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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

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NCFA Canada | Nov 2, 2018

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Ep16-Nov 2:  Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses

About this episode:   On this episode NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Lending Loop Cato Pastoll. They chat about what opening banking is, how it might look like an app store, and how it gives power back to consumers. Enjoy! (see Transcript)

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  CATO PASTOLL, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Cato Pastoll is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, Canada's first peer-to-peer lending marketplace for business lending. Prior to starting Lending Loop, Cato served as the Executive Vice President of a medium sized software consulting business. In addition to holding a senior management position, he attained experience building and managing robust commercial applications. Cato also brings relevant industry experience from his time developing a loan evaluation and management solution for a private mortgage lender.

 

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Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Today I have an incredible guest today. OK. If you heard of the company Lending Loop I have the CEO today. I got Cato.  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean I'm very excited to just get the show on the road. I mean we have a very interesting topic and I'm very excited to share with people.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I'm excited as well. Thanks for having me on.

Manseeb Khan: So, I guess for just a minute could you just give us a little bit of your background and essentially what Lending Loop is?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah Lending Loop Canada's first marketplace for small businesses to be able to access affordable financing. And then investors people like yourself and myself who want to lend money directly to businesses. So essentially what we're doing is cutting out the traditional intermediaries who will be lending and rather allowing businesses to be able to access financing from regular Canadians who want to lend money to them.

Manseeb Khan: I'm glad that I can be my own little investor and help as many small businesses that I can. So, I mean the topic that I really want to discuss with you today is a topic that many of us probably seen in the media it from blog posts or even from videos would be open banking. So, could you guess a little bit. Tell us what open banking is and I guess how integral and what this means to the bank space?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. Open Banking can generally cover a lot of different areas or mean a lot of different things. But a high level generally kind of what people are referring to is the ability for people to be able to access banking data or other companies to be able to access your banking data. So, it's likely that you and I and probably the people who are listening to this have a bank account with maybe one of the big five Canadian banks or perhaps the smaller bank and they have a lot of data on transactional history around us. Who we are, our address all types of personal information as well as transactional bank information. Now that information is incredibly valuable and really the theory is that that information should belong to you not actually to the bank and we're open banking is really kind of contemplating is sharing that information or at least giving you the ability to access and share that information that your will. So, if what you say you want to give Lending Loop access to that information. Very seamlessly that you would authorize the banks to give us that information we'd be able to access that in order to provide better products. Products and experiences

Manseeb Khan: Ha. Okay. So, this kind of this really ties into I guess having a digital identity and having a sovereign identity right of we're seeing a lot of people pushing it from individual CEOs like yourself or just other institutions or other I guess organizations pushing for this identity and that having a digital identity would just be one more step closer. Open banking would be one more step closer of having digital identities and having companies in the future actually recognize your digital passport. In a sense, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah absolutely. I mean like it or not and, in a capitalist, driven society. Finance and financials are really a core to who you are from an identity perspective not just from a verification or an identification perspective but more importantly kind of makeup. A lot of the pieces of information and how many who someone is. And so, when we think about kind of open banking exactly what you just referenced is true. Now we're talking about layering on financial type information on somebody's personal profile if you want to call it that. So absolutely this is really something that that is. Kind of critical. When it comes to determining what that future of identification and Id profile look like.

Manseeb Khan: I like the aspect of it. You get to pick and choose who you share information and it's a lot like I guess if you have an android phone you can actually go within the apps and then you can kind of like pick and choose what the app can get access to it's kind of interesting of like it's the very similar concept but look more like a broader perspective. Yeah. Lending Loop can have this, this, this, and this but RBC or TD can't have  access to that, So I like that.

Cato Pastoll: That's a really good analogy and yeah, I think one that a lot of people identify with you know even with Facebook being in the news a lot lately. A lot of it is around that and like who get see your information and you get to share that information. You know open banking is basically extending that to the financial realm like who gets to access and see financial data because up until this point it's really only been banks that have been able or allowed to see that. And maybe that is actually to your benefit to be able to share that information with either you know people that you know or other companies that you want to do business

Manseeb Khan: Wouldn't an open banking be a threat to the current banking system now because now what open banking is or what I'm understanding is it's opened up a broader marketplace for people. For customers to just be able to pick and choose and to switch between banks with a couple of clicks right? Like I could switch my mortgage plan if I currently have it with CIBC I can switch it to TD because I've got these better rates, or I want to switch my savings plan from RBC back to TD or whatever so. I guess. Why would banks themselves even. Put their hat in the ring for this and. Why would banks even consider this at all?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah and I don't think that it's voluntary. I think I can do more. More part of a general pressure to provide better experiences to consumers. Banks are an oligopoly in their highly regulated and they're essentially protected by governments in every authority including Canada. Right. So, the banks are incredibly hard to create. They're also an incredibly hard to break down and that's when we think about like why this might happen. Really, it's too people you know to the benefit of the people who use banks so just the regular people. The customers and the businesses that leverage banking services. No, it's in our interest to. Be allowed to access that data. And I think kind of philosophically a lot of people believe that data actually belongs to you not the bank. You know the bank is kind of providing us with that service but at the end of the day. The data that they are leveraging, with the data that we're providing to them you know a lot people can have the sentiment that that belongs to us. Now what that actually means that from imprecations perspective is. You know people who are looking to build better products or better experiences for customers can now do that by kind of treating banks as kind of like your back in infrastructure right. Traditionally you think about banks as you were just describing and as you know that the end to end delivery of a product or service very like the know that they're giving you credit cards they give you mortgages. Well you know the bank doesn't have to not exist if somebody else to provide a credit card or mortgage they can rather just kind of be the backend service provider. where they allow other people, you know other companies to basically be more of that front-end customer facing solution that leverages their infrastructure their data maybe even the technology to be able to deliver some of those solutions. So, you know the reason that we're moving in this direction is because at the end of the day it's of benefit to the customer benefit not just from an experience perspective but also financially you know on average Canadian banks are generating. That to 2x the average ROE of U.S. banks and 3x the average ROE of UK banks. So, when you think about that you know people like yourself and me are actually paying for that and you know it's not surprising to think that policymakers and politicians want to kind of shake that up and actually. Give some value back to customers who are actually using it, the Canadian banks.

