- Today’s main news: PayPal likely to buy big target like Square or Klarna soon. LendingTree acquires non-lending assets of SnapCap. Funding Circle boost revenues, narrows losses. ZhongAn raises $1.5B in Hong Kong IPO. Funding Societies intros first crowdfunding chatbot in Southeast Asia.
- Today’s main analysis: Hong Kong private wealth sees double-digit growth.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: The next billion dollar startups. UK punches above its weight in alt finance. Fintech has not yet made impact on trade finance gap.
- PayPal could be eyeing acquisition target. AT: “PayPal has been on a buying spree, most likely to boost its portfolio earnings and to enlarge its lending footprint. Targeting a company like Square, Klarna, or Stripe would do both and make the company stronger in the long run. I can see this happening.”
- LendingTree acquires non-lending assets of SnapCap. AT: “The assets are not specified, which makes me wonder what the company hopes to gain from the acquisition of the assets are ‘non-lending’.”
- The next billion-dollar startups. AT: “It’s fun to predict who the next unicorns will be. Forbes narrows the list to 25, three of which are tech companies in the alt lending space. If the Plaid prediction is correct, one of whose chief investors is Goldman Sachs, then we are likely to see a lot more bank-fintech partnerships. This will likely happen anyway, but a breakout success of tech companies focused on that union would accelerate the partnerships.”
- Shinola partner with Affirm. AT: “If it isn’t Affirm, it’s Klarna. We are seeing these announcements more and more frequently. How long will it be before non-credit card POS financing is the norm rather than the exception?”
- How CRE fundraising is changing.
- New survey explores online homebuying attitudes.
- Boost Insurance raises $3M.
- 3 stocks that could double your money.
- Sumero leads $45M growth equity round with Kyriba.
- Amazon effect makes advising small clients less profitable.
- Amazon is not yet a monopoly, says Levchin.
- Funding Circle boosts revenues, narrows losses.
- UK punches above its weight in alt finance.
- How financial advisors engage third-party services is changing.
- Advisers warned of robo-advice ‘cliff edge’.
- British Business Bank reaffirms support for fintech.
- Spotcap announces UK Fintech Fellowship winner.
- ZhongAn raises $1.5B in Hong Kong IPO. AT: “Congratulations.”
- ZhongAn surges, bodes well for future tech listings.
- Private wealth in Hong Kong grows by double digits in 2017.
- Ant Financial partners with CK Hutchison on payments.
- Fintech still hasn’t made impact on trade finance gap.
- Leveraging alternative data to energize lending portfolio.
- Only 3% of advisers offer robo-advice.
- Funding Societies intros first Southeast Asian chatbot for crowdfunding companies.
- Fintech firms look to disburse loans under Mudra.
- United States
- PayPal A Buyer, Not Seller, And May Seek A Big Target (Investors.com), Rated: AAA
- LendingTree Acquires Non-Lending Assets of SnapCap (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- The Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2017 (Forbes), Rated: AAA
- Shinola Finds Kindred Partner in Affirm (BusinessWire), Rated: A
- How CRE Fundraising Is Changing and Why (Commercial Property Executive), Rated: A
- New Survey Explores Online Homebuying Attitudes (National Mortgage Professional), Rated: A
- Boost Insurance Raises $ 3M in Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A
- 3 Stocks That Could Double Your Money (The Motley Fool), Rated: A
- Sumero Leads $ 45M Growth Equity Round in Treasury Fintech Kyriba (Xconomy), Rated: B
- Amazon effect’ makes advising smaller clients less profitable (Financial Times), Rated: B
- PayPal’s Cofounder Says Amazon Is “Not Yet” A Monopoly (BuzzFeed), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Funding Circle boosts revenues, narrows losses in 2016 results (AltFi), Rated: AAA
- The UK Punches Above its Weight in Alternative Finance & Crowdfunding Can Provide a More Robust Funding Ecosystem (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
- How FAs Engage Third-Party Services is Changing (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A
- Advisers warned of robo-advice ‘cliff edge’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A
- British Business Bank reaffirms support for fintech in new report (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
- Spotcap Announces UK Fintech Fellowship Winner (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
