FinTech platforms that are helping in robust loan disbursal – CreditMantri, Aye Finance, CoinTribe and Faircent.

P2P Lending Set to Explode in 2018 And Beyond (CXO Today), Rated: B

RBI’s much awaited official guidelines for Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platforms to bring them into the ambit of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is set to boost online lending. It is fast emerging as an investment option for retail lenders.

Asia

MAS Regulated Peer to Peer Lender Crowd Genie Announces Initial Coin Offering (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte Ltd, regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has announced an initial coin offering (ICO) via their related entity CGSPV Pte. Ltd. The peer to peer lender states that it intends on issuing 60 million Crowd Genie Coins, or CGCoins, for a soft cap of USD $5 million. The public sale commences today and 400 CGCoins may be purchased for a single ETH. Bonus CGCOINs, between an additional 5% and 25%, will be given to early buyers as an incentive.

Coincheck’s recent hack could mean big changes in the crypto space (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck revealed on Friday that its 

Source: Business Insider

Online lenders join gold rush into SE Asia (Ecns.cn), Rated: A

Chinese online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies have been rushing into Southeast Asian countries in recent months to cash in on untapped and lightly regulated markets that feature huge potential, as growth in the domestic market slows amid tightening regulations.

While much of Southeast Asia offers a promising future for these lenders given its huge population and underdeveloped financial services industry, most of the Chinese companies are betting on short-term gains rather than long-term growth, an industry expert noted on Wednesday.

Over 50 Chinese online lenders have launched overseas operations, with Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia being the top destinations, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Wednesday.

In Indonesia alone, there are more than 50 Chinese consumer lending apps at the moment, up from 30 just a month ago, the report said.

Here are the new services launched by startups in Indonesia this week (e27), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Investree on Tuesday officially launched a sharia-based P2P lending programme.

The programme has been tested since November 2017. The startup claied that by January it has managed to channel IDR2.7 billion (US$200,000) worth of loan from 1,340 lenders to 313 borrowers.

Bermuda

Peer-to-Peer Lending & Equity Crowdfunding (Bernews), Rated: AAA

A Bermudian expert on information technology, asset and risk management tools is today celebrating the global launch of her book on peer-to-peer lending and the securities crowd funding industry.

“The book, entitled ‘Peer-to-Peer Lending and Equity Crowdfunding: A Guide to the New Capital Markets for Job Creators, Investors and Entrepreneurs,’ highlights the inequality gap is widening and persists worldwide,” a spokesperson said.

“The book not only describes how debt and equity crowdfunding works but also explains investment approaches, secondary markets, governance and compliance, transparency, and risk models that are necessary for investors to make informed decisions.

The book is available here.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday November 13 2017, Daily News Digest

p2p lending credit score

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi cancels plans for Australia, Canada. SoFi completes largest consumer loan securitization to date. Elevate launching credit card for sub-prime consumers. Funding Circle posts record month. Zopa developing IFISA transfer features. PPDai debuts weakly in New York. WeLab raises $220M for expansion. Australia upgrades RateSetter. Today’s main analysis: Three Myths of Peer-to-Peer Lending. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Cleveland […]

p2p lending credit score

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi drops plans to enter Australia, Canada (Death Rattle Sports), Rated: AAA

Online lender Social Finance Inc said on Thursday it is pulling back from expanding into Australia and Canada as previously planned, choosing instead to focus on improving its core lending products like student loans and mortgages in its home market.

The San Francisco-based company will also drop its plans to push into asset management, according to a letter from its interim CEO to shareholders and seen by Reuters.

SoFi Completes Largest Consumer Loan Securitization to Date (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

On Friday, SoFi announced it has completed a $727 million issuance of SoFi Consumer Loan Program 2017-6 (“SCLP 2017-6”) notes, making it the largest offering of securities backed by consumer loans and is SoFi’s 11th ABS transaction this year, bringing the lender’s total issuance for 2017 to $6.1 billion. 

Fintech Company Elevate Launching a Credit Card for Sub-Prime Consumers (LendEDU), Rated: AAA

Elevate, a fintech lender from Texas, recently announced it wants to try out the credit card business according to Business Insider. On Monday, the company released its plans for 2018 which included a variety of new products and a possible partnership with a bank.

One of the products that Elevate is looking to release is a credit card with a third-party bank by next year. The card would be potentially geared toward subprime borrowers, which constitutes a large group of Elevate’s customer base.

