Reading up on my news recently I came across a front page story in the New York Times entitled, “Pitfalls for the Unwary Borrower Out on the Frontiers of Banking” The story highlights a newish breed of online lenders with a beguiling business model called peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. I say newish because Filene Research Institute examined this topic way back in 2006. P2P has made a comeback as major regulatory hurdles have been solved and consumer demand is up. The article states $12 billion in P2P loans have been issued this year alone. A drop in the bucket of loan volume generated by credit unions.
By now you probably know the drill at the Finovate conferences- within a strictly policed seven minute window, pitchmen showcase their nascent products via a live demo, without the benefit of PowerPoint slides. The oft-imitated format creates some interesting tension while cutting through much of the smoke and mirrors.
Filene staff provided on-site coverage at Finovate’s San Jose event this past March. Here are my impressions of the highlights among the 70 presenting companies at Finovate NYC in September. Although no solutions were explicitly aimed at credit unions, I saw several offering a potential fit with the movement’s mission of financial empowerment and community engagement.