Manseeb Khan: Going back to the cell phone analogy it more of a market like it actually a true and true marketplace where we will have like the TD version of an app store and you'll have like financial tech companies like ourselves coming in and just providing all these services right.

Cato Pastoll: In a way I mean many different ways, there are many different ways that it could play out in practicality that that's for sure. One of the ways you know what a bank becomes I think is an interesting question and probably one that we could we could spend a whole hour talking about like what a bank might look like in the future as a result of it. But I think that the underlying thing is that they need to share or open data to people who want access.

Manseeb Khan: And it just makes I mean again I’m probably thinking of this more of a from a fintech standpoint because I'm so much  for team David here. It just makes banks even more like customer centric right.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you know. Going on that point about being customer centric or delivering product experiences that are better or cheaper for customers if fintech or financial technology companies are able to do that much better than banks are. And so, as a customer I'm going to win by being allowed or being able to access those services seamlessly you know going back to your point maybe not directly in the interest of the banks but in the long run it's kind of in the overall interest of Canadians.

Manseeb Khan: So how do you see open banking impact. Companies like yourself like being in the loan service industry and giving more customers to get from around?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean for us you know we're as you mentioned we're in the lending industry if you want to call it about you know we're in the business of kind of connecting investors with small businesses. When you think about what we do at a higher level and really what we're trying to create is a better way for small businesses to access financial services. And the reason is that that that that that particular segment of customers that have been under serviced by traditional financial institutions or traditional lenders. So, you know when we think about what this means for a company like ourselves it's not just about how it applies to you or your lending product or how maybe it makes a loan application was seamless. It also opens up doors of possibilities for us to be able to deliver other products and experiences to those customers who may not have had access to those products or services before.

Manseeb Khan: So, it gives you an opportunity to be more or less a little bit more of a diverse company than just being centric on one part of the banking industry, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean can I just keep harping on that point. You know you want to be customer centric. It allows you to be more customer centric because you're able to access more of the relevant information to your customers and providing them with better access to products and services.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no absolutely and especially if you have the data to back that up. so, then you can make it very tailored and very niche so that's very incredible. So, I guess since open banking is a very brand-new concept and you're seeing regulations being a little bit more tailored to the country I mean you're seeing places in the EU like they just adopted their second payment services directive. Right. The P2D2 which forces banks to open up the data and regulate the new market right. So, they're making more of a push to the financial tech companies that are allowed to have access to your data has to be actually regulated. have to go have to meet these guidelines, have to jump through these hoops. So, based off just stuff that's is happening in the EU, in Australia recently, you've been seeing in Japan they're slowly getting started. What does open banking regulations look like in Canada and I guess how you would want them to either be similar or different tailored to the Canadian market.

Cato Pastoll: It's a fair question. I think if you look at the progress here generally we're about five to 10 years behind any other authority when it comes to financial regulation. Generally speaking we're in our industry for example were significantly behind new jurisdictions like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. So, I you know I don't think you're seeing the same level of progress here in Canada as you're seeing in other jurisdictions. I think we're going to be much slower to adopt these things. There can sometimes be an advantage to being second or not being first and that advantage can be seeing what goes well and what doesn't go in other jurisdictions. I think like you know thinking about what this might look like. I think. Really you got to go back to who is this benefiting at the end of the day this is about driving value back to consumers. driving  back to people who use banking. Driving value back to small businesses. So, when we think about kind of what that might look like and what regulators need to consider when they're kind of creating new legislation on new frameworks for these businesses to exist or are these policies to exist really, I think the most important thing. To consider in that regard is how is it like who is going to benefit and how is it going to benefit them. I think something that kind of is light touch in terms of what it actually means for  fintech companies what it means to consumers what it means for banks. what one end up being that effective. And we'll probably see a little minor adoption I think I'd rather see us spend some time and create a robust strategy and policy around how we can create really rapid innovation in our banking sector. And I'll kind of give you the flip side of that coin if we don't do that and we don't do a great job of it. International companies that do benefit from open banking do benefit from fintech advancement and changes are likely to come to Canada at some point and kind of dominate the market here. So, you know the incentive is there because I think we've a great opportunity but there's also a massive kind of warning that we're given at risk which is if we're not fast enough to kind of jump into the race and we're going to get beaten by our international counterparts. So, you know that that's something that I really kind of. Think about from a regulatory perspective which is you want to get it right, but you don't want to spend too much time that you end up getting left behind.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no. I mean traditionally Canadians are very much by the book and they like to stay within the lines. So, it makes sense that Canada I guess like you to mentioned right either becomes second or third or fourth when it comes to fully adopted open banking and just later on hopefully dominate the open banking. We should probably like take our time understand fully and actually. The more information we have the more again data we've collected we can actually move accordingly towards that. I mean and again it's evolved or parish right. If we don't figure out fast enough we're just going to die out and nobody wants that.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you look at kind of like what's happening with Netflix. you know Netflix is I think inevitably going to destroy the media industry here in Canada. You know when we think Rogers and Bell, Cogeco you know those companies have been protected by our government for so long. And regulation has been so slow to change, and people have heralded that.  You know on the flip side of that we're now seeing companies like Netflix, US companies that really have no attachment or need to this in Canada. From a from a domestic point of view you know they are solely headquartered in the U.S. Their assets are in the U.S. capital is flowing into the U.S. when we pay on that Netflix bills every month. You know they slowly but surely taking over that industry that was once Canadian. And I think that there's a stark warning that to think about there is a real possibility that that happens in banking or in the financial sector here in Canada. So, I think you know we do need to move pretty quickly because I think if we give the same attitude that we do in the telco industry or in the media industry that's definitely not a good sign. So, while being thoughtful is important taking too long is perhaps even more dangerous.

