Daily News Digest Featured News

Wednesday August 23 2017, Daily News Digest

Delinquency rates
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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United States

United Kingdom

China

International

Australia

Asia

Middle East

News Summary

United States

Walmart in Talks With Finance Startup Affirm to Offer Loans to Customers (TheStreet), Rated: AAA

Walmart Stores Inc (WMT) is in talks with financing startup Affirm Inc to use its services to offer installment loans to customers with limited credit histories, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The upstart is reportedly nearing a deal with Walmart that could have it offering installment loans to Walmart shoppers as early as this fall. The loans would be focused on costlier items such as tires and other purchases over $200, insiders said.

Consumer Debt Reaches New Peak: Will Losses Follow? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

This week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its quarterly Household Debt and Credit Report.

  • Total consumer debt reached a record $12.8 trillion. The prior peak was $12.7 trillion in 2008.
  • Since the financial crisis, auto loans and student loans have soared. Auto loans are now at $1.2 trillion, up 70% since the depths of the recession in 2010. Student loans have reached an incredible $1.3 trillion.
  • Total credit card debt has reached $784 billion, the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2009. Credit card delinquencies have also started increasing from historic lows.
  • Mortgage debt is growing again, having reached $8.7 trillion. However, it remains below the 2008 peak of $9.3 trillion.
total debt
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Student and auto loan data is worrying. The growth rate of both products has been extraordinary. Credit card growth looks nominal (despite the recent press) compared to the continued surge in student and auto loans.

Auto and student loans
Source: Federal Reserve

These loss rates are driven by poor underwriting in both the student loan and subprime auto markets. But while interest rates on auto loans (especially subprime) are high (and priced for risk), student loan interest rates are typically in the low single digits – not enough to cover the implied loss rate.

Delinquency rates
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Tech giants like Amazon and Facebook more disruptive to banks than fintech start-ups (CNBC), Rated: A

Banks are faced with more competitive disruption from tech behemoths than financial technology (fintech) start-ups, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Drawing on interviews with finance and tech industry experts, the report found that banks were significantly lagging behind tech giants in the development of technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

Lenders have instead been turning to tech corporations to provide these functions, the report said. It singled out AmazonGoogle and Facebook as three companies dominating the market in these areas of innovation.

One example the report referred to was Amazon Web Services, which has lured several financial institutions including Aon, Capital One and Nasdaq to Amazon’s cloud computing business.

WSJ’s Greg Ip: US needs more Amazon disruption from CNBC.

RiverNorth: Executing on Providing Income for Investors in Marketplace Lending Loans (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

RiverNorth is out with an encouraging note on its fund that invests in marketplace lending platform loans. As of the end of July 2017, RiverNorth’s portfolio consisted of 10,173 loans, with an average loan size of $10,176. The RiverNorth Marketplace Lending (NASDAQ:RMPLX) is designed to provide a high degree of granularity and diversification, and holds a duration of 1.5 with a weighted average FICO score of 708 on the consumer portion of the portfolio. Consumer loans represent a 76% allocation as of July. The Fund’s “subsidized and unsubsidized SEC” net yield currently stands at 11.02% and 9.27%, respectively.

Cloud Lending Solutions Releases Software for Leasing and Asset Finance (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Cloud Lending Solutions, a leader in cloud-based leasing software, announced major advancements to its end-to-end leasing solution, CL Lease™ for Self-Financed Lessors, Externally Funded Leases and Captives. CL Lease™ is designed as a customer-centric, cloud-based lease servicing application enabling lessors to efficiently service equipment leases.

By automating operations, CL Lease effectively manages and tracks multiple assets in a schedule, and can manage your asset disposition process (repossessions, and returns). Its fully extendible integration platform works with collection agents, repossession agents, equipment resellers, and dealers. CL Lease can automatically apply fees, calculate taxes, and collect payments through ACH and credit cards.

