Does It Pay off to Be an Investor on a P2P Platform?

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If it was easy to become wealthy, we wouldn’t need experts advising us on how to invest in the first place. People have been trying to find the best return for their investment for ages. There are also so many ways in which to invest these days that it can become daunting for a beginner. Continue reading Does It Pay off to Be an Investor on a P2P Platform?

Interview with Simona Lucatniece, VIAINVEST P2P Platform Lead

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You’ve been with VIAINVEST platform since its very beginnings, now tell us, how has the platform evolved, and what have been the major challenges along the way?

It’s been almost 2 years since the platform launch, unbelievable how quickly time flies! I think it is fair to say that VIAINVEST is in the constant start-up phase, as the list of new features we are planning to implement never ends. Until now, the major challenge was to keep up with the expectations of our investors – we have always emphasized that customer service is a huge deal for us, and we are truly putting an effort to add a personal touch.

Here’s a little sneak peek of some of the news coming soon – our latest investor survey results show that we are doing great! We will share the full overview of results later this month. If we talk about other platform features, it has been rather challenging, for example, to explain why we are withholding taxes on the platform, a majority of similar platforms has decided not to do that. Legislative acts are not always the easiest thing to read and interpret, so it took a lot of energy to explain our tax policy to the investor community. The good news is, we are working with the local tax authorities of loan originating countries to cancel the obligation to withhold taxes on the platform itself.

What are the future prospects for the platform?

Currently, we are working on three main projects within the platform – the development of the mobile app, that would allow investors to browse the platform in a  more convenient way, introducing a new loan originator that will provide an opportunity to diversify investment portfolios, and we are also developing more convenient tools  of investment list browsing. Hopefully, we will be able to announce pleasant news soon!

Imagine you have just met someone who is considering investing through VIAINVEST, what would be the three main arguments you would use to convince him/her?

This is a great question, as there can never be too much information about P2P lending when it comes to making investment decisions. VIAINVEST definitely stands out in the P2P crowd as it has kept investing process simple. Anyone who is interested in trying out investing would be able to use the platform with a little guidance.

Our aim is to make sure that various financial planning and investing tools are available to everyone, so we have kept investing process straightforward and transparent with the minimal investment amount set to EUR 10.

Another important aspect is the investment security. Unlike the majority of platforms, VIAINVEST only lists loans that are issued by its mother company VIA SMS Group. This allows us to monitor the risks and potential damages very closely, and take action if some warnings are at sight. The fact that VIAINVEST is backed by the VIA SMS Group certainly gives an extra security.

The third advantage that we have over our competitors is also linked to the investment security – all loans listed on VIAINVEST are secured with a Buyback Guarantee. It is something that is pretty rare at the moment, to be honest, and that’s why the investment portfolio offered by VIAINVEST is attractive to the less experienced investors.

What is VIAINVEST for you personally?

As I work for VIA SMS Group and have been with the company since the launch of VIAINVEST, I can honestly say that VIAINVEST is my favorite project so far. I really enjoy communicating with the investor community and I sometimes take a chance to overtake the duties of the investor advisors. As an investment product, VIAINVEST always attracts customers with various backgrounds and a willingness to explore finance management. It is amazing to have a chance to communicate with people eager for knowledge.

What is the value that P2P platforms create not only for investors but for society in general?

I believe that P2P lending is another tool that helps to educate society about personal financial planning and helps to reestablish investing as an accessible and rather simple tool. Some time ago investing was mainly associated with stocks and terrible charts taking at least three screens to monitor them, but now even my mum has decided to try investing, and she is in her early fifties.

What would your advice be for newbie investors? Where to start and how to embrace the opportunities that come along with the ongoing development of technology?

The first and the most important step is to take some time to explore the information provided by P2P platforms on their websites and general information available online.

There definitely will be some things that will seem confusing, so I really encourage you to reach out to our team of Investor Advisors. There are no stupid questions and there is no limit on how many times you can ask a question, so feel free to take full advantage of the people on this side of the screen.

It is astonishing how P2P has succeeded at developing investor communities around themselves, and these communities might serve as another highly valuable source of information for newcomers. I would also suggest taking a look at various P2P blogs, where experienced investors share their investing tips and tricks.

Fintech is an industry that frequently undergoes many twists and turns, which is why working in this business must be exciting, yet demanding. What is it that keeps you motivated and allows you to stay at the top of your game?

The question almost answered itself! I joined the fintech industry after working with a government institution, and to be honest, I was amazed how quickly everything changes here. I am lucky to have had a chance to work with outstanding professionals and learn from them every day, and, boy, you can never know too much! Here you can truly see the results of your own work, and this is what motivates me the most. Also, fintech industry pushes you to keep learning nonstop, and as I consider myself an eternal student, this is the right place for me to be.

Emerging Markets and Peer-to-Peer Lending

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P2P lending is essentially an online transaction between two parties whereupon one lends money to another. This transaction is facilitated by a middleman and a return fee is agreed upon beforehand. It’s also a process that is totally independent from a bank. With the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the Internet made it possible to offer access to capital outside of the traditional banking channels. Continue reading Emerging Markets and Peer-to-Peer Lending

ICOs to Be Regulated Under the New EU Crowdfunding Rules?

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The rapid rise of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) has been one of the hottest topics for discussion in the past two years in the fintech industry. Despite the emerging challenges and the recent slowdown, the overall volumes are pretty impressive, with about $18.7 billion raised so far in 2018. A debate about having the new type of fundraising regulated at European level has emerged in the past few weeks. Here we will try to take a look at the main points of discussion.  Continue reading ICOs to Be Regulated Under the New EU Crowdfunding Rules?

Why You Should Invest in Loans of Poland: Economic Prospects for 2018

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For an investor it is crucial to get acquainted with the current economic trends and peculiarities of an investment destination market. Poland is pretty much one of the key players on VIAINVEST platform due to a substantial volume of originated loans it brings to the table. Therefore, we invite you to take a closer look at what has been going on over there, and why investing in Polish loans might be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. Continue reading Why You Should Invest in Loans of Poland: Economic Prospects for 2018

Blockchain Is Getting Real: World Bank Launches the First Blockchain Bond

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The World Bank, together with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) with the role of an underwriter, just launched bond-I (blockchain operated new debt instrument), the first bond in the world that has been created, allocated and managed using blockchain. After much hype and promises, this is one of the first concrete use cases for blockchain in global finance.  Continue reading Blockchain Is Getting Real: World Bank Launches the First Blockchain Bond

What Is the Debated Federal Fintech Charter All About?

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bank regulator in the United States, recently announced that after years of debate they have decided to move forward and pursue the federal fintech charter that many operators in the US were waiting for. The special purpose charter will affect newly formed fintech firms as well as the existing ones, operating with payments or with money lending, which are considered to be the core banking functions. Here we will try to cover all the essential things you should know about this new regulation. Continue reading What Is the Debated Federal Fintech Charter All About?