Billed as one of the largest deals of its kind in Canada between a lending technology company and a financial institution, Vancouver’s Lendful announced today that they have secured a $15 millon investment from Alterna Bank.
Alterna Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alterna Savings, a Ontario credit union that has operated as a full-service, member-owned co-operative for over 100 years.
Alterna Bank’s institutional investment brings about two major benefits for Lendful borrowers: more security and competitive interest rates.
“This deal not only makes Lendful the best online lending option in Canada, but it has also boosted the reputation of the online lending industry as a whole,” says Lendful co-founder and CEO Alex Benjamin. “There’s a certain level of comfort and security knowing that a major player like Alterna Bank is involved.”
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This partnership signals that Canada’s online lending marketplace is ready to become a disruptive force to traditional banking.
For his part, Alterna Bank CEO Rob Paterson doesn’t see online lending as a threat to the conventional banking system but rather as an opportunity for forward-looking banks to wisely disrupt it.
“With Lendful, consumers can refinance their credit card debts quickly and step away from interest rates of 20 per cent or more on their monthly balances. It just makes so much sense for Canadians that are already dealing with record level of debt to find alternatives that save them money and time,” says Paterson.
“Rob and the team at Alterna Bank see what we see—that the world of borrowing is changing rapidly and we want to be on the cutting edge for Canadians looking for online financing” adds Benjamin, whose investment partners include Stanley Park Ventures and most recently, Ferst Capital Partners of Montreal.
Benjamin has relied on 12 years of investment and banking experience to rapidly grow Lendful. Since approving its first loan in September 2015, the company has seen $20 million in loan applications.
Lendful borrowers apply online from the privacy of their own computers or hand-held devices and get access to their money (up to $35,000) within 24 hours.