- Online Insurer ZhongAn Raises $ 1.5 Billion in Hong Kong IPO (Caixin), Rated: AAA
- ZhongAn Surges in HK Debut, Boding Well for Future Tech Listings (The New York Times), Rated: A
- Private wealth in Hong Kong sees double-digit growth in 2017 (The Asset), Rated: AAA
- China’s Ant brings in CK Hutchison as Hong Kong payments partner (Reuters), Rated: A
- European Union
- Fintech Group signs Kommunalkredit (Finextra), Rated: A
- Milan opens ‘Fintech District’ (Finextra), Rated: B
- FinTech Has Yet To Make Impact On Trade Finance Gap (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- Leveraging Alternative Data to Energize Your Lending Portfolio (LendIt), Rated: A
- Only three per cent of advisers offer robo-advice (AltFi), Rated: A
- Alternative Finance: Australia Becoming Regional Leader (Canstar), Rated: AAA
- Funding Societies introduces Miyu, the friendly Chatbot (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Fintech firms look to disburse loans, offer digital expertise under Mudra (livemint), Rated: A
- Middle East
- Dubai Economy signs new deal to develop emCash (Tahawul Tech), Rated: A
- The Digital Banking Underdog: Toronto Emerges as Global FinTech Leader (Let’s Talk Payments), Rated: A
PayPal A Buyer, Not Seller, And May Seek A Big Target (Investors.com), Rated: AAA
Ellis says PayPal has $6 billion in cash on its balance sheet and could raise $4 billion or more by selling off its consumer credit business.
“While there are a number of potential candidates, we see the acquisition of a European payments asset as the most likely,” added Ellis in the report. “We believe the top candidates are Adyen, Klarna, Square and Stripe.”
Both Square and Stripe, however, would be costly acquisitions. Square’s market valuation tops $10 billion, while privately-held Stripe’s latest funding round in December gave it a whopping $9.2 billion valuation.
LendingTree Acquires Non-Lending Assets of SnapCap (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Snap Capital LLC, a tech-enabled online platform connecting business owners with lenders offering small business loans, lines of credit and merchant cash advance products through a concierge-based sales approach.
The acquisition purchase has a possible total consideration of $21 million, which consists of $12 million in cash at closing, and contingent consideration payments of up to $9 million.
The Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2017 (Forbes), Rated: AAA
Every year for the past three, Forbes has gone looking for 25 young U.S. companies with a strong shot at reaching a valuation of $1 billion or more. This year, with the help of TrueBridge Capital Partners, we asked venture firms which companies they thought most likely to hit the billion-dollar mark soon. Then we cut that list down to a final 25, evaluating strategies, funding and competitive challenges as well as estimating current revenues.
Founders: Erin Collard, Nima Ghamsari (CEO), Eugene Marinelli; Equity raised: $160 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $27 million; Lead investors: 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners
What it does: Makes cloud-based software that lenders use to originate mortgages online. Today, Blend works with about 30 mortgage originators, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and Mason-McDuffie Mortgage. It also plans expansions into student and auto loans.
Founders: Yuval Ariav, Tomer Michaeli, Eyal Shinar (CEO); Equity raised: $108 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $55 million; Lead investors: General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Spark Capital
What it does: Provides short-term financing to small businesses. Fundbox intends to reduce the cash-flow headaches of small companies, both those waiting for payment and those that need short-term credit to pay what they owe. Fundbox started as an invoice-financing company, lending money to small businesses against their accounts receivables at rates lower than those for cash advances and without prepayment penalties. Its new model, expected to launch in 2018, is meant to work like a credit card for business-to-business transactions. A company that owes money has Fundbox pay the invoice. The company that is owed gets its cash immediately (minus a small interchange fee). Meanwhile, the first company has 60 days to repay Fundbox before being charged interest. With U.S. businesses doing some $41 trillion in business-to-business transactions a year, the potential market is enormous, but setting up such a network is hard.
