- Today’s main news: Kabbage lends $4B to over 130K small businesses. RateSetter loses 23M GBP in ad investment. RateSetter to launch IFISA in February. Klarna, WorldPay partner on invoice and credit-based payments in Europe. Two new crypto-asset backed fiat loan platforms. Toss to expand into southeast Asia.
- Today’s main analysis: LendingTree’s monthly mortgage offer report.
- Today’s thought-provoking articles: All about machine learning. Banks concerned about doomsday scenario. Lending Club’s new certificate investment vehicle isn’t really the first. Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland closing bank branches. Chinese borrowers are stiffing their parents with their loan bills. Why China’s massive debt crackdown matters. Lufax, the world’s 10th largest unicorn. How America could miss out on India’s fintech revolution.
- Kabbage hits $4B SMB lending milestone. AT: “This is still small compared to the amount of small business lending overall. For instance, the SBA reports that in June 2015 alone, small business loans of $1 million or less totaled $599B. Still, Kabbage leads the alternative lending sector by far. Congratulations.”
- LendingTree’s November monthly mortgage offer report.
- Learning all about machine learning. AT: “Not specific to the lending industry, let alone alternative lending, but machine learning is going to be a huge part of the financial services ecosystem going forward. This PYMNTS article has some interesting insight into AI and machine learning all around.”
- Banks are getting concerned about doomsday defenses. AT: “The interesting thing here is that banks aren’t relying on the government to bail them out if cybersecurity threats get the best of them. They’ve developed their own defense, but is it strong enough?”
- Lending Club’s new certificate investing vehicle was patterned off an investor request. AT: “It seems that Prosper beat them to the punch, in at least one sense.”
- How technology streamlines U.S. lending. AT: “Consumer-facing. No real surprises to industry insiders.”
- Time to address banks’ skepticism concerning data sharing.
- Big banks bet on Alexa. AT: “I think it will be a long time before U.S. consumers trust voice-based banking.”
- Mulvaney’s radical shake-up of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
- Payday lending and the CFPB.
- Madden rule was as step backward.
- LendingPoint named on U.S. News best personal loans list.
- OppLoans named the 6th best place to work in U.S.
- PeerStreet’s CEO named HousingWire Vanguard award winner.
- Why Affirm customer still has to pay a bill after a return.
- RateSetter loees 23M GBP on ad investment.
- RateSetter to launch IFISA in February.
- Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland are closing branches. AT: “We could see a spiraling effect: As digital banks become more popular more brick-and-mortar bank branches will close and as more traditional branches close the more people will use mobile banking apps.”
- Orca accepted into regulatory sandbox.
- Squirrel processes 1M GBP a month.
- All about Curve CEO.
- Aire partners with N Brown.
- Shoppers stressed by in-store crowds.
- Wealth Migrate opens London office.
- Borrowers run away and stiff parents with debt.
- The importance of China’s debt crackdown.
- Lufax is the world’s 10th largest unicorn.
- Lufax hires 5 banks to work on IPO.
- CreditEase gets top ranking by CB Insights, FT Partners.
- CreditEase leases cows.
- Chinese show characters appear in commercials.
- Klarna, WorldPay partner on invoice and credit-based payments.
- Raisin hits 100K customers.
- ConsenSys Ventures makes first 4 investments.
- Mintos offers 5% cashback on long-term investments.
- Salt, Coinloan offer fiat loans backed by crypto assets.
- Lendoit & RSK partner on decentralized BTC lending.
- Finastra adds PNC to real-time payments network.
- Trulioo recognized as leader in digital identity verification.
