The peer-to-peer lending business is a form of micro-lending that enables individuals to obtain loans directly from other individuals, cutting out the financial institution as the middleman. This type of lending is a personal and more direct way of borrowing money, as it eliminates any other intermediary (like a bank) from the transaction process. The peer-to-peer lending process is easier and more streamlined due to the nonexistence of a multiplicity of rules and regulations, unlike the traditional type of money lending by banks.
In this article, I will be sharing insights on how to start a peer-to-peer lending business. But before we take a deep dive, let’s explore the types of peer-to-peer lending.
Types of Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peers or Individuals Funded Loans
These loans belong to the peer-to-peer category, funded by resources pooled together by everyday individuals like you and me. For instance, someone with available cash liquidity may choose to invest in credit financing, earning returns based on the interest charged on the loan amounts provided to various borrowers.
Group Funded Loans
Group-funded P2P lending, on the other hand, becomes possible through resources pooled together by a group of individuals, typically a select circle of friends or business associates, often comprising high-net-worth individuals.
These investments usually occur through hedge funds or specialized endowment funds created for such purposes. To generate returns, these funds can be directed to peer-to-peer lending platforms, where they are lent out to the public at specific interest rates. It’s important to note that group-funded peer-to-peer loans involve larger sums of money compared to individually funded loans.
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Peer-to-Peer Lending Business Niches
So, now that you have decided to start a peer-to-peer business, what niche should you focus on? Here are some of the peer-to-peer lending niches you can consider.
Being a peer-to-peer lending business owner or operator in this niche means providing capital to SMEs and business startups. Your main aim is to generate profit from the loans provided to these businesses and recover the principal amount, rather than seeking ownership in their ventures. To accomplish this, it’s crucial to employ the right due diligence tools when assessing potential customers.
Car and Household Assets Financing
Another approach to establishing your peer-to-peer lending business involves focusing on financing vehicle acquisitions and home assets for your customers. These assets may encompass furniture, televisions, washing machines, and various household items.
This niche caters to a substantial audience within the middle-income earning class, especially in many jurisdictions globally, including Nigeria. Identifying and connecting with this audience can be achieved through affiliations with various employee associations, presenting and selling your business proposition to them.
Real Estate Financing
In real estate lending, offering diverse lending packages capped at varying amounts for customers becomes essential, given the capital-intensive nature of the real estate sector.
Developing a robust due diligence system is crucial. It guides you in discerning the most favorable real estate projects to engage with and those best avoided
This type of peer-to-peer lending focuses on people who earn salaries. It’s a common lending option today. Many salary earners run out of money before the month ends and often need extra cash to cover their expenses.
How To Start A Peer-to-Peer Lending Business
1. Decide on a Niche
To begin a peer-to-peer lending business, first choose specific areas you want to focus on, like the ones mentioned earlier. You can also create new areas to focus on, depending on where you’ll do business and the chances available there.
The financial sector has many rules, so it’s important to follow all the laws and regulations when starting and running a peer-to-peer lending business.
3. Research Your Competitors
To be better in your chosen area, watch closely how other businesses like yours or similar ones operate. By paying attention, you’ll learn how they succeed and where they struggle. Knowing this helps your business get ahead.
4. Register Your Business Domain Name
Now, it’s time to get a website name for your peer-to-peer lending business. Pick a name that stands out and is easy for customers to recall. Having a distinct domain name might allow you to trademark it or your logo later on.
Many web hosting companies offer various services. Select a reliable one with a good history and enough capacity to support your needs.
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5. Design Your Website
Your customers will use your business website to access your services. So, make sure the website is easy to use, with a simple and clear design. It’s essential to include a dependable payment system that works well within the website.
6. Website Calibration and Testing
Now that your technology is set up for your peer-to-peer lending business, it’s crucial to check that everything works well. Focus on these key areas:
- Security: Ensure the connection between users and your payment gateway is always encrypted for safety.
- User-Friendliness: Make sure your platform is easy for users. Organize menus and features so customers can easily register and apply for loans.
- Performance: Check that your website loads quickly. Slow pages might turn away potential customers.
7. Draft a Comprehensive Loan Agreement
You’ll need a clear loan agreement that outlines the relationship between you and your customers. Make sure it follows your country’s finance laws. Some key things to remember:
- •Write all loan terms in simple language your customers can understand.
- You can use traditional bank loan terms as a guide but customize them for your services.
- Include any fees or penalties for late payments or defaults clearly in the agreement.
Sample General Requirements For P2P Lending In Nigeria.
- The borrower must be a salary earner.
- He/She must have a national means of identification.
- Bank account statement for the last 6 months (for salary account holders).
- Employment offer letter.
- A recent utility bill (not older than the last 3 months).
8. Launch Your Platform
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With your online platform ready, consider starting a marketing campaign to let people know about your new services. You could also offer bonuses to encourage early or first-time users to sign up and get interested in what you’re offering. Good luck!
9. Scale Your Business Operations
Your peer-to-peer lending business relies a lot on technology, which helps it grow. To expand even more, consider creating a mobile loan app for your business.
After starting with a lending website, making an app is a big step. Lots of people use their phones to go online. Making an app means your customers can easily use your services on the go. This can bring in more customers and help your business grow.
Benefits of Starting A Peer-to-Peer Landing Business
- Better Profits: Lenders often get higher returns on their money due to the competitive rates offered by peer-to-peer platforms. This is because these platforms avoid or greatly reduce costs like office rent and administrative expenses, unlike traditional banks.
- Diverse Borrowers: Peer-to-peer lending opens up access to a broader range of borrowers who might struggle with the strict lending terms of banks and other traditional credit institutions.
- Reduced Defaults: Peer-to-peer lending usually experiences lower loan default rates compared to banks and other traditional lenders.
In summary, peer-to-peer lending is gaining global popularity, especially with the advancements in information technology and the rise of artificial intelligence. In Nigeria, there’s still untapped potential in the Fintech sector.
Now is your chance to seize this opportunity and start your peer-to-peer lending business. It’s time to create wealth and contribute to society by creating jobs. Best of luck on your journey to wealth creation