NEW peer-to-peer consumer lender Elfin Market will begin offering an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) account “within weeks,” Peer2Peer Finance News has learned.
Elfin Market recently received ISA manager authorisation from HMRC and is now in the process of rolling out its IFISA to investors on its waiting list.
Founder and chief executive Mansour Bouaziz said that the IFISA account will initially be available to the first 10 members on the 1800-person strong waiting list. Each week, another group of investors will be invited to access the IFISA, and each week Elfin will increase the number of investors who are onboarded.
“For the past month we’ve been running a version of the platform for friends of the founders and people on our waiting list,” said Bouaziz. “We’re happy to say we haven’t had any issues with the platform, so now we’re running a beta version to bring people off the waiting list and onto the platform. Every week we’ll be sending a number of invitations to people on the waiting list, starting at the top.
“The purpose of the beta version is to make sure everything works so we can make any changes. The full IFISA launch will come after the beta – we expect that to happen some time in the summer.”
The IFISA will allow investors to earn returns of between 3.8 per cent and 5.8 per cent by investing in the Elfin Purse, an online credit facility that aims to disrupt the credit card market.
“Elfin is all about trying to make credit cards fairer in the UK market,” said Bouaziz. “We’re trying to build a product for borrowers which combines the flexibility you have with a normal credit card with the fixed returns of a personal loan. So you can withdraw as much as you need and repay it as quickly as you want. We’re tying to offer borrowers the best of both words in terms of flexibility and fixed rates.”
The minimum investment threshold for the Elfin IFISA will be £100, and it will be targeted at retail investors who understand the risks involved in P2P lending.