Manseeb Khan: But on that note it would be kind of funny to us to when we have kids of just of like yeah you know like before all you have to get is a Bell and Rogers and actually have cable. Now  the big three are the big four are like Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu so that be really funny.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah but the problem is. The problem is those companies are Canadian right now. That's like the fundamental challenge that you know people don't talk about that often but that's a lot of capital and a lot of profit that's being sucked out of Canada. I like that really scares me when I think about the future of the Canadian economy. Like I don't think we should put that as lightly as you know as we do great for me at the consumer I'm paying one tenth of what I did on my Rogers Bill. On my Netflix subscription. But at the end of the day like I think we're all kind of losing a little bit as Canadians. And I think that's something that like you know regulators and policy makers really need to pay attention to.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely because it's I mean doing the show. I got to sit down with amazing CEOs like yourself and just understand the Canadian fintech marketplace a little bit better and it would really suck to see and like the Canadian fintech space just kind of slowly start diminishing because there's so much potential to so much promise and so many companies in the space itself are doing such amazing things. It really sucked to have I guess either American company or an Asian company to come in and just undercut everybody because we don't have the  regulations in place we have the right rules in place because again we took too long to figure it out.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, you're absolutely right. Like you said there's so much potential here. I think we need to really pay attention to that. Look at the positives like I don't like kind of always being  negative and saying what if you know what if this happens or what if a U.S. company comes to dominate. I think there's so much potential in so many positives here that so much of the right infrastructure. But sometimes I think the speed with the urgency doesn't exist. And I think like that that's the one thing that I think all of us as a community. Both you know the people that use our services as well as other companies in the space I think we could all do a better job of stressing that urgency to push things forward faster and innovate faster. Just kind of for our own benefits as well

Manseeb Khan: I guess. Do you see open banking being a little bit more global? Because I mean the reason I'm asking is because we're going to we're going to hopefully have regulations here in Canada when it comes open bank and you're already seeing this in the EU and you start to see this in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand like you've mentioned. Do you see  a global open banking regulation put in place with a I guess be it a Frankenstein version of some rules and regulations from Canada or some rules and regulations from the EU like do you see a global open banking regulation put in place later on? Once we fully adopted this concept.

Cato Pastoll: It's a good question. It's also a really difficult question. It's kind of one of those things like what comes first that you know the chicken or the egg  that type of thing. And what I mean by that is I think what's going to happen is that there will be no global banking existing and global financial technology services existing before regulation for it actually. Oh, I believe I'll be able to have  a you know quote unquote like the ability to move money seamlessly. Anywhere in the world sooner than I think regulation around how that's going to happen. And I think you can kind of apply that if you look at like Uber and Airbnb and then those types companies that have kind of come before a regulation caught up to them. I think you're going to see the same thing in open banking I don't think that. Companies are going to wait for regulators to create new rules or policies. I think that the innovation is actually going to come out and I think like some of those products services that probably fall on that you know on the edges of the of the categories of banking will probably force the issues for that to happen And that's just kind of my theory on it is I think you know the regulation will tend to lag the innovation. And I think you'll see that in the open banking space as well.

Manseeb Khan: Usually when you think regulation you don't really think innovation. So that's just a very hard balance to how right you because you want to protect investors you want to protect consumers at the same time you don't want to be in last place. So, it's a very hard beam to really balance on.

Cato Pastoll: You end up shooting if you over protect you end up shooting yourself in the right. Like I think the notion there's sometimes a flawed notion that no industry is better than a bad industry and that's very rarely the case. You know like at least having the possibility of making mistakes and learning from those mistakes gives you a better foot hold then simply not doing something because you're scared to try. And I'm sure you know if you see anyone in the startup space or are worked in an overseas company you know they'll give you a similar message which is not trying is definitely much worse than trying and failing. I think you know that's a really difficult message to share with a regulator or a policymaker like that. That's a really scary thing to say to somebody like that but it's definitely true because there's other people in the world who are thinking like that and I think like that that's something that I think we as Canadians have a big thing to overcome going back to what you said about conservatism. You know we are inherently more conservative. And so, getting over that barrier is definitely something that. We have to kind of actively think about.

Manseeb Khan: We definitely have to bite the bullet and understand that like we're really going to have to test and learn especially when it comes to policies and regulations because Open banking is such a new concept. and it's such like you said even when I even mention the whole oh I guess would be like an app store. It might not right because open banking such like a I guess of fluid into a lucid concept that it's going to have to be as fast as I guess changes in a startup like that's  the mentality we are going to have to have. When it comes to open banking because that's how fast and fast paced it's going to become.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean there's lots of there's lots of variables or unknowns as you said. So, it's not it's not a simple or straightforward answer to this. You know there could be an app store. It could be that a fundamentally changes the way the bank clerk it could even be that banks don't exist at all. You know I wouldn't rule out any possibility. So, you know when we think about what it means for the future of the financial sector or the future of banking I think we have to be open to all possibilities in terms of. What might things look like in 5 10 or 15 years.

