MYC4 a p2p lending platform for micro-loans to entrepreneurs in Africa, today released a new layout. 10 months after the last change the new layout looks more clearly structured. The changes only impact the appearance, there were nearly no functional changes in this release.
Globefunder's site got a new layout. It looks more structured and professional now.
Also it seems that Globefunder will open its d2c lending (d2c="direct to consumer") to individual lenders. Only in May an announcement of Globefunder sounded like under dtc lending the company would on the lender site be open only to institutional investors.
Now there are "Coming soon Lend Money to make money" signs on the new site. But it's not available yet. Clicking on them displays the message
We're sorry, that option isn't available yet at GlobeFunder.com. Please check back again soon, as we continue to make improvements to the site.
Today MyC4 presents itself in an all new shiny layout. On MyC4 lenders can give loans to small businesses in Africa. Unlike at Kiva, lenders at MyC4 earn interest. So far 1.8 million Euros (approx. 1.2 million US$) have been invested in loans and there are no defaults yet – only several late payments. With the new release …
… three key elements have been prioritized on the new website; usability, design and communication. We have made it easier to understand what MyC4 is all about, how to join, how to upload money, how to find a Business, which fits your criteria and lastly how you invest and re-invest.
According to MyC4 the changes in today's release are:
- The look of MyC4.com has been updated
- Improved navigation making it easier to find your way around via a top menu and a left hand menu with sub-levels
- “Opportunity” changed to “Business” – to access the overview of Businesses, click on “INVEST” in the top menu
- MyCredits is now changed to EURO (€)
- The Investor now carries the Currency Risk
- Withholding tax
I also noticed that MyC4 is no longer marked as "beta".
The handling of currency risk is a major change. The announcement email says:
At MyC4 we want to offer a sustainable and easy to understand solution for the African Businesses. The currency Risk has until now been carried by the African Business, but this has uncertainty for their loan conditions.
To ensure that MyC4 and the African Businesses are sustainable in the long run a new model for the Currency Risk has been developed. We now transfer the Currency Risk to the Investor, which has to be covered by the size of the interest rate you demand.
As a consequence please be aware that going forward there is a Currency Risk on your new investment when investing in some African countries. MyC4 cannot advise on the daily currency development, but based on the last 3 years currency fluctuation we suggest as a guideline that your add the following percentages to your normal wanted interest rate to cover for the potential Currency Risk;
Côte d’Ivoire 0%
This means that if you where planning to Bid on a Business in Kenya with an interest of 8% in mind you now add the 2% – so you Bid 10%, but will properly get 8% depending on the currency fluctuation over the period of the loan.
Screenshot of MyC4 in new design
Lendingclub has a new homepage. At least I think it is new, but maybe I have overlooked it for quite some time since Lendingclub used to point the homepage to the Lendingclub blog and I usually went directly to the blog URL.
The homepage is mainly an information showcase for new borrowers or lenders. Unlike Prosper it has few real functions. While most data remains restricted to logged in users, it does show a few rankings and statistics.
Today Lendingclub announced that it passed the US$ 1 million loan mark. With 683 verified lenders Lendingclub is still small compared to Prosper numbers, but growing steadily.
Tuesday I wrote about Zopa's plans for Zopa listings. Now a preview of how the new Zopa listings will look is available. With this feature Zopa will take the step from anonymous borrowers to a more personal look with borrower listings and profiles. To create a listing borrowers will have a credit grade of at least C.
I looked at the preview today and found the resemblance to Prosper.com layout striking in many points. The listing overview will look like this:
The loan listing itself has photos, a loan details section, a personal profile section and borrower information. Furthermore it will have a Questions and Answers Section allowing the lender to ask questions. Looking at the following example the forecast graph in the upper right looks exactly like the same feature Prosper offers:
The 8 page preview description gives more example screens of Zopa listings, which Zopa says it will introduce within the next months.
Lender feedback (which is limited so far) has been mixed.
With this changes, should the Prosper & Zopa merger that Jeff & Heather wish (it is really only wishful thinking!) ever happen, then at least the layout question seems decided now.