Online Lending is Here to Stay, Mortgage Goes Digital and Other Insights from LendIt USA 2017

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LendIt USA 2017 brought a flurry of excitement to New York with more than 5,000 attendees converging at the Jacob Javits Center to network and discuss hot topics in the industry, including lending and FinTech, the increasing number of bank-platform partnerships, access to capital, addressing state and federal regulations and the digital transformation of the mortgage process.

Online Lending: An Industry Built to Last

The most recognizable face in online lending, Prosper President and eOriginal Advisory Board Member Ron Suber, presented the keynote, “Online Lending: An Industry Built to Last”, which couldn’t have been more relevant. In his record-breaking fifth LendIt keynote, Suber compares the online lending trend to the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) revolution, noting FinTech will be equally as ubiquitous. In the almost 20-minutes he was on the stage, Suber celebrated the state of the industry and expressed that to achieve sustainable growth and have longevity, online lenders must partner with traditional banks to increase their access to long-term capital and achieve profitability. It is the next stage for the marketplace lending.

Mortgage Enters the Digital Era

A conference highlight for the eOriginal team was the presentation on the second day of the conference, “Bringing the Mortgage Process Out of the Dark Ages”, which featured our General Manager of Digital Mortgage Simon Moir. Moir presented alongside industry thought leaders in a session moderated by Tony Zerucha from Bankless Times. Panelists included:

  • Nima Ghamsari, Blend
  • Jeff Foster, Clara Lending
  • Nick Stamos, Sindeo
  • Joshua Tatum, SoFi

The distinguished group made it clear that the time is now for mortgage to embrace the digital revolution and technology is available to help. This point was reinforced by the announcement that Fannie Mae has selected eOriginal to lead its next generation electronic vault.

As noted by Moir, “With increasing pressure from borrowers for a better mortgage experience, and ever-increasing scrutiny on compliance by regulators, it is time for lenders who are still bound to paper to take the steps to embrace the digital mortgage process.”

And the Winner Is….

It’s no secret that 2016 was a tumultuous year for marketplace lending, with Lending Club leading the hardship pack. However, growing pains are expected. Marketplace lending is no exception, but has already shown an amazing amount of resiliency.

This was on display at the inaugural LendIt Industry Awards, where Scott Sanborn, CEO of Lending Club, was named Executive of the Year. Peter Renton, LendIt organizer and Lend Academy journalist noted in his conference wrap-up that Sanborn’s award was the highlight of the celebration and that Lending Club’s new leader has done a great job “righting the ship”, adding that no one had a more challenging year than him.

Happy Endings

LendIt USA 2017 offered a truly unique experience for attendees. A mobile application enabled “speed meetings” in the exhibit hall, which were like speed dating, and a great way to network and set-up one-on-one meetings. There was a plethora of media outlets and reporters seeking industry updates, a relaxation station complete with massage therapists and nearly 200 exhibitors drawing thousands of attendees into the 120,00 square foot space. Next year, LendIt will be in San Francisco and we can’t wait to head to the West Coast for the event!