Manseeb Khan: So, when you think of open banking one of the first concerns to mind would be the cyber risk and the security risk right because since we want to open up the data and make it accessible for quote unquote all there definitely will be privacy concerns. Could you talk a little bit more on the privacy concerns when it comes to open banking  or why or why not. It might be there, and I guess go  a bit more detail about that?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. You know if anything I kind of you are the as I least of it's done right. I view it as better for the customer when it comes to things like privacy. Like what it really is you know when you think about it giving people access and the ability to control their own data and whether data goes in it get shared with. Like right now you have very little control over it you know where your data is, how it gets stored, who it gets shared with. Like really, you’re just trusting whoever you're storing that data with. I think we're starting to see that change. You know I think especially Facebook is probably the biggest example of that obviously it's been in the news a lot over the last year. You know they've been under an incredible amount of pressure. To get better and exactly what I just described which is. You know giving people oversight over whether that is how it's managed how it's stored and who gets to access that information. I think there's a similar opportunity here with. Finance and with banking. Where you're giving the customer control over their own data. And for me there's no better way of doing it than giving your, putting the control in the hands of the customer. You know if they choose to give somebody access to that data that's their choice, but they should be fully aware of the choice and fully aware of the consequences of doing that. Right. So, when I think about this I think there's a tremendous opportunity because you know we're really opening up a world that is significantly more transparent than the world that exists today when it comes to data and privacy.

Manseeb Khan: Do you see open banking. I mean again we  did talk about being open and open minded. But do you see open banking going into blockchain and becoming a little bit more decentral, so the security risk gets greatly mitigated?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean I think that's definitely a case of blockchain now. Do I see that actually happening in the short term? I would say probably not just based on the amount of change that would be required to enter that infrastructure, but I think it does make a case for that type of technology. I think you were talking about the same thing at the end of day which is. Giving that access control privacy back to the individual. And really. Like. Technology is like blockchain technology are really about doing exactly that. So, I can't predict whether or not that you know that's going to happen or whether it's going to happen in the short- medium term but I would say it's definitely something that could play a role in mitigating some of those risks. I also think that you know one thing that is important is. Regulation and policy have a really important role to play there as well. Like in terms of who is allowed to play who go out and access that data. That's really where regulators need to step in and be focused on which is kind of keeping the bad actors out and keeping the good actors. And., I think that that would kind of be like the high-level answer I give to that which is I think there's some opportunity for it, but I think it's going to take time to fully flush out and really for us to determine how it's going to work.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I agree with the whole keep the bad actors out and keep the good actors in because that's something that we've been many guest have actually touched on that in the previous episodes because the bad acting like it's as much as it very much sucks you're seeing a lot of bad actors get a lot more notoriety and if not more media exposure when it comes to like spaces like fintech, spaces like crypto and blockchain because it's so new it's revolutionary It's very easy to just really  shit on them because they're just like no like look at all that look all the bad use cases. What about all the great use cases so it goes back to like having policymakers and regulators having a little bit more of a startup mindset just like being a little bit more open of OK like learn how to vet the good actors and how do we keep them how do we make sure that they're being regulated. Also innovative at the same time. so, it's oh boy it's definitely, they are definitely juggling like 15 balls the same time but. But in due time it's very possible.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah there's a lot of balls to juggle like all of the things are double edged swords  right because you know when you're too strict your kind of disincentivized to get active and you end up with only bad actors who are trying to take advantage of gaps in the system. Right.  There’re so many times where you need, you know you can't be too light, and you can't be too heavy. If you are too heavy like I just described, you know you end up with a system whereby only the only people who aren't that to the play are bad actors who will take advantage of gaps or holes. And if you're too light it's kind of like the inverse of as well. Right away you let everybody in. But you really open up the floodgates or you know anyone whether they're good or bad to participate. So, you kind of have to find a balance between being too light and too hard. And that definitely you know it sounds a lot easier than it is in reality it's not an easy challenge for anybody to overcome.

Manseeb Khan: So, I mean I guess I'll throw this to you   I  do you have anything that we didn't cover comes open banking that's either been on top of mind or be it's something that's been keeping you up at night?

Cato Pastoll: No, I think like I mean it's been really interesting conversation, so you appreciate you kind of taking the time and having me on. I think when we look at the future and what this actually means. I think one of the you know one of the things that I always try to remind people is you know reflecting back on how it is actually going to impact me. You know you hear a lot of buzz was thrown out there on a regular basis on AI, blockchain, opened banking, fintech.  But like really like what it means for you as a customer or as a consumer is you end up getting more choice. You end up paying less money. And you end up with better products and services that you can use in your everyday life. That's why that's why fundamentally it's important. So, I think kind of going into the why. like why I should actually care about this. It's probably a conversation that we don't have enough. I think it's easy to kind of get carried away with some of these concepts at a high level but at the end of the day we also should be thinking about who is actually going to be benefiting and why is it important for us. As a society to adopt new ideas or new technologies. And. It's really got to go back to it's got to benefit the people that are using that are the end users of financial or financial sector and not just people like you and me.

Manseeb Khan: More or less believe the hype. It's like the hype real, believe the hype.

Cato Pastoll: Yes. But also understand it.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah OK. Fair enough.

Manseeb Khan: So, what I guess what excites you the most about open banking? We've talked the talk a little bit about. What are you most excited about. Be it if it directly impacts your business or even if it directly impacts you. What are you most excited about when it comes up that open banking?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, it's giving people choice here. For me I get really frustrated by lack of choice I get you know get frustrated if I can only choose between Rogers and Bell. You know I get frustrated but if I can only choose between one or two banks I think for me the ability to be free and have choice and have lots of different people who are aggressively trying to compete for my business is really great because at the end of the day I win when that happened so I think you know when I think about this I think it's just the possibilities in terms of the different products and services that people will be able to create by getting access to a system that they didn't previously have access to. And being able to play a role in the banking sector where really, they were only you know. Five to 10 real players in Canada that that really were playing any meaningful part and how it took shape.

Manseeb Khan: Cato. So, what would be the best way for people to contact you if they want to pick your brain more when it comes to open banking . Maybe they'll learn a little bit more of Leading Loop what will be the best way to contact you. Do we snapchat, you do we tweet, you can we do we contact you via smoke signals like will be the best way to contact you ?