Another company, Petal, is trying to offer a new credit card in 2018. It’s goal is to increase the availability of credit cards to consumers who are lacking credit.

Fed researchers compare P2P lending to subprime mortgages (Finextra), Rated: AAA

The peer-to-peer lending industry has the potential to destabilise consumer balance sheets, with loan performances bearing a striking resemblance to the subprime mortgage market before the 2007 crisis, warns a new paper from the Cleveland Federal Reserve.

And things could get much worse, warn the Fed researchers after looking through credit bureau data on 90,000 people who took out P2P loans between 2007 and 2012 and comparing them to 10 million traditional borrowers.

The researchers conclude that, in fact, P2P loans do not achieve these things and actually resemble “predatory loans” in terms both of who takes them out and the impact on borrowers’ finances.

Source: Finextra

Peer-To-Peer Loans Remind The Cleveland Fed Of An Obscure Historical Episode Known As ‘The Subprime Mortgage Crisis’ (Dealbreaker), Rated: A

Are consumers really better off skipping the local BofA branch and instead filling in a few online forms and having an algorithm spit out an interest rate? Are all these newfangled credit-rating tools helping to serve those traditionally brushed aside by the big boys? Is P2P good?

Researchers at the Cleveland Fed have an answer to all these questions: No.

Source: Dealbreaker

The pattern is worse for those with credit card debt; compared to the control group, P2P borrowers see a 47 percent increase in credit card debt after getting an online loan.

Meanwhile LendingClub has posted exactly two quarters of profit since going public in 2014. Its last earnings report sent shares down 20 percent.

Federal Reserve Cautions on Peer to Peer Lending (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

According to the authors, Yuliya Demyanyk at the Cleveland Federal Reserve, Elena Loutskina at the University of Virginia, and Daniel Kolliner at the University of Maryland, peer to peer loans resemble predatory loans in terms of the consumer market they serve and impact on consumer finances.

Among their findings:

  • Credit scores of P2P borrowers fall substantially after taking out a loan when compared to peers who did not take out a P2P loan.
  • Loan delinquency rates are more than 50% higher for P2P borrowers two years after the loan origination when compared to peers who did not take out a P2P loan.
  • P2P borrowers exhibit a 47% increase in credit card balances after obtaining P2P credit when compared to similar non-P2P borrowers.

Read the full document here.

Federal Reserve of Cleveland Makes Some Dubious Claims in a Report on P2P Lending (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA

[Side note: This report seems to be using P2P lending to mean the broader online lending industry beyond just Lending Club and Prosper so keep that in mind when you see me using the P2P lending term in this article].

One of the things I disliked most about this new report was the how opaque their analysis was. They just said they used data provided by TransUnion “in which we observe about 90,000 distinct individuals who received their first P2P loan between 2007 and 2012.”. They provide no indication as to which platforms this data is based upon and then we see this very strange chart below showing supposed delinquency rates by year.

In 2006, the only consumer P2P lending (or any significant online lending) platform in existence in this country was Prosper and their 2006 vintage was terrible. This data was all publicly available at one point and I reported that of the 28,936 loans issued during those initial two and a half years 10,456 loans defaulted, a 36% default rate. Subsequent vintages at Prosper performed much better. When I see the table above showing those numbers I have to question the entire data set of the report because obviously their 2006 data is wrong.

Online loans leave consumers deeper in debt, Fed research says (American Banker), Rated: A

The study, published Thursday, is likely to spark intense debate. One of its findings is that consumers who take out online loans, sometimes called peer-to-peer loans or marketplace loans, likely have access to traditional banking services.

“We are scratching our heads,” Nathaniel Hoopes, executive director of the Marketplace Lending Association, an industry trade group, said in an email, “because the Philadelphia and Chicago Federal Reserve recently conducted a more granular study and reached the opposite conclusion as this Cleveland Fed research.”

In 2010, digital lenders originated $249 million in unsecured personal loans, according to a recent study by the credit bureau TransUnion. By last year, the annual loan volume had grown more than ninetyfold.

The study finds that the consumers who took out online loans grew their other debts by about 35% more over the next two years than did their counterparts who did not take out the loans.

Source: American Banker

 

Square’s new strategy is paying off. Its stock is up 175% this year (KITV), Rated: A

Square is trying to upend the way people pay for stuff and change the way businesses handle money.

Clearly, its strategy is working: Square’s stock is up 175% this year. That’s more than 11 times the S&P 500’s 15% growth.

