The fintech space is exploding in popularity and alternative financing -- a 21st century solution to traditional credit -- is blossoming alongside it. A recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that more than $25 billion has been invested into fintech companies over the past half-decade, making it the most popular destination for venture funding. And many of those investors are backing some of AltFi’s most disruptive players, like Upstart and Prosper.
What got us here
Out of control lending in the traditional banking space is one factor that got us to this point. An overabundance of subprime mortgage loans, concealed by high home prices and buoyed by securitization, were a chief driver of the last Financial Crisis. As a result, U.S. regulators were forced to enact an array of new regulations to ensure lenders wouldn’t threaten the country’s financial system again. In the aftermath, new regulations placed on the financial markets included Dodd-Frank, Basel III, Basel II/II.5 and the Card Act. These bills have also stifled traditional banks’ appetite to lend, and the stats are clear: Since 2009, the total amount of revolving credit in the U.S. has declined by nearly $1 trillion. Between 2008 and 2012, traditional small business lending in the U.S. fell by a whopping $120 billion. According to Mercator Advisory Group analyst Alex Johnson, another reason customers are flocking to alternative lenders has to do with technology. “In my research, I found that the answer is less a matter of pricing (as many assume) and more about providing the fast, digital-centric borrowing experiences that today’s consumers want,” he explains in a blog post. AltFi customers appreciate the transparency of the borrowing process, the hands-on control they have over the process and the ease and speed of using the technology involved.
Lower rates: A third factor
A third factor boosting the AltFi space has to do with interest rates. Minimal overhead expenses -- in other words, increased efficiency -- allow marketplace lenders to pass those savings on to the consumer. Companies like Lending Club, for example, have hundreds of employees operating an online infrastructure without the need for physical branches. "Our innovative marketplace model, online delivery and process automation enable us to offer borrowers interest rates that are generally lower on average than the rates charged by traditional banks, credit cards or installment loans,” the company explains in a recent SEC filing. There are several laws that apply to both banks and alternatives alike, including SEC oversight, but lighter regulations also let alternative lenders keep costs down. Unlike banks, marketplace lenders are generally not subject to the same capital requirements, according to Morrison Foerster’s Ze’-ev Eiger.
A natural evolution
New regulations, along with technological improvements and lower rates for some, have allowed a natural evolution to take place. Sites like LendingClub Corp (NYSE: LC) and On Deck Capital Inc (NYSE: ONDK) have now become household names after stock market IPOs, while student loan-focused SoFi plans on going public within the next year. What’s more, many of Wall Street’s biggest names are supplying the gunpowder for the boom. Prosper,with a valuation above $1 billion, has funding support from JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, SunTrust and Neuberger Berman. Barclays Accelerator is also heavily invested in the space, while Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have made 26 different bets on fintech companies since 2009.
So...just how big of a threat is AltFi?
New survey data from The Economist shows 70 percent of bankers believe fintech will disrupt traditional lending in the future. And more than half of respondents think banks aren’t doing enough to keep a competitive advantage over new alternatives. In 2011, Lending Club issued $258 million in loans. By 2014, that number had grown to $4.4 billion. Business-related alternative financing in the U.K., which has a larger market than the U.S. on a per capita basis, is projected to grow ten-fold by 2020. While one might assume that the vast majority of this growth has come from the 88 million or so under-banked Americans, Lending Club actually requires a minimum FICO score of 660 for its borrowers. That said, other lenders like fast-growing Avant Credit focuses on lower areas of the credit spectrum.
One simple truth
This means that the AltFi revolution is not just being driven by below-prime customers banks no longer want. It’s also being driven by qualified bank customers who are making the decision to take their business elsewhere.
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MoneyLion’s consumer and enterprise businesses were recognized as winners of Benzinga’s 2022 Global Fintech Awards at this year’s Fintech Deal Day
New York, December 14, 2022-- MoneyLion Inc. (“MoneyLion”) (NYSE: ML), the go-to destination for personalized financial content, products and advice, is proud to announce that it has been named “Best Financial Literacy Tool” at Benzinga’s 2022 Global Fintech Awards. MoneyLion’s enterprise business, Even Financial, was also named as the winner for “Best API.”
