Marketplace Lending News Roundup – February 16, 2019

American Banker looks at some of the numbers in the recent CB Insights report. SoFi held talks to acquire a fintech backing some of the hottest robo …


During the week I share the latest marketplace lending and fintech news on Twitter as it happens. Then every Saturday I take the most interesting news items and blog posts from the past week and share them here.

Goldman Sachs, Point72 and others invest $44 million in business credit startup Nav from Reuters – We start the week off with yet another big funding round. This time small business credit marketplace Nav has closed a $44m round from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Point72.

Amazon’s lending perpetuates the tech giant’s control over small businesses from Tearsheet – Amazon remains tightlipped about their small business lending operation but as Tearsheet reports these loans come with some potentially onerous restrictions.

Why has the FCA Refused the Application of Mintos and has the Decision any Consequences? from P2P-Banking – Interesting piece from P2P-Banking today on the move by Latvian lending marketplace Mintos into the UK and their rejection by the FCA.

Why venture capitalists love fintechs from American Banker – With so many funding rounds announced already this year it is clear that venture capitalists are still enamored with fintech. American Banker looks at some of the numbers in the recent CB Insights report.

SoFi held talks to acquire a fintech backing some of the hottest robo advisors as it eyes expansion beyond its lending roots from Business Insider – Interesting story about SoFi in Business Insider. They tried to acquire Apex Clearing, a digital wealth custodian, but could not agree to terms so instead they made a minority investment.

UK fintech unicorn Revolut forced to deny links to Russia from Business Insider – It seems that Revolut is in the news every day right now, this time it is accusations of political meddling in Lithuania, the country where they obtained their European banking license.

Dear Congress: Time to clarify ‘true lenders’ from American Banker – Interesting op-ed in American Banker on the “true lender” issue. I completely agree that Congress needs to act on this issue so that banking is not hobbled by a 20th century mindset.

A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments, a red flag for the economy from The Washington Post – There is a record number of auto loan delinquencies today. Is this the canary in the coal mine signaling the next recession? Maybe. Interesting that loans issued by the car companies are performing the worst.

Consumer lender Insikt rebrands as Aura from American Banker – Non-prime consumer lender Insikt is rebranding to Aura. They explained the origins of the new name this way: comparing a person’s aura to a credit score, saying, “It seems invisible, but it matters a lot.”

Starling Bank, now with 460K consumer accounts, raises £75M more for European expansion from TechCrunch – The strong fundraising start to the year for fintech continues with UK digital bank Starling Bank closing a £75m funding round.

Square’s banking bid avoids backlash that doomed Walmart’s from American Banker – While hurdles remain Square’s ILC application is receiving broad support and industry observers are optimistic it will be approved.

Citi rolls out new personal loan, online savings account from American Banker – Now, this is interesting. Citi is rolling out a new loan product they are calling Citi Flex Loan where credit card customers can convert part of a revolving credit line into a loan with a fixed APR.

German Lending Marketplace auxmoney Overtakes Midsize Banks in Consumer Loan Origination from Crowdfund Insider – The leading German online lending platform auxmoney issued €551 million of new personal loans in 2018, outperforming many medium sized German banks.

CommonBond gets $750 million in lending funds from top banks from American Banker – Big news from CommonBond this week as they announced an additional $750m in lending capacity from some of the biggest names in banking.

Zopa names new P2P chief and chairman from P2P Finance News – It is the end of an era in the UK. Giles Andrews, one of the co-founders of the world’s first p2p lending platform Zopa is stepping down as Chairman with Gordon McCallum being appointed to replace Giles.

From the Lend Academy Forum

The Lend Academy forum is where investors go to discuss p2p lending. Below are some topics that were being discussed this week.

Faster payment processing coming soon. – LendingClub’s announcement of faster payment processing means some changes to the secondary market.

Notes Disappeared – One LendingClub investor is reporting a handful of missing notes according to their account statement.