The company cashed in on those subscription services, which generated around $65 million in revenue — up more than 80%.

It is also making big money from its largest merchants. Almost half of the $17.4 billion in payments Square handled last quarter came from merchants with more than $125,000 in annual sales.

It has lent small businesses more than $300 million.

The CFO of Goldman Sachs keeps talking about becoming the Google of Wall Street (Business Insider), Rated: A

A Harvard Business School case study on the bank’s digital strategy was presented as part of the executive MBA program last week.

The case study runs through some of the history of Goldman Sachs’ efforts to switch to thinking like a tech company, some of the tension it has caused, and the payoffs.

Travel Companies Start Lending Consumers Money to Book Trips (Skift), Rated: A

Several major sellers of travel, such as Expedia, United, JetBlue, Southwest, and Lufthansa, are testing extending credit to U.S. consumers to enable them to pay for their vacations over time rather than up-front.

Paying for a trip in monthly payments primarily appeals to consumers with average credit ratings who are willing to accept short-term, interest-based loans.

But consumers with high credit scores also appear to be getting tempted into splurging on luxury trips if companies lend them credit on attractive terms.

The new installment products — called layaway when paid off prior to trip and a loan if paid off after — have been common in developing countries.

A few fintech startups — most prominently Affirm, Airfordable, and UpLift — are hoping that their services will make delayed payment for travel fashionable.

THE DOWNLOW ON UPLIFT

This year, UpLift said that its average 12-month travel loan through travel brands was $2,420, said CEO Brian Barth in an interview. For “highly-qualified” borrowers, it has typically charged 8.99 percent annual percentage rate, he said.

Consumers participating in UpLift’s loans had an average FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) score of 692. Scores range from 300 to 850. UpLift has lent money to customers with FICO scores as low as 475.

AFFIRM’S PROMISE

Affirm said that its travel partners see a 20 percent increase in customer conversions, on average, by offering its product.

PeerIQ’s Q3 Public Lender Tracker (PeerIQ Email), Rated: A

The tracker, a new release from PeerIQ’s research and analytics team, examines credit performance trends across publicly traded banks, FinTechs, and card issuers. We also deep-dive into the earnings of Lending Club and OnDeck. Stay tuned for a release this week and scroll down for an excerpt.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform Groundfloor Preps for Reg A+ Offer (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Groundfloor has filed a Form 1-A with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating its intent to sell shares in the real estate crowdfunding platform.  According to the filing, GroundFloor is offering up to 2.5 million in Common Stock at $10 per share. Interestingly, the Groundfloor offering circular indicates the company intends to limit the offer and sale solely to accredited investors – even though under Reg A+ issuers may sell to both accredited and non-accredited investors alike (although in other parts of the document it appears they will accept non-accredited investors).

Real Estate Crowdfunding: Trends to Watch in 2018 (Realty Biz News), Rated: A

Real estate crowdfunding is a growing industry of great interest for realtors and investors. A report on Crowdfunding for Real Estate by crowdsourcing.org anticipated a $3.5 billion growth for real estate crowdfunding in 2016, and experts project that the industry will grow to over $300 billion by 2025.

Source: Realty Biz News

Digital mortgages advancing, but borrowers still want more speed (National Mortgage News), Rated: A

Despite digital mortgage advances, borrowers think it still takes too long to get a loan, J.D. Power finds in its annual customer satisfaction ranking of originators.

The most frequently used method for submitting a mortgage application for both refinances and purchases was online for the first time, according to the survey. Forty-three percent applied digitally, up from 28% a year ago.

But satisfaction with online submissions declined 8 points and borrowers also gave online submission a satisfaction score 10 points below that of in-person applications.

Online Lender Pioneer, SellersFunding Launches Algorithm to Streamline Funding for Amazon Merchants (Sys-Con), Rated: A

As sales from Marketplace outpace Amazon’s own sales, sellers need increased funding for things like, advertising and purchasing inventory.

The SellersFunding model interprets data like products, prices, payments, customer reviews and feedback. With more than fifteen billion single data points on tap, all rigorously tasked, the company’s model can boast high levels of accuracy.

Small Banks Vow To Protect Regulations Keeping Retailers And Tech Giants Off Their Turf (PYMNTS), Rated: A

But those laws may be up for reconsideration, as Keith Noreika, the acting Comptroller of the Currency, has raised the possibility that those laws are in need of review and possibly revision.

