Even Staff

2016-03-01

Finance’s ‘Quantum Leap’ moment? Altfi and cryptocurrency

Incumbent institutional investors themselves admit that they have a lot of catching up to do before they can compete with the “upstart” marketplace lending providers. A Morgan Stanley research paper published in June discussed how banks were hampered both by their due diligence restrictions, and by the backwardness of their big data analysis techniques.

 

A new age

 

Because new marketplace lenders have less operating costs, they are attractive to borrowers as they are able to offer lower commissions; their risk assessment criteria are less exacting than banks, and they incorporate demographic data into their analysis. Thus they are able to offer lower interest rates to interested investors. At the time, Morgan Stanley analysts explained this phenomenon: “Traditional banks excel at originating loans and underwriting credit, but are slowed by the batch process and portfolio approach to their deposit and loan legacy systems, which are the backbone of the US and global payments system, and by liquidity and capital rules.”  

 

Bitcoin-denominated loans

 

As well as raising the bar in big data analysis, both for existing users and in targeting potential loan seekers, many in the marketplace lending sector have enthusiastically adopted Bitcoin and the blockchain in their payments system. BTCjam was among the first forums to facilitate lending in Bitcoin. Founded in late 2012, in 2013 it gained a wealth of sponsors in Ribbit Capital, 500 Startups, FundersClub and the Bitcoin Investment Trust. By the end of 2014, BTCjam had facilitated bitcoin loans of over of $10 million in value, with more than 100,000 users in over 200 countries. The fact that its due diligence procedure only goes so far as an “optional soft credit check” helps explain its popularity. Bitcoin and BTCPOP both offer bitcoin-denominated loans, of the “instant” and collateral-tied variety. Loanbase, formerly known as BitLendingClub, specializes in bitcoin loans to developing countries, where beneficiaries might not have a bank account.

 

 

Marketplaces are creating their own currency, too

 

Another alternative finance startup has created an entire new currency, LoanCoin, which appreciates as interest is paid on a loan. Once the interest and principal are paid off, the attached LoanCoin is destroyed and exchanged for a currency of the coinholders’ choice, so the currency value is preserved. The system created by Lending DApp allows aspiring lenders, or “officers,” to source and guarantee new loans for coinholders and charge fees for their service. Financial institutions, marketplace lenders and even individuals can act as officers, though their commission and the size of the credit extension is dependent on credit rating. Lending is also at the officer’s own risk and in the event of default or missed payment, collateral is lost. The credit extension, also called a “trust line,” is calculated by applying an aggregate function to an officer’s weighted trust ratings. The network is able to draw on the accumulated knowledge of its participants when assessing lenders’ reputations and creditworthiness.

 

What the future holds

 

Max Rangeley, who works for the think tank Cobden Centre that’s creating a Bitcoin exhibition for the European Parliament, thinks the Bitcoin transfer system “blockchain” could one day be commonplace among marketplace lenders. Users could, Rangeley says, insure the asset they use as loan collateral with blockchain. “The blockchain means [marketplace lending] can be de-centralised still further,” Rangeley adds, explaining that alternative finance companies and credit market participants are already considering the idea. Morgan Stanley analyst Smittipon Srethapramote, meanwhile, believes partnerships will be key going forward, no matter what currency loans are denominated in. “The fastest growing marketplace platforms are not really peer-to-peer but institutional investors partnering with tech platforms to cherry-pick borrowers, often with offline marketing,” he says. The future is bright for alternative finance, and while there’s still uncertainty regarding some specifics, one thing is clear: Disruption is coming.

 

Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content

Proven Scale & Trust

$525B+

in consumer applications for financial services

100M+

consumer profiles generated

6.5 Million+

applicants routed monthly

What our partners are saying

"By implementing Even’s technology, we have been able to build a multi-vertical financial marketplace and more than double revenue and engagement."

Michael Bourgeois
Michael Bourgeois
Business Lead

AWARDS

PRESS

Read all about it!

HAVEN LIFE
Haven Life’s All-Digital Life Insurance Application Experience Launches on Even Financial’s Leading Life Insurance Search Engine
Even features the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace New York, New York – August 16, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced the launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on its life insurance marketplace platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   With the addition of Haven Term and Haven Simple, Even has further expanded its extensive network of premium life insurance offerings, strengthening its position as the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace. Haven Life, which offers Haven Term and Haven Simple, and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is known for its customer-centric approach and for its commitment to making life insurance more affordable and accessible. Haven Life’s term life insurance offerings will be available on Even properties and via its wholly owned subsidiary LeapLife.   “In these uncertain times, the majority of U.S. adults want the financial security of high-quality life insurance, but are often dissuaded by the complex application process and need to complete an in-person medical exam,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “Haven Life’s groundbreaking, all-digital application experience brings tremendous accessibility and peace-of-mind to consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Even platform.”   The launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with medically underwritten term life insurance policies that they can apply for and, if approved, purchase instantly online. While most Haven Term applicants will need to take a medical exam, Haven Simple applicants do not. Haven Life’s offerings expand the variety of life insurance options already available to consumers through Even’s API.   “Haven Life is committed to meeting life insurance customers wherever they are — and often, it's where they are managing the rest of their financial life," said Wade Seward, Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life. "On the heels of introducing even more affordable pricing for the Haven Term product, our partnership with Even Financial allows us to marry that affordability with greater accessibility to offer comprehensive financial protection to shared clients with ease and efficiency.”    Even entered the life insurance industry in 2020 through its acquisition of LeapLife, a leading insurtech and licenced life insurance agency. Since that acquisition, Even has worked with its large network of channel partners to make the process of getting personalized life insurance fast, easy, and accessible for consumers. In addition to Haven Term and Haven Simple, products offered by leading insurance companies including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, and Mutual of Omaha are available through LeapLife, Even’s life insurance platform. Companies such as TransUnion and Lantern by SoFi rely on Even’s embedded finance marketplaces to power 100% digital personalized life insurance policy quotes for their customers, with live agent support.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021 by reaching over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 800 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.   About Even Financial   Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.   About Haven Life Insurance Agency   Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC21 Haven Term in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company (C.M. Life), Enfield, CT 06082. In New York (DTC-NY), and California (DTC-CA), and other states, it is issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001.    Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Haven Term is available through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life), whose agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527. Both Haven Life and C.M. Life are wholly owned subsidiaries of MassMutual.   Please note that issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.   MassMutual and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of June 1, 2021 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com    
YAHOO! FINANCE
Yahoo! Finance: Even Financial Reaches $3 Billion In Credit Issued Milestone
Even has surpassed a significant threshold in credit issued, having now facilitated over $3 billion in consumer credit as of July 2021. The milestone is significant in the financial services industry, as Even has also expanded its platform to over 800 partners.    Click below to read more at Yahoo! Finance.
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.