- United States
- Kabbage Delivers $ 4 Billion to More Than 130,000 Small Businesses (Kabbage Email), Rated: AAA
- LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for November (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- Learning About Machine Learning (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
- Banks Build Line of Defense for Doomsday Cyberattack (WSJ), Rated: AAA
- LendingClub Introduces New Certificate Investment Vehicle (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA
- How Technology is Streamlining the US Lending Sector (NewsGram), Rated: A
- Time to address banks’ skepticism about data sharing (American Banker), Rated: A
- Big banks hope early bet on Alexa will pay off (American Banker), Rated: A
- A brand-new cybersecurity watchdog just shut down a $ 15 million cryptocurrency scam (Business Insider), Rated: A
- Trump pick plans radical shake-up of consumer protection agency (Financial Times), Rated: A
- Payday Lending And The New CFPB (PYMNTS), Rated: A
- Madden ruling was a step backward. Congress should fix it (American Banker), Rated: A
- U.S. News magazine cites LendingPoint in ‘Best Personal Loans’ list (LendingPoint), Rated: B
- LendingTree Selects Gordian Knot Analytics Group’s Comprehensive Segmentation Subscription Service (Guru Focus), Rated: B
- FinTech Leader OppLoans Named 6th Best Place to Work Nationally (Daily Telescope), Rated: B
- PeerStreet’s Brew Johnson Named 2017 HousingWire Vanguard Award Winner (BusinessWire), Rated: B
- Why Do I Have an Affirm Payment Due After I Returned a Phone? (Republic Wireless), Rated: B
- United Kingdom
- Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter loses £23m after ad investment flops (The Times), Rated: AAA
- RateSetter to launch IFIsa in February (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA
- Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland to close branches (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
- Orca accepted into regulatory sandbox scheme (p2P Finance News), Rated: A
- Personal Finance App Squirrel Now Processes £1 Million A Month (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
- How an MBA entrepreneur made his multiple-account bank card add up (Financial Times), Rated: A
- Aire partners with retailer N Brown as more retailers become lenders for shopping middle class (Aire Email), Rated: A
- Research shows in-store crowds are biggest stress factor for christmas shoppers (DIY Week), Rated: A
- FinTech Marketplace Wealth Migrate Continues Expansion with New UK Office (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B
- Runaway borrowers the new face of China’s personal credit boom (SCMP), Rated: AAA
- China Launches Massive Debt Crackdown (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA
- SoftBank’s Son Eases Lufax Peer Pressure (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
- DAILY BRIEFING (TechNode), Rated: B
- CreditEase Received Top Rankings in Global FinTech Investment by CB Insights and FT Partners (PR Newswire), Rated: A
- How This Chinese Fintech Company Is Innovating by Leasing Cows (Fortune), Rated: A
- IN CHINA, THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SHOW APPEAR IN THE COMMERCIALS, TOO (AdAge), Rated: A
- European Union
- Worldpay Partners with Klarna to Launch Invoice and Credit Based Payments in 6 Key European Markets (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
- Fintech deposit marketplace hits 100,000 customers (AltFi), Rated: A
- ConsenSys Ventures has made its first four investments (TechCrunch), Rated: B
- Up to 5% Cashback On Long-Term Investments Offered by Mintos (P2P-Banking), Rated: B
- Salt and Coinloan Promise Crypto-Asset Backed Fiat Loans (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA
- Lendoit & RSK creates a decentralized BTC lending future together (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A
- PNC Live On New Real-Time Payments Network Using Finastra (Payment Week), Rated: A
- Trulioo Recognized As a Global Leader in Digital Identity Verification (PRWeb), Rated: B
- Why America could miss out big time on India’s fintech revolution (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA
- After success at home, Toss sets sights overseas (Korea JoongAng Daily), Rated: AAA
- M’sian regulators likely to enforce licensing for cryptocurrency exchanges (The Star), Rated: B
- Mexican Senate passes fintech law (Reuters), Rated: A
Kabbage Delivers $ 4 Billion to More Than 130,000 Small Businesses (Kabbage Email), Rated: AAA
Kabbage, Inc., a global financial services, technology and data platform serving small businesses, has extended over $4 billion to more than 130,000 small businesses, serving the largest customer base than any online small business lender. These landmarks represent an approximate 30-percent increase in total funding and total customers served since the company’s last milestone announcement in April 2017. With over 1.5 million live data connections with its customers, Kabbage’s high growth is attributed to its fully-automated lending technology as it continues to be a trusted lending partner to tens of thousands of small businesses across all industries in all 50 U.S. states.
Robert Sharpe also joined the company as its chief operating officer. Sharpe has more than 20 years of executive leadership in North America, Europe and Asia. He has successfully held various C-level positions, including president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer with multiple global consumer goods companies, each serving tens of thousands of customers and generating billions of dollars in revenue. With an additional ten years of commercial banking and corporate finance experience, Sharpe will be responsible for Kabbage’s continued growth and operational oversight as the company expands internationally and scales its services to serve more and larger small businesses.
During 2017, Kabbage reached major milestones, including:
- Raising $250 million, the largest equity raise in the small business lending industry to date
- Expanding the industry’s largest international network of global-bank partnerships with launches in France and Italy
- Securitizing $550 million and finalizing a $200 million revolving credit facility each with investment-grade ratings to fuel future small business lending
- Receiving some of the most well-respected awards in the industry: KPMG 2017 Fintech100, Deloitte 2017 Technology Fast 500, CB Insights Fintech 250, Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women 2017 (Kathryn Petralia)
LendingTree Releases Monthly Mortgage Offer Report for November (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
LendingTree today released its monthly Mortgage Offers Report which analyzes data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree.com by lenders on LendingTree’s network. The purpose of the report is to empower consumers by providing additional information on how their credit profile affects their loan prospects.