Needless to say, the nation’s small banks and their representatives are less than thrilled.

“If Walmart wants to be a bank, that’s fine, as long as they make the appropriate investments to protect the parts of the banking system that are so critical,” said Kelly King, chief executive at regional lender BB&T Corp.

King added that he was “absolutely opposed” to the idea of a limited banking license.

LendingTree, Inc. to Host Analyst and Investor Event on December 13, 2017 (Business Insider), Rated: B

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) today announced it will host an Analyst and Investor Event on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in New York.  The company will host in-person attendees at the Nasdaq MarketSite, 4 Times Square, New York, NY10036. Doors will open for registration at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time and presentations will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle posts record month (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA

Funding Circle is celebrating a global record month after lending over £120m to businesses throughout October in the UK alone.

In total, 1,721 UK businesses accessed finance last month via the lending platform, which directly and indirectly created 4,400 jobs.

More than 8,900 small businesses have accessed finance through Funding Circle in the last six months, totalling over £630m in loans.

Funding Circle: Investors can expect 5pc returns in a recession (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

A FUNDING Circle loan portfolio would still deliver returns of close to five per cent in a severe recession, the platform claims.

The peer-to-peer business lender has stress-tested its loan book, using a model similar to what the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) uses for banks, to see how two example portfolios would stand up against a severe recession similar to the one in 2007/08.

Even with these assumptions, the projected annual returns after fees and bad debt but before tax were 5.3 per cent for portfolio A, and 4.9 per cent for portfolio B, Funding Circle said.

Unusual ways to invest when you don’t have much money (AOL.com), Rated: A

Microinvesting

The Money Box mobile app launched this time last year, allowing savers to invest in stocks including Netflix, Unilever and Disney with as little as £1 to spend.

There are, though, fees to pay: after three months, users must pay £1 a month to subscribe to the service, plus 0.45% a year on the value of their investments.

Other services for investing small amounts are available from Nutmeg, which has a minimum of just £500, while Hargreaves Lansdown has a minimum ISA investment of £25 a month.

Peer-to-peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending schemes can offer a high return, with some claiming rates of more than 7%.

Crowdfunding

Two of the bigger equity crowdfunding operators are Seedrs and Crowdcube, both of which allow a minimum investment of just £10.

Funding Circle joins Women in Finance Charter (P2P Finance News), Rated: B

FUNDING Circle is among the latest round of firms to have signed the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, which aims to tackle gender inequality in senior roles.

The Treasury announced on Friday that a further 26 companies have signed up to the Charter, increasing the number of employees covered by the Charter to over 600,000.

Zopa developing IFISA transfer features (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA is working on ways to let investors transfer their existing holdings into its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

Andrew Lawson (pictured), chief product officer for Zopa, said some investors have already been selling old loans and buying new ones to fund the tax-free product.

However, the lender is now working on a one-off option for customers with more than £1,000 in its Classic or Access account to move that money into an IFISA, keeping the Safeguard coverage intact and without paying sale fees.

How do P2P platforms balance investor and borrower numbers? (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

New peer-to-peer platforms should put as much effort into attracting borrowers as they do promoting and obtaining inward investment, according to Kuflink.

Stuart Law, chief executive at Assetz Capital, claimed: “A number of long-established peer-to-peer platforms have more investors than borrowers, meaning they have been closed to new investment, while the company tries to find more loans.

Stephen Findlay of BondMason added: “I think there is generally an oversupply of capital for the available investment opportunities, across most markets.”

Peer-to-peer lending: is it too late to profit? (The Telegraph), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has grown dramatically since the financial crisis. In 2005 when Zopa, the first lending “platform” was launched, loans totalled just £1.5m.

But last year total lending was £3.2bn with Zopa, Funding Circle (which counts the British government as an investor) and RateSetter controlling two-thirds of the market.

Rates offered by P2P firms have dropped: investors can earn 3.7pc with Zopa Core and 4.5pc with Zopa.

Risks are also rising. When Zopa launched it only offered loans to 0.5pc of applicants, said Neil Faulkner of 4thWay. Now its approval ratings are in line with traditional banks, which give loans to 20pc of applicants.

UK tech founders planning swift exits (AltFi), Rated: A

A new report from equity crowdfunder VentureFounders has found that most tech founders in the UK intend to exit within 2-5 years, despite recognising the risks of exiting too early. Fully 56 per cent of the entrepreneurs surveyed by VentureFounders expect to sell their business for £50m or less.

