[Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Lisa Weinberger, Director of Digital Marketing at CircleBack Lending. CircleBack Lending is a Silver sponsor at LendIt USA 2016, which will take place on April 11-12, 2016, in San Francisco.]
With more and more individuals using their mobile devices to complete purchases and transactions, what stops Facebook or Google from entering the online lending space?
People are looking for convenience and immediacy, and both Facebook and Google have shown they understand that desire. Both companies are known for making acquisitions that allow them to offer additional services to their user database.
In doing so, these companies help consumers complete their daily tasks in one spot — right through their personal devices. Is it possible that both Facebook and Google could extend this approach and begin helping consumers apply for loans through social media?
Imagine users scanning through their Facebook feeds of all the events being shared by their friends. Instead of feeling like they can’t afford their own dream vacation, an option to apply for a loan appears.
If Facebook or Google enter the lending space, it would likely change the online lending landscape. However, hurdles remain.
In recent years, Google has attempted to get into the mortgage, insurance and credit card space with Google Compare, which wasn’t successful. It shut down on March 23, 2016.
Although that attempt at offering personal finance products failed. It’s possible that Google may still be looking to get into the online lending space. Of course, it’s also possible that Google will just stick to the insurance niche, leaving Facebook to become the place for individuals to apply for a loan, shop for a contractor and take care of other household needs.
Facebook has built up the trust of users within their community that helps a lender to attract the right targets. According to CNN Money, Facebook filed a patented technology that they purchased in 2012 from Friendster.
Meanwhile, if Facebook were to get into the lending field, acquiring a company that is fairly established is the direction they might go. In reviewing the past acquisitions Facebook has completed, similar to Instagram; it’s clear the company doesn’t want to reinvent a tool and build something from scratch. If the company is to eventually get into the lending space, I would expect it to bring on an established lending platform, like CircleBack Lending, and integrate it into Facebook.
For an online lending platform to continue being successful, it needs to change with consumer behavior patterns. Regulations around lending, allow an individual to not only apply for a personal loan, but to also manage payments right through Facebook. This could lead to opportunities for many online lending platforms to expand their reach and revenue.
The host of this blog, LendIt, is the largest conference series dedicated to connecting the global online lending community. Our conferences bring together the leading lending platforms, investors, and service providers in our industry for unparalleled educational, networking, and business development opportunities. LendIt hosts three conferences annually: our flagship conference LendIt USA as well as LendIt Europe in London and LendIt China in Shanghai. Visit our home page to register for the next event and to subscribe to our newsletter.