- November’s best offers for borrowers with the best profiles had an average APR of 3.75% for conforming 30-year fixed purchase loans, unchanged from October. Refinance loan offers were down 1 bps to 3.69%. Mortgage rates vary dependent upon parameters including credit score, loan-to-value, income and property type.
- For the average borrower, purchase APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans offered on LendingTree’s platform were down 1 bps to 4.30%, the lowest since November 2016. In contrast, the loan note rate of 4.18% was unchanged from October when it reached the highest since July. We prefer to use the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.
- Consumers with the highest credit scores (760+) saw offered APRs of 4.16% in November, vs 4.43% for consumers with scores of 680-719. The APR spread of 27 bps between these score ranges was 5 bps wider than in October and the widest since July 2016. The spread represents nearly $13,400 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30-years for the average purchase loan amount of $233,127. The additional costs are due to higher interest rates, larger fees or a combination of the two.
- Refinance APRs for conforming 30-yr fixed loans were down 2 bps to 4.24%. The credit score bracket spread widened to 19 from 16 bps, amounting to $9,500 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers given an average refinance loan of $235,973.
- Average proposed purchase down payments have been rising for 8 months and reached $62,409.
Learning About Machine Learning (PYMNTS), Rated: AAA
Certainly, the mountains of data are becoming larger by the day. Seven years ago, the total amount of information produced on a global scale passed one zettabyte. The scale shakes out thusly: If a single cup of coffee holds a gigabyte, then the Great Wall of China stores a zettabyte. In just three years, the tally will be 44 zettabytes, or 44 Great Walls of China, as estimated by global market intelligence firm IDC.
Along with the impressive growth in data created, stored and used on a global scale, so too is AI poised to grow in leaps and bounds. It will create nearly $37 billion in annual revenues for companies of all stripes, sizes and sectors, according to market intelligence firm Tractica.
Within that figure, machine learning is a sector that will see $15.3 billion in revenue in 2019, as noted by BCC Research and cited by business process outsourcing company TeleTech, with an average annual growth rate of 19.7 percent. The savings for U.S. companies could be as high as $60 billion in 2020, Forbes noted. In addition, AI is expected to add $8.3 trillion in economic activity for the U.S. by 2035, according to projections by business management consultancy Accenture.
Consider a financial institution processing credit card information. The transaction data is passed to the machine learning system as soon as it is entered at the terminal or point of sale, and the system then analyzes the transaction against the system on which it has been trained. The historical data offers a way to glean what “normal” behavior of a transaction looks like.
To combat a payments fraud adversary that is evermore fluid with bad actors’ tactics and operates in a card-not-present (CNP) world, the machine deployed by a financial institution must be able to “explain” what it is doing, Feedzai said. The “learning” should result in explaining the reasoning so the logic behind the decisions is transparent and meets compliance needs.
Banks Build Line of Defense for Doomsday Cyberattack (WSJ), Rated: AAA
U.S. banks have quietly launched a doomsday project they hope will prevent a run on the financial system should one of them suffer a debilitating cyberattack.
The effort, which went live earlier this year and is dubbed Sheltered Harbor, currently includes banks and credit unions that have roughly 400 million U.S. accounts.
While most people worry about their money being stolen in a hack, banks fear something more sinister: an attacker destroying, or even simply locking, data.
Such moves could cripple a bank, leaving it unable to operate for hours, days, or perhaps much longer.
LendingClub Introduces New Certificate Investment Vehicle (Lend Academy), Rated: AAA
On Friday of last week, LendingClub announced that it closed a new kind of transaction. It was a whole loan transaction structured as a tradable pass through security called a CLUB Certificate.
This was an initiative that was investor led. Basically, they had a potential investor who did not want to invest in whole loans. They are not for everyone, given they are an illiquid investment that has a duration of several years. What this investor wanted was a security that acted like a whole loan but one that had liquidity.
While LendingClub would not share details of this deal we did learn that these were both three and five year loans of one particular loan grade. They customized this deal to meet the investors exact requirements.
LendingClub claimed that this was a first of its kind deal in marketplace lending but in my research I discovered this piece on Asset-Backed Alert from April 2016 that talked about a similar structure that Prosper was working on last year.