Recent economic research into the Equipment Lease and Financing industry indicate that equipment and lease software investment is projected to grow by 3.6% in 2017. The investment outlook for most equipment verticals continues to improve with 2017 seeing long-term leasing volume increasing in 10 of 12 leasing verticals, and recent momentum in first-half 2017 has accelerated in 8 of 12 verticals.

A short list of advancements are:

  • Criteria Based Scorecards – Scorecard evaluations consisting of multiple parties with different legal entity types. Lessors will be able to assign different scorecards to different Legal Entity Type values and evaluate different scorecards for business versus individuals. Scorecard evaluations consisting of multiple parties with different collateral types. In this scenario, financial institutions will be able to assign different scorecards to different collateral type values.
  • Financial Statement Analysis – Enable lessors to be able to spread financials and store electronically, this includes balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, as well as configure calculations and financial ratios to support financial analysis. CL Lease will enable financial institutions to customize financial statements with custom fields and generate financial statement information, such as cash flow, from configurable statement calculations and allow users to input, generate and analyze financial statements spanning multiple reporting periods.
  • Multi Company, Multi Currency – Support for being able to manage multiple companies in the same CL Lease implementation. Highly useful for companies operating in multiple countries or jurisdictions, CL Lease can support local regional specifications and manage leases across geographical country lines.
  • Credit Exposure Support – Enhanced to enable lessors to calculate direct exposure, direct proposed exposure, indirect exposure and indirect proposed exposure calculations for borrowing relationships, as well as get updates on the exposure for all borrowing relationships on a daily basis. CL Lease will also enable users to update exposure calculations on-demand.
  • Feature Updates – Additional updates include: Contract Restructuring, Debt Schedules, Delinquency Management, Asset Tracking, Financing of multiple equipment, Cash Management, Reporting and Dashboards.

Cloud Lending Solutions Releases Software for Commercial Bank Lenders (BusinessWire), Rated: A

Cloud Lending Solutions, a leader in cloud-based commercial lending and leasing software, announced upgrades to its end-to-end suite of products for its commercial lending clients using: CL Loan™, CL Lease™, CL Originate™, CL Collections™, and/or CL Marketplace ™ and released a new product in CL Portal™. These advancements to the Cloud Lending solution suite are designed to address fundamental challenges found across Global Banking, Community Banks, Credit Unions, Lending Societies, and Global Financial Institutions.

A partial listing of feature advancements:

  • Underwriting Scorecards: Enables FIs to define rate cards consisting of configurable pricing and terms and assign them to configurable risk ratings. They can also define their scorecards, consisting of evaluation criteria, scores, and weights, which can be executed for a specific loan opportunity based on configurable criteria. Results of the scorecard evaluation, pricing, and terms can then be automatically applied to the loan or presented to the user for selection.
  • Financial Statement Analysis/Financial Spreading: Enables FIs to configure and generate financial statements, financial ratios for business and individual borrowing entities associated with a loan opportunity. Further, lenders can leverage the resulting financial statement data and analysis during the loan underwriting process and configure the layout and format of each financial statement, as well as the calculations and formulas that derive the financial statement values and the resulting financial ratios.
  • Risk Assessment and Exposure Lenders can configure risk assessment templates, generate risk scores/grades for borrowing relationships, define risk assessment criteria in scorecards and the risk rating thresholds, and evaluate risk assessments for borrowing relationships automatically or on-demand.
  • CL Portal™ A configurable front-end portal that provides a differentiated borrowing experience for consumer, commercial and small business loans for borrowers, investors and stakeholders; integrates product workflows and document management to create a personalized and unique experience for loans ranging from fully automated consumer loans to multi-entity, collaborative commercial loans.
  • Loan Committee and Communications: Providing a completely virtual committee experience where members can view, discuss, and vote on loan opportunities via their computer and communicate lending communications between team members online with an audit trail. Improves meeting efficiency by automatically capturing meeting minutes and enforcing loan presentation time limits.
  • Advanced Loan Origination provides FIs an ability define each of the stages of their loan origination process for each loan product and each mandatory task(s) required at each stage. Easily define loan origination tasks driven by additional criteria such as risk rating or loan amount and automatically assign each task to loan team members based on their role. This ensures an efficient process by enforcing due dates for tasks and ensuring policy compliance by enforcing task completion at the applicable stage of the loan origination process.
  • Relationship Dashboard Provides a 360-degree view of the customer relationship allowing financial institutions to obtain a comprehensive view of the entire borrowing relationship. Users get a real-time view into relationship documents and document exceptions; monitor, and evaluate relationship covenants, view financial accounts and loan opportunities in progress, and assess relationship risk using risk assessment templates and credit exposure calculations. This is provided in addition to customer relationship management functionality provided by Salesforce.

