UK p2p lending company Ratesetter says its partnership with mobile operator giffgaff is very successful in driving loan demand. The partnership began in the end of 2013 and allows giffgaff to offer handsets to customers without an immediate upfront payment based on joint credit and fraud management technology.
Ratesetter says ‘The number of giffgaff loans doubled month-on-month in April’. Rhydian Lewis, CEO and Founder of RateSetter, said: ‘Our ground-breaking partnership with giffgaff shows the potential within the P2P sector to power a whole range of consumer services, starting with mobile phones, …’. A spokesperson from giffgaff, said: ”This initiative has been revolutionary for our member base. We are now able to offer mobile handsets through our website, based on the easy provision of cost-effective loans provided by other members of the public. … ‘.
Societyone, an Australian p2p lending service, presented a mobile app at Finovate Asia. Previous apps offered by p2p lending services either optimised the display of website data for the mobile interface or offered basic bidding functions for investors. This one goes far beyond that. It promises the borrower a loan application and funding within 3 minutes.
To do this Societyone implemented the following steps:
Only a few fields are required in the application (that is not a revolution but rather common sense and already used in many online application processes for loans)
The borrower allows the app to retrieve transaction data from the past 3 months directly and automatically from the bank account he links
The borrower allows the app to access his credit history data
Like other p2p lending services Societyone offers lenders an automatic bidding feature that bids directly if a new loan request matches the desired parameters
From the information in 2. and 3. Societyone calculates the maximum loan amount which the borrower has capacity to repay. From the information in 4. Societyone can determine which maximum loan amount could be instantly filled by existing automatic bids. Both information combined result in a maximum approved loan amount which is displayed to the borrower
The borrower now enters the loan amount he wants and immediately Societyone displays which lenders fund his loan (in the example in the video 12 persons fund the loan)
If the borrower confirms the loan applications the money is transferred to his bank account.
If you look further than whether there is a need by consumers to apply for loans from mobile devices rather than PCs there are a some very interesting key take-aways from this App. Continue reading →
Notice the headline of the article. I have chosen it, because I found it hard to describe what Fidorpay is. And Fidor itself meets the broad scope of questions, that the novelty service provokes, with a main FAQ of no less than 115 questions and answers. But I’ll try my best:
Fidorpay is a prepaid e-wallet that can be used via web or mobile apps (they currently have an iPhone app and are working on android). Once a user has transferred money into this account he can send money to other Fidor Pay users.
Sounds like Paypal? There are important differences:
The Fidorpay system works nearly in real-time. That means money is credited to the receiver’s account within a very short time frame and can be used by him then. (Paypal offers fast notification, but it takes much longer for the money to be actually available in the recipient’s account for future transactions).
Sending (and receiving) money is fee free
Starting February, 1st 2011 Fidorpay users can now lend money via Fidorpay to ‘friends’
So how does the lending part work?
A Fidorpay user can ‘lend’ any amount between 5 and 500 Euro to anyone. This is possible even if the recipient does not (yet) have an account but his email-address or mobile phone number is know to the lender. Loans are interest-free. They do not have a fixed term, instead the lender can send the friend a request to repay anytime. Unlike sending money, lending is not fee-free; Fidorpay charges a one time fee of 0.49 EUR (approx. 0.68 US$).
Is this p2p lending then?
It is in a pure technical/infrastructural way, since it does enable one person to lend another person money (over a distance) via internet or mobile phone.
But it is not the p2p lending in the sense it is most commonly used in this blog for it lacks any marketplace and validation aspect. It only takes a lending process that would have offline taken place with cash handed over to a convenient online level. If the borrower refuses to repay the loan Fidorpay itself does not enforce the repayment in any way.
How is it relevant to p2p lending then?
Fidor with Fidorpay shows how an infrastructural footing for p2p lending could look that omits most of the conventional banking structure. Since Fidor has a banking license, some of the regulation requirements are solved. If all lenders and borrowers of a p2p marketplace would (mandatory) become Fidorpay users then all payments and repayments could take place inside the Fidorpay system. The process would become faster and transactions could possibly be cheaper.
Are we there yet?
Far from it. I think Fidorpay gives a glimpse of what mechanisms could be used in the p2p lending marketplace of the future. Since it is currently not a main banking connection of the customers, amounts in the wallets are small. And maximum transaction amounts are limited for security and regulation reasons.
But ‘conventional’ banks should watch out and p2p marketplaces should think and review what possibilities Fidorpay and potentially evolving similar services will offer them to advance their service.
Key data about Fidor and Fidorpay
Founded 2003 Fidor Bank AG commenced its banking activities in December 2009 and brands itself as a ‘community bank’ using web 2.0 instruments in combination with latest technology. Related video: Speech by Matthias Kröner at Finovate, London. Fidor Bank states 19,600 users at the end of 2010. The current number of users is approx. 23,000. It is unclear from the press statements if all users are paying customers.
Fidorpay is available to residents of Germany with a German bank account.
In Korea, p2p lending service Moneyauction became so attractive for lenders that it won a Savings Bank as a lender. A company spokesman told P2P-Banking.com that the bank evaluated the repayment rate of borrowers on the p2p lending site and found it to be better compared to the rate of it’s own existing customer base even though the p2p borrowers credit scores are lower than the credit scores of their customers. Other financial institutions have expressed interest in utilising Moneyauction or entering cooperations.
Moneyauction is advancing in it’s product development. In March it released the new ‘Automatic portfolio lending’ feature as well as support for mobile bidding via smartphones. Lenders can now bid on loans using smart phones like the iPhone (see picture).
Moneyauction, a Korean p2p lending company, says it is “the No. 2 [website] in Korea’s non-bank area, but the number 1 website in the finance area”. And it has impressive figures to prove it. Between June 01th, 2007 and Sep. 15th the loan amount applied was 56.6 million US$.
Moneyauction partnered with telecommunication carrier Korea Telecom and offers a mobile service allowing borrowers to apply for and lenders to bid on loans via their cell phone.
In 3 months Moneyauction plans to launch a secondary market (called ‘Divided bond trading’). A spokesman told P2P-Banking.com that he expects this new feature to boost the transaction volume.