The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has just published a 19 page working paper by Ian J. Galloway on “Peer-to-Peer Lending and Community Development Finance“. It examines Kiva, Zopa, Prosper, MicroPlace and Lending Club.
Quote from the conclusion of the article:
While online platforms may never replace conventional lending institutions, such as banks, it is important that the community development finance industry be aware of this emerging technology. Moreover, P2P finance platforms will continue to evolve—allowing for third-party issued loan sales, for example—which may fundamentally alter the way credit is allocated in the future. In either case, the potential community development finance implications are too significant to ignore.