Importance of digitally transforming credit risk management (Digital Journal), Rated: A

The analysis suggests that banks urgently need to digitize their credit processes. This comes down to economics since lending continues to be a major source of bank revenue, especially with retail banking. It is the retail banking sector that is facing the greatest threat from new digital services, such as credit lenders. An example of such a lender is Kuliza, which is on-line only and deploys artificial intelligence to assess customer loan requests. A different approach is provided by Fusion Bank which uses ‘crowdlending’ to secure loans. A crowdlending platform brings investors (the crowd) together with borrowers and allows the investors (or lenders) to lend small sums of money directly to hundreds or thousands or borrowers, in anticipated of a return on the loan.

An example of how a major bank can embrace what is happening in the market is provided by Premium Credit, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America. To take on the challenge, Premium Credit worked with specialist technology company Arrk Group to create a digital customer acquisition platform. The success of this, for both bank and customer, was to reduce the time taken to process a loan from weeks to a matter of just minutes.

Federal Arbitration Rule Will Harm ‘Little Guys’ (CEI.org), Rated: A

Once again, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is putting forth a rule it presents as going after big banks, but will likely have its most devastating effects on small and startup financial institutions.

Other victims of the rule are likely to be credit unions, community banks, and sharing-economy innovations such as peer-to-peer lending.

As online commercial lending grows, some banks still prefer face-to-face meetings (Biz Journals), Rated: A

Many local banks that don’t already offer online commercial loan applications acknowledge that time may come, but for now in-face meetings still offer a lot advantages to potential borrowers.

Here’s a way for you to get a better handle on debt (MarketWatch), Rated: A

People tend to consider using borrowed funds in two contexts and depending on which context they’re in, people’s attitudes about what purchases they’re willing to borrow for drastically change.

Context 1: ‘How to pay’ decisions

One reason people might incur debt is to take advantage of attractive financing.

Context 2: ‘Whether to buy’ decisions

Another far more common reason people may use debt is because they cannot pay for their purchases with other means. Perhaps they are waiting for their next paycheck, or they have designated their savings to other things (expenses, other purchases, investments).

In a dataset from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes spending behavior from 30,242 households, we found that people who spent more on experiencesrather than material goods were also more likely to have greater credit card debt and to have paid more in credit card financing charges. We also saw this pattern in people’s likelihood of taking on a peer-to-peer loan. Using a large dataset from one of the biggest U.S. peer-to-peer lending companies, we found that people were more likely to have peer-to-peer loans for experiential purchases (for example, weddings or vacations) as compared to material purchases (such as swimming pools or motorcycles).

The average American household spends $12,800 annually on discretionary purchases and has $7,200 in credit-card debt. Indeed, a recent surveyfound that 74% of Americans have borrowed to pay for a vacation.

American Dream Leadership Series #2: Eric Sager of Online SMB Lender BlueVine (Forbes), Rated: B

What leader in business do you most admire and try to emulate?

I’ll focus on folks I’ve actually worked with. Francoise Brougher, Sarah Friar and Gokul Rajaram at Square are three people I learned a lot from, and there are certain things I try hard to emulate from each of them. Then of course there is Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Twitter and Square, who always impressed me with how thoroughly committed he was to the mission of helping small businesses succeed, and how that commitment influenced every decision I saw him make.