MoneyLion and Even Financial were honored alongside other top Fintechs, banks, research companies and more. MoneyLion’s consumer business continues to push financial literacy through innovative and personalized content. With the MoneyLion app, users can view personalized financial content in short-form video format and receive personalized financial product recommendations such as loans, insurance and investing. As MoneyLion’s enterprise offering, Even Financial digitally connects and matches consumers with real-time personalized product recommendations from banks, insurance carriers, and Fintech companies on mobile apps, websites and other digital touchpoints through its financial product search engine and Embedded Finance Marketplace technology. This technology powers both the MoneyLion Marketplace, in the MoneyLion app, as well as more than 1,000 enterprise partners.
“We’re thrilled MoneyLion’s consumer and enterprise businesses were recognized by Benzinga,” said Dee Choubey, Co-Founder and CEO of MoneyLion. “Both awards showcase MoneyLion’s every time you money approach to helping our customers. The financial literacy gap is a huge problem for millions of Americans and we remain committed to reducing its effects through engaging, informative content and key partnerships designed to bring an elevated educational experience to all.”
These awards follow the October announcement of MoneyLion University, where MoneyLion launched its latest initiative aimed at closing the gap in money and financial education across the United States.
“We could not be more pleased with Benzinga’s recognition of our company’s API technology,” stated Phill Rosen, CEO and Founder of Even Financial. “Our technology natively integrates real-time credit decisions and product recommendations from the industry’s largest network of connected financial services providers, offering access and choice to consumers searching for financial products. Our elegant Embedded Finance Marketplace, API and search engine enable any company to add trusted, personalized financial products and services to their business, reaching people when and where they need it.”
Even Financial has been named a listmaker for the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards for the last two years and was a previous award winner. In 2021, Even was selected as a listmaker for Best API and, in 2020, selected as a listmaker for both Best API and Best API Platform. In 2019, Even was awarded the Benzinga Rocky Award.
The annual Benzinga Global Fintech Awards take pride in recognizing and honoring the companies and individuals who are propelling the Fintech and financial services industry forward with the most impressive technology advancements and innovations. A panel of industry experts from a wide range of companies reviewed and judged the nominations. Winners were announced at Benzinga’s Fintech Deal Day on December 8, 2022, where MoneyLion’s Chief Customer Officer Cynthia Kleinbaum spoke on the panel, Expert Growth Hacks For Reaching Underserved Markets.
About MoneyLion MoneyLion is the go-to destination for personalized financial content, products and advice. MoneyLion’s mission is to rewire the financial system to positively change the path of every hard-working American. MoneyLion uses its proprietary data advantage and technology to empower its customers. MoneyLion engages and educates its customers with daily, hyper-personalized money-related and money-adjacent content that is delivered through each customer’s own content feed. MoneyLion provides its customers a full suite of financial and non-financial solutions, bundling its proprietary, low-cost financial products with products that are offered through its marketplace technology and network affiliate partners. MoneyLion also leverages its distinct data, technology, and network advantages to deliver leading embedded finance and marketplace solutions for enterprise customers. Since its founding in 2013, MoneyLion has empowered millions of Americans to take control of their finances and live their best financial life, every day.
For more information about the company, visit https://www.moneylion.com/ and https://www.evenfinancial.com. For investor information and updates, visit investors.moneylion.com and follow @MoneyLionIR on Twitter.
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New York, Jan. 11, 2023 -- Even Financial ("Even"), an independent subsidiary of MoneyLion Inc. (NYSE: ML), and a leading embedded finance marketplace platform, is proud to announce that it was honored in Built In’s “2023 Best Places To Work” Awards. Specifically, Even earned a place on the Hybrid Best Places to Work in New York.
The Best Places to Work Awards, now in its fifth year, honors companies across numerous categories, sizes, remote-first employers as well as in person and hybrid working companies across the U.S.
Built In determines the winners of Best Places to Work based on an algorithm, using company data about compensation and benefits, and also weighs criteria like remote and flexible work opportunities, as well as other people-first cultural offerings.
This announcement follows Even’s recent win at the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards for “Best API.”
About Even Financial
Even is the industry-leading embedded financial marketplace and independent subsidiary of MoneyLion Inc. (“MoneyLion”) (NYSE: ML). MoneyLion is a leading digital financial services and lifestyle content platform serving both consumer and enterprise customers. As part of MoneyLion’s enterprise offering, Even digitally connects and matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product recommendations from banks, insurance carriers, and fintech companies on mobile apps, websites, and other digital touchpoints through its marketplace technology. Even's infrastructure leverages machine learning and advanced data science to solve a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition, seamlessly bridging financial services providers (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its industry-leading API and embedded finance marketplaces. Even enables any company to add financial products to its business, with full compliance and security at scale. Even was named one of "America's Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2022 and was named to the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com and investors.moneylion.com.