- Lenders can turn standing orders into portfolio plans. The interesting part is that lenders can share (publish) their portfolio plans on their member page and other lenders can use it for themselves.
- Bidding via API. This allows bidding to be delegated to third party applications. Much like the bid snipers and bidding agents it now becomes possible to entrust third party applications to invest money at Prosper. It remains to be seen how lenders will make use of this
- Referral award for new borrowers raised from 35 US$ to 50 US$. Example button below. If you use that and your loan is funded, I am paid 50 US$.
MyC4.com accelerated growth during the past month. This is shown by stats on MyC4Stats.com (provided by Wiseclerk.com) showing the loan volume by origination month. Compared to earlier months the loan volume rose sharply in December and January. In December 150,000 Euro loans and in January 250,000 Euro loans were disbursed to African entrepreneurs.
The new MyC4Stats page offers reports helping lenders to find open MyC4 loan listings with the best rates. At MyC4 – unlike at Prosper – every lender funds a loan at his individual interest rate. In fact 50 different lenders funding one specific loan may each earn different, self-set interest rates. While MyC4 sets a maximum for the weighted average interest rate for each loan, it is still possible for an individual lender to bid higher and earn more after funding.
Example: A 2500 Euro loan to Clementine Gbrou, who exports grains to Europe the maximum weighted Wanted interest rate was 12% (lender interest, not borrower). This loan closed with a weighted average interest rate of 11,64% (lender interest). The individual lenders in this loan earn DIFFERENT selfselected interest rate between 3% and 13.5%. Several lenders thus achieved above average rates.
How to find the best loans?
To select the loans with the best rates for bidding in the listing phase a quick overview of available listings sorted by the maximum possible interest rates that can be bid, is important. Several tables on MyC4Stats help lenders on this. Sample screenshot:
The report presents the listings sorted by maximum interest rate (column Maximum bid) that can be bid and states the Euro amount above this rate that serves as a buffer before being outbid. The buffer is caused by the rule that new bids must always be place at least 0.5% lower then the current high bid.
As some of you might have noticed, the main page of Wiseclerk.com changed today and now offers a p2p lending discussion forum. I believe there is a huge need for information on the developing p2p lending services. In this spirit I started Wiseclerk.com in April 2006 to create useful overview reports on Prosper. While it was not the first site of this kind (some oldtimers may remember Savagenumber.com by atlantageek) it did grow quickly and built a loyal userbase among Prosper lenders.
Prosper did from the beginning support the efforts of developers by providing data publicly and later offering data export interfaces and APIs.
Both the Wiseclerk reports and the later added blog were started with a focus on Prosper. That was appropriate at that point in time but now I think a broader view is needed. Lenders can choose between several p2p lending services and the flow of information needs to be taken to a meta platform level. Lenders that lend on several platforms will not want to check several forums – each one tied to the single platform.
The new forum will also serve as a feedback and discussion location for ideas and news published in the p2p-banking blog. Later today I will add a display into the blog that shows the latest discussion threads from the forum.
Lenders at Zopa do not (yet) select an individual borrower but rather select a market and a rate at which they want to lend their money. This is matched to borrower demand and if a match is found, money is lend out.
There is a 3rd party site tracking the development of the Zopa demand volume and charting it (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly). Recently the amount requested has gone down in most markets.
Prosper.com now makes the link between loans and listings available. With this new feature now everyone can see the status of the loan payments of every borrower. On the borrower profile page there is now a "Loans" tab:
Previously only lenders invested in a loan could directly see, which status it had. All others had to use 3rd party tools like Wiseclerk.com. Those had to program their own matching algorithms since no key matching loans to listings was published by Prosper.
Prosper has always been the p2p lending service that made most data available about its market.
I will have to look into which parts of Wiseclerk.com I need to rebuild to make use of the new information linking listings to loans.
Further improvements that Prosper announced include reporting to Transunion and enabling borrowers to repay directly using money in their Prosper account.