The current Chinese banking system is rather unrewarding, giving just o.3% returns to savers, charging high interest to borrowers and with credit cards charging 30% interest. In a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, however, a borrower will have access to loans at lower rates and also enjoy transparency in fees and pricing. Since 2005, when UK based Zopa started first peer-to-peer lending, many companies have entered the market to offer a similar service. The company has grown to be the largest UK P2P lender with over 500,000 customers, with UK government announcing FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulation to monitor the industry in 2014.
Aligned to the British P2P model, including FCA regulation, Monexo is poised to change P2P lending in Hong Kong through its focus on transparency and use of best-in-class technology to deliver efficient services. “The P2P lending market has been doubling every six months in the UK. Hong Kong is the financial capital and it needs innovative services in line with the 21st Century rather than being rooted with 1,300 money lenders,” Monexo CEO Mukesh Bubna said.
Monexo is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer lending, bringing lenders and borrowers together to exchange from HK$90,000 to HK$1 million. Prior to lending, it screens the borrowers’ property details to ensure a safe transaction for both parties. It aids both by giving lenders higher returns and borrowers lower costs. The service charges a 2% fee from the borrower and 1% from the lender when the finance is received.
For lenders, the P2P lending marketplace opens access to profits currently earned by banks and can diversify your investments. Sure, they take on some risk too, but it can be managed by fractionalizing the money. On the Monexo platform, you don’t lend it all to individuals, but rather lend small amounts to many borrowers to reduce risk and still earn better returns,” Bubna said.
The company was started by Bubna, a banker who brings 20 years of consumer banking experience from Citibank. Prior to that, he was Product & Marketing Head for Cards and Unsecured Lending for Citibank’s APAC region. The team also consists of financial and technology professionals with decades of experience at leading global financial institutions and technology companies.
Monexo says it is embracing money exchanging trends to apply them to the Asian market. The company is looking into expansion in Singapore, India, and Southeast Asian countries, to open new markets in countries that experience rapid economic development. “P2P lending has a positive impact, ensuring that money is spreading around an area and helping economic development,” Bubna said.
Image Credit: Monexo
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)