The UK Robo-Advice Innovation Forum: key takeaways (Banking Technology), Rated: B

Conclusions

  • The banks are coming and will quickly take market share. With Nutmeg claiming majority market share with less than 50,000 customers, banks accessing millions of customers will quickly grow the market.
  • Exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers and investment managers interacting with advisors can create even more value. The “man and machine” approach may be best.
  • Developing a pensions or SIPP product could triple the total addressable market (TAM) showing a clear route to profitability for the currently loss-making robo-advice community.
  • A pension offering could see LDI frameworks finally reach the retail market.
  • The digital asset management community doesn’t like the term “robo-advisor” as confusingly many do not give “regulated advice” and of course and disappointingly, there are no robots!
China

Ppdai Makes Weak Debut in New York (Caixin), Rated: AAA

Ppdai, which operates an online platform connecting small investors and lenders, priced its initial public offering at $13 a share, well below the $16-$19 target. At that level, the company raised about $220 million, compared with its maximum goal of $350 million.

The shares then opened higher and rose as much as 10% in early trading in New York. Ppdai finished its first day trading at $13.06.

Online Lender WeLab Raises $ 220 Million for Expansion (Caixin), Rated: AAA

WeLab, an online lender in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, said it has raised $220 million in new funds from investors including Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and International Finance Corp.

Part of the new funds will be used to expand outside Greater China, WeLab said in a statement.

China Fintech IPO Fever Wanes as Regulators Weigh Crackdown (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

PPDAI priced its offering a week after news that Chinese regulators are considering a crackdown on the country’s cash microlenders in response to claims that some have charged excessive interest rates. The initial public offering of Qudian helped trigger the regulator’s review of the sector, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.

PPDAI priced its sale of 17 million American depositary shares at $13 apiece, after marketing them at $16 to $19 each. The stock started trading Friday in the U.S.

While Chinese law already limits lending rates to 36 percent annually, regulators are considering drafting rules to specify the cap applies to the cash microlending sector, people with knowledge of the matter said this month. In its IPO prospectus, PPDAI said total borrowing costs for some of its loan products exceed that level after adding in transaction fees.

ZhongAn shares have risen 28 percent from their IPO price, outpacing the 5.3 percent gain in the Hang Seng Index over the same period.

CreditEase CEO Ning Tang Discussed Fintech-Driven SME Economy at APEC CEO Summit 2017 (Business Insider), Rated: A

CreditEase, a Beijing-based leading financial technology conglomerate specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, announced that its Founder and CEO, Mr Ning Tang, participated in the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”) CEO Summit event, in Da Nang, Vietnam on November 9.

“Over the next decade, tens of millions of SMEs in China will focus more on the quality of their growth, technological innovation, and sustainable development. We at CreditEase has been committed to empowering these SMEs as well as the real economy with technology breakthroughs and new business models ever since the company’s establishment,” said Mr Tang. “Going forward, we will continue to leverage our FinTech strengths in inclusive finance and wealth management to enhance SMEs’ overall financial capabilities and create more value for society.”

Higher rates for addresses in caps – online lender WeLend reveals how it determines your creditworthiness (SCMP), Rated: A

If you are looking to take out a loan from online lending platform WeLend to buy the iPhone X, be warned – should you use only upper-case letters when filling out the address field in your application, you could be charged a higher interest rate.

“We actually match how people fill out addresses with the probability of [them] declaring bankruptcy after a certain number of years,” said Simon Loong, the founder and chief executive of WeLab, the Hong Kong company that operates WeLend.

“The probability of [an applicant] declaring bankruptcy is highest when they fill in their address in capital letters,” he said.

n Hong Kong, the company relies primarily on a user’s credit history and interaction data. In mainland China, where less than 30 per cent of the population has a credit score, WeLab relies much more on unstructured, mobile data.

Yet another observation WeLab has made is that delinquency rates tend to correlate with loan application times – if a user applies for a loan between 1am and 6am, they are more likely to default on a payment than users who apply in the day, Loong said.

Food Delivery Platform Ele.me is Heading to the Micro Lending Market (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

On November 8th, Chinese leading food delivery platform Ele.me quietly marched into the micro lending market. The loans ranges from RMB 500 yuan to RMB 2000 yuan with terms of either 7 days or 14 days. This is a collaborative product with Lixiadai.com which means borrowers apply this loan on Ele.me will be directly led to Lixiadai.com. 

