Marketplace lending (also referred to as debt crowdfunding, crowdlending, or FinTech credit) is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services (marketplace lending platforms) that match lenders with borrowers. This form of lending allows individuals to borrow directly from other individuals, cutting out the financial institution as the middleman. The platform provides an online space where investors and borrowers meet, offers secure payment channels, and conducts some due diligence on borrowers, loans, and/or loan originators. It operates at much lower costs than a traditional bank (with its physical branches and assets, a large crowd of employees, and high reporting and regulatory burden). This cost-saving enables the lenders to earn higher returns, while borrowers can (in some cases) borrow money at lower interest rates than traditional bank offerings. The platform sustains its business operations and profits from small fees charged on borrowers and, less often, on lenders.