Want a loan? Pick up your phone

Experts

Senior Policy Counsel
Assistant Policy Analyst

By Jay Lotz on Monday, May 16th, 2016

Financial technology–or fintech–companies are springing up everywhere these days. Fintech companies are generally startups, creating websites and apps designed to compete with the big banks across a wide range of financial products and services. Apps now exist to facilitate lending and borrowing, transfers and payments, stock trading, currency exchange, crowdfunding, and more. Thousands of fintech startups have attracted billions of dollars in investments, and the trend is growing.

Lending Club is one such company. Through its platform, Lending Club connects lenders with personal borrowers seeking financing for any number of reasons–for instance a home improvement project, medical care, or a small business. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, Lending Club originated over 200,000 loans, with a total value of over $2.5 billion, according to its website. The majority of Lending Club loans have been used to refinance existing loans or payoff credit card debt.

Another is Venmo, a mobile payment service that allows its users to transfer money to each other for noncommercial purposes. A hit with millennials, Venmo allows its users to send money to each other with a click of a button, and share the transactions with their network of friends. Over $1.6 billion was transferred using the app in the second quarter of 2015.

The growing popularity of fintech apps is drawing increased attention from regulators and lawmakers. Fintech companies have the potential to offer consumers savings and flexibility, but concerns remain about these young companies’ efforts to secure their users’ private data and prevent fraud. Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought an enforcement action against Dwolla, a mobile payments company, alleging that the company misrepresented its data security practices to customers.

Many fintech companies have access to their customers’ bank account and credit card information. Some also request other user information. Marketplace lending companies, for instance, may use information about a borrower’s social media presence or other nontraditional data to assess creditworthiness. They are often not transparent when it comes to telling their customers how they use this information, and whether or not it is verified. Complaints have also surfaced from consumers who, having been scammed via an app, found that the company offered them little recourse.

Consumers deserve assurance that their money and sensitive information will be protected. It is the task of regulators to provide this assurance, even when new technologies shift the playing field. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how federal regulators are meeting this challenge. In the meantime, Consumers Union would like to hear from you. Have you used any fintech products? What was your experience? Tell us your story in the comments.

7 responses to “Want a loan? Pick up your phone”

  1. Wendy brown says:

    Hello Every One, I am mrs Wendy Brown From Alaska U.S.A, I
    quickly want to
    use this medium to share a testimony on how God directed me to
    a Legit and
    real loan lender who have transformed my life from grass to
    grace, from
    being poor to a rich woman who can now boast of a healthy and
    wealthy life
    without stress or financial difficulties. After so many months of
    trying to
    get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of $4,600 i
    became so
    desperate in getting a loan from a legit loan lender online who will
    not
    add to my pains, then i decided to contact a friend of mine who
    recently
    got a loan online, we discussed about the issue and to our
    conclusion she
    told me about a woman called Mrs Lovene Wright who is the C.E.O of
    Lovene finance firm (USA)
    Loans So i applied for a loan sum of (78,000.00USD) with low
    interest rate
    of 2%, so the loan was approved easily without stress and all the
    preparations where made concerning the loan transfer and in less
    than
    two(2) days the loan was deposited into my bank so i want to
    advice any one
    i need of a loan to quickly contact her via: (
    lovenefinancefirm638@yahoo.com) or call them on +18168655025
    she does not know am doing this i pray that God will bless her for
    the good
    thing she has done in my life.

  2. Tim VanderLinda says:

    My name is Tim VanderLinda and I have discovered loans in my name going back at least 23 years involving multiple banks, mortgage and credit lines. This easy trick that essentially at best only required a fake notary or signature in my name and someone having access to personal information that was my ex-wife. In addition to the seven figures lost from this same core group of folks, I was not happy to find 21 credit cards in my name, lost 45 bank accounts opened and closed in my name as well as sole owned business, money markets, checking accounts and CD accounts. I also discovered countless other scams and merchant frauds using my name that had goal to destroy my credit in the end along with all my saved funds, investments, on hand cash, homes, and all my belongings. I have spent over six figures to mitigate and tried or exhausted every type of oversight, or attempts to get local and Federal authority to investigate the clear obvious ID thefts, yet in my case, a Police Report to obtain after case number proves difficult. I have met with local Legislators of district and emailed Senators, Division heads of State to Governor to Council and select City and State Divisions. I have no Due process in courts and blackballed locally and simply face total destruction from stumbling onto multi State frauds that find other family members and many unknown folks using my name and insiders at Financial areas that seemed to start by Mortgage broker financial and Bank adviser folks secretly using my wife to extract my funds and credit in whats impossible to consider true. I had made hundreds of thousands per year, yet insider at one bank helped my wife as did electronic frauds and illegal monitor and tamper with personal information that gave access and local police call Civil issue, yet it involves countless others locally and more. I also face horrible Civil crimes daily that go with invasion of all privacy and no place off limits or safe considering abuse of power and groups paid to harass me so as to depict me in negative way and falsely create incidents that discourage my credibility. Yet, due process in local courts has shown to be impossible after hire or meeting with twenty plus firms. Even six figures shows, I cant get one full disclosure on my own bank accounts showing frauds. Even with all the compelling facts, statements, notes, journals to culprits in writing mocking what is to transpire or other witnesses telling me events to come to others aware and watching assaults to property damage or blatant discrimination at City or State and Departments, local authority to Schools and even my own church. Nothing is off limits to ensure I do not testify or show what I found smuggled into one of my homes now stolen by frauds. My businesses all lost by abuse of power, false statements and much more I can show with local attorneys to judge even or Title, Agents, Brokers, or County building records or mail, email, phone frauds. Every possible type of crime, I have faced non stop for over three years yet cant find advocate that stays course of honesty or protects my interests and shows duty. My story is simply impossible to believe and survive yet its all true and no one helps only more frauds and crimes. I miss my kids stolen as well yet having all my autos to retirement or investments all stolen pale to pain from abuse of power I refrain from telling or due process and abuse in local courthouse ran by insiders of bad people. Its all sick as only fake signature on notary used to steal expensive home after years of illegal acts I didnt fall prey to finally have County insiders and much more that allow. You simply have nothing like my case, nor would believe until hard facts are seen and then you would understand how bad and what I face without any help ever.

