P2P Lending Korea – Popfunding and Moneyauction

Internet usage in Korea is booming, most surfers enjoy broadband internet access. Furthermore the population is very open minded towards new technologies.

This year two P2P lending services launched.

Popfunding.com allows borrowers to get loans up to a maximum amount of approx. 2000 US$. Interest rates are auctioned. Maximum interest rate is 29 percent. The CEO is Hyun Uk Shin. According to the Korea Times the service does NOT charge fees from borrowers or lenders. Only bank fees have to be paid. If a borrower fails to make a payment popfunding.com will disclose his identity and contact information to the lender. 

Moneyauction.co.kr has a similar concept. 

Financial regulators are looking into the concepts to check if they are in compliance with korean laws.

(Sources: Ringblog, Korea Times) 

Zopa prepares launch in Italy

Actually Zopa.it is not run by the British Zopa Ltd. but by the franchise “P2P s.r.l” with offices in Milano. The company has licensed the use of the brand and the technology for Italy. Zopa.it will allow Italians to borrow up to 40000 Euro (roughly $55000), which is a high amount, compared to p2p services in other countries.

The company was created by Nova partners, Milan, together with New College Capital Ltd.

It is possible to pre-register on Zopa.it to be notified at launch time.

Sources(1, 2, 3,  and own research)

Correction and Update: I must excuse myself to have confused the CEO of Zopa Italy with another Italian banker with identical name. As Carlo of Zopa Italy pointed out in a comment to this post: “Zopa Italy’s Ceo is Maurizio Pietro Sella, not Maurizio Sella. Maurizio Pietro started is working career with Banco di Santo Spirito (Capitalia Group), then joined in 1990 Citibank, where he had several assignements (mainly in London and Switzerland) and in 2002 the Julius Baer Group in Geneva. Before Zopa Maurizio Pietro was CEO of Julius Baer Creval Private Banking Spa, a joint venture between the Julius Baer Group and Gruppo Credito Valtellinese.”

According to unverified sources the venture raised 2.8 million Euro funding from its shareholders. It is speculated that Zopa Italy will take higher fees (maybe 1 percent from lender and 1 percent from borrower) than Zopa in England. This seems possible since consumer banking costs in Italy are generally higher.