Cumulative ROI by Vintage Beginning 14Q1 – One Year Update – A forum member shares the latest tables on cumulative ROI by vintage.

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Best Credit Card Debt Payoff Calculator

Capital One Credit lines are a great partner of Credit Karma, and can provide tools to benefit your current credit score. We recommend that you utilize …

A good way to make sure that you stay out of debt on your existing credit cards is to make use of an online debt repayment calculator such as Credit Karma. The site calculates how long it will take for you to pay down all of your credit card debt. You enter information into the provided fields. These are titled “balance owed,” “interest rate,” “expected monthly payment,” and “desired payoff time-frame.” The credit card debt calculator will take these financial considerations into account and provide you with a plan for paying off your debt. The debt calculator will help make your existing debt more manageable, or allow you to plan for future credit card expenses.

Refinancing Your Credit Cards

One option to help improve your current credit score is to refinance your cards to have a lower annual fee. Additionally, lowering your total credit spending limit will help lower your monthly payments. These financial tactics can help you build your credit score for future business ventures. Capital One Credit lines are a great partner of Credit Karma, and can provide tools to benefit your current credit score. We recommend that you utilize the credit card debt payoff calculator in 2019 to manage or improve your current financial situation.


What Factors into a Credit Score?

First, let’s discuss the differences between different credit scores. A credit score can range from around 300 to 850 points. A score of 700 and higher is considered a good credit score and will generally allow you to obtain loans without being denied. Obtaining a high credit score can also help to lower interest rates. An online credit card debt payoff calculator will give you financial recommendations to help you achieve a higher credit score. These suggestions may relate to changes in your credit limitations and other account relevant variables.

Where To Find Credit Card Debt Calculators?

You can obtain your credit score from Equifax, TransUnion, and right here on Credit Karma. The sign up process is quick to complete and will not result in any changes against your credit.

Credit Karma also offers a Credit Score Stimulator – This online tool will help determine what would happen if you opened a new credit card, or how large expenses would affect your credit score.

Credit Karma Features:

  • Direct Dispute – If you see any errors on your existing credit report, you can dispute it directly through the Credit Karma platform.
  • Approval Odds – Credit Karma will estimate the likelihood of the approval of any new loans or credit cards.
  • Credit Monitoring – Credit Karma can assist in the monitoring of your current credit-related status.
  • Credit Karma will alert you if any significant changes are made to your credit report, this includes any potential fraudulent activity.
  • Credit Karma offers an easy to use mobile app to pull reports in real time.
  • Credit Karma will generate recommendations for credit cards or loans that could help save you money compared to your current credit payments.

How Can You Improve Your Credit Health?

  • Pay your bills on time – Late or missed payments can significantly affect your credit score.
  • Never close old credit cards – This can lower your credit score significantly
  • Pay down debts – Keeping your overall credit card utilization amount below 30% will leave you in good shape.
  • Don’t open too many credit cards at once – Having too much credit can go against your credit score.
  • Diversify your credit mix – Lenders like to see a mix of existing credit.


Many Americans complain about the lack of scoring consistency they receive for their credit scores. All three of the credit bureaus have designed a model called “VantageScore” in order to obtain a more consistent standard of credit scoring across the board. When you use a credit card debt payoff calculator you’ll be able to see how to get debt better managed and financed.

A VantageScore has three scoring models. They calculate your scores based on:

  1. Your payment history – They will look at the consistency of payments made and look for any late payments in your history. They will look to see how many lines of credit you have open and have had open in the past.
  2. How long you’ve had credit – They will look at the duration of the lines of credit you currently have open.
  3. Which types of credit lines you have – The different types of credit lines can be anything from home loans, auto loans, student loans, refinances, home improvement loans, etc.
  4. Current credit limits – The limit of credit on your credit cards, which is contingent upon several factors including your credit score.
  5. The amount of debt – The amounts owed for purchases. This is often coined “debt-to-income” ratio, or how much money are you bringing in (gross annual income) compared to how much you owe in debt.
  6. Any hard inquiries on your credit report – This is the act of “pulling” credit when you visit a lender. This is particularly scrutinized when applying for an auto or home loan.

