The company says that nearly half of all borrowers are using loans for debt consolidation or improving their home.
Harmoney’s loan book primarily consists of borrowers in the 30-49 age bracket, with an average age of 45; the book is skewed towards home owners (45% of borrowers) and skilled workers, chiefly office workers (37%) and other professionals. Just under 51,000 loans to more than 32,000 borrowers have been serviced via the Harmoney marketplace across New Zealand and Australia.
Borrowers primarily access loans via Harmoney for debt consolidation (35.2% of all loans) and home improvements (13.8%). On behalf of a number of borrowers who have taken out loans for debt consolidation purposes, Harmoney has distributed more than $164 million directly to third-party creditors such as banks.
Other oft-cited loan purposes include business cash flow, to clear an overdraft, education expenses, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.
Payment transactions via Harmoney’s bespoke platform now number in the tens of millions, with more than 65 million investor payment transactions and more than 1 million transactions on the borrower side. Total retail investors have surpassed 8,500 and they have collectively been paid more than $35 million in interest.
Joint chief executive Neil Roberts says, “To achieve a milestone like this we needed to drive investment in the whole fintech sector, which remains fledgling compared with the big banks. We have created highly paid, high-skilled jobs in this industry and helped build valuable weightless export revenue, which is crucial to the future health of the New Zealand economy. We have also attracted foreign capital investment and boosted competition in a market that has long been dominated by Australian-owned companies.
"Whether the growth of Harmoney and the reduction in the cost of borrowing in personal lending is coincidental or causative is for economists to decide, but the upshot is that our marketplace gives choice, freedom and opportunity to borrowers and lenders, and that’s a real achievement in the Australasian context.”
Earlier, Harmoney rounded off the year ended 31 March 2018, just its third full year of operation, by recording 87% growth in revenue. During the year, the company continued to invest in its platform, with close to $10m spent on research and development and other technology-related costs.
- The average age of a Harmoney borrower is 45, and 45% of borrowers own their home and are paying a mortgage; 37% work in an office and 20% in a trade;
- Just under 51,000 loans to 32,100 borrowers have been serviced via the Harmoney marketplace to date; 29,066 of borrowers are in New Zealand and 3,034 in Australia;
- Harmoney has 8,572 retail investors who have been paid $35.2 million in interest.
REASONS FOR BORROWING
- Debt consolidation (29,408 loans or 35.2% of all loans);
- Home improvements (11,960 loans; 13.8%)
- Business cash flow (3,269 loans; 4%);
- To clear an overdraft (2,086 loans; 2.7%);
- Education expenses (1,464 loans; 1.7%);
- Medical expenses (1,192 loans; 1.46%);
- Funeral expenses (720 loans; 0.9%).