How Technology is Streamlining the US Lending Sector (NewsGram), Rated: A
However, when the lending process is digitized the amount of paperwork is reduced dramatically. This is because account activity, credit history, income history as well as tax compliance can be fed into the system with the click of a button. This has made the collection and verification of information quite easy. Besides streamlining the application process, the amount of time it takes to get a loan has also reduced.
In addition, some lenders have developed some innovative mobile solutions that enable customers to submit an application from anywhere. The most outstanding feature about mobile loans is that there is a constant interaction between the lender and the borrowers. This goes a long way in improving service delivery.
Courtesy of technology advancements, now it’s possible to view the status of your loan application as well as your account status with a lender. This helps borrowers to stay updated during the entire online installment loans process. In addition, you can get instant communication about any requests that a lender may have that is critical to the borrowing process.
Time to address banks’ skepticism about data sharing (American Banker), Rated: A
When bankers complain about the security risks of sharing data with fintechs, they get an eye roll. Such complaints tend to be regarded as a cover for an ulterior motive: unwillingness to give customer details to competitors.
But when Chair Sheila Bair, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., recently warned of the security risks of sharing customer data with third parties, it made some people stop and think.
Big banks hope early bet on Alexa will pay off (American Banker), Rated: A
After a number of months of testing and refining an alternative way to bank, Ally Bank launched Ally Skill. “It was ready for prime time,” said Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking at Ally Bank. Since mid-November, a customer can ask Alexa — in their own words — what their balance is, what the price of something costs in hours worked, and notably, to move money.
Since Capital One announced its skill in March of 2016, U.S Bank, American Express and several credit unions announced Alexa skills in addition to Ally. Others have been testing Alexa, including bank innovator USAA. Even smaller banks are readying to launch skills. FIS, one of the biggest bank vendors that has been testing Alexa since 2016, said about a dozen of its thousands of bank customers are on track to roll out a bank skill for Alexa by Christmas. Most recently, Amazon announced Alexa for business, and Capital One is one of its launch partners.
A brand-new cybersecurity watchdog just shut down a $ 15 million cryptocurrency scam (Business Insider), Rated: A
US regulators appear to be paying more attention to the opaque world of initial coin offerings.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it halted a fraudulent ICO “falsely promising” over 1,000% returns. The regulator said this was the first case filed by its brand-new cybersecurity unit, aptly named Cyber Unit.
Trump pick plans radical shake-up of consumer protection agency (Financial Times), Rated: A
US banks and other financial companies are preparing for a lightening of their compliance burden in areas from payday lending to mortgages as President Donald Trump tightens his grip on a powerful regulator set up to protect consumers.
“Virtually the entire range of regulations previously adopted by the CFPB could be subject to review,” says Quyen Truong, a former senior figure at the agency who is now a partner at law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. “There’s no particular set of rules that would be considered sacrosanct.”
In an early sign of his intent, Mr Mulvaney instituted a 30-day freeze on new initiatives within hours of assuming office.
Reforms that Mr Cordray had yet to introduce that would extend the CFPB’s reach into new areas, including mooted restrictions on small business lending, are now unlikely to see the light of day.
Payday Lending And The New CFPB (PYMNTS), Rated: A
As we noted when we first covered the final draft of the payday lending rule, Congress retains the power to keep the rule from ever making it into the books, so to speak, through the power of the Congressional Review Act. The CRA not only would prevent the payday lending rule from going into effect, but it would also prevent any similar rule changes from being considered for the next five years.
After some dormancy on the issue, the House of Representatives passed a CRA resolution Friday that would effectively kill the payday lending rule in its cradle.
The move comes as a bi-partisan effort – somewhat surprising, given the general tenor of Congress at present, particularly when it comes to consumer protection issues – with three Republican and three Democrat co-sponsors.
Mulvaney has won the first round in court, as a U.S district judge rejected English’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from taking over. But English has said she intends to fight on and will seek a preliminary injunction against Mulvaney and the administration.
Congress has only 60 legislative days from the publication of the rule in the federal register to invoke the CRA, and the rule passed on Nov. 17.
Madden ruling was a step backward. Congress should fix it (American Banker), Rated: A
I have been, far more often than not, on the same side of policy issues as the leading consumer and civil rights groups. But I disagree here: Madden is not just legally wrong; it is also bad public policy, because it moves us further away from creating a more effective and inclusive financial system. Bipartisan, bicameral proposals have already been introduced in Congress to fix Madden. Congress should pass them.
U.S. News magazine cites LendingPoint in ‘Best Personal Loans’ list (LendingPoint), Rated: B
We’ve been named to the “The Best Personal Loans of 2017” list by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report.