When to Consider a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer is taking existing debt and placing it into a different credit card account. There are certain scenarios where doing this may prove to be more cost effective in the long run. If you have debt with a high interest rate – If your current credit card is charging a high interest rate – it may be beneficial to search for one that offers a lower one.

You don’t want to deal with multiple payments every month, so consolidating debt into one credit card account will give you fewer credit card balances to keep track of and help you keep your finances better organized. You are often offered a great promotional offer on a balance transfer. If you are able to pay off your existing debt faster through the new offer, it could be of benefit to take advantage of the refinancing.

Credit Karma is a great option if you’re looking for a reliable and effective credit card debt payoff calculator.The recommendations provided by the debt calculators will help customers make the most of their credit situation. The site is designed to be completely secure in terms of using your financial information, and is highly accessible across your electronic devices. Additionally, the site provides an abundance of finance related reading to help you better understand how your money can start working for you. The resources and calculators provided by Credit Karma are valuable tools that everyone can benefit from.


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Global Financial Technology Market Expand Their Businesses with New Investments in 2019 and …

MarketResearchReports.Biz presents this most up-to-date research on Financial Technology Market – Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 …

MarketResearchReports.Biz presents this most up-to-date research on Financial Technology Market – Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 – 2025

Financial Technology is a term used to assist those companies operating in the financial technology sector. The Financial Technology is the integration of financial services with information technology. This integration assists in reshaping finance services by facilitating easy and smart management of financial activities. Another advantage associated with this technology is it improves the quality of financial services and reduce overall operational cost, and thus contributing to creating a more diverse and stable financial landscape.

Financial Technology Market: Drivers and Restraints

Increase in inclination towards new technology solution such as online, mobile payments, big data, alternative finance and financial management, surges the need for simple technology that assists in efficient financial management, which is positively influencing the demand for Financial Technology market. Also, growing dependence of technology in every sector to facilitate ease and flexibility in maintaining records act as major parameters backing the adoption of financial technology, which is the other driver for the growth Financial Technology solution during the forecast period.

The legacy financial system is projected to witness serious threat from developing technologies such as BlockChain technology, therefore to exclude the demand for an intermediary trust agent for payments settlements is another factor contributing to the growth of the market during the forthcoming years.

Also, increase in digitization in the financial sector is the important parameter due to which the demand for Financial Technology solution is likely to surge.

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Global Financial Technology Market: Market Segmentation

Global Financial Technology Market can be divided into five segments, on the basis of services, component, deployment, end-user, and Region.

Segmentation on the basis of the Services for Financial Technology Market as:-

The major segments of Financial Technology market on the basis of the Services include:-

  • Peer-To-Peer Money Transfers
  • Lending Services
  • Online Payments
  • Mobile Payments

Segmentation on the basis of the by component System for Financial Technology Market as:-

The major segments of Financial Technology market on the basis of the component include:-

  • Software
  • Service

Segmentation on the basis of the deployment industry for Financial Technology Market as:-

The major segments of Financial Technology market on the basis of the deployment industry include:-

  • Saas
  • On-premise

Segmentation on the basis of the by end-user System for Financial Technology Market as:-

The major segments of Financial Technology market on the basis of the by end-user include:-

  • Banks
  • Financial Consultancy
  • others

Global Financial Technology Market: Competitive Landscape

The major player operating in Financial Technology market includes Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi), Stripe, YapStone, Inc., Braintree (PayPal), Adyen, Lending Club, Addepar, Commonbond, Inc., Robinhood, and Wealthfront, Inc.

In 2015 BillGuard; a financial technology services provider was acquired by a California-based company in the peer-to-peer lending industry; Prosper Marketplace. The acquisition cost approximately US$30 million. The objective of the acquisition is to scale business operation and to extract new business opportunities

Global Financial Technology Market: Regional Trend

North America market is expected to be largest markets with respect to the financial technology market, due to which, the market is expected to exhibit the significant growth rate with respect to the respective region during the forecast period.

