如今，P2P支付已经被成功融合到了各类消息应用程序中，比如 Facebook Messenger现在与PayPal集成进行支付，Venmo也和Zelle上推出了P2P支付。所以说，通过这个平台提供贷款只是时间问题。其实这种猜想已经在中国市场得到了实现，而我希望未来一年美国的金融科技企业也能做出相关尝试。
最后，我还想谈谈IPO。之前有媒体报道称，Funding Circle可能准备于今年晚些时候上市。我认为，Funding Circle上市并不会就此带来金融科技企业上市大潮，但是2018年应该也至少有两家网贷平台会选择上市。
Five top 25 banks will launch their own online lending platforms
Banks have realized that if you want to provide successful loan products today you need to have an online presence. I think we will see many large banks launch their own online lending platforms in 2018. Some will be the result of partnerships with fintech platforms but many will be built through internal efforts. Online lending for consumer, small business and real estate is becoming an online-first consideration and 2018 will be a tipping point for banks in this area.
Two new pieces of legislation will be passed that will benefit the industry
Not much happened on the regulatory front in 2017. As I said above the OCC Fintech Charter is in a holding pattern. While predicting legislative success in Washington these days may be a fool’s errand I think we will get two pieces of legislation passed in 2018. The first one will be the Madden fix by Congressmen McHenry (R-NC) and Meeks (D-NY) and the second will be another bipartisan McHenry bill, this time introduced with Senator Booker (D-NJ), that will help modernize the IRS with the creation of an API for inquiring on tax records.
One of the top five (non-bank) online lending platforms will be acquired
So, last year I said that one of the major lending platforms will be acquired and in reality that was an easy prediction. This year I am going to name names. I think one of the following five platforms will be acquired in 2018: Lending Club, SoFi, Prosper, OnDeck or Avant. I have no concrete inside information although as I said above there have been rumors swirling in 2017 over acquisition targets.
A major lending platform will get hit with a cyber attack
Here is the one prediction where I really hope I am wrong. We have had a good run so far but with cyber attacks hitting some of the biggest names in business there is no reason to think online lending platforms will remain unscathed. I think it happens in 2018. I just hope the platform that gets hit deals with it quickly and transparently and the damage is limited.
The tech giants consolidate their positions in online lending
Amazon, PayPal and Square have all started to roll out various online lending offerings to their huge customer bases. In 2018 they will consolidate their position in the space. Square has already started piloting a consumer lending program, PayPal acquired Swift Financial last year to boost their position in small business lending and Amazon, we learned, passed $3 billion in small business loans last year. These companies will continue to expand their footprint in online lending in 2018.
2018 is the year of product line expansion
Whether we are looking at consumer, small business or real estate one of the keys to success will be to have multiple product offerings. We have seen some expansion of product lines at Lending Club, SoFi and a couple of other companies but I think we will see significant moves in this area in 2018.
Messaging apps start to get integrated into online lending
I am going out on a bit of a limb with this one. We have started to see P2P payments incorporated into messaging apps. Facebook Messenger now integrates with PayPal for payments, Apple launched P2P Payments in their latest version of iOS, Venmo and Zelle both are looking more like messaging apps. It is only a matter of time that one of these services starts to offer loans. This has been happening in China for years and I think something launches in beta in the US in 2018.
My bonus prediction is around IPOs. We have just heard about Funding Circle’s intention to possibly go public later this year and while I don’t think this will cause the floodgates to open I think we will see at least two more online lenders go public in 2018 for a total of three.