What’s a piece of advice that turned out NOT to be helpful?

To eliminate weaknesses or development opportunities. The truth, which I learned from both sports and business, is that my value to the team is way more about making the most of my strengths, and that any weaknesses, assuming I’m aware of them, can generally be covered very successfully by others on the team.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle has Supported the Creation of 80,000 New Jobs (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Last week, Funding Circle celebrated seven years of operation.

Today, Funding Circle has helped to provide financing for more than 32,000 small businesses based in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. Funding Circle reports that 69,000 individuals and institutions are now lending on their platform. The company estimates that their lending service has supported the creation of around 80,000 new jobs (globally).

Funding Circle is boxing its investors in (The Memo), Rated: A

The vision was that ordinary people could loan their hard-earned cash directly to others, who could borrow at far cheaper rates than from the bank.

But today Funding Circle joined Zopa and Ratesetter in abandoning that vision, instead announcing it will stop people from picking and choosing who to lend their money to, instead automatically pooling these investments across borrowers on the platform.

Some have pointed out that these behaviours and changes now mean that these peer-to-peer platforms are now acting much more like a bank or a fund, becoming middle-men managing the investments they’re facilitating.

Online lender Zopa’s revenue jumped 60% last year (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa saw revenues leap 60% higher last year as losses narrowed.

The online lender’s revenue rose from £20.6 million in 2015 to £33.2 million last year, accounts filed with Companies House this week show. At the same time, losses narrowed from £8.8 million to £5.8 million.

Why Rumours of P2P’s Demise Have Been Exaggerated (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Are we really saying that an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago is failing because only one in 20 or so Britons have used it over the past 12 months? In fact, that seems like a pretty impressive adoption rate, particularly in an industry such as financial services, where start-ups face all sorts of issues around trust and credibility.

AltFi Data, one of the most trusted sources of analysis on the alternative finance sector, reckons peer-to-peer lenders have so far made advances of £1bn in the UK this year alone, taking their all-time advances close to £5bn. And those statistics are only for consumer loans; add in business finance and the figures are more like £3bn and £5bn respectively.

Brexit claims another victim: Britain’s venture capitalists (Politico), Rated: A

Since the country gave notice it was leaving the European Union in March, a growing list of British venture capital funds has been told they will not receive financial support from the European Investment Fund, an EU agency that provides almost half of the money for the region’s venture capital industry, according to several fund managers who held discussions with the body.

While little-known outside tech circles, the Luxembourg-based fund remains the largest backer of European venture capital, often providing up to 40 percent of funds’ total investments, equal to billions of euros each year.

In Britain, for instance, the European Investment Fund forked out €2.3 billion between 2011 and 2015 to support 144 local venture and private equity funds, or roughly one-third of overall investment for the sector, according to the latest figures available from the agency.

Zopa scales back higher-risk lending due to UK consumer credit outlook (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

ZOPA has reduced its exposure to higher-risk loans due to the UK’s worsening consumer credit outlook, which has led it to lower its projected returns on some investments.

The peer-to-peer lender also said that it is expecting slightly higher losses on its existing loans and an increase in early repayments from borrowers.

Subprime lender Provident Financial is in crisis (Business Insider), Rated: A

Shares in Provident Financial, a UK-based door-to-door lender, lost more than 74% of their value on Tuesday after the company cut its dividend, issued a profit warning, announced the resignation of its CEO, and announced the regulator is investigating part of its business.

Bradford-based subprime lender Provident warned investors it expects to make a loss of between £80 million and £120 million. Provident told investors in June to expect a reduction in profit of £60 million — but still a profit.

Debt collection rates plummeted from 90% in 2016 to 57% after the company changed from using self-employed agents to full-time “customer experience managers.” Customers are also borrowing £9 million a week less.

