Taiwanese financial technology startup Robo Web Technology Co’s online lending service has signed a customer data-sharing agreement with Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd to expand business.
The partnership with the international investment bank took effect in May. It’s expected to help Robo Web make LnB more mainstream, company founder and CEO Joanna Yang said.
The 3-year-old online lending service differs from traditional lenders by offering peer-to-peer lending—also known as P2P lending. That process lets people borrow money from other individuals instead of from an institutional lender.
“LnB’s goal is to enable customers with funding needs to find lenders with ease and convenience over the internet,” Yang said at an event in May. “The spirit of financial technology is to create new values for customers.”
LnB, which stands for Lend & Borrow, is Taiwan’s largest online peer-to-peer lending platform according to a report in Taiwan’s Business Weekly. LnB was founded in 2015 and a year later it landed a multi-million-dollar series A round funding from Acorn Campus Ventures.
The lending service had 37,000 customers as of mid-May and had helped arrange more than NT$5.1 billion (US$170.61 million) in loans.
LnB faces competitions from large and established players such as the world’s biggest online lender LendingClub, the second largest lender Social Finance, and San-Francisco based lender Prosper.
Details of the deal with Standard Chartered
As LnB’s first bank partner, Standard Chartered will be able to use LnB to attract younger customers to apply for bank loans online.
Customers will first apply for LnB loans and those rejected will be passed on to Standard Chartered for reapplication, all via the LnB online system.
LnB representatives will be able to recommend the bank’s personal loans options to customers who got rejected from the peer-to-peer service. LnB says its loan approval requirements are stricter than those of commercial banks. But the peer-to-peer service calls its process faster and easier compared to that of a bank.
Yang, 49, is the former manager of Far Eastern International Bank’s personal banking. She brings more than 20 years of extensive banking industry experience to her startup.
LnB targets customers ages 20 to 50 for loans. The application process gives newer borrowers a sense of how much money they should ask for, Yang said. Approval takes as little as three-and-a-half minutes and the loan can be delivered in 24 hours, she said.
Standard Chartered hopes to do more with digital banking as it’s a new trend, the bank’s personal banking head for Taiwan Kate Lin told a media event in May. Online banking was valued at US$64 billion in 2015 and could hit US$1 trillion in 2025, according to a Taipei Times report.
“We aim to reach out to the general public through the strategic cooperation, a departure from the past focus on high-net-worth individuals,” Lin said. “The partnership shows that the bank is serious about growing its personal banking business in Taiwan.”