Owing to the escalating in penetration of technology-driven workflow at the organizations in emerging economies such as China and India is the major reason, positively impacting the growth of the financial technology market. Also raising awareness about the financial software advantages such as accuracy and efficiency is another reason for the growth of the market in forthcoming years in Asia Pacific region.

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Regional analysis for Global Financial Technology Market includes

  • North America Financial Technology Market
    • US
    • Canada
  • Latin America Financial Technology Market
    • Argentina
    • Mexico
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    • Rest of Latin America
  • Western Europe Financial Technology Market
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • Nordic
    • Benelux
    • Rest of Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe Financial Technology Market
    • Poland
    • Russia
  • Asia Pacific Financial Technology Market
    • Australia and New Zealand (A&NZ)
    • China
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Japan Financial Technology Market
    • Middle East and Africa Financial Technology Market
    • GCC Countries
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA

The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

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LC LITE to put letters of credit on blockchain platform

LC LITE hopes to to streamline the US$2.3T letters of credit (LC) market with a blockchain-based platform. It will connect trade parties directly via a …

LC LITELC LITE hopes to to streamline the US$2.3T letters of credit (LC) market with a blockchain-based platform. It will connect trade parties directly via a digital solution for cross-border trade transactions requiring letters of credit. LC LITE is part of a strategic partnership with Coinsilium Group, a London-listed crypto investment and advisory firm.

Dimitri Kouchnirenko, a co-founder of LC LITE commented: “Letters of Credit are a huge market, perfectly suitable for implementation on distributed ledger technologies. LC LITE’s blockchain typically replaces intermediaries by capturing the unique data of a transaction in an immutable and transparent chain of records. Its smart, self-executing contract features perform transactions automatically upon fulfilment of specified conditions in a digital Letter of Credit between the buyer and the seller. Reducing errors, discrepancies and fraud are major benefits of our blockchain solution. The cryptographic security underlying blockchain technology renders trade transaction records stored on blockchain tamper-proof, reliable and verifiable by all parties at all times.Dimitri Kouchnirenko

LC Lite

The founders of global invoice finance provider, Incomlend, are launching a platform built on a blockchain to bring the benefits of an immutable and decentralised system to the vast LC market. Approximately 13% of global goods exploits LCs which are a key component of the worldwide trading system. In this, LCs are a financial instrument which guarantees payment from an importer to an exporter upon documentary proof of a shipment’s consignment. This is vital in cross-border trading because it guarantees payment in advance of final delivery.

But the LC process involves many intermediaries, including financial ones – usually banks. These manage the financial execution of the trade on behalf of the importer (buyer) and exporter (seller), who jointly agree the terms set out within a LC. Blockchain technology should:

  • simplify and expedite what is currently the inefficient and expensive processing of documentation by intermediaries
  • improve cash flow for trade parties
  • enhance security by reducing fraud and default payments.

How LC LITE will work

LC LITE units of exchange will serve as the means of:

  • payment booking for each LC contract
  • ownership transfer
  • enabling a vehicle of trade for contracts between different parties on the platform.

The units of exchange circulate only within the LC LITE ecosystem and take advantage of the intrinsic demand for opening and processing of LC contracts. Units of exchange enable an LC contract to become a tradeable asset between investors. By delivering this, LC LITE hopes to reduce or eliminate many of the current challenges within existing LC practices, for example funding, delays, fraud and centralisation. Both data forgery and manipulation are recurrent risks (in the current market), abetted by the need for numerous intermediaries and a lack of information immutability.

It is also a fact that:

  • up to 80% of LC documents contain discrepancies when presented to banks
  • the costs associated with trade documentation processing and administration represent up to 20% of physical transportation costs.