Founders: William Hockey, Zach Perret (CEO); Equity raised: $60 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $40 million; Lead investors: Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Spark Capital
What it does: Makes software that helps technology startups and banks work together. Plaid’s products provide authentication of accounts and routing numbers, income validation and real-time balance checks. Among its customers: Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase and Clarity Money.
Shinola Finds Kindred Partner in Affirm (BusinessWire), Rated: A
Affirm, Inc., the company started by Max Levchin to provide fair and honest consumer financing, today announced that Detroit-based design brand, Shinola, is using Affirm’s point of sale service to put customers first in an era when a merchant’s values often outstrip price for shoppers’ making a buying decision — especially among millennials.
Known for its dedication to thoughtful manufacturing by creating jobs and making watches, bicycles, leather goods, journals, jewelry, and audio equipment of the highest quality, Shinola is obsessive about customer experience to ensure a high-touch shopping experience that accurately matches the finely crafted watches, bicycles, jewelry, bags, accessories and gifts for sale on its website.
Since Shinola began offering Affirm’s financing to its shoppers, the company’s average order value (AOV) has increased by 52 percent. Also, 50 percent of the Affirm users on Shinola’s site are now between the ages of 18 and 34, a market Shinola has been working to grow.
Nearly 90 percent of marketers said customer experience would be their primary differentiator this year, according to a recent study by research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. And, the majority of respondents — 55 percent — in a recent survey conducted by Affirm and Qualtrics of more than 1,000 22 to 44-year-olds in the U.S. said they prioritize a company with high values and ethical business practices, over minimizing their out-of-pocket costs.
How CRE Fundraising Is Changing and Why (Commercial Property Executive), Rated: A
Jason Burian: The number of closed-end private real estate funds in the market raising capital over the past three years:
- January 2015 – 478
- January 2016 – 492
- January 2017 – 525 (record high)
Closed-end private real estate dry powder over the past three years:
- December 2015 – $229 billion
- December 2016 – $237 billion
- July 2017 – $255 billion (record high)
CPE: Is the real estate crowdfunding industry a solution? What are the risks?
Burian: I see real estate crowdfunding as an alternative to traditional private equity real estate and an alternative source of investors and not as a solution to any problem. As we know, it is just an avenue for every day individual investors seeking exposure in their portfolios to real estate without acquiring shares of REIT’s.
Government regulation is always a risk for this relatively new industry sector. There are questions about the amount of government regulation and whether there is enough to make it a safe playing field. Until crowdfunding matures, with the proper level of regulation, there is always a risk that someone is taking advantage of that gap that currently may exist.
New Survey Explores Online Homebuying Attitudes (National Mortgage Professional), Rated: A
A new survey has concluded that then it comes to researching mortgages, Millennials prefer the D.I.Y. aspect of the online world, while Baby Boomers prefer to communicate with people.
According to the survey, “The Digital Mortgage Experience: A Study of Shifting Borrower Expectations,” from Los Angeles-based Velocify, more than one-third of all borrowers prefer self-service websites, especially during the research stage of getting a mortgage. But as the process evolves, demographic shifts occur. The survey found Millennials were 45 percent more likely to find their lender online than Baby Boomers, who were 87 percent more likely to use their current bank or lender for their home loans.
Boost Insurance Raises $ 3M in Funding (Finsmes), Rated: A
Boost Insurance USA, a NY-based technology-enabled insurtech development platform provider, raised $3m in funding.
The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from IA Capital Group, Greycroft Partners, and re/insurance industry leaders State National Companies (NASDAQ: SNC) and Nephila.
3 Stocks That Could Double Your Money (The Motley Fool), Rated: A
|Company||Recent Stock Price|
|Lending Club (NYSE:LC)||$5.97|
Finally starting to grow again
Peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club has lost roughly three-fourths of its market value since its first trading day in 2014, thanks to several quarters of stagnant growth and a scandal that worried investors.
However, the company’s most recent earnings report shows that things may finally be starting to pick up, with 10% growth in loan originations, higher profit margins, and impressive revenue growth. In addition, the company said it could be on the verge of profitability by the start of 2018, and it expects double-digit sequential revenue growth in the third quarter of this year.
