P2P Lending in Poland and a Portrait of Kokos.pl

This is a guest post by Krystyna Mitręga-Niestrój, University of Economics in Katowice, Poland

P2P lending develops quickly in the world in recent years. The platform Kokos.pl was the beginner at social lending in Poland in February 2008. The following portals began to operate shortly thereafter: Finansowo.pl, Monetto.pl (both in March 2008, however Monetto is not operating any more) and Smava.pl (equivalent to German Smava.de platform). During the first four years of the Polish p2p lending market the value of loans was estimated at PLN 130 million (approx. USD 43 million). It consisted only a small number comparing to the value of consumer loans granted by banks – more than PLN 127 billion (approx. USD 42 billion), as of February 2012. Almost half of this amount (PLN 61 million, approx. USD 20 million) was borrowed through the platform Kokos.pl, which so far has more than 180 thousand users. After five years (situation at the beginning of 2013) from launching the first p2p platform approx. half a million the Polish residents borrowed approx. PLN 250 million (USD 58.5 million) (5 lat pożyczek społecznościowych, 2013). The owners of the p2p platforms earn money mainly on fees charged for transactions. It should be noted, that the information about the p2p lending market in Poland is limited and current, comprehensive data are lacking.

The most important players on the Polish social lending market are: Kokos.pl (with almost 80% share in invested funds through p2p lending platforms), Finansowo, Sekrata, Pożycz, SzybkoiPewnie, Bilonko, Zakra (Zestaw Narzędzi Pożyczkodawcy, 2013). The situation on p2p lending market in Poland is dynamic, however there is more positive tendencies associated with entering of the new players on the market, than the bankruptcies of the p2p platforms. The two examples of the latter are the collapse of Monetto.pl and Ducatto.pl. The Polish peer-to-peer lending market seems to be interesting for foreign p2p platforms (for instance the entrance of Swedish TrustBuddy in 2013).
Taking under consideration the information from the largest p2p platform Kokos.pl (the data include the 5 years period, from the launching of the platform) we can state that the statistical investor and borrower came from Masovian Voivodeship (is the largest, the most populous and the wealthiest voivodeship in Poland), are on average 34 and 33 years old. The statistical borrower borrows on average PLN 2,026 (USD 1.500) for 11 instalments. The average salary is equal to PLN 2,723 (approx. USD 2000).

At the beginning when first p2p lending platforms have launched a great part of Polish society was skeptical about such form of investing and borrowing. The threat of fraud and bankruptcies of p2p platforms hampered the development. However, thanks to changes and refining methods of verification the p2p platforms have became safer. The popularity of social lending is growing steadily in Poland. This trend is, among others, influenced by more attractive offer and promotions of p2p lending platforms. Continue reading

International P2P Lending Services – Loan Volumes February 2014

Even though February was a short month, several p2p lending services topped their January loan volume. Even more impressive is the continued year on year growth. 3 more services were added to the table. I do monitor development of p2p lending figures for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending services.

Table: P2P Lending Volumes in February 2014. Source: own research
Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to US$ for the sake of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed:
If you want to be included in this chart in future, please email the following figures on the first working day of a month: total loan volume originated since inception, loan volume originated in previous month, number of loans originated in previous month, average nominal interest rate of loans originated in previous month.

Kokos Issues Prepaid Card, Adds SMS Loans

Polish P2P lending market Kokos.pl announced today a new product – SMS loans coupled with prepaid MasterCard PayPass card. The product is targeted at borrowers who do not want to set up regular listing, but need quick “liquidity injection”.

The procedure of applying for SMS loan looks as follows:

  • Borrower receives prepaid card by post,
  • Enters the card’s account number and his verified cell phone number in his profile,
  • Whenever the user wants to borrow money, he sends a text message with the required amount and keyword (“pozycz” – borrow) to number 7550,
  • Kokos.pl sets up an 48 hours long auction on behalf of the borrower,
  • When the auction is fully funded, the borrower’s prepaid card is topped up immediately and he gets SMS notification.

The terms of SMS loan contracts are predefined. The amount is 500, 1000, 2000 or 3000 PLN, interest rate is locked at 20% p.a. (interest rate cap enforced by Polish anti-usury law) and the duration of loan is limited to 12 months.

The prepaid MasterCard  is issued by Bank BZ WBK  (owned in 70% by Allied Irish Bank). It is equipped with PayPass technology enabling contactless transactions at the point of sale.

