The bank of mum and dad is paying off for fintech Credi

Elizabeth Barry 27 September 2017

fintech loans

The family and friends lending platform has announced its international expansion.

Innovative fintech platform Credi has announced its expansion to New Zealand along with plans for the UK and US. The platform facilitates lending between family members and has documented $35 million worth of loans since its launch in April 2017.

Credi founder, Tim Dean, says international expansion was always part of the plan.

"The product works in multiple jurisdictions. Given that we’re not a lender, we’re a software company, we can facilitate software-based transactions in a number of territories. We had always planned to go to New Zealand next due to proximity and similarity in terms of market profile," he said.

Following the platform's official New Zealand launch date on 23 October, the plan is to take on the UK in November 2017 and the US in early 2018.

The platform has seen impressive growth in Australia. Since its launch, 2,000 accounts have been created and Australians have documented $35 million worth of loans. That is an increase of $5 million in loans and 700 users from August 2017.

All of this has been without above-the-line advertising. But this will change in mid-October with the launch of its first television campaigns in Australia and New Zealand. For Dean, the above-the-line campaign is about getting a better understanding of the platform's users.

"Currently, we are lender led, so we have about a 60/40 split between lenders and borrowers using the platform," he said.

"However, we expect that some stage in the future there will be an equalisation between borrowers and lenders. For example, a millennial might go to a parent with a problem but with Credi they go with a problem and a plan with the platform to help solve that."

Considering the housing affordability crisis and the importance of the "bank of mum and dad", offering borrowers and lenders a simple way to organise these loans may be more important than ever. Research commissioned by Credi and undertaken by RMIT shows that loans organised informally between people can be difficult.

"The introduction of loans can also alter the relationship between parties," the report said. "A lender for instance can feel that he or she has some say over how the recipient handles financial matters, even if that wasn’t part of the original deal. Naturally this leads to arguments and resentment. Conversely the recipient may feel weak or dependent, or even guilty."

Dean says that by introducing features of commercial loans into informal loans, such as repayment structures and repayment reminders, some of these problems can be addressed.

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