U.S. News named LendingPoint best for “Fair to Good Credit With Merit-Based Qualifications.”
LendingTree Selects Gordian Knot Analytics Group’s Comprehensive Segmentation Subscription Service (Guru Focus), Rated: B
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), the online loan marketplace, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year subscription for segmentation analysis and database scoring with Gordian Knot Analytics Group, utilizing their unique segmentation methodologies and proprietary machine learning toolset. Gordian Knot offers proprietary marketing analytics machine learning tools that help LendingTree more effectively target and engage with the right consumers to drive the business forward and maximize value for current and future customers.
FinTech Leader OppLoans Named 6th Best Place to Work Nationally (Daily Telescope), Rated: B
Socially responsible online lender OppLoans received top rankings in Glassdoor’s 2018 Best Places to Work award. The start-up was named the sixth-best place to work nationally for small- to medium-sized businesses.
The review-based rankings serve as a capstone to a stunning year of growth for OppLoans. Accolades include rising over 200 positions to reach number 219 on the Inc. 500 list, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, being named the third-fastest growing technology company in Chicago by Built In Chicago and launching OppU, a free, standards-aligned online curriculum that teaches personal finance skills.
PeerStreet’s Brew Johnson Named 2017 HousingWire Vanguard Award Winner (BusinessWire), Rated: B
PeerStreet, a marketplace for investing in real estate backed loans, is honored to announce that its Co-Founder and CEO, Brew Johnson, has been named to HousingWire’s 2017 list of Vanguard Award winners. HousingWire’s 2017 Vanguard Award recognizes top leaders from all areas of the mortgage industry, including those in lending, real estate and investing.
Why Do I Have an Affirm Payment Due After I Returned a Phone? (Republic Wireless), Rated: B
If Affirm was used to finance a purchase from the Republic Online Store, all carted items, including shipping, must be financed through Affirm. Shipping charges are not refunded by Republic Wireless. This means that you will still be responsible to Affirm for any shipping costs you financed and interest that has accrued.
Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter loses £23m after ad investment flops (The Times), Rated: AAA
Ratesetter slumped to a £23 million loss for the year after a disastrous investment in an advertising business.
The loss was due in large part to a £14 million write-off on Adpod Limited, which the lender ended up owning after using its own capital to prevent a huge default on its peer-to-peer loan book from hitting investors.
The loss is sharply higher than the previous year’s figure of £5.3 million.
RateSetter to launch IFIsa in February (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: AAA
Peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter expects to launch its Isa in February 2018.
Once the Isa launches, customers will have until 5th April 2018 to invest the 2016/17 Isa allowance of £20,000.
Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland to close branches (Business Insider), Rated: AAA
Over the last two years, more than 1,000 branches in the UK have closed in response to the shifting consumer preference toward digital banking.
Over 6 million UK consumers used banking apps in 2016, up 11% from the previous year, according to a study by the British Bankers Association and EY. There was a 30% increase in the number of UK consumers who use apps to manage their savings, and a 46% increase in those using apps to track their credit card spending.
Orca accepted into regulatory sandbox scheme (p2P Finance News), Rated: A
PEER-TO-PEER investment platform Orca is one of 18 firms that have been accepted into the third phase of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox scheme.
The FCA received 61 submissions for the third phase of the scheme, of which 18 met the eligibility criteria and were accepted to move towards testing.
One of the successful applicants is Orca, which is developing an intelligent peer-to-peer investment platform which lets users diversify across multiple P2P platforms, lending sub-sectors and borrowers.
Personal Finance App Squirrel Now Processes £1 Million A Month (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A
Squirrel, a personal finance app designed to help users have more control over their money, announced this week that it now processes £1 million a month. The company reported that it processed its 10 million last week.
Squrriel is currently seeking £400,000 through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. Funds from the initiative will be used to continue the expansion of Squirrels platform.
How an MBA entrepreneur made his multiple-account bank card add up (Financial Times), Rated: A
Israeli Shachar Bialick spent the first decade of his working life founding and backing start-ups before he dropped everything to move overseas and take an MBA.
He started Curve, a fintech company, to simplify personal finances with a single bank card for multiple accounts from different providers.
“We have too many cards, too many accounts, and too many products and services we use to manage our money,” he adds. “Curve is my biggest, most ambitious business so far. We are aiming to create an entirely new category in the banking system.”
Curve has raised $12m in venture capital funding and added corporate partnerships to extend the services it offers, such as an expense filing system provided by Xero, the online accountancy service.
