Regular readers of Springwise may remember Kisskissbankbank, the France-based site we covered back in 2009 that allows music fans to invest in artists’ future. The team behind it is now back with a new project called hellomerci, a peer-to-peer lending platform that uses Kickstarter-style crowdfunding elements.
The traditional means of getting a loan – involving credit checks and applications – can be frustrating for some, or could even mean being denied the money to get their project started. hellomerci users first set up their own page, describing what they need support for, how much and when and how they expect to repay their backers. When those browsing the site find a project they like and trust, they can choose an amount to help the user reach their goal. If the project is successful, the money is transferred and lenders receive monthly repayments on their loan for the duration set by the user. One benefit of taking a loan through hellomerci is that, rather than an applied interest rate, the site takes a one-off fee of three to six percent to cover administration costs. If funding isn’t successful, no money is transferred and users don’t have to pay any fees and avoid the black mark on their credit record they might get if a traditional bank loan application fails. The video below explains more about how the process works:
hellomerci is a system based on transparency and trust – there is an evident risk for lenders in that the individual they’ve supported may renege on their repayments, but the company works with France’s La Banque Postale, which helps to settle payment disputes and arrange an agreement between parties when something goes wrong. With distrust of large banking companies growing since the 2007 credit crisis, are there other alternatives to traditional banking?
Spotted by: Alexia Maury