Key Take-Aways from the Society One P2P Lending App

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:

  1. 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)
  2. The borrower allows the app to retrieve transaction data from the past 3 months directly and automatically from the bank account he links
  3. The borrower allows the app to access his credit history data
  4. Like other p2p lending services Societyone offers lenders an automatic bidding feature that bids directly if a new loan request matches the desired parameters
  5. 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
  6. 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)
  7. 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

Review of My P2P Lending Predictions for 2012

In January 2012 I wrote down my predictions for p2p lending developments in 2012. The black text is my original prediction, with the review added in green and yellow.

Deeper integration of mobile (probability <25%)
Can you use a p2p lending service from a Smartphone? Sure. Some even have special apps for that purpose. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are at the advent of a couple years timespan where several players (compare this infographic) will be fighting over market shares in the developing mobile payment market. If there is a role for p2p lending services, it is yet undiscovered (aside from the use p2p microfinance makes of it in underdeveloped countries). No action so far. Continue reading

P2P Lending Predictions For 2012

I really like this time. The new year lies ahead with crispy, yet unknown innovations. What p2p lending developments might happen in 2012. Here are some personal opinions.
Last year I failed big time with most of my predictions for 2012 not coming true.

Deeper integration of mobile (probability <25%)
Can you use a p2p lending service from a Smartphone? Sure. Some even have special apps for that purpose. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are at the advent of a couple years timespan where several players (compare this infographic) will be fighting over market shares in the developing mobile payment market. If there is a role for p2p lending services, it is yet undiscovered (aside from the use p2p microfinance makes of it in underdeveloped countries).

Introduction of a p2p financed ‘credit card’ (probability very low)
Carried over from last year – did not happen
I envision a p2p lending service where the borrower does not get a loan in one full amount initially but can access liquidity on demand (within a predefined credit line). From the funding side this would work somewhat like lenders investing in Ratesetter’s rolling monthly loans. On the borrower side the customer could either request an additional payout via a web-interface or more sophisticated the service could issue a branded credit card / debit card for that purpose, enabling the customer to access cash instantly on an ATM.
This concept has very interesting advantages as it allows the p2p lending service to build a durable relationship to the borrowers. And for the borrowers it offers the potential of lower rates on short term debt than the high rates credit cards typically carry.

Continue reading

Review of My P2P Lending Predictions For 2011

In January 2011 I wrote down my predictions for p2p lending trends in 2011. Now let’s see how far I was off. The black text is my original prediction, with the review added in green and yellow.

Advent of whitelabel providers (probability 100%)
Okay let’s start this with a safe bet. In 2011 there will be 1-2 companies offering a solution that can be branded and used by p2p lending services and / or p2p microfinance sites. The interesting question here is how the acceptance by potential customers will be. My guess is that it will be slow selling until the companies have set the first pilot customer live.
While there are now whitelabel providers, their business seems to have been very slow in 2011. It seems that the first areas where we will see some activity is possibly p2p equity. As for conventional p2p lending – the companies supplying solutions have become more sophisticated and at least one as adopted their price model. It is now more a revenue sharing deal rather than a big upfront payment, that most startups could struggle with.

Introduction of a p2p financed ‘credit card’ (probability very low)
I envision a p2p lending service where the borrower does not get a loan in one full amount initially but can access liquidity on demand (within a predefined credit line). From the funding side this would work somewhat like lenders investing in Ratesetter’s rolling monthly loans. On the borrower side the customer could either request an additional payout via a web-interface or more sophisticated the service could issue a branded credit card / debit card for that purpose, enabling the customer to access cash instantly on an ATM.
This concept has very interesting advantages as it allows the p2p lending service to build a durable relationship to the borrowers. And for the borrowers it offers the potential of lower rates on short term debt than the high rates credit cards typically carry.
Like the idea and want to discuss/develop it further? Self-promotion plug: You can hire me as a consultant.
Has not happened.

A bank will acquire an existing p2p lending service (probability <25%)
Carried over from last year – did not happen
2011 might see a bank (or other financial institution) buying a running p2p lending service.
Buying will be much faster, cheaper and risk-less than if the bank tries to build a new service.
Largest Italian private Bank bought at least a part. Continue reading

The Merge of P2P Lending and Crowdfunding

P2P Lending and crowdfunding are two totally different concepts you say? True so far.
P2P Lending means the lender loans the borrower money. The amount is repaid together with interest.
Crowdfunding is usually applied to describe concepts were a crowd decides to finance project. The motivation there is to see the project getting done. The funds are not paid back but spent on the project and investors are sometimes rewarded with the art or products that are a result of the project. A good example for a crowdfunding platform is Kickstarter, which P2P-Banking.com covered earlier – see article: ‘Kickstarter – Pledge Money to Fund an Artist.

Moneyauction creates ‘Reward Funding’ – merges P2P Lending and Crowdfunding

Moneyauction, a leading p2p lending service in Korea, now announced their ‘reward funding’ option. Continue reading

P2P Lending Expectations for 2011

I always enjoy speculating what p2p lending developments might happen in the year to come and then look back in in the end to see how I did. I don’t dare call it forecast, because these are just my personal opinions, though in some cases it’s an educated guess based on what I know individual p2p lending services are working on at the moment.
Last year most of my predictions came true to some degree. Maybe they were not speculative enough – this year I’ll insert 1 or 2 developments with higher degree of speculation.

