Zopa Removes Listings – Concentrates on Markets

Recently Zopa UK removed the ‘Listings’ functionality that allowed borrowers to list individual loans. Listings were introduced in October 2007 as a add-on to the original Zopa markets model.

Here is the official announcement of Zopa regarding the removal of the Listings function:

You might know that Zopa is a little unusual amongst the now 30+ peer-to-peer lending companies running worldwide in that we facilitate the vast majority of loans through the Zopa Markets; almost all the other peer-to-peer lenders make all their loans using something more like our Listings. Indeed, we weren’t first-to-market with the Listings approach, adding them to our site about two and a half years after we first launched. Since then some 700 Zopa borrowers have received loans totaling £4.3m using Zopa Listings and there’s been some great ones in there; from guitar re-stringing, to a planetarium, a few bits of plastic surgery and of course plenty of cars.

Sadly though, while those figures sound quite good, they only represent a very small proportion of total Zopa lending and that proportion is declining too, while the rest of our business is growing rapidly. Couple that with Listings being much more long-winded to underwrite and we hope you’ll understand why we’ve taken the tough decision to draw Zopa Listings to a close.

… we’ll remove the functionality from the site that allows borrowers to create a new Listing. All the Listings that are already live before this point will of course be allowed to continue to their natural conclusion and once they’re all finalized, we’ll remove all references to Listings from the site.

If you’ve taken part in any lending via Listings, you’ll still be able to keep track of them and monitor how they’re being repaid in My Loan Book, where you can now find a link to your borrower’s original Listing page in the detail page of the loan in My Loan Book (click on the borrower’s username to open this view).

We hope you understand our decision.

Best wishes,

The Zopa Team

Zopa listings preview

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:

Zopa listings preview

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:

Zopa listings

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.



Zopa plans to get more personal

"Prosper on Zopa" – "but better"

That is how the new Sales & Product manager Tanya Cordrey of Zopa described the planned Zopa Listings yesterday in a Zopa Chat. Quote: "It is the ability for borrowers to post listings and it gives lenders the opportunity to lend choose individuals"
Zopa plans to get this feature live next month.

The question about the chance for a secondary market was answered by that there is not enough volume yet (maybe next year). The chat was attended by many Zopa employees including the CEO. The transcript is available.