On p2pmarketdata.com we publish unbiased, trustworthy platform reviews. This means that the content of the review and the opinions expressed about the given platform are our own and not influenced by potential payment received from advertisers. We do make money on some of the platform reviews, often in the form of affiliate income where we earn a small bit if you choose to sign up through a link on our page. However, we always do our best to maintain strict independence between the editorial process and the financial relationship with the platform. You can read more about how we make money here.
Below, we will outline the process that goes into making a platform review. The first step is to choose which platforms to review, which is done by utilizing our own deep knowledge of the peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding industry to select the platforms we think are of greatest interest to our readers. Often, we will already be collecting data on such a platform as we view the sharing of e.g. funding volume with the public as an important factor. To live up to our vision of delivering transparency to the peer-to-peer industry, we publish our monthly funding rapport available to everyone interested. However, this is just the first screening process and many other factors must be considered, which is why we have a stringent list of items we go through in the reviewing process.
The list of factors that we view can be split into six categories:
- Loan Availability
- Ease of Use
- Risk & Return
Each category contains a range of subcategories, which are specified below. To provide you with an idea of the content we are covering we will present examples of the questions we ask ourselves in each subcategory. However, please note that these questions are not necessarily exhaustive for the given subcategory. The Risk & Return category should in some ways be viewed as an overarching category that is also affected by, for example, the transparency category as a platform low on transparency will usually also mean a higher risk for investors. We will, therefore, go through that category as the last one.
- Financial Report
- Does the platform have publicly available audited annual reports in English
- Terms & Conditions
- Does the platform have clear and comprehensive Terms & Conditions in English available before signing up? Do investors have access to individual loan agreements and the loan template
- Management Team
- Are all key employees and management visible with photos, LinkedIn profiles and direct emails?
- Does the platform have a publicly available loan book and a clear, comprehensive statistics page?
- Social Media
- Is the platform active on social media at least once a week? How often do they reply to comments?
- Loan Information
- Are all key numbers available on the platform? Does the platform provide a good, clear overview of loan information with comprehensive information about collateral/protection and borrowers?
- Platform Company Information
- Does the platform provide information on all offices (and which is HQ) with address, email, phone? How about subsidiary companies and payment operators? Is it visible who the platform is supervised by?
- Ownership Structure
- Is the ownership structure clear and transparent? Does the platform mention who the owners are, and is it possible to find information about them?
- Fees and Commissions
- Does the platform offer a price list for both investors and borrowers?
- Frequency of loans
- How often are loans available to invest in on the primary market? Is it possible to buy into previously funded loans through a secondary market?
- Early Exit
- Does the platform offer a secondary market that is active/well-functioning with frequent trades or offer instant withdrawal by selling the loans back to the platform?
- Average duration of loans
- How is the average duration of loans on the platform compared to other comparable platforms (peers)?
- Average default rates
- How is the average default rate on the platform compared to other comparable platforms (peers)?
Ease of Use
- Automatic investing
- Does the platform offer automatic investing with comprehensive functionality or an already created portfolio or fund? to buy into?
- Performance reporting
- Possibility to get a tax/income report displayed nicely, download transactions, download your own loan book and future cash flow (displayed nicely/useful)
- Design, Layout and Registering
- Is the platform design overall looking good, is it easy to navigate around, is the text on the website well written and without grammatical errors, is it easy to register a user?
- Testing the support
- The support is tested by sending a series of similar questions from two different mails (non-p2pmarketdata.com mails) to all platforms. Also investigated is whether the platform offers a live chat function in which the platform responds right away and gives a good answer (not a robot).
- Education, FAQ and general information
- Does the platform have a regularly updated blog (at least once a week)? Does it have a thorough FAQ? A newsletter? Does the platform publish reports about the condition of the platform before needing to ask?
Risk & Return
- Legal Information
- Is the legal address in the same country as the team operating the platform? Is the platform’s bank account in the same country as the legal address?
- Terms & Condition
- Can the Terms & Conditions be changed without notice? Have there been any recent changes to the Terms & Conditions? Is debt collection explained the Terms & Conditions?
- Segregation of funds
- Are all investor funds stored in segregated bank accounts with no right to use them?
- Does the platform have two-factor security enabled? Is withdrawal limited to the bank account that was used to deposit money?
- Interest Rates
- How is the average historical interest rate on the platform compared to other comparable platforms (peers)?
- Fee structure
- How does the platform make money?
- Loan Due Diligence and Ratings
- Does the platform show how they do due diligence? Do they provide loan ratings? How is the quality of their due diligence and rating system?
- How is the platform regulated? Is it part of one or more crowdfunding associations?
- Money handling
- How does the platform handle investors’ money? Does it use a recognized payment institution and/or a bank?
- Track Record and Statistics
- How is the platform’s track record? Is the funding volume growing? Is the number of new investors growing?
- Platform Age
- For how long has the platform been operating in the field of investigation?
- Financial Strength
- How is the financial strength of the platform?
- Protection schemes according to the lending type
- Does the platform have a solid and fitting (according to crowdfunding type) protection scheme in place? For real estate that could be collateral and low LTV (and potentially a provision fund), for SME lending it could be collateral and personal guarantees (and potentially a provision fund) and for originator/personal lending it could be a buyback guarantee and skin in the game of at least 10%.
- Did the transparency category reveal any red flags, such as suspicious information about platform management, lacking financial reports or outstanding debts?
- Did the support category reveal any red flags, like e.g. is the platform unable to answer critical questions?
- Obvious red flags
- Does the platform have problems with recurring problems with delayed withdrawals? Does the platform have any critical lawsuits against it? Has the platform promoted fake projects or failed to counter any sort of suspicious activity?