Aire partners with retailer N Brown as more retailers become lenders for shopping middle class (Aire Email), Rated: A
Aire, which provides a more accurate way for lenders to understand and score new applicants, today announces a first-of-its-kind partnership with online retailer N Brown, as research data reveals the ‘new norm’ of UK shoppers choosing to spread the cost for their retail purchases over time.
The new agreement will see Aire provide its augmented credit assessment technology to support N Brown, which operates online stores such as JD Williams, in analysing the full picture of online customers and the true benefits and risks that come with them. Aire combines technologies of Artificial Intelligence with data science and deep knowledge of credit, which will enable N Brown to reach a wider group of customers without increasing its risk. After recent announcements about new partnerships in the p2p lending and car finance spaces, Aire’s expansion into the retail sector means that it is adding another new market to its portfolio in under six months.
– New partnership between Aire and online retailer N Brown for customers who choose to open a new credit account
– Aire adds retail finance to its growing portfolio
– New research finds that UK adults pay off on average of £40 per month for retail purchases
– 9% of UK adults increased their monthly commitments in the last two years
Research shows in-store crowds are biggest stress factor for christmas shoppers (DIY Week), Rated: A
The new research by Swedish payments provider Klarna delves into the views of more than 2,000 consumers, and reveals that Brits today are so stressed out in the extended run up to Christmas that they’re overwhelmed when the day itself arrives.
In-store crowds were the number one stress for a quarter of respondents, whilst finding the perfect gift was the biggest source of stress for 20% of those surveyed.
These pressures could have a big impact on the bottom line of merchants if they’re not addressed; more than a third of consumers have previously walked out of a shop in frustration as a result. This is not just a bricks and mortar issue – 1 in 10 respondents have abandoned their online basket in frustration when the process is too complex, suggesting there’s still work to be done to smooth the purchase process online.
FinTech Marketplace Wealth Migrate Continues Expansion with New UK Office (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B
Wealth Migrate, (KPMG Global Fintech Top 50), a global online real estate marketplace, today announced the opening of a new office in the U.K. and the appointment of a new country CEO, as the firm continues to build on its global presence as part of a strategy to meet growing demand from investors.
To better serve its community of investors in this region, Wealth Migrate has opened a new office in London.
Adding to the news of this expansion, Wealth Migrate additionally announced the opening of their U.A.E. office and the appointment of a new U.S. based CEO this week.
To head up the new office, Wealth Migrate has appointed Ken Williams as its CEO of Wealth Migrate, U.K.
Runaway borrowers the new face of China’s personal credit boom (SCMP), Rated: AAA
China’s online lending boom has sent a steady stream of new clients to Guangzhou lawyer Luo Aiping in recent months: the parents and siblings of young men trapped or ruined by usurious debts.
Zeng Hong, from Hunan province, is a typical client. She went to Luo for help because she had been harassed by calls from debt collectors for months after her 27-year-old brother ran away, leaving behind a two-year-old son and more than 300,000 yuan (US$45,400) in debts.
Zeng wanted to help repay her younger brother’s loans, but 300,000 yuan is a big sum for a poor family and her husband strongly opposed her plan. She approached Luo to ask whether the debts and interest her brother had incurred were legal.
China Launches Massive Debt Crackdown (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA
You see, in an effort to fuel economic growth over the past few years, China has taken on a lot of debt. Since 2008, China’s debt as a percentage of economic output has increased from around 160 percent to around 280 percent at the end of 2016. (By comparison, the total debt in the U.S. as a percent of economic output is upwards of 300 percent.)
Why it matters: China is BIG and getting bigger
With a GDP of US$11.2 trillion, China is already the world’s second-largest economy (it will soon be the largest), and it has the second-largest stock market. The country will also soon have the world’s biggest middle class, totalling over 550 million people by 2022. To put this in perspective: That’s 1.7 times the entire population of the U.S.
Consumer loans (such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and payday loans) have grown rapidly recently. For example, consumer loans jumped 300 percent compared to last year.
SoftBank’s Son Eases Lufax Peer Pressure (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA
Lufax, the online wealth manager that’s among the world’s biggest startups, has hired five banks to work on a Hong Kong initial public offering of as much as $5 billion, according to IFR.
Lufax is the world’s 10th-largest unicorn, or startup worth at least $1 billion.
Lufax had a loan balance as of Sept. 28 of more than 158 billion yuan ($24 billion), more than three times the 43 billion yuan held by China’s second-biggest P2P lender, New York-listed Yirendai Ltd., according to wdzj.com, a Chinese website that tracks online financiers.
DAILY BRIEFING (TechNode), Rated: B
What happened: The Ping An-backed online wealth management firm Lufax has hired five banks to work on an up to $5 billion Hong Kong IPO.