Cato Pastoll: Yes, smokes signal is probably number one but if you can't reach me by smoke signal then I am on Twitter. so, you can find me on there and also check out. I definitely encourage everyone to check out Lending Loop. It's a really awesome way to kind of use your money to invest in Canadian small businesses. Web sites just lending loop.ca. So, if you haven't checked it out already. I would encourage anyone who is listening to check that out. And yeah, I guess that I appreciate you kind of taking the time. Tweet at me or smokescreen me. If you're looking for me.

Manseeb Khan: Smokescreen would be difficult but whoever you are whoever out there like finds find you through via smokescreen that's  a very special individual for sure. So,  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I had. I mean I've learned a lot more open banking then I thought I did. So, this is this has been incredible and I'm very excited to have you on the show again.

Cato Pastoll: So yeah. Great, chatting with you.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, no worries so on the behalf of the NCFA Canada's leading national and fintech crowdfunding association. I wish you an amazing fintech Friday and weekend.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
Read More
Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 

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Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

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LendingArch | Lewis Mudrich | Oct 4, 2018

If you need some funding for your small business then you may be wondering where to start, as well as how to find, the best options and most competitive rates (especially when you’re browsing through small business loan options).

Indeed, getting funding for your startup can seem like a daunting task. At the same time, there are a variety of financing options available if you know where to look. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

Here is where you can find the best small business loans in 2018:

Startup financing loans

Canadian startups can apply for a startup financing loan through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). This loan is specifically designed for startups in the first 12 months of business and can be used to help launch and grow the business.

According to the bank’s website, the loan can be used for:

  • Working capital to supplement an existing line of credit
  • Fixed assets
  • Fund marketing and startup fees
  • A franchise purchase
  • Advisory services

In order to qualify for a BDC loan, you must have a business plan in place, have experience in your field, provide personal and credit references, and show market potential. You can apply for a BDC startup loan here.

Microloans

Does your business have a social enterprise slant and community focus? You may be able to get approved for microloans from Community Micro Lending. You can apply for the lender’s “Start-Up Loan” of up to $5,000 or, if you’ve been in business for more than a year, you may be eligible for an Expansion Loan of up to $10,000. In order to qualify for this microloan program, you must be an aspiring or current entrepreneur located in the Southwest BC area.

If you’re working on a green business or green technology startup, you can also check out Microloans for green business. For example, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union offers startup loans of up to $35,000 and expansion loans of up to $70,000.

There’s also the ACCESS Community Capital Fund that can provide loans of up to $5,000. The ACCESS Community Capital Fund is a Canadian Registered Charity that helps business owners access microloans. Some other microloan programs include the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, The Alterna Savings Community Micro-Finance Program, and ACEM Microcrédit Montréal.

Keep in mind that microloan opportunities can vary based on province so be sure to look for programs in your area.

Government financing

If you want to get your startup off the ground, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many different government financing options available.

The Government of Canada, for example, offers several different types of small business loans. These vary depending on industry, demographics, and location. For example, loans range from the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development financing to FACTOR funding for the sound recording industry - and lots of options in-between.

To find out what’s available, look at programs that you are eligible for - based on your region - as well as certain demographic groups that you may belong to. Be sure to do your research and make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before applying for a loan.

Credit cards

Now, here’s a lending option that you may already have access to: your credit card. While credit cards aren’t an ideal funding source, you can use them if you need to purchase products and equipment for your business - perhaps while applying for other small business loans. Just be aware: credit cards may have sky-high interest rates. With that said, there are special business credit cards  that may be a good fit for what you need.

Check out:  4th Annual VanFUNDING 2018:  CONVERGE Conference, Nov 29-30 in downtown Vancouver

Credit cards should be the last business funding option as you certainly don’t want to incur insurmountable debt at a high interest rate. Not only that but the repayment terms may not be that flexible. On the other card, a business credit card can help you manage short-term cash flow issues.

Crowdfunding

The internet isn’t just about cat memes and popular catch-phrases, it’s also a place to get money for your startup. Using the power of crowdfunding, you can utilize your network and the vastness of the internet to get your message and business out there and make some money.

Using sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and specialized platforms like iFund Women (you guessed it: for female founders!) you can share information about your project and garner support from friends, family, and colleagues. Usually these sites take a fee for posting your project page, but the money you can raise will hopefully offset those fees. For more comprehensive options, check out this crowdfunding directory.

Family and friends

If you’re lucky, you may have a family member or friend who is willing to provide funds to help you with your startup costs. On one hand, this can be great as there is less red tape and hassle to get you your much-needed cash. On the other hand, if things go awry, you may lose more than your investment.

If you go this route, be sure to treat it like a business relationship. Create a contract and have a payment schedule that works for both of you. It’s important that both parties feel comfortable in this situation - it’s not just about getting your hands on the cash.

Small business loans from online lenders

If you can’t get approved for a traditional bank loan and you don’t want to hit up your friends and family, you still have another great option for a small business loan. You can apply for a loan through an online lender.

For example, LendingArch helps startup founders and small business owners compare loan options effortlessly and easily. You can compare your options in a matter of seconds and the application process is simple. On top of that, LendingArch doesn’t require any collateral for your startup loan and offers flexible repayment schedules to accommodate your business.

Better yet: when applying for a small business loan online through LendingArch, you won’t find the same restrictions you typically encounter with other loans. So, if you need funding to start your company or expand your business, we’ve got you covered.

There are no hidden fees, rates are competitive rates, and you can create a company profile in mere minutes. From there, you can start an application to see which small business loans are available to you.

See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance

Bottom line

If you’re a startup founder looking for funding for your business, there are many options out there. Using this guide, you can check out the various resources that are available to you and find a small business loan that suits your needs. But remember: be sure to apply for a loan with reasonable interest rates and repayment terms. This way you can pay back the loan on terms that work for you while focusing on growing your business.

