New product: Mintos Invest and Access – What it is and My Opinion

Mintos will launch a new product offer called Invest & Access tomorrow. It was already unveiled and presented at the P2P Conference in Riga on Friday. Before I write about it watch the video below for about 10 minutes with Mintos CEO Martins Sulte explaining Mintos Invest and Access.

invest and access presentation riga
the video should autostart at the right point. If not it is at 2:29:22

The new offer makes it super-easy for investors to invest and automatically diversify through a very wide selection of loans. Mintos does that by investing the money in all loans on the platform that carry a buyback guarantee and are from originators that are at least 6 months on the platform. Mintos promises that investors will be able to cash out easily (subject to market demand) instantly, saying investors don’t need to bother about handling the loan selling on the seondary market. Mintos does that by selling the non-late loans to other investors.

The investor can still see how the portfolio he holds is composed on an overview page. One important aspect for the market dynamics on Mintos marketplace is that Invest & Access will invest before the autoinvests.

Mintos is cleary aiming to make it easy for new investors that don’t want to spend much time thinking about the investment and optmizing yields by giving them the average yield by just one click. The Invest & Acesss page will show the weighted average interest rate, which at the time I saw that page was showed as 11.98%. But the figure will change and update as market conditions fluctate and as the FAQ says it is not guaranteed.

One important point in the FAQ/footnotes is that the ‘instant access’ only applies to current loans. That means if the investors has e.g. 15% late loans, that would mean that he gets only 85% as instant withdrawal and for the remaining 15% has to wait until either the loan is bought back by the buyback or becomes current again (I suppose in that case the investor could trigger another cashout).

Investors can runs both Mintos Invest & Access as well as the existing autoinvests, should they which, but in that case Invest & Access would use any available cash the investor has first, therefore I would guess that there are rarely any funds left for the autoinvests to use.

My Opinion on Mintos Invest and Access

Mintos clearly offers a product that makes it as easy as possible, lowering the entry hurdles especially for new investors. And as Bondora Go&Grow shows there is a high demand by investors for simplified products. Statistics published by Bondora show that in April 2019 63% of the new investments in that month where conducted via the Go&Grow product, which is constantly gaining over the other investment methods Bondora offers. Other examples are the Access products offered by British Assetz Capital.

Looking at it from the perspective of an investor that is a little more experienced and willing to spend a little time Invest & Access does not seem an attractive offer. By definition it offers the weighted average interest rate.

By setting up own autoinvests at Mintos, keeping a good diversification and foregoing the highest risk, investors can currently achieve about 13-14% yield on Mintos. So if they would instead use the new product they would have about 2-3% lower yield, and have actually less control on which originators they invest in. An important point to consider, is that the value Mintos shows you, is the average interest rate, NOT the expected average yield. The yield will be significantly lower than the interest rate as Mintos will include buyback loans from originators with long grace periods or originators that do not pay interest income on delayed payment. Excatly those are typically avoided when investors configure their own autoinvests.

And concerning the argument of liquidity. Mintos is very liquid anyway. Without using the new product it is no problem to liquidate a portfolio within a few minutes to  a few hours it just depends on the price. Sure you might have to offer a discount. Maybe depending 0.2%-0.6% on average. But that is a small price if you had the higher yields before.

So would I recommend using Invest & Access over the ‘traditional’ way of setting up own autoinvest? There is one use-case I would. If an investor wants to invest very short-time (for whatever reason ‘parking’ money) for less than say 120 days, than it is worth considering.

In my opinion on why Mintos launched the new product, there are actually two reasons:

  1. there is demand for a simplified product and this new product shall satisfy that
  2. the new product will help on the sales site for attracting and onboarding new orignators. Originators that can only offer rates that are below the average interest rate on the Mintos platform so far were hard to sell. With Invest & Access they will be just part of the bundle and automatically sold (once the originator has been on the platform 6 month)

That brings us to an interesting point. How will Mintos Invest & Access the market dynamics? The big factor here is that Mintos Invest & Access happens BEFORE autoinvest and manual investment. There are already (even before launch) speculations and fears of investors that it might bring down interest rates or ‘force’ them to use the new product to avoid cash drag, but I think it is much to early to make any prediction what might be the outcome. But I sure am curious what this will do to the activity on the Mintos marketplace.

What are your opinions on the new product? Please share them in the comments. Thx.

mintos invest and access

P.S.: The following interview with the Mintos CEO was recorded just before the announcement of the new product, therefore it does not cover Invest and Access – but it has a lot of information on the current state of Mintos.

(Source: Bernhard Hummel)

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