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Optimisation for investors next: SocietyOne

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lender SocietyOne has revealed it is working hard to improve its application process and overall experience for its investor lenders, which comprise a mix of institutional and sophisticated clients, including SMSFs.

“We had originally put more expenditure and capital on the borrowing side, but in saying that, we have got an online onboarding solution for investors,” SocietyOne co-founder and chief operating officer Greg Symons said.

“The problem is all the types of structures that exist and the issues around that, and there’s a high level of compliance [to meet] and having everything in order.

“A lot of people defer to their accountants or advisers to do it on their behalf, so we have to take that into account as well.

“Though our online onboarding solution is currently ropey still, the optimisation of that is quite critical now and we’re starting to focus very much on it.”

Symons said the P2P portal would undergo a revamp in the coming months.

“As an investor, there will be widgets you can drag and drop, and you can put your reporting on it and there will be a lot more self-help [features],” he said.

“We’re trying to spend money where it really matters, but the onboarding is something that is never really straightforward, unfortunately.”

SocietyOne chief investment officer John Cummins added the lender was aware SMSFs and high net worth investors expected a particular level of service.

Last week, SocietyOne reported growth in interest from SMSFs as investor funders, but said it believed it would take time to properly educate the sector on the emerging alternative asset class.

“We’ve certainly seen an increase in the number of individual investors and a lot of that is through their SMSF, absolutely, but I think it’s only early days with SMSFs and the super community – you can see that in the asset allocations of SMSFs,” SocietyOne chief executive Jason Yetton said at the time.

“Everyone has recognised the problem of how to get real fixed income and better yield … but the thing about SMSFs is that they control [their fund] and they invest in what they know.

“Part of it is that people think it’s new, but it’s as new as banking, in reality, but it’s not the vanilla property and Australian shares top 10 stocks, so in that sense it’s new to many.

“And that’s part of the challenge in scaling up.”

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