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‘Fintech’ Loans: A Sometimes Costly Lifeline for Small Business

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RICHMOND, CA (September 12, 2017) excerpt via KQED News - Che Al-Barri remembers feeling like he was drowning in debt last year. He had taken out a $70,000 loan for his small cleaning company, but was struggling to repay it.

The lender, a financial technology — or fintech — company, automatically collected $331 from his bank account daily, Monday through Friday. The frequent hits depleted his income and took a toll on his business, he said.

“If you get hit every single day you have no time to breathe,” said Al-Barri, 45, who grew up in Richmond. “It put me up against the wall. There was many times I pulled the covers over my head and just laid there like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?'”

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Fintech Helps Banks Disburse More Loans

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NEW YORK, NY (September 4, 2017) excerpt via The Economic Times - "Two years of fin tech driven reach has helped banks grow about 15 to 20 per cent indicating that banks’ dependence on `feet-on-street’ to campaign for loans may recede in a few years. Bankers said nearly a third of their customers below 30 years were on-boarded through the digital platform. 

Banks are using FinTech players to qualify good customers faster and give on the fly credit. Significant reduction in time used for taking better credit decisions have led to higher conversion in disbursal of loans."

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Lending as a Service (LaaS) and Why it Matters

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NEW YORK, NY (August 23, 2017) excerpt via CIO - Traditional financial services providers have tightened their lending requirements, leaving many small business owners with few channels to uncover the capital they need.

The financial crisis of 2008 caused global shockwaves, wrecking businesses and wiping away thousands of dollars’ worth of individuals’ savings. World markets are still recovering to this day, and governments have enacted strong reforms to prevent a repeat occurrence. These new, stricter regulations have deeply changed the financial world. Along with shifts in consumer preferences, banks and lenders are now faced with a vastly different financing landscape.

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Startups Still Struggle Finding Funds (Fueling Online Lending’s Growth)

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NEW YORK, NY (August 10, 2017) excerpt via PYMNTS - "While startups and small business are often (rightly) hailed as the engines that power growth in the American economy, when it comes time to secure funds — the situation gets tricky. Stated simply, ten years out of the financial crisis and small business lending remains a chronically sluggish and difficult to work in environment.

According to a report by the country’s 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, over half of all startups report difficulty in securing loans and 81 percent report having had to dip into their personal funds to cover gaps in their corporate cash flow. Startups, as defined by the new report, are firms that are less than two years old and employing less than 500 workers.

“Given the importance of startups for the economy, the question of startup capital is of central importance,” according to the 2016 Small Business Credit Survey Report on Startup Firms. “While funding is the lifeblood of every company, capital is especially critical for startups. To reach scale, startups need to be able to secure expansion capital.”

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Online Lending Has Reached a Tipping Point

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NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2017) excerpt from Business Insider - "Online lenders have been facing an uphill battle recently as investors question whether they are truly getting the loan transparency they need to confidently invest in this young industry. Investors, credit providers and ratings agencies are worried about loan data integrity as well as collateral and ownership rights behind the loans."

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When Does a Lender Become a Loan Shark?

NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2017) - At what point does a lender (good) become a loan shark (bad)? The question has exercised philosophers—and unhappy borrowers—from antiquity to the present.

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