Interview with Terry Fisher, Founder at Huddle Capital (P2P-Banking), Rated: A

In an already crowded space, Huddle is differentiating itself by it high quality origination and a focus on educating its lenders to help them make better decisions.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

The main advantage for lenders on Huddle is that we are owned and managed by Access Commercial Finance which is an FCA regulated, balance sheet lender. Our belief is that most fintech businesses in the marketplace are too much ‘tech’ and not enough ‘fin’ so we are looking to correct that balance on Huddle.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

The main advantage to borrowers is getting speedy access to funding for strong business cases that have been unable to achieve satisfactory funding elsewhere.

What ROI can investors expect?

Currently we have loans that pay lenders from 8% to 16% per annum, depending on their risk appetite.

What were the main challenges launching your platform in a competitive (crowded?) market?

Once your tech works there are only 2 real challenges in this business – attracting lenders and finding borrowers. Fortunately we have got plenty of borrowers both existing and in the pipeline – so our challenge is getting out there in front of more lenders so they can learn about our platform and the benefits of lending through Huddle.

Which marketing channels do you use to attract investors and borrowers?

We are marketing to investors through the usual channels of PPC & SEO, but the primary channel we use is content led marketing, providing educational led content, empowering potential lenders to understand the lending business better and be in a position to make informed lending decision.

Peer-to-peer lending websites struggle (to attract borrowers (Financial Times), Rated: A

Peer-to-peer lending websites are struggling to attract UK customers who want to borrow money, despite hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in the sector.

Just 7 per cent of 1,100 people said they had used this sort of service to borrow in 2017, according to a survey by consultancy EY. Separate research from Blumberg Capital, a venture capital group, reported only 4 per cent of 1,050 British adults had used alternative lending services in the past 12 months.

How banks could look into YOUR account to decide if they will give you a mortgage (Express.co.uk), Rated: A

MORTGAGE loans and another types of lending are set to get tougher than ever thanks to a new way banks will measure who is a good candidate – by looking directly into into a bank account to check up on spending.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney.com, told Express.co.uk he expected the development to become the norm “within one or two years”.

Fintech trade body chief steps down (Financial News), Rated: B

The chief executive of the UK’s fintech trade body is stepping down next week after two and a half years in the role, with a former senior Nasdaq executive standing in until a permanent successor is found.

Innovate Finance, a not-for-profit association founded in 2014 to represent the UK’s global fintech community, said in a statement today that Lawrence Wintermeyer will step down at the end of the month.

Former Lloyds boss Eric Daniels sues to claim unpaid bonuses (Financial Times), Rated: B

Eric Daniels, who ran Lloyds Banking Group when it was rescued by UK taxpayers, is suing the lender with a former colleague to claim £1m of unpaid bonuses linked to its HBOS acquisition, according to a person briefed on the lawsuit.

The former Lloyds chief executive, who left in 2011, filed a claim this month with London’s High Court along with a separate claim filed by Truett Tate, the lender’s former head of wholesale banking.

China

China: Number One Fintech Country In The World? (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

China has not only caught up, but rather leapfrogged major cities such as New York, Silicon Valley and London. Many people are even claimingthat clusters of cities such as the Pearl River Delta in China are becoming the “new Silicon Valley.”

Due to China’s relatively new capital market structure, a lot of legacy systems in place in Western countries just aren’t present yet in China.  On top of that, the major Chinese banks are all state-owned (ICBC, ABC, CCB and BOC). They’ve made a living off lending to other large state owned enterprises (SOEs), which has left a large section of the population, in particular small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) without the proper access to loans and credit.

Chinese fintech
Source: Coin Telegraph

China has well over 700 mln Internet users, or more than double the entire population of the US.  Combined with a propensity to use smartphones and mobile payments thanks to WeChat and Alipay, Chinese consumers have spectacular adoption rates of Fintech applications in comparison to other nations. For example, 40 percent of consumers in China use non-traditional payment methods such as Alipay, compared to just four percent in Singapore.

