Interview with Simona Lucatniece, VIAINVEST P2P Platform Lead

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.

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