Advent of whitelabel providers (probability 100%)
Okay let’s start this with a safe bet. In 2011 there will be 1-2 companies offering a solution that can be branded and used by p2p lending services and / or p2p microfinance sites. The interesting question here is how the acceptance by potential customers will be. My guess is that it will be slow selling until the companies have set the first pilot customer live.

Introduction of a p2p financed ‘credit card’ (probability very low)
I envision a p2p lending service where the borrower does not get a loan in one full amount initially but can access liquidity on demand (within a predefined credit line). From the funding side this would work somewhat like lenders investing in Ratesetter’s rolling monthly loans. On the borrower side the customer could either request an additional payout via a web-interface or more sophisticated the service could issue a branded credit card / debit card for that purpose, enabling the customer to access cash instantly on an ATM.
This concept has very interesting advantages as it allows the p2p lending service to build a durable relationship to the borrowers. And for the borrowers it offers the potential of lower rates on short term debt than the high rates credit cards typically carry.
Like the idea and want to discuss/develop it further? Self-promotion plug: You can hire me as a consultant. Continue reading

Review of My P2P Lending Predictions For 2010

In January 2010 I wrote down my predictions for p2p lending trends in 2010. Now let’s see how good my crystal ball was. The black text is my original prediction, with the review added in green and yellow.

More competition and entering more national markets (probability 100%)
This is a fairly easy bet. There are many, especially European markets, where no p2p lending service is operating yet. Even accounting for the fact that laws and regulation in some national markets make it hard or impossible to establish a service, there is still plenty of room. Looking at an individual country, it is much harder to tell. I still wonder that there are no competitors to Zopa in the British market (yet).
As expected this was an easy bet to win. Plenty of new p2p lending companies launched. Zopa got 4 new competitors in the UK (Ratesetter, Fundingcircle, Quakle and Yes-Secure). 3 companies launched in Finland. FairPlace started in Brazil.

More products (probability 100%)
Currently nearly all p2p lending platforms only offer one product: unsecured, fixed term loans. The differences are more in the details of loan funding (bidding, no bidding, markets, listings) but not in the offered product. In 2010 we will see additional products (e.g. secured loans).
Ratesetter introduced rolling monthly loans with variable interest rates. (Note: variable interest rates were one of my predictions for 2008 – I was a bit early on that one). Money360 tries p2p mortgages. CommunityLend might be up to something really interesting with FinanceIt. Some smaller enhancements to the existing product were developed too (e.g. cars as collateral).

A bank will acquire an existing p2p lending service (probability <25%)
While last year’s prediction was that there is the first bank experimenting with p2p lending (and there was), 2010 might see a bank (or other financial institution) buying a running p2p lending service.Buying will be much faster, cheaper and risk-less than if the bank tries to build a new service.
Did not happen. An interesting development was the decision of a Korean Savings Bank to act as a lender on MoneyAuction. Continue reading

P2P Lending Site CommunityLend Adds Car Loan Cooperation

Communitylend has partnered with Canada’s largest used car site AutoTrader.ca, now offering a car financing option through Communitylend for every listed car.

The option is limited to private listings in Ontario for cars with a sales price of up to 25,000 CAN$.

This is a good partnership for Communitylend as it will profit from increased exposure to potential borrowers.

(Source)

Related Article: P2P Lending With Cars as Collateral

P2P Lending With Cars as Collateral

German p2p lending service Auxmoney.com has introduced a new feature this week. Borrowers can now offer a car as collateral for a p2p loan.

The user pays a fee of 9.95 Euro to document this in his loan listing. Pictures of the car, the model and the mileage and the estimated price a car dealer would pay for car are displayed in the listing. In this example listing, the borrower puts up his BMW as collateral. The estimated value covers 101% of the loan amount requested. In general the car can cover any percentage of the loan amount – it does not need to cover the full amount. Furthermore there is information on the type of insurance coverage.

If the loan is funded, then a contract defines the terms of the assignment as security. The borrower continues to drive the car (obviously he is not allowed to sell it without the consent of Auxmoney), but needs to deposit the certificate of ownership (motor vehicle registration certificate) at Auxmoney. This arrangement costs the borrower 2 Euro per month.

Should the borrower fail to repay the loan, then Auxmoney has the right to sell the car.

While a car as collateral does in not provide fail-safe security (many things can happen), it will be probably perceived by lenders as one feature for higher security against defaults.

The Wiseclerk Auxmoney stats page will in future track the performance of p2p loans secured by cars.

This is a first for p2p lending – but soon another p2p lending service will follow. Pärtel Tomberg, CEO of Estonian p2p lending service Isepankur told P2P-Banking.com earlier this month, that Isepankur will introduce cars and real estate as collateral for p2p loans in the second half of 2010.

(Photo by pedrosimoes7)

P2P Lending Service Moneyauction Wins Savings Bank as Lender

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).

(Source: company management)