Chinese tech adoption
Source: Coin Telegraph

With major e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Taoball and Tmall, and JD.com, there has been a need for quick and easy e-payments, which can be done using Fintech applications such as Alipay. Not only has this created opportunities within the payments vertical of Fintech, but also within lending, insurance, investment and wealth management.

Nation sees highest uptake of fintech (China Daily), Rated: A

China ranks top among 20 world markets in terms of fintech adoption, with 69 percent of surveyed consumer respondents saying they are actively using fintech services, 33 percentage points higher than the global average.

China ranks top among 20 world markets in terms of fintech adoption, with 69 percent of surveyed consumer respondents saying they are actively using fintech services, 33 percentage points higher than the global average.

Around 64 percent of fintech users said they prefer using digital channels to manage “all aspects of their life”. And 13 percent of polled consumers said they are regular users of five or even more fintech services, which include money transfer and fintech, wealth planning, deposit and investment, borrowing and insurance.

China’s first independent network bank gets authorized from CBRC (Xing Ping She), Rated: A

On 21st August, Baixin Bank, the first independent network bank in China, announced that they had been authorized by CBRC (China Banking Regulatory Commission).

According to public information, BaIxin Bank was jointly incorporated by China Citic Bank (shareholding ratio: 70%) and Fujian Baidu Borui Network Technology co. LTD (shareholding ratio: 30%). It takes more than one year for Baixin Bank to get the opening approval since Citic Bank’s Board Meeting passed the Bill on Establishment of a Pure Network Banking Company on November 17, 2015.

Li Qingping, the President of Citic Bank, previously said that the two parent companies would not interfere the marketing operation of Baixin Bank. It will provide a platform of banking for common people, enable them to conveniently enjoy finance service. Meanwhile, the bank will take advantages of both Citi Bank’s risk control capacity and Baidu’s innovative technologies like AI, big data and cloud computing, so as to meet the personalized financial needs of customers.

Credit Quality of Internet Companies Susceptible to Finance Business Actions (Financail Buzz), Rated: A

Moody’s Investor Services has opined that the credit quality of Internet companies could be weakened by Chinese technology companies pushing their way into orthodox businesses like finance and banking.

Lina Choi, senior credit officer, and the vice-president of Moody’s said that Internet companies can suffer from potential capital calls and contingent liabilities as a result of loans made to merchants and consumers. The scenario is also affected by wealth management distribution. Incidentally, these are the two main services offered by these online companies.

The first shareholders meeting held today: 13 directors 7 supervisors list of candidates surfaced (EEO.com.cn), Rated: B

Economic Observer learned that on August 22, the first shareholders meeting of Internet Clearing Co., Ltd. will be held in Beijing, after the meeting, the list of directors and supervisors will be officially released.

Compared to the financier, Jingdong Finance, quick money, one wallet of several directors of the rise, the Alipay director of the candidate Wang Zuojiang for the director level.

Tencent nominated director of the candidates Lai Zhiming in the technical and financial aspects have a very strong background.

Ping An paid the nomination of directors Candidate Zhu Yinjia is the only product of all the nominated directors of the professional background of professional payment.

International

3 Investments You Must Make Before Market Collapses (Newsmax), Rated: AAA

Exactly a year ago, in the wake of Brexit, the US 10-Year Treasury rate fell to an all-time low of 1.36%. At that point, bond yields—which move inversely to their price—had been declining for eight years with no end in sight.

Then Trump won the US election; another unexpected twist. An uptick in inflation and a series of rate hikes followed shortly afterward, and the 10-year yield has risen 67% from its lows.

  • Europe

Just a year ago, Europe looked like the last place you’d want to put your money in.

While everyone was applauding the uptick in US growth after the election, Europe recorded higher growth in 2016.

