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The Biggest Financial Innovation For Consumers Since The ATM?

Andrew Graham Apr 16, 2015

I’m en route back to Toronto from New York City, where members of the Borrowell team were attending LendIt 2015. LendIt is the world’s largest and most influential marketplace lending conference. This year, 2500 people from around the globe gathered to network and explore how technology will change the way people and businesses get access to credit.

What’s marketplace lending?

Marketplace lending takes the “marketplace” approach used by companies like eBay and Airbnb to bring buyers and sellers together for the benefit of both. We’re doing that for borrowing – matching institutions looking to lend with people looking to borrow. (Of course, we do it anonymously and securely.)

Real legitimacy

The keynote speaker was Larry Summers, formerly US Secretary of the Treasury, Chief Economist of the World Bank, and perhaps most famously the Harvard President who threw the Winklevoss twins out of his office in The Social Network.

When it comes to financial services and the economy, there aren’t many people more influential than Larry Summers. So it’s meaningful that he’s deeply interested and involved in the industry. In his talk, New Lending For A New Economy, he remarked that there hasn’t been an important financial innovation to benefit consumers since the ATM, and that marketplace lending has the potential to transform the financial system.

“A financial system that is more diverse – will be a financial system that is more stable.” – Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary & Harvard University President

Happening around the world

Marketplace lending (sometimes called “peer-to-peer lending”) was a new innovation seven or eight years ago, but it’s becoming more and more mainstream. There are lending platforms in most developed countries around the world, including Lending Club and Prosper in the US, SocietyOne in Australia, Harmoney in New Zealand. The UK has dozens of lending platforms and China has 1500 marketplace lending companies!

And now in Canada

So why not Canada? That’s why we on the Borrowell team are working hard. We believe that Canadians are ready for a better deal on their borrowing, and many investors looking for higher returns. The great thing about marketplace lending is that, by bring these two groups together, both can benefit.

So let’s show the rest of the world that Canadians are ready to embrace the future of financial services and deserve simple, secure and convenient access to low-interest rate loans.

We’re excited to help Canadians save thousands of dollars in interest and get in control of their debt.

If you want a taste of how technology is going to transform the financial sector, check out our simple and quick loan process and let us know what you think.

Andrew Graham is CEO of Borrowell. He likes traveling though is looking forward to being back in his own bed.

Photo Credit: LendIt.

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