Why it’s important: A major player in China’s P2P lending market, Lufax will join a number of fintech companies that go public in recent months. It was eyeing an IPO as early as last year but later delayed the process due to market challenges and regulatory uncertainties, the CEO told Bloomberg last year. —Rita Liao
CreditEase Received Top Rankings in Global FinTech Investment by CB Insights and FT Partners (PR Newswire), Rated: A
CreditEase, a world-class financial technology conglomerate based in Beijing, China, specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, announced today that its venture fund, CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (“CEFIF”) has recently been ranked No. 7 by CB Insights as “Top 10 Most Active VC Investors in Global FinTech Companies” and No. 1 by FT Partners as “Most Active FinTech Investors (Corporate VC)”.
How This Chinese Fintech Company Is Innovating by Leasing Cows (Fortune), Rated: A
Particularly, Ning Tang, CEO of fintech firm CreditEase, is lending consumers cows in a bid to reach those living in rural areas who might have limited access to credit and financing.
The rural population accounts for 48% of China’s total, with agriculture accounting for about 8.6% of the the nation’s Gross Domestic Production in 2015, according to the World Bank. Income in rural China has also been on the rise, with urban income narrowing to 2.7 times that of rural income from 3.3 times in 2009. And though migration toward the city has been on the rise and the nation’s dependence on farming and livestock is on the slide, rural populations and agriculture are still a significant part of the country’s economy.
IN CHINA, THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SHOW APPEAR IN THE COMMERCIALS, TOO (AdAge), Rated: A
iQiyi, which is backed by Chinese internet giant Baidu, adopted the tactic first and developed it into a commercial product when it broadcast the 1930s tomb-raiding adventure tale “The Mystic Nine” last year. The first batch of advertisers ranged from iQianjin, a peer-to-peer lending app, to PepsiCo, which showed characters chowing down on Lay’s and gulping Pepsi.
The other major services, Alibaba Group’s Youku Tudou and Tencent Holdings‘ video platform, have embraced the tactic too. At iQiyi, the cost for embedding one such commercial in an episode ranges from $150,000 to $530,000, depending on projected viewership, Yuan says.
Worldpay Partners with Klarna to Launch Invoice and Credit Based Payments in 6 Key European Markets (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA
Worldpay, a global leader in payments, has announced that it will partner with Klarna, a leader in invoice and credit based payments, to further enhance its product portfolio. From today, Worldpay customers trading in Austria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and wishing to accept payments on invoice or instalments, will be able to use Klarna’s invoice and credit based payments from Worldpay. This will help eCommerce businesses to improve conversion rates by up to 20% and provide a fast and smooth checkout process.
These new payment options will allow consumers to decide when to pay for the items once they have received their goods. Instead of a request for credit or debit card details at the point of checkout, consumers are prompted for their email address and postcode, ensuring a quicker checkout process and leading to lower cart abandonment. The solution allows consumers to manage the terms of their payment, be it 14-day payment by invoice, by fixed or flexible instalments, spreading the cost over several months.
The move into credit and invoicing payments follows demand from customers wanting to expand the breadth of payment methods offered. Worldpay is one of the first payments companies to deploy this new payment integration, providing superior market coverage as well as faster time to market since there is no need for a new plug-in when legacy technology is updated.
Fintech deposit marketplace hits 100,000 customers (AltFi), Rated: A
Savings specialist Raisin continues to gain momentum. The savings account marketplace now has itself 100,000 customers. The company is also integrated with more than 40 banks, from across 18 European countries, including a number of challenger banks and even an online lender (Younited Credit). SolarisBank is its newest partner.
ConsenSys Ventures has made its first four investments (TechCrunch), Rated: B
But the companies the fund is backing come from some relatively seasoned entrepreneurs. BlockFi, the firm’s lending for liquidity startup, was founded by Zac Prince — a serial startup founder whose previous idea was the lending platform for the underbanked, Cognical.
Up to 5% Cashback On Long-Term Investments Offered by Mintos (P2P-Banking), Rated: B
Lativan p2p lending marketplace Mintos just launched a cashback campaign running for the remainder of December. Investors investing in new loans with a term of at least 24 months on the primary market will receive a cashback of 2% to 5% depending on term length. The cashback will be credited within 6 days says Mintos.
Important: To be eligable an investor needs to enroll once for the campaign by clicking on the promotion banner inside the Mintos dashboard.