Nearly two months ago, the stock app jointly set up by JD Finance and four other brokerages stopped operating. According to JD.com, the suspension of the operation is due to a system upgrade. Yet, as reported by the media, the app was actually halted for procedural noncompliance in account opening and trading.

Chinese FinTech CFO on IPO Day: Mobile, Blockchain Will Drive Industry Innovation (Cheddar), Rated: B

Ho fills Cheddar in on why there is such a massive opportunity in peer-to-peer lending in China. He notes that companies capitalized on the governments unwillingness to hand out small loans to individuals.

European Union

Klarna adds pay-later feature at Swedish stores (PaymentsSource), Rated: AAA

Sweden’s Klarna made its mark with a pay-later model for e-commerce shopping that’s spread to other European countries and the U.S., and now it’s piloting the same concept for in-store purchases.

In partnership with the Danish payments technology firm Nets, Klarna has developed a feature that appears on payment terminals at certain stores giving consumers the option to pay for a purchase later—fully or in part—before completing the transaction, Klarna said in a recent blog post.

FinScience Closes €1M Seed Funding Round (FINSMES), Rated: A

FinScience, a Milan, Italy-based fintech startup, closed €1m seed funding round.

FinScience has developed a platform that gives simple access to alternative data to people who work in financial industry.

USING AI TO FIND THE NEXT TECH UNICORN (BusinessCloud), Rated: A

A technology-focused venture capital firm is using artificial intelligence (AI) to look for new European investment opportunities and find the next tech unicorn.

Andreas Thorstensson is tech partner and investment adviser at EQT Ventures, which went live in 2016 and is part of global private equity group EQT.

EQT Ventures has been using Motherbrain internally for almost two years, with the platform now responsible for up to 30 per cent of the fund’s deal flow.

ETHERECASH TOKEN PRE-SALE A HUGE SUCCESS (Bitcoinist), Rated: B

Some of the Etherecash features and benefits:

  • Peer to Peer Lending Crypto Backed: Lend to borrowers internationally with Border Free Loans.
  • Get Higher Returns Than Typical Bank Deposits.Borrow 70-80% of crypto value, without needing to liquidate any assets.
  • Worldwide Money Transfer: Send money to anywhere in the world using Etherecash. Money transfer has never been easier, more secure and most of all private.
  • Multi-Crypto Debit Card:Etherecash is the first of its kind, enabling users to put multiple currencies on a single debit card. Use it just like a normal debit card for making payments, shopping online or ATM withdrawals in local currencies. It can be used in any country while traveling to mitigate international charges and conversion fees.
International

Disruptive innovation in equity crowdfunding (Deloitte), Rated: A

A 2017 report from Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, “Beyond Fintech: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services,” studies the disruptive forces shaping the future of equity crowdfunding. Read on to explore key takeaways for the equity crowdfunding segment, and consider what these findings mean for your business.

Get the full document here.

Kony Announces Digital Banking Marketplace Expansion (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Kony, Inc., the leading enterprise mobility and digital applications company, today announced it is expanding its global partner ecosystem with financial technology solutions featured on the Kony Digital Banking Marketplace.

4 Emerging Fintech Trends Relevant to Every Entrepreneur (Elevator Pitch), Rated: B

FinTech is disrupting the traditional financial services, such as: money transfers, loans, mobile payments, asset management and fundraising. According to Statista, Transaction Value is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2017-2021. of 20.5 percent resulting in the total amount of U.S.$6.9 billion in 2021.

1. Multi-currency digital wallets

A recent example is CashDash, a mobile app that allows you to buy, collect and return foreign currency.

2. Payments security advances using biometrics

3. Cryptocurrencies

4. Robo-advisors and automated wealth management services.

According to the consulting firm A.T. Kearney, assets under management by robo-advisors will grow by 68 percent annually to a whopping $2.2 trillion in the next five years.

How Fitness Pros Are Pushing Payments (PYMNTS), Rated: A

In an effort to offer rideshare workers faster access to their wages, First Data recently launched a new solution that delivers the money directly onto a debit card.

collaboration between Ingo Money, Visa and digital lending platform OnDeck will allow SMBs that request loans through OnDeck to have the funds disbursed directly to their business debit cards in real time.

A group of 13 Australian banks announced a joint effort to allow customers to get real-time payments beginning on January 26, the nation’s Australia Day holiday. With the service in place, bank customers can exchange money between contacts in a matter of seconds using identifiers such as mobile numbers and email addresses, instead of sensitive data like bank accounts.

