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Zopa Gets U.S. Launch Ready – “Funds Will be Federally Insured”
Zopa, the social finance lender, has spoken for months about their U.S. launch. Today I received additional information on the launch. They say that the launch will be in just a "few days". Perfect timing for the holiday season.
Here are the features they claim will be different than the U.K. version:
Looks familiar, right? Lots of real people taking money out and putting money in. But Zopa in the USA will be very different, too. Here are just some of the ways we’ll be different from the sites that exist today:
- No risk for investors.
Your funds will be federally insured. No more worrying about whether your borrowers will pay your loan back.
- Pick who you want to help.
Investors will choose exactly who they want to help.
- Set your rate.
Investors will choose how much they want to earn, up to a ceiling.
- No waiting.
Borrowers will get their loans immediately upon approval.
- Lower your monthly payment.
Borrowers can actually reduce their loan payments after they’ve borrowed. They’ll do that using rich profiles…
How will we do all this? By using some very cool technology and a terrific partnership with leading credit unions.
I’ve highlighted the option that could be "game-changing" for the social finance and social lending movement. From what I gather, neither competitor Prosper nor Lending Club provide any sort of federal insurance for the loans created on the respective site. Isn’t a loan all about risk? I have no further details at this point but I do have a mail into Zopa to try to learn more.
We’ve written extensively on social finance and social lending. Our 3-part series on social lending is a great place to start if you are new to the area. I remain confident that social lending will continue to grow in 2008.