Interested in checking out your startup loan options? Compare small business loans at LendingArch!

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
Read More
Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 

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World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding

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Crowdfund Insider | | Sep 18, 2018

In many ways, OurCrowd epitomizes the aspirations of what investment crowdfunding has the potential to deliver for both issuers and investors. By providing access to quality deals to smaller (accredited) investors, OurCrowd has opened up an asset class previously closed off to all but the very fortunate. On OurCrowd, you can find yourself investing alongside some of the biggest names in venture capital – at the exact same terms – an important distinction. It is also important to note that OurCrowd has skin in the game for each offering it lists on the platform – thus interests are aligned: OurCrowd wants the company to succeed and it also very much wants to see a return on its own investment. These qualities make OurCrowd a compelling option for investors that are willing to shoulder an element of portfolio risk that can also drive some outsized returns.

OurCrowd is based in Israel – where many of its investments are made – but its vision is to empower investors globally and fund companies regardless of geographic borders. This is what you want to see in the digitized, internet fueled Fintech age.

CI recently caught up with Jon Medved, the ubiquitous founder and CEO of OurCrowd, for an update on platform progress as they execute on their mission to democratize access to opportunity.


Earlier this year, you indicated OurCrowd would top USD $1 billion of investment at some point this year. Is this still on track?

Jon Medved: Yes, our growth in both active new investors and average investment sizes are scaling according to plan through the first half and we believe we will have an even stronger second half result.

Recently OurCrowd was recognized as the top VC in Israel, do you think you can replicate this accomplishment in other countries over time?

Jon Medved: Our focus is on becoming not only the “most active VC investor” but becoming one of the “most successful VC investors.”

When we started, I don’t think many believed that our model could scale this effectively, yet here we are.

Since this asset class has a long growth curve of 7-10 years or beyond to bear the greatest fruits, we know we need to be persistent but patient.

We now have 20 different portfolio companies whose value is $100 million or more, so many of our investments are starting to mature and we are encouraged by their progress. The next phase will clearly be to replicate our level of activity in Israel to other regions of the world. While we are already sourcing about 30% of our deals outside of Israel, we would like to grow this percentage. The key to doing this will be to open up more offices (we already have 11 worldwide offices), sign more global strategic partners, and to engage more active investors who will help us source and diligence quality deal flow in their regions and their areas of expertise.

See:

This month, OurCrowd announced its second investment in unicorn Klook which was your first China investment. How is deal flow for China based firms?

Jon Medved: Our growing network in Asia is a credit to the strong partnerships we have enjoyed in the region. As with everything in our industry, the winning formula always starts with the right people. Not only the people within our organization and across our strategic alliances, but the people we choose to invest in.

In Asia, more than anywhere, access to deals comes from a position of trust. As we grow our investment community in Asia, we hope to find more deals like Klook. Asia has so much promise and upside and spectacular entrepreneurs—but the key will be to deliver added value to these companies and provide them with important access to the rest of our global network.

OurCrowd has a growing portfolio of sector funds for investors. How are these progressing? Will you always offer single firm investments?

Jon Medved: Absolutely we will continue to offer single firm investments; this has been and will continue to be the bedrock of our investment platform.

Our unique ability to deliver deal-by-deal discretion and the “freedom of choice” continues to be a really exciting core of our business. This is especially true as we offer companies at different stages (from Series A to Series E), in different sectors, and with the ability to invest in multiple rounds (we have some companies where we have already participated in 5 rounds of funding!)

The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer.

However, that said, we are also excited by the growing fund opportunities that we are providing on the platform. We now offer 13 different funds, which fulfill a real need for our investors who want managed portfolios and diversification.  The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer. While maintaining our single company investments we also plan to also expand our fund model to many other sectors and strategies, because there is a real synergy between our funds and the single companies on our platform.

More:

 

What about institutional growth. Last time we spoke much of the platform growth was being fueled by institutional money. Is this continuing? What type of institutional interest are you seeing?

Jon Medved: We have indeed signed several agreements recently with institutional investors who have become our largest and most active investors and partners to date.

What is really exciting about this institutional growth is that it has not come at the expense of our 25,000 accredited investor base. We continue to grow this accredited investor base, and we are proud that we continue to offer deal access to both the individual accredited investor and the huge institution on the same terms. This is a fulfillment of our goal to democratize access to quality venture capital. We are seeing growing institutional interest in our individual company investments especially as many of our deals start to raise $10 million and up on our platform, where there is room for institutions to take a real swing and get the size they want.

Also, the institutions like the fact that they can build their own personalized fund of funds on our platform where they can get a basket of funds without paying the additional fees and carry normally associated with fund of funds.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
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Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
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Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
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Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
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Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
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SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
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Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 

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Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth

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Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners.

The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019.

Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.”

See:  Upstart Vancouver eyes Toronto’s fintech crown

This latest financing round is anticipated to be Progressa’s last private round, as it has now raised over $15 million of equity capital since inception and begins to prepare for an IPO. Kia Besharat, Senior Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets Origination at Gravitas Securities commented, “We are incredibly excited to have supported Progressa over both its bridge and pre-IPO rounds in 2017 and 2018. Ali has assembled a world-class management team and has operated the business like a public company for as long as we have been working with him. We look forward to continue watching Progressa’s success in tackling the vastly underserved collections debt and retail point-of-sale finance market in Canada.” Gravitas has acted as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Progressa since May of 2016.

In the past 5 years, Progressa has established itself as a market leader in Canada by developing innovative software solutions for enterprise business that tackles a traditionally negative collections process in a positive and socially responsible way. Progressa’s solutions ultimately protect the enterprises' brand reputation, among other things, utilizing non-traditional credit evaluation techniques to improve lending outcomes. With additional lending capacity, the Company can onboard new banking partners and continue on its mission to help Canadians borrow for the right reasons and improve their financial well-being.