YES Bank’s fintech survey to study ecosystem worldwide (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: B

YES Bank is all set to launch a first-of-its-kind fintech survey. Called India Fintech Opportunities Review, the study will cover India and a few major fintech markets in the world.

A research initiative of YES FINTECH, which is the bank’s innovation programme to accelerate fintech start-ups, the survey will cover more than 1,000 firms globally, said Amit Shah, Head-Strategy, Yes Bank.

Australia

RateSetter gets upgraded Down Under (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

RATESETTER’S Australian operations have been given a higher rating by SQM Research.

The independent ratings agency upgraded the peer-to-peer lending platform to a “favourable” rating and described its lending product as “approved investment grade.”

This puts it just one step below SQM’s top rating of ‘high investment grade.’

Credible Labs wants to be an ASX tech darling (Financial Review), Rated: A

US-based online student loans marketplace owner Credible Labs Inc is seeking an Australian Securities Exchange listing which would value the company at more than $300 million.

Credible is expected to seek to raise $67.5 million in a deal valuing the company’s equity at $306.6 million. If successful, it would be Australia’s biggest tech IPO this year.

India

Fisdom Raises $ 4M in Series B Funding (FINSMES), Rated: A

Fisdom, a Bangalore, India-based personal finance management startup, raised $4m in Series B funding.

The round was led by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, managed by Quona Capital with participation from existing investor Saama Capital.

Fintech company Payoneer to support e-commerce exports from India (The Hindu Business Line), Rated: A

Payoneer, a global cross border B2B digital payments provider, has decided to expand the scope of its offering in the Indian market to e-commerce related export businesses, it’s visiting CEO Scott Galit has said.

Galit said that India is the fastest growing digital market in the world and that more people are going digital in India than anywhere in the world.

India will move faster than China for a while, but on much smaller scale. The B2C e-commerce exports in India is around $ 500 million a year, while in China it is $ 400 billion, according to industry insiders.

Asia

The Future of Branch.. Banking? (Fintech News), Rated: A

My opinion is that both views are problematic in its own way, branch banking is still quite a distance away from being dead largely fueled by face to face KYC requirements and the need to serve different segments of the customer.

However, there’s one reality that bankers cannot escape from, banks are increasingly under pressure to close their branches.

The Digitised Branch

The whole idea of digital banking is the ability to perform banking on-the-go, to go to the bank to perform banking-on-the-go (what a tongue twister) seems to defeat the point entirely.

This approach enables bankers to still serve the segment of their customers prefer to conduct their banking activities through the branch or customers who for whatever reason need to visit branch all while still keeping the costs at bay.

Fintech investors striking a match (Business Times), Rated: A

Among the fresh fintech funds that have come into this space is GTR Ventures (GTRV), the venture capital arm of trade finance intelligence firm Global Trade Review. Operating in both Singapore and London, it is the world’s first investment platform targeted specifically at fintechs operating in the global trade ecosystem.

Kelvin Tan, co-founder and chief investment officer, told The Business Times that the fund screens fintechs that can help to close the annual US$1.5 trillion trade finance gap, particularly for SMEs.

MENA

How 690-million customer China Construction Bank has digitally transformed (Tahawul Tech), Rated: A

China Construction Bank’s name may not be a household one in the Middle East, but the stats speak for themselves in evoking the bank’s vast resources and influence within China, and across the world. With 363,000 employees on its books, CCB is consistently ranked in the top 30 of the Global Fortune 500 and currently has over $3 trillion worth of assets. In 2015, it was the second largest bank in the world by market capitalisation, and the sixth largest company in the world by revenue.

Africa

KiaKia launches alternative credit scoring, virtual lending platform (Vanguard), Rated: AAA

Aside its numerous products that are void of the usual financial bureaucracy and also offer easy access capital to SMEs and individuals, KiaKia, a licensed online peer to peer and direct lending platform, has introduced ‘Mr. K’, an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning powered alternative credit scoring, customer service, Direct and P2P lending virtual agent.

Speaking further on the new product, Abiola said 80 percent of KiaKia high scoring borrowers access the same loans at between 7.5 percent and 15 percent as against the 30 percent of its competitors, as well as, connecting credible borrowers with lenders offering loans as low as 5.5 percent interest rate for longer tenured loans.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor