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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 19, 2019

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P2P lenders stay away from apps

P2P lenders stay away from apps
Marc Shoffman

APPS may be seen by some as a vital tool for any fintech business but peer-to-peer lenders have largely avoided this area so far.

Of the biggest UK P2P players, only Funding Circle has an app for investors, while Zopa has one in development.

Instead, others such as RateSetter, MarketInvoice and Landbay have focused on the overall web, desktop and mobile user experience.

Julian Cork, chief operating officer at buy-to-let lender Landbay, said the platform had considered making an app but decided against it.

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“As a technology-driven business we considered building a mobile app but in the end we chose to go for a fully responsive web app so our investors can access our platform in the same way across all devices,” he told Peer2Peer Finance News.

“In addition, our user testing has shown that investors tend to prefer desktop for making financial transactions and indeed 87 per cent of our investment so far in 2017 has come via desktop.

“With an average account size of £8,000 and investment products that do not require investors to pick or bid on individual loans, or log in to monitor the secondary market, I don’t expect this to change in the near future.”

New Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) member Folk2Folk has also stayed away from apps because of limited interest from its user base.

“Most of our customers are over 60 [years old] so I think an app would be a stretch too far at the moment,” a spokesperson said.

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“We are focused on improving our online portal for customers to ensure they have a great experience when investing and looking at their portfolio of loans.

“The websites tend to be built to be mobile ready so the same experience is had across desktop, mobile or tablet.”

Read more: P2P lenders are investing in IT to stay ahead

Outside of the P2PFA, P2P pawnbroker Collateral is working on an app, while LendingCrowd and Crowd2Fund both have apps, with five and four-and-a-half star ratings respectively on the Apple Store. They have had relatively few reviews though, with just five for LendingCrowd and 12 for Crowd2Fund.

In comparison, Funding Circle’s app has three stars out of five from 118 ratings.