COLLATERAL is launching an app that it says will set it apart from other peer-to-peer lenders and help it compete better with banks.
The peer-to-peer pawnbroker, which offers investors annual returns of up to 12 per cent, said that it will begin the beta testing phase in the coming weeks and will fully launch the new offering in a couple of months.
A Collateral spokesperson told Peer-to-Peer Finance News that the firm had decided to launch the app more than six months ago and that it will be aimed at both investors and borrowers.
“I think it will be one of the first apps for the industry,” he said. “Not everyone is PC-based now – people are on the move. It’s very user friendly.
“Most banks have apps now and obviously platforms will have to up their technology to compete.
“Especially with the recent restrictions on travel to certain countries with tablets and laptops, I think everything’s going towards apps.”
Despite the P2P sector’s emphasis on technology, most of the best-established platforms still do not have their own apps. Funding Circle has an app purely for investors, but Zopa and RateSetter do not have apps available. Smaller platforms Crowd2Fund and LendingCrowd already have their own apps, just aimed at investors.
A number of banks have recently launched apps to compete better in the lending sector. In January, Barclays launched a SME lending app, which drastically reduces the amount of time that the bank takes to approve a business loan, from a few weeks to under an hour.
Read more: Banks bite back
Collateral originates loans secured against assets such as property, jewellery, luxury items and vehicles, ranging from £5,000 to more than £1m. The platform now has over 1,100 registered users and has raised more than £7m.