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Ozon is Launching Its P2B-lending Project
December 24, 2018 00:57


Online retailer “Ozon” is testing its own p2b-lending site (peer to business) Ozon.Invest, where individuals can lend to companies from the small and medium-sized business sector, “Vedomosti” reports. Through the site, entrepreneurs will be able to receive loans of up to 2 million rubles for up to six months; 6% of the loan amount will be transferred to the site as a fee. The interest rate on such loans will be 18% per annum.

The head of the “Ozon” Digital Finance division, Nikita Saygutin, said that the platform was launched in test mode on December 21. The first pool of loans is planned to be issued in the first quarter of 2019. At the first stage, investors will be able to invest in one package, which will include several dozen projects. The size of investments will begin from 10 thousand rubles.

Investments will be recorded on the platform as the provision of funds under a loan agreement between the investor and the borrower in accordance with the Civil Code.

In order to become an investor, it is needed to register on the platform and fill out a questionnaire, as well as provide the passport data, TIN and address of registration.

The platform does not require collateral and surety from borrowers. Saygutin notes that this type of investment is a kind of “risky business”; nevertheless, he believes that the platform will give sellers a financial tool to support their activities, and as a result they will be able to offer more products. So it’s gonna be a win-win approach for sellers and buyers.

 Read More Articles about Business and Economy in Russia

P2B is using the schemes of peer-to-peer lending (or person-to-person lending, peer-to-peer investing, social lending, abbreviated P2P lending) - lending to individuals by individuals, without the participation of traditional financial players, such as banks. Such kind of lending is carried out using an online platform with various credit and financial verification tools.

The service collects money from the so-called "savers" - investors. They deposit a certain amount for storage, and then take it with interest. And "borrowers" get the opportunity to take  a loan at low interest rates (usually less than 10%). And all this process happens without the participation of banks. Of course, this is not the only P2P lending model. The history of P2P crediting began in 2005, when the British service Zopa appeared. In the US, P2P-lending started with the launch of the Prosper project in 2006. Prosper and Lending Club - the largest P2P-lending platforms in the USA - today have issued loans of more than $ 2 billion. Lending Club was bought by Google for $ 125 million.

In Russia, P2P services mainly specialize in microloans. And it is not surprising - the need of the population in microloans is not less than 300 billion rubles. The cost of microloans varies from 10% to 400% (!) per annum. The aggregate loan portfolio of P2P in Russia has not been calculated by anyone yet. One of the first sites - WebMoney Transfer - issued more than 91 thousand loans for a total of almost $ 30 million (as of July 2013). If on English and American websites the main page contains information about the safety of your deposits, then you will not find such information on Russian websites. And the main security tool is accreditation and rating systems. The fact is that P2P lending does not have a specific legal basis in Russia. Lenders or investors are not legal entities, so they cannot transfer information about financial discipline to the credit bureau. A big problem is debt collection. Contacting collection agencies is expensive (collectors can take up to 25% of the collection amount). Interacting with the courts is also not easy: the amount of loans is usually small, and litigation becomes unprofitable.

Today, commercial banks, collection agencies, credit bureaus show interest in many P2P-lending projects. This leads to the development of the market. And the lack of a legal framework and a low level of public confidence hinder the development of the segment.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian business     

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