  3. Jorge Cain says:

    TESTIMONY ON HOW I GOT MY LOAN FROM A GENUINE LOAN COMPANY (C.C.L.C)

    Hello friends!!! My name is Jeorge Cain. i want to testify of the good Loan Lender who showed light to me after been scammed by one Internet international lender, they all promise to give me a loan after making me pay alot of fees which yield nothing and amounted to no positive result. i lost my hard earn money and it was a total of 3,280.00USD. One day as i was browsing through the internet looking frustrated when i came across a testimony woman who was also scammed and eventually got linked to a legit loan company called Ben Davies Loan Company and email (bendaviesloanfirm@yahoo.com ) where she finally got her loan, so i decided to contact the same loan company and then told them my story on how i have been scammed by 2 different lenders who did nothing but to course me more pain. I explain to the company by mail and all they told me was to cry no more because i will get my loan in their company and also i have made the right choice of contacting them. i filled the loan application form and proceeded with all that was requested of me and to my shock I was given a loan amount of $55,000.00US Dollars by this great Company (Ben Davies Loan Company) managed by Mr Ben Davies a God fearing man and here i am today happy because this company has given me a loan so i made a vow to my self that i will keep testifying on the internet on how i got my loan. Do you need a loan urgently? kindly and quickly contact This great company now for your loan via email: bendaviesloanfirm@yahoo.com he is kind hearten.
    i remain Jeorge Cain…………

  4. Smith Terry says:

    LOAN OPPORTUNITY!!!
    Loan Amount: A minimum of $5,000 to a maximum loan amount of $10,000,000.00
    Loan interest rate: 5%
    Lending area: Worldwide
    Maximum duration: 20 years
    No prepayment penalty
    Immediate funding after proper documentation and approval.
    For more information and application contact me through my email at smithterryloanfirmworldwide@gmail.com

  5. Anita Frank says:

    HOW I GOT MY LOAN FROM THIS GREAT COMPANY

    Hello my dear people , I am Anita Frank, currently living in New jersey city, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation in April 2015 and i needed to refinance and pay my bills. I tried seeking loans from various loan firms both private and corporate but never with success, and most banks declined my credit ,do not full prey to those hoodlums at there that call them self money lender they are all scam , all they want is your money and you well not hear from them again they have done it to me twice before I met Mr. Wilson Edwards the most interesting part of it is that my loan was transfer to me within 74hours so I will advice you to contact Mr. Edwards if you are interested in getting loan and you are sure you can pay him back on time you can contact him via email……… (wilsonedwardsloancompany@gmail.com) No credit check, no co signer with just 2% interest rate and better repayment plans and schedule if you must contact any firm with reference to securing a loan without collateral then contact Mr. Wilson Edwards today for your loan
    They offer all kind of categories of loan they
    Short term loan (5_10years)
    Long term loan (20_40)
    Media term loan(10_20)
    They offer loan like
    Home loan…………., Business loan…….. Debt loan …….
    Student loan……….,Business start up loan
    Business loan……. , Company loan………….. etc
    Email……….(wilsonedwardsloancompany@gmail.com )
    When it comes to financial crisis and loan then Wilson Edwards loan financial is the place to go please just tell him I Mrs. Anita Frank direct you Good Luck…………………..

  6. Rena Taylor says:

    Can I take loan if I already taken loan earlier? I urgently need a loan but I’m confused.

  7. Shamekia Butler says:

    Can I get a loan than they can take it off my card on the 1

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