Lending Club’s current loan portfolio represents roughly 0.4% of the U.S. consumer lending market, and if the company could even manage to boost its market share to one or two percent, it could mean a big payday for the company’s investors.
Sumero Leads $ 45M Growth Equity Round in Treasury Fintech Kyriba (Xconomy), Rated: B
After raising $23 million in a Series D funding round last September, Kyriba says today it has raised $45 million in a growth equity round led by Sumeru Equity Partners, a tech-focused private equity firm that specializes in mid-market deals. Previous investors Bpifrance, Iris Capital, Daher Capital (all growth equity funds) joined the deal, along with HSBC.
The venture rounds are over for Kyriba, a cloud-based provider of corporate treasury and financial management software that is based in New York and San Diego.
Amazon effect’ makes advising smaller clients less profitable (Financial Times), Rated: B
Daniel Ketchum prides himself on his low fees and independence, but after 27 years as a financial adviser he is finding it harder to make a living working with smaller clients.
Increased government regulations and savers becoming more knowledgeable about investing have created what he calls the “Amazon effect” for US financial advisers.
But the US Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which came out this year, is making it harder for him to make a profit from advising small plans, he says.
The regulation requires advisers servicing retirement accounts to work in the best interest of the client and has disrupted the wealth management industry.
“I am trying to see if there’s an area where we can do this online and don’t need to leave the office,” he says. “If every plan had the economics of the smaller guys, it would be tough to pay staff, office rent and marketing.”
PayPal’s Cofounder Says Amazon Is “Not Yet” A Monopoly (BuzzFeed), Rated: B
Max Levchin, a cofounder of PayPal and former chairman of Yelp who is now CEO of the online lending startup Affirm, told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that Amazon has “not yet” become a monopoly because of competition from major retailers like Walmart as well as from smaller brands, which are investing in ways to attract and keep customers in the real world as well as online.
Walmart is still much larger than Amazon in terms of net sales. During 2017 fiscal year, Walmart reported$485.9 billion in revenue and $481.3 billion in net sales. Amazon, on the other hand, reported about $136 billion in net sales in 2016.
Funding Circle boosts revenues, narrows losses in 2016 results (AltFi), Rated: AAA
The UK’s largest marketplace lending platform marginally narrowed its losses in 2016. Funding Circle, a business loans marketplace, lost £35.7m in 2016, slightly down from £36.9m in the previous year. Meanwhile the platform boosted revenues by 59 per cent to £50.9m, and saw its total loans outstanding climb 61 per cent to £1.37bn, according to a Companies House filing.
Funding Circle has also flagged that its group operating results for the first half of 2017 demonstrate that revenue growth has accelerated further, approximately doubling year-on-year.
The UK Punches Above its Weight in Alternative Finance & Crowdfunding Can Provide a More Robust Funding Ecosystem (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA
Crowdfund Insider recently spoke with Raghavendra Rau to better understand his perspective on the crowdfunding market. Rau is the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also a founder and Director at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). At the most recent CCAF annual conference in Cambridge, Rau shared some insightful research he had recently completed on the global crowdfunding market.
First, to clarify, in the UK crowdfunding encompasses both debt and equity so peer to peer lending (IE Marketplace Lending) is included in aggregate terms. It is more about many people (and perhaps some institutions) funding a single project. Rau, in his research, emphasizes that in the UK the debt crowdfunding market is far larger than the equity side. This makes sense and mirrors the public markets. Yet access to capital at a very early stage may require equity capital. But globally, over 90% of the crowdfunding market is debt, not equity. It is a debt financed world, at least for SMEs, said Rau.
“Yes, there is definitely potential here. Usually you have two types of firms. Most small enterprises do not require equity. They require debt. Debt means you have to have approximately stable cash flows. Equity means you have to convince the investors that you have an amazing idea that is going to pay off in several years and I am going to let you (the investor) share in this. This is more risky for the investor and so all SMEs are not suitable candidates to raise equity.”