Despite improving fundamentals and strong performance, EU stocks remain relatively undervalued. For example, the Shiller P/E ratio is 55% lower for EU stocks than for their US counterparts.

European stocks
Source: Newsmax
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending

P2P investors are currently averaging 7.3% returns on 36-month loans. Even those who took the most conservative approach saw returns of 5%.

The likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley now account for over 70% of new capital.

P2P lending
Source: Newsmax

Fiserv Acquires Dovetail Group To Reinvent Payments Infrastructure Worldwide (PYMNTS), Rated: B

Fiserv, a financial services technology solutions provider, announced the acquisition of Dovetail Group Limited to further enable it to help financial institutions around the world transform their payments infrastructure. The new capabilities would be used to meet the evolving needs of wholesale, commercial and retail customers.

Australia

Amazon a bigger threat to banks than fintech: World Economic Forum (Financial Review), Rated: A

The combination of “open banking” regimes and data migrating to the computer cloud will lure global technology giants to create platforms for distributing financial services, a move that will force incumbent banks to compete head-on to control customer relationships or risk becoming mere suppliers of commoditised financial products.

That’s a view of the future set out by the World Economic Forum in a 194-page report on fintech disruption, released in New York on Tuesday, that warns traditional bank distribution models and economics “are at risk of being deeply disrupted by the drive towards platform models of banking”.

It calls out the arrival of internet behemoth Amazon into financial services. Amazon Lending, quietly launched six years ago, offers credit to merchants selling on its platform and uses their sales data to measure risk. It has made loans worth over $US3 billion and is expanding in the US, Britain and Japan, according to a recent report in the Financial Times.

It also points to Chinese tech giant Tencent’s Webank platform, which allows retail customers to purchase products from multiple competing credit and asset management providers, as a plausible model for financial services distribution in the future.

Asia

Indonesia’s fintech investments set to touch record high in 2017 (Deal Street Asia), Rated: AAA

Investments into Indonesian fintech startups are set to hit a record high in 2017 at the current run rate, according to an analysis by venture intelligence platform CB Insights. It is estimated that there will be a total of about 50 deals this year alone.

A recent study revealed that 80 per cent of the Indonesian population does not have a formal bank account, with 203 million Indonesians earning less than $4.50 a day.

In January this year, private lender Bank Central Asia (BCA) launched its VC arm, Central Capital Ventura, committing Rp 200 billion ($15 million) in investments so far.

In P2P lending, notable deals include Amartha raising $30 million in a round led by MCI in March this year. More recently, UangTeman announced a $12 million Series A round led by K2 Venture Capital with participation from Hong Kong-based STI Financial Group and American firm Draper Associates.

Moka is one of the best funded merchant payment startups in Indonesia, counting Convergence Ventures, East Ventures, Fenox VC, and Wavemaker Partners among its investors. Other active firms in this area are Pawoon, backed by Ideabox and Kejora Ventures, and Cashlez, backed by MCI and Gan Capital.

Indonesia fintech

Middle East

UAE-Based Fintech Start-Up Secures $ 700K Investment to Advance Financial Services Access for Underserved Migrant Workers (Fox34), Rated: AAA

NOW Money has secured an investment of $700,000 from two U.S.-based venture capital investors – Accion Venture Lab, the seed-stage investment initiative of financial inclusion leader Accion, and Newid Capital.

The investment comes a year after NOW Money’s initial seed funding, which allowed the company to expand the team and develop the technology and brand. With the latest investment, also a part of its seed round, the team plans to launch the service across the United Arab Emirates and expand into the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Funding squeeze lifts ME non-bank lending (Oman Trubune), Rated: A

Middle East investment companies are ramping up their lending to businesses, providing a lifeline for small and medium-sized firms struggling to secure finance from banks that tightened credit after a suffering rise in bad loans.

Industry participants estimate non-bank lenders in the region could provide around $1 billion over the next three to five years, including secured loans, mezzanine debt, preferred shares and convertible loans and bonds.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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