Miller Thomson LLP, a leading national law firm with expertise in, among other things, technology and financial services, assisted with the legal aspects of the Company’s equity round and loan purchasing program. Kevin Refah, who is the lead relationship partner for Progressa, commented, “Progressa’s new financial capacity will help position it well to continue its ascent in the Canadian FinTech space, and we certainly look forward to continuing to support Progressa and its excellent management team on the company’s impressive growth trajectory.”

See:  Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

“Cypress Hills Partners is proud to have been a part of Progressa's impressive growth over the past 3 years and is excited by our continued financial relationship. Progressa has proven to be a leader in serving Canadian unbanked and underbanked consumers with their highly successful instalment loan program,” said Kelly Klatik, Managing Partner with Cypress Hills Partners.

“They have demonstrated steady and continued growth in consumer underwriting practices and significant advancement in their adjudication technology required to further scale their lending business. We are proud to work with them as they continue their expansion and innovation in the Canadian FinTech industry.”

Progressa is experiencing a truly transformative year, expected to near $100 million of loan funding before the end of 2018. With offices in Vancouver and Toronto, the Company has over 100 team members and continues to make significant investments in its proprietary credit score that drives all of its enterprise software solutions.

Continue to the original release --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
Read More
Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
Read More
Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
Read More
Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
Read More
Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
Read More
MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
Read More
Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
Read More
Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 

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Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

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IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018

Real estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years.

Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025.

Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building.

Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”).

Learn more below.

Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018?

Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & Investments: Since our launch two years ago, R2 has funded 12 projects with $25 million of equity and more than $200 million of debt.

Hitesh Rathod, CEO of NexusCrowd Inc.: In 2017 – three deals worth $2 million. For 2018 to date – one deal worth $1 million, but we’re expecting at least two more deals near term for $3 million in additional capital raised. Keep in mind that we are very selective about the deals we put on the platform and that all deals have been fully subscribed. Of note, two deals closed within four weeks and two deals closed within 2 weeks.

ITB: What are your overall metrics now since the launch of your portal?

R2: We have 2,500-plus investors on our platform, with thousands more on our emails, newsletters, and social media platforms.

NexusCrowd: Eight deals completed, with more than $5 million raised, and more than $240 million in project value.

ITB: What (ballpark) portion of the capital stack has the “online marketplace” contributed to your recent projects?

R2: 75 per cent of the equity we funded has come via online as lead generation or execution.

NexusCrowd: We’ve contributed anywhere between 15 and 100 per cent of the total capital raise (debt or equity) for specific projects. As a percentage of total capital stack (debt and equity required for a project), between five and 20 per cent.

ITB: What was your biggest online raise to date for a project?

R2: Close to $5 million on our $90 million mixed-use project across from Bayview village Mall, located on Sheppard Avenue between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street in Toronto’s high-end housing area.

See:  Blockchain in Real Estate: You Can Now Buy Fraction of House

NexusCrowd: Two projects each raised $1 million. Deal 1 – Debt financing for a town home development in Markham, Ontario. Deal 2 – Preferred equity financing for the development of 10 luxury homes in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

ITB: Has the market for alternative finance unfolded at the pace you expected? Faster? Slower? Why?

R2: Very slow, due to the regulatory burdens of compliance. Currently Canada is not the right country for such innovation, despite the talk by politicians, as it’s not meeting the policy objectives in reality.

NexusCrowd: Slower than expected. It’s a combination of a couple of factors in my opinion – 1) Canadians are generally risk-averse and slower adopters of new products, and 2) Individuals aren’t aware of these alternative methods of investing.

ITB: What do you foresee for real estate “online marketplaces” in Canada over the next 12 months?

R2: Everybody is trying to carve his or her niche. Many think that having an online ID and password-based website with a docusign feature is an “online marketplace.” However, the players who truly engage the digital footprint with their good underlying investments, along with blockchain and security tokens, will be the clear winners over the next four years. Our current model is to provide a balanced risk-return portfolio via our online portal so investors have a dashboard to track their investments in real time. We are aiming to be the first ones in Canada to incorporate blockchain and security tokens into our platform by end of this year.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business

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NCFA Canada | By Gary Buisansky | May 11, 2018

Summary

It's not every day we wake up to hear that the Ontario Government has committed to a loan of 3 million Dollars for small business. A market woefully underserved by traditional lenders.

Beyond the benefit this will have for small business, it provides testimony to the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada’s continued advocacy for financial and regulatory support to the sector. (You can read the NCFA’s March 2018 submission to Finance Canada here and Lifting the Veil on Peer to peer Lending in Q1 2016 here).

As an industry, while we navigate the regulatory hurdles, there are some lessons we can take away from this, to better help ourselves and the Canadian market. There are also several Canadian success stories which we should not lose sight of. AI, Crypto currency and blockchain, are all thriving in Canada.

Ontario Government supports small business

Lending Loop, an active member of the NCFA, has been making the news lately with an announced 2-year pilot project partnership with the Ontario Government for a $3 million loan.

If you're not familiar with Lending Loop, it fills an important void in the market, connecting small businesses and Canadian retail investors, willing to lend to them.

Through the Lending Loop platform, small companies can finance loans at reasonable rates, often within days of their loan application.

These borrowers face very real challenges securing funding in the Canadian market with debt finance to SME's considered very risky. Where loans are made, they usually come with eyewatering interest rates, reflecting their often-limited track record, lack of financial information and availability of collateral.

See:  Ontario government invests in fintech to boost small-business lending

Loans provided by Lending Loop will now have a 10% government participation, with the government portion of the loan amount treated like any other; the principle amount will be repaid together with interest.

The anchor investment by the Ontario Government will enable total funding of around $30 million to Ontario's SME's providing welcome relief to an under banked market and provide leveraged economic benefit into the broader economy.

This is a clear win for all parties. But what can the greater fintech community learn from this success?