Rau said there are two different paths. Banks or crowdfunding. With crowdfunding there is less paperwork. It is easier to process and in some instances less risk averse. Banks are pulling back from lending across the spectrum. SMEs, the engine of economic growth, are not getting the necessary capital via the traditional route.
So has the UK crowdfunding system been effective?
In the broader scope of things, China is the largest alternative finance market in the world. The US comes in a distant second. The UK is a strong third. But given the relative size of the UK economy, Rau calls the UK performance “extremely impressive.”
The UK is recognized as the top Fintech hub in the world but this required policymakers to be more creative and to take some chances. So far, it has paid off.
How FAs Engage Third-Party Services is Changing (Financial Advisor IQ), Rated: A
Wealth Mosaic aims to build “a resource covering all of the main business needs of wealth managers” in about a dozen verticals, says its co-founder Stephen Wall, who has worked as a wealth management consultant with Boston-based Aite Group and Scorpio Partnership in London. At first, though, he says the service will focus where it’s needed most: on technology and data resources as well as consulting and research options.
Though Wall sees a role for Wealth Mosaic with all “different types of wealth managers,” he sees particular growth opportunities helping “smaller independent” firms that lack in-house consulting arms to help them match their needs to third-party providers, whether the services in question are critical to the firm’s core mission or add value around the edges.
Advisers warned of robo-advice ‘cliff edge’ (FT Adviser), Rated: A
A panel of experts at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment’s financial planning conference in Newport today (26 September) said robo-advice did not necessarily pose a risk to financial advice as long as advisers adapted.
George Rooke, head of UK portfolio management at Wealthsimple, said there were advisers who would “struggle” because of their refusal to engage with robo-advice.
Michelle Pearce, co-founder of robo-adviser Wealthify, said advisers did not necessarily have to worry about being replaced by companies such as hers.
British Business Bank reaffirms support for fintech in new report (P2P Finance News), Rated: A
THE BRITISH Business Bank (BBB) has published a new report underlining the importance of diverse sources of funding for smaller businesses, including peer-to-peer lending.
The report, titled The Benefits of Diverse Finance Markets for Smaller Businesses, explains why and how the state-backed lender works to increase the number of providers and finance options available to small firms in the UK.
“To date £135m is committed to five fintech alternative lending partners. These partners cover a wide range of products including P2P term loans, invoice finance and merchant cash advances.”
Spotcap Announces UK Fintech Fellowship Winner (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B
Spotcap, an online lender for SMEs, has announced Mohammed Hussan as the winner of its Fintech Fellowship 2017. The Fellowship awards one aspiring masters or MBA student with a £8,000 stipend towards their studies.
Online Insurer ZhongAn Raises $ 1.5 Billion in Hong Kong IPO (Caixin), Rated: AAA
ZhongAn, the online insurance seller with ties to China’s two largest internet companies, raised $1.5 billion from its Hong Kong IPO as investor flocked to the biggest listing to date by a new generation of Chinese financial technology (fintech) companies.
Shares of ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Ltd. were priced at HK$59.70 ($7.64) apiece, representing the top of their previously indicated range, according to a company announcement on Wednesday to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The offering raised HK$11.5 billion after being nearly 400 times oversubscribed.
ZhongAn Surges in HK Debut, Boding Well for Future Tech Listings (The New York Times), Rated: A
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co jumped 18 percent on debut on Thursday after the biggest ever IPO by a financial technology firm in Asia, boosting Hong Kong’s hopes of luring future Chinese technology startups away from New York.
It also bodes well for expected listings from other fintech giants in Hong Kong, including Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and peer-to-peer lending and wealth management platform Lufax.
Both Ant Financial and Lufax are considering IPOs in the city, sources previously told Reuters, although the timing for the deals is uncertain.
Private wealth in Hong Kong sees double-digit growth in 2017 (The Asset), Rated: AAA
THIS July, Hong Kong’s private wealth management industry recorded a 14% increase in assets under management (AUM) compared to a year ago. Hong Kong’s wealth management professionals believe that the growth is primarily driven by mainland China’s growing wealth, according to a recent report.