P2P lending companies by loan volume – Jan 09

P2P lending is spreading internationally. While the biggest loan volumes are generated in the US market, many p2p lending websites have been established in other international markets.

P2P-Banking.com has created the following overview table listing services that are in operation and ranked them by loan volume. The loan volumes are not directly comparable for they are cumulative since launch of each service and represent different time spans.

In total approx. 740 million US$ have been funded through peer to peer lending/social lending services so far worldwide.


This image may be reprinted on other internet sites, provided it is not altered or resized and the following text (including the direct link to this article) is given as source directly below the image:
Source: P2P-Banking.com

Since the previous version of this table especially Zopa (UK), Lending Club and Kiva thrived. With Prosper, Loanio and Fynanz halted, Lending Club profits from the situation.


This image may be reprinted under the same conditions as the first one.

P2P lending companies by loan volume

P2P lending is spreading internationally. While the biggest loan volumes are generated in the US market, many p2p lending websites have been established in other international markets.

The services can be divided in three categories:

  1. p2p lending marketplaces (e.g. Prosper, Zopa, Lending Club, Smava) – participants driven mainly by economic motives
  2. social lending services enabling micro financing (e.g. Kiva, MyC4) – participants driven mainly by social motives
  3. other concepts (e.g. Virginmoney which is special in the way that it does not do the matchmaking between borrowers and lenders, but supports the process between persons that already had offline relations- slogan “We manage loans between family and friends“)

Sites funding student loans can fall into any of these three categories or combine motivations.

P2P-Banking.com has created the following overview table listing services that are in operation and ranked them by loan volume. The loan volumes are not directly comparable for they are cumulative since launch of each service and represent different time spans.

Asked for a figure, a Microplace spokesman pointed out “…it is important to note that MicroPlace is not a P2P site.  We are a platform that offers investments to the retail public.“. No loan volume was quoted, but he stated “investments purchased on our site have enabled over 26,000 microfinance loans.

In total approx. 685 million US$ have been funded through peer to peer lending/social lending services so far worldwide.

This image may be reprinted on other internet sites, provided it is not altered or resized and the following text (including the direct link to this article) is given as source directly below the image:
Source: P2P-banking.com

If you are a representative of a p2p lending service and want your service to be included in the next update of this table, please send me an email with information about your company.

Poland: Monetto has financed 1 million Zloty loans in 4 months

Monetto.pl, one of the three p2p lending services active in Poland has financed 1450 loans applications resulting in 440 loans totaling 1 million Zloty (approx 0.5 million US$) in 4 months. The average loan amount is 2300 Zloty. The service claims 8000 registered users and a repayment rate of 97% so far (which is said to be a good result).

Borrowers are usually aged 35 to 50, and live in rural areas or small cities. Lenders on the other hand are typically aged 25 to 30 and live in the major cities.

Monetto plans to introduce new features, including guarantees for lenders.

Lucas Banach, CEO of Prender the company that runs Monetto, says that cooperations with e-commerce sites (e.g. Kupujemy.pl) are essential for the growth of Monetto.pl.

Competitor Kokos.pl claims 13000 registered users and 1.2 million Zloty loans on its website. Kokos launched 5 months ago.

(Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Three p2p lending players competing in Poland

In Poland there will be three p2p lending services competing for borrowers and lenders:

The services are positioned quite differently, with different minimum loan sizes ranging from 500 PLN (approx 200 US$) to 3,000 PLN. Furthermore Finansowo appearantly will not do any credit score checking and "will not touch the money", so apparently payments need to be conducted directly between borrower and lender. 

All sites target a young audience aged 22 to 34 and think that Polish customers are open to new ideas.

(Source: Virtuous cycle)

Kokos – p2p lending in Poland

Kokos.pl launched the first p2p lending service in Poland. I interviewed Dorota Janik, PR Manager of Bluemedia, about the new service.

P2P-Banking.com: Can you please describe Kokos?

Dorota Janik: Kokos.pl is the first p2p lending or social lending system in Poland. It opens new possibilities in e-finance industry and fills a niche between offers of banks and other financial institutions.

The main advantage of Kokos.pl is being able to offer a much more beneficial interest range for both the lenders and borrowers, and a higher level of security than on other web based auction systems.

The most stress has been put on the borrower verification process. Kokos.pl uses Biuro Informacji Gospodarczej (BIG) to check borrowers credit history and to assign their rating in the system. Continue reading