P2P Lending Sites in Europe

Visualizations are great to show data that would otherwise just be a long list. I decided to create a map of the p2p lending landscape in Europe. It shows active and discontinued p2p lending services in Europe (including p2p microfinance). Not listed are sites that are in pre-launch stage. All of these marketplaces have been featured earlier in the P2P-Banking.com blog. If you want more information about any of them just enter the name in the search box on the top right of this blog.

Notice to other websites: You are free to copy and use this map, provided you agree not to alter or resize the image and you will set a link to this article.

Notice to p2p lending sites: If you want to be included in a future version of this map, contact me to learn how.

Cashare Plans To Use Digital Signatures in P2P Lending Process

In Switzerland P2P Lending Service Cashare announced that it plans to be one of the web service pioneering the use of SuisseID a digital signature. Documents signed with this digital signature are as binding as a conventional signature on paper.

Opportunities for P2P Lending

Several European countries (e.g. Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium) have enacted laws that equate digital signatures with conventional signatures.

P2P Lending can use digital signatures to

  • validate the identity (and depending on the signature card the address) of users
  • automate processes that otherwise would require a signature on paper and enable paperless process chains.

Studienaktie – P2P Student Loans with a Twist

Studienaktie.org is a Swiss non profit association offering p2p lending to students. The name translates to student share and is rather fitting, since the concept literally allows the investor to invest in a student and profit from his career development. Unlike with other p2p lending platforms for students,  investors do not really give a loan, but rather buy a share offered by the student.

An example illustrates how this works out. A student might offer to sell you a share for 100 CHF (approx 97 US$) now while in return promising to pay you 0.25% of the annual salary he will earn in 2017. Meaning if his salary will be 80,000 CHF in 2017 the investor will be repaid 200 CHF for his share then.

So this is really a bet of the investor on the students career chances.  To help on the selection investors can browse anonymous dossiers of the students and contact them. Chances for a positive ROI a probably good since Studienaktie originated at the university of St. Gallen, which has an elite reputation. Studienaktie is open to students of other universities, too.

The contract is signed directly between investor and student and the payment is directly facilitated between the 2 parties. Studienaktie only provides the platform. Investors pay a yearly membership fee of 100 CHF to participate.

The aim of the non-profit organisation is to enable more and better education.

Swiss Private Banker: P2P Lending a Threat to Bank Balance Sheets

In an video interview in June, Konrad Hummler, managing partner at Swiss Bank Wegelin & Co, states how he sees p2p lending as a threat to banks.
P2P lending services could replace vital functions of banks. He says government influenced major banks are to inefficient. Established institutions will use calls for regulation to protect their business against newcomers.

(The interview is in German language)

Review of peer to peer lending developments in 2008

As the end of 2008 approaches here is a look back on the highlights of peer to peer lending news in 2008:

Cashare launches first p2p lending service in Switzerland

Swiss Cashare.ch recently launched as the first p2p lending platform in Switzerland. The company, owned by Michael Borter (link to German language interview) and Roger Mueller has partnered with the collection agency C&S Credit Management AG, which handles all monetary transactions.
Interest rates and loan durations are set by borrowers and lenders bid in a 14 day auction (minimum bid amount is 500 CHF which is approx 500 US$). If the loan is fully funded further bids in the remaining auction period will cause the interest rate to drop in 0.1 percentage steps, while old bids are outbid.

The fee schredule includes:

  • For lenders and borrowers: 5 CHF fee for identification process
  • For borrowers: 19 CHF listing fee
  • For borrowers: 0.75% of the loan amount per year servicing fee
  • For lenders: 0.75% of the loaned amount per year servicing fee

This results in borrowers having to pay even if their loan does not fund.

An unusual point in the process is that lenders have to sign a written contract for each successful bid and send it via postal mail to Cashare. That seems a bit uncomfortable to handle. 

As Cashare launched only recently there currently are only 4 active loan listings. 

If you have used Cashare as a borrower or lender, please share you experiences in the forum. Thank you.