The estimated total private wealth in terms of AUM in Hong Kong is over US$800 billion as of July 2017, according to a survey by Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA) and PwC. This is an increase of 14% from US$700 billion in July 2016. PWMA’s annual members survey was produced with PwC in July 2017, with 33 out of 45 PWMA member firms participated.
In the survey, 100% of respondents cited mainland China as the main driver of growth in Hong Kong’s private wealth AUM. This may be unsurprising, as China has become home to the highest number of billionaires in the world. According to Hurun Report in 2016, China now has 568 billionaires, surpassing the 535 billionaires in the US, and now ranks first globally.
China’s Ant brings in CK Hutchison as Hong Kong payments partner (Reuters), Rated: A
Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said it will create a joint venture this year with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd to operate its payment app in Hong Kong, ending Ant’s solo management of the service.
The new venture will allow Ant Financial’s Alipay to offer services via companies under CK Hutchison, which operates ports, retail, infrastructure and telecommunications businesses across 50 countries.
Ant Financial currently operates its payment app under the Alipay brand in Hong Kong, which offers transaction services at around 4,000 outlets in the city. The new joint venture will take over operation of the app, though it will still be branded Alipay, it said on Tuesday.
Fintech Group signs Kommunalkredit (Finextra), Rated: A
Kommunalkredit is a specialist bank for infrastructure financing based in Vienna, with a branch office in Frankfurt am Main. Its new online offering KOMMUNALKREDIT INVEST targets retail investors, who want to deposit their savings at attractive conditions. Their funds will be used to support key infrastructure investments made by Kommunalkredit such as schools, hospitals, care homes, wind farms, solar energy installations, waste-to-energy facilities, and transport projects.
FinTech Group provides a broad range of fully digital solutions and interfaces for KOMMUNALKREDIT INVEST: they include frontend processes such as online account openings, e-banking, and identification solutions such as video identification, e-signature and mTAN. On the backend side, FinTech Group will also run a data warehouse and carry out compliance monitoring as well as regulatory reporting.
Milan opens ‘Fintech District’ (Finextra), Rated: B
Thirty firms – ranging from start-ups to established corporates – have already selected the Fintech District as their home; they include businesses working in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and cryptocurrency-based technologies, and robo-advisory.
FinTech Has Yet To Make Impact On Trade Finance Gap (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
Trade finance revenue is slipping at the world’s largest banks, especially as companies struggle in a global trade environment operating with a $1.5 trillion gap in trade finance availability.
According to the ADB’s latest survey findings, though, outlined in its Trade Finance Gaps, Growth and Jobs report, FinTech players have yet to make a meaningful impact on the trade finance industry.
The survey polled more than 515 banks and 1,336 companies across 103 countries, finding that FinTech innovators can, indeed, help address the $1.5 trillion trade finance gap which disproportionately impacts small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Approximately one-fifth of the companies surveyed said they had used some type of digital finance, alternative lending or FinTech platform to access trade finance, according to the ADB results.
Leveraging Alternative Data to Energize Your Lending Portfolio (LendIt), Rated: A
Banks aren’t just dealing with customers who want lending and credit information faster. Government regulations are also requiring them to do so, such as Australian banks requiring affordability checks as part of new consumer loans.
Venkat Srinivasan, Head of Lending at Monzo, said that as a new digital bank, they began to question why it was often a month or two months before consumers could see the transaction come through on their banking or credit card. Venkat noted that while technology is improving and customers are evolving, data availability is evolving at the same time.
Roger Vincent, Head of Banking and Innovation at Equifax, discussed how they’re finding new ways to store data, facilitate data movement, and turn data into insights in the form of scores and characteristics.
Phil Grady, CEO of Castlight Financial, discussed how they created a business that has taken traditional credit data from consumers and integrated it with transactional data. This involves categorizing income and expenditures, and then determining essential expenditures versus non-essentials. This enables Castlight to determine consumers’ real disposable income, which in turn helps lenders make better lending decisions. This type of granular level data has allowed Castlight to create the first real-time Financial Capability Formula.
Only three per cent of advisers offer robo-advice (AltFi), Rated: A
Only three per cent of 162 advisers surveyed said they offered fully automated wealth management services, the research found.