The LC LITE platform

In contrast, LC LITE has designed its platform to enable trade parties to transfer, track and validate transactional documents directly between one another. This will replace traditional banking intermediaries as well as Interbank (SWIFT) messaging. Instead, transactions will occur via a secure LC LITE smart contract held on a private chain. This should:

  • increase speed
  • reduce fraud
  • eliminate double spending.

The platform includes a network consensus mechanism that authenticates all transactions and LCs by LC LITE approved validator nodes. LC LITE ensures that the platform incentivises importers, exporters and investors. The solution thereby improves cash flow for both importers and exporters through early payment from the trading mechanism deployed on the platform.

In the LC LITE ecosystem, importers and exporters will directly establish smart contracts digitally replicating the LC instrument. Once a contract digitally seals, an importer submits the title to the trade to investors for the corresponding value. This contract value will then conditionally credit to the exporter with the amount appearing on the exporter’s eWallet. It will release once the pre-agreed trade conditions are met, thereby guaranteeing payment to the exporter.

The title and LC value will also appear on the investor’s eWallet as due for payment by the importer. Once the goods have shipped, exporters have the added benefit of being able to sell their units of value through the LC LITE marketplace to other participants within the ecosystem. If they choose to do this they can obtain early cash on the payment due. (Holders of the contract title will be able to discount it for early cash as well.)

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Trade finance provider Incomlend created LC LITE. Incomlend is a global invoice exchange which enables trade parties to obtain early cash in exchange for cross-border export receivables which:

  • currently processes funding volumes worth some US$240m annually
  • hopes to reach more than $1bn in the next three years.

Its experience doing this is what provides the base for LC LITE. The company intends to deploy first in Asia and the Middle East, including Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea and India.

To go up against traditional LC providers, like the major banks, is ambitious – and there is no shortage of competition from them either to use blockchain technology (q.v. Marco Polo, Batavia, SEB, TradeShift, among others). Nevertheless, for most exporters and importers the prospect of a simpler, faster and cheaper solution will be attractive, with one specific caveat. What is unclear about the LC LITE solution is how much depends on non-fiat currency handling. This (digital currency aspects) alone may add sufficient risk to outweigh the other, and palpable, advantages claimed by LC LITE.

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INSIKT Changes Name to Aura

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 12, 2019–INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to …

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 12, 2019–INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced that it has changed its name to Aura to expand its focus on creating greater financial health, independence and economic stability for millions in America.

“Today, I am excited to share that INSIKT has undergone an extraordinary transformation that starts with a bold new name,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “Aura, like your credit score, may seem invisible, but it matters a lot. Today, we commit to making the seemingly invisible role of credit, approachable, visible, clear, transparent, easy to understand and fair for all. Most financial institutions see borrowers as a number, a risk, a reflection of the past. This says nothing about a borrowers’ potential and where they can go. The difference for us — we see their Aura, not just their credit score. We see them, their potential, and their dreams.”

Since its launch in 2014, INSIKT has provided more than $390 million in affordable, credit-building loans to 320,000 borrowers at over 1,200 partner locations using technology that enables local businesses to administer credit applications.

Now, Aura will build on this success by adding a new consumer product experience that will further empower borrowers and put them on the road to financial security. Recognizing that most of its customers do not know what their credit score is or how much they should save on each paycheck, Aura will provide its borrowers with free credit scores, a summary of what’s in their credit report, and a personalized budget, including expenses, DTI and tips for savings.

Additionally, Aura is launching a new customer loyalty program, known as “Aura Hearts” that offers benefits to borrowers who pay on time such as larger future loans, lower rates, and faster pre-approvals.

“We have worked to ensure Aura makes managing debt a launch-point for personal independence,” said Gutierrez. “We want everyone to see and understand their financial history, reduce fear around personal finance in the communities we serve, and increase borrowers’ ability to navigate the financial system. Aura is here to make sure that borrowers have a true partner on their financial journey.”

Aura’s new website is located at

About Aura:

Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.

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PUB: 02/12/2019 06:00 AM/DISC: 02/12/2019 06:01 AM

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