Tis the season for the “2018 Year in Review.” Everywhere you look, there are shows and articles summing up the year’s milestones, as we look forward to 2019. Even our social media platforms are in on the game.
We thought this would be a great time to present our own 2018 Year in Review by looking at the awesome accomplishments of the fintech industry, particularly peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.
Fintech Continues to be a Major Disrupter
Globally, 2018 was a banner year for fintech innovations, especially P2P lending, and P2P money transfer platforms. Fintech solidified its role as a major disrupter of the banking industry. In fact, the impact has been so strong that banks have become a bit rattled, causing them to innovate ways to become hybrids—something between the traditional bank and a fintech company.
Perhaps the most stunning developments in the fintech marketspace are the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. As consumers become more and more comfortable with digital assistants and bots, an almost completely digitized financial system appears more of a reality.
A 2018 year in review article would be incomplete without talking about the massive leaps that were made in mobile payments. Globally, the mobile banking and payments industry processed more than $1 billion per day in 2017. Final numbers for 2018 have not been calculated, but by all indicators, they will be better than last year. Mobile banking and P2P payment platforms have been major factors in the goals of financial inclusiveness.
P2P Lending is Meeting the Needs of Consumers Around the World
Before we get to our 2018 year in review, let’s review why the peer-to-peer lending industry has been so successful.
- P2P lending platforms enable more consumers to access financing.
- Everything is online, open all the time, and there is no need to go to the bank.
- The P2P lending process is transparent, interest rates are reasonable and there are no hidden fees.
In developed nations such as the United States and Europe, P2P lending platforms have opened the door to consumers who would not qualify for financing from a bank because of their credit scores. If you are facing mounting debt, especially credit card debt, you can apply for a P2P debt consolidation loan.
And, a P2P loan can help you improve your credit score because the payments are automated. And in countries where no credit scoring system exists, P2P lenders have developed innovative algorithms to determine if the loan can be repaid.
P2P is a Key Component of Financial Inclusiveness
P2P lending platforms have also been extremely impactful in developing economies where the majority of consumers have very little access to traditional banking services. The ability to use their digital devices to apply for consumer loans or small business loans means they can move out of poverty.
P2P gives the impoverished a channel through which they can become economically empowered.
P2P lending has become a positive force in other areas of life too. For instance, there is disturbing data about how many people put off important medical procedures because they cannot afford to pay the bill. Uncovered and out-of-pocket medical expenses are driving American consumers into making poor healthcare choices.
But P2P medical loans are changing this reality.
The 2018 Year in Review
The peer-to-peer lending industry in the U.S. reached $3 billion in 2018, according to the Industry Market Research Report. U.S. P2P lenders became the go-to place for more than just consumer loans. Today, you can get a small business loan, student loan and even a mortgage from a P2P lender.
P2P lenders in India successfully navigated the new regulatory landscape and secured RBI licenses. India’s P2P sector is looking forward to 2019 with great optimism.
Brazil also joined the club of nations where P2P is regulated. The Central Bank promulgated new rules that allow P2P lending platforms to enter into direct competition with traditional banks.
2018 was a year of rapid growth in the P2P industry in Israel and Indonesia, where there is a large, mobile consumer base ready to add peer-to-peer loans to their menu of fintech products.
2018 a Stellar Year for P2P
All around the world, it was a stellar year for P2P lenders and all indicators point to continued success, which is great news for consumers. A strong P2P industry means that consumers have more choices and access to financing to fulfill their life goals.