Salt and Coinloan Promise Crypto-Asset Backed Fiat Loans (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA
Typically, when we think of taking a loan, we think of going to a bank, filling out a ton of paperwork and then getting denied the loan unless a guarantor or cosigner signs as well. However, blockchain banking startups like Salt and Coinloan aim to change this by creating a peer to peer lending platform on the blockchain. These platforms allow users to leverage their bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as collateral for fiat loans.
Salt hails from the land of the free, a.k.a Denver, Colorado, USA.
On the other hand, Coinloan has Baltic roots and is headquartered in Estonia.
Salt will be starting straight out of Denver, Colorado and is set to launch their blockchain backed lending platform, BTC collateralized loans and loan fund by the end of 2017. In 2018, they will be launching ethereum collateralized loans in Q1, credit cards in Q2 and altcoin collateralized loans in Q3.
By contrast, Coinloan is still currently running their ICO. By 2018, they hope to obtain payment licences in Q2, develop mobile applications for IOS and android by Q3 and enter the Asian market in 2019.
Lendoit & RSK creates a decentralized BTC lending future together (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A
In about 2 weeks, Lendoit will launch its official token Pre-sale, but it can’t wait to reveal the secret that will change the future of decentralized BTC lending, which the company has entered together with the largest and most promising blockchain-based project, The RSK Project.
Right from Argentina is Rootstock or popularly called RSK. This company is well-known for its open-source smart contract stage which has a 2-dimensional peg to Bitcoin. Amazingly, RSK uses merge-mining to reward bitcoin miners and give them the chance to be part of the smart contract ecosystem.
The Goal? To ensure that the highest level of functionality and value is added to the entire bitcoin ecosystem through the use of smart contracts, increased scalability, and near-instant payments.
Lendoit removes all intermediaries in the lending process, creates a trusted and secure platform for participants through the smart contract, and gives users a decentralized, anonymous platform where upscaling, lending, and borrowing are done hassle-free.
PNC Live On New Real-Time Payments Network Using Finastra (Payment Week), Rated: A
PNC, a top-10 US bank by assets, is live on RTP, The Clearing House’s new US real-time payments system, using Finastra’s payment services hub, Fusion Payments.
“The ability to make an immediate payment at any time, on any day of the week, with a real-time confirmation of the payment significantly transforms the way businesses and consumers make payments in the United States. Emerging technologies such as RTP are creating opportunities for banks and clients to re-imagine our business models.”
Trulioo Recognized As a Global Leader in Digital Identity Verification (PRWeb), Rated: B
Trulioo, the global identity verification provider, is delighted to be recognized as the global identity verification leader in a recent comprehensive report published by Let’s Talk Payments (LTP).
Why America could miss out big time on India’s fintech revolution (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA
Morgan Stanley expects India’s digital payments penetration to increase from 5 percent today to 20 percent, and the e-commerce market to reach $200 billion, with 475 million e-commerce shoppers, adding up to a GDP upwards of $6 trillion — all by 2027.
India now has 800 million mobile phone users with 430 million having internet connectivity. According to Morgan Stanley, the number of internet users is expected to grow to 915 million by 2027.
In 2016, China’s digital payments were already 50 times America’s. Alibaba and Tencent understand ecosystems better than anyone else in the world, including American companies.
After success at home, Toss sets sights overseas (Korea JoongAng Daily), Rated: AAA
After emerging as one of the top fintech start-ups in Korea, Viva Republica, the company behind Korea’s top peer-to-peer transfer app Toss, is zeroing in on Southeast Asia as its next target market.
“While more than 70 percent of the population is using smartphones, their financial services are equivalent to that of Korea in the 1980’s. Our goal is to bring our story and product to Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam and to improve the level of financial services in the market.”
As of November this year, the accumulated transactions through Toss reached 10 trillion won ($9.2 billion). In November alone, the platform handled more than one trillion won, a feat that comes just two and half a years since it launched in February 2015. The company said its annual sales will come to 20 billion won by the end of this year and reach the break-even point sometime next year.
M’sian regulators likely to enforce licensing for cryptocurrency exchanges (The Star), Rated: B
Malaysian regulators are looking to clamp down on initial coin offerings or ICOs by expanding the definition of “securities” in existing laws, according to industry sources.
The regulator is also likely to require some form of licensing for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate on Malaysian shores.
Mexican Senate passes fintech law (Reuters), Rated: A
Mexico’s Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would regulate its fast-growing financial technology sector, including crowdfunding and cryptocurrency firms, paving the way for a vote by the lower house.
The bill, which seeks to promote financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists, is expected to pass in a final lower house vote by Dec. 15, said three sources familiar with the measure.