Hot on the heels of Lending Club’s partnership with community banks, Prosper today announced a partnership program with Western Independent Bankers (WIB). Banks who are members of WIB, will have access to consumer loans through Prosper’s platform. This includes more than 160 independent and community banks located in 13 western states.
Prosper’s CEO, Aaron Vermut had this to say about the recent partnership:
Independent banks are essential to the health of the American economy, but in order to compete and win customers, they need to be able to offer compelling products that are competitively priced and easy to understand. Prosper has facilitated billions of dollars in loans through its platform and continues to grow because our product is fast, convenient, and extremely consumer-friendly. We’re very excited to work with WIB and its members to expand awareness of a smarter, lower-cost alternative to borrowing money through traditional means.
It seems like the next step to scale the marketplace lending model are strategic partnerships that open up new channels for borrower acquisition. Prosper will certainly benefit from the influx of borrowers, without the additional costs of operating a branch location. Banks will leverage the platform and be able to quickly make loans to their customers at affordable rates. Membership banks will also have the opportunity to invest in Prosper loans.
This is a great move for the team at Prosper and it is probably the first of many bank partnerships to be announced. With these new partnerships, I believe we are starting to see the beginnings of what may be the widespread adoption for marketplace lending loans. I look forward to seeing how this will affect loan originations in the quarters to come.