The importance of government relationships and support for fintech companies

Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, makes the point that fintech companies underestimate the importance of government relationships, particularly those in the startup phase. He suggests:

"Its up to you to educate the regulators about your business and what societal benefits it provides. You need to make yourself heard. For the most part, fintech entrepreneurs do not make it a priority to try work with government.

It can be vital, particularly in regulated industries, to find the time and make the effort. The governments role is to hear the challenges industries and people are facing and want to understand the dynamics of the market".

In his experience, regulators and government only hear part of the story and if fintech does not speak up, then regulators are left with only the incumbents viewpoint.

Government recognizes that Canada can play a bigger game

In a study released in December last year, the Canadian Competition- Bureau, observed:

"...other jurisdictions have more welcoming and innovationconducive regulatory environments than Canada. The United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong have been identified as leading fintech hubs based on talent, funding availability, government policy and demand for fintech".

This contrasts with the position in Canada, where regulatory gaps, uncertainty and lack of consistency across provinces prevail.

An 11-point plan has been proposed, that includes harmonizing regulation across geographic boundaries, and identifying a fintech policy lead for Canada. These solutions would go a long way to addressing key roadblocks in the growth and development of Canadian fintech. Additionally, Craig Asano, Executive Director of the NCFA, makes the point that:

To help verify Canadas competitive position relative to other jurisdictions, additional resources and support are needed for data collection and education. This will help quantify the number of fintech companies, capital investments, financings and loan volumes of new funding models, and the time and cost spent on compliance.

The Canadian government is extremely well placed to support the sector. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the largest VC fund in the country with over $1 billion in capital under management. Most Canadian VC funds have government money, either directly through BDC investing in the funds or indirectly through funds of funds that in turn invest in VC's.

The significance of government involvement and ability to support and foster a sustainable fintech sector, with market confidence is critical. The C.D. Howe Institute makes the case for a suite of recommendations that, if adopted, will better position Canada to take advantage of its investments in the technological revolution that is underway throughout the economy.

Right way round regulatory sandboxes could offer short term benefits

While Canada makes use of regulatory sandboxes to help start-ups test new products or services in a controlled environment, there is room to improve the model. Unlike competitor countries including the UK and Australia, which offer flexible and proportional regulatory frameworks, Canada follows a more paternalistic model.

See:  How Blockchain and Crypto are Impacting Canadian Fintech Markets

Cato Pastoll says the Canadian model has it the wrong way around.

In Canada one must adjust your business to fit in with the existing regulatory models rather than forcing regulators to figure out how best to regulate.

Getting this right is critical in his view, particularly if we are going to compete with other countries.

What this requires is a mind shift followed by active dialogue between stakeholders and industry to work out a better framework for regulatory sandboxes.

That said, there are some areas of fintech where accelerator programs and innovation hubs are showing strong results.

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain is accelerating in Canada

KPMG International in their Pulse of Fintech Q4'17 Report, highlights AI as a major driver of innovation in the Americas, particularly in the US and Canada.

It refers to Canada as, "a hotbed for fintech innovation", and goes on to say that Canada’s participation in the space is getting more notice with world-class fintech hubs in Canada rapidly maturing with increased attention from US investors.

Crypto currency and blockchain related ventures are also recognizing Canada as a friendly jurisdiction.  With strong investor appetite available, crypto mining companies, Hut 8 Mining, BitFury and HIVE have all come to market to capital through the TSX-V.

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More recently, the Ontario Securities Commission consented to the listing of the first Canadian Bitcoin ETF on the TSX under the ticker, HBLK which invests in companies involved in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

And over the past few days, Huobi a Singapore-based bitcoin exchange, (and the world’s number three exchange by 24-hour volume), has stated its intention to expand its operations to Toronto.

General Manager of Huobi, Ross Zhang stated;

"Canada is emerging as a leading blockchain nation, and Toronto is set to become one of the next most active blockchain hubs across North America".

Canada's fintech time is now

This serves to demonstrate that If Canada is to capitalize on the wave of fintech opportunity washing our shores, we need to act swiftly and get our regulatory house in order.

Without the need to reinvent the wheel, we can borrow from global best practices. We must continue to lobby for a unified regulatory framework and insist that the Federal Government champion fintech. Fintech after all has the wherewith-all to make a marked difference in our economy.

It would be a sad day if in years to come, we look back and wonder how we let slip what could have been ours to have.

 

Gary Buisansky is a freelance writer for NCFA and founder of Coin My Copy  which specializes in writing marketing content, including white papers, website copy, articles and case studies for fintech and traditional finance companies.

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 1700+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

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U.S. regulator sues LendingClub over hidden fees

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Reuters |Anna Irrera | Apr 25, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. regulator sued online lender Lending Club Corp (LC.N) on Wednesday for allegedly overcharging consumers and misleading them on hidden fees.

The Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed in federal court in California that LendingClub deducted hidden fees from the loans it issued to borrowers, despite promising “no hidden fees.”

LendingClub also allegedly deducted payments automatically from consumers’ bank accounts even when they had paid off their loans, or had canceled automatic payments, according to the complaint. Some consumers were allegedly charged double payments, the complaint said.

LendingClub shares were down as much as 16 percent at $2.72 following the news.

The San Francisco-based start-up is one of the largest companies known as peer-to-peer lenders and runs a website where consumers can apply for loans that are either funded by individual investors or by institutions such as banks.

“We support the important role that the FTC plays in encouraging appropriate standards and best practices,” a spokesman for LendingClub said in a written statement. “In this case, we believe the FTC is wrong, and are very disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership.”

LendingClub has been in recovery mode since May 2016, when it acknowledged issues, including the way it had sold loans to an investor, prompting the departure of its then chief executive.

Its shares have fallen more than 88 percent since its initial public offering in late 2014.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

 

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