The study, which was conducted by research firm Platforum on behalf of JP Morgan, also found that only 14 per cent plant to implement it in the next two years.
Alternative Finance: Australia Becoming Regional Leader (Canstar), Rated: AAA
Australia’s alternative finance market has grown by 53% over 12 months according to a report released by KPMG, becoming the second largest in the Asia-Pacific region.
The report revealed Australia’s alternative finance market increased from US$27 million in 2015 to US$610 million in 2016 as Aussies turn to peer-to-peer lending (P2P), balance sheet business lending and crowdfunding.
In the US$245.28 billion Asia-Pacific alternative finance market, China was found to be the leader, accounting for 99.2% and representing 85% of the total global market.
P2P consumer lending was Australia’s second most popular alternative finance model behind balance sheet business lending, increasing from US$43 million in 2015 to over US$158 million in 2016.
Funding Societies introduces Miyu, the friendly Chatbot (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Funding Societies, Singapore’sand Southeast Asia’s leading crowdfunding platform, has announced the launch of its chatbot Miyu. This is the first such chatbot created by a crowdfunding company in Southeast Asia. Miyu works round the clock to answer queries that a business owner or an investor may ask about the products and services offered by Funding Societies.
“We created Miyu via self-learning with guidance from our seniors. She is different from most other chatbots in the financial services space. Personally, I like that Miyu can escalate to human support whenever required, giving our users a seamless experience,” said Sherman Lim, who is a Singaporean and majors in Economics and Strategic Management at Singapore Management University (SMU).
The future plans for Miyu include acting as a Virtual Relationship Manager who can assist SMEs in loan application, and help investors navigate through the platform, initiate video chats with real customer experience managers as well as perform account opening and management activities such as investments, deposits, withdrawals, etc. without human intervention at any time of the day.
Fintech firms look to disburse loans, offer digital expertise under Mudra (livemint), Rated: A
Financial Technology (Fintech) firms are in early discussions with the government and Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA), exploring opportunities under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), said three people close to the development.
So far, PMMY loans have been extended by all public sector banks, regional rural banks (RRBs), cooperative banks, private sector banks, foreign banks, micro finance institutions and non-banking finance companies. Fintech companies have not been involved yet.
Under Shishu, refinancing is provided for loans up to Rs50,000. Kishor offers refinancing for loans above Rs50,000 up to Rs5 lakh whereas, Tarun provides refinancing for loans above Rs5 lakh up to Rs10 lakh. Mudra also offers services like credit guarantee for micro units and securitization of loan assets against micro enterprise portfolios.
Dubai Economy signs new deal to develop emCash (Tahawul Tech), Rated: A
Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy, and the UK-based Object Tech Group have signed a partnership deal to facilitate financial transactions through contactless payment.
Emcredit and Object Tech will develop a competitive, accountable and legally compliant emCash ecosystem together. Several associated products to protect emCash wallet and digital documents, enable direct real-time settlement and peer-to-peer lending, and provide credit rating based on the distributor ledger of emCash will also be developed.
emCash is based on blockchain technology and will be the digital currency in emPay wallet. The payment method, according to Dubai Economy, will allow the UAE residents to make varied payments through the near field communication (NFC) option on their phones. With emCash, emPay users will have the option of a secure digital currency, and merchants can receive such payments in real time without going through intermediaries.
The Digital Banking Underdog: Toronto Emerges as Global FinTech Leader (Let’s Talk Payments), Rated: A
It’s estimated that in 2017 alone, nearly $60 billion worth of payments will be made on mobile platforms. Comparing these figures to just two years ago, only $8.71 billion worth of transactions were made digitally in 2015.
In line with other frontrunners in the industry, such as London, Silicon Valley and New York City, Toronto, Canada, my hometown, stands apart as an emerging FinTech ecosystem, and it’s become a well-recognized leader amongst the largest and most stable financial centers in the world.
Ontario has been a global leader in digital payments for more than a decade, with Toronto leading in a high concentration of cryptocurrencies,blockchain, alternative lending and e-commerce growth verticals.