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Credit Cards & Securities Offerings

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Can people use credit cards to invest in securities offerings? And if yes, how can issuers enable that?

This has been a constant request…the thinking is that since Kickstarter allows people to contribute via a credit card, so it must be possible to invest in a securities offering. Even the SEC realized this and specifically called for allowing the use of credit cards in Title III offerings in the final crowdfunding rules.

But why is nobody yet doing this? And what about Reg A or Reg D offerings? Lets answer these:

Reg CF (crowdfunding): YES! The rules clearly permit the use of credit cards. However, thus far no credit card company has allowed it to happen. 

Reg’s A & D: MAYBE! The rules do not specifically state that credit cards cannot be used. And there is nothing in SEC regulations stating that credit cards are disallowed. However, broker-dealers and investment advisers are pretty much handcuffed by “Know Your Customer” and “Suitability” regulations. Regulators would unquestionably take a negative stance on any regulated person allowing someone to invest and go into credit card debt. Broker-dealers, in particular, have a lot of rules to follow when it comes to extending credit to investors; click here to see margin risks and requirements.

So if a company’s Reg A or 506(c) offering has a broker-dealer involved, then they probably won’t be able to accept investments via credit cards.

=> However, if a company is not using a broker-dealer, which is now the case for the overwhelming majority of direct-to-crowd offerings, then there are no such restrictions.

Using credit cards can cut two ways; on one hand it makes things extremely easy on the investor, far easier than ACH transactions. This reduces friction and encourages investment. On the other hand, however, it could expose the company (and credit card processor) to risk of chargebacks, which is up to 180 days, and it could also lead to some people making poor choices in going into debt or trying to arbitrage their cards. Though I personally feel that those situations would be extraordinarily rare and most people would just use their cards for convenience of payment.

Okay, so you want to allow your investors to use credit cards to make investments? How? 

This would be a 2 step process…

=> First, the company needs to get a merchant account with a credit card company (and inform the merchant processor what the account will be used for: investors). The landing place for deposits from the credit card company will be the specific escrow bank account at Prime Trust.

=> Second, the Invest Now technology would need to link investors to a company form hosted (usually) by the credit card company or processor such as Authorize.net, NetBilling, PayPal, WePay, Stripe, etc.

Conclusion: if you’re not regulated then go for it. You get the merchant account, Prime Trust will land and account for the funds.

Source: http://www.fundamerica.com/blog/credit-cards-securities-offerings/

Crowdfunding

P2P Lending Platform SeedIn Rebrands to BRDGE, Plans Expansion Into Indonesia

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Singapore-based P2P investment network SeedIn has announced its rebranding to BRDGE.

With the rebranding, BRDGE aims to better reflect the company’s mission to serve Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) not just through financial support but with the long-term aim of providing the public with opportunities to support local businesses.

The announcement comes after BRDGE’s recent MOU signing with V3 Fintech looking to enhance the suite of liquidity solutions available to SMEs, and help to create awareness among SME communities on innovative ways to address liquidity challenges and funding gaps.

SMEs in general are much more sensitive to economic headwinds due to increased competition, fluctuating market demands, technological advances, and capacity constraints surrounding information, innovation and creativity.

However, these enterprises make up the bulk of Singapore’s economic success, contributing to nearly half of the country’s GDP and providing jobs for about 65% of the workforce.

Kevin Wong, CEO of BRDGE, said,

Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong

“Rebranding has allowed us to stay committed to our mission of serving as many SMEs as possible. It has also enabled us to grow Singapore’s fintech ecosystem by providing additional financing solutions to businesses seeking more options in funding, so that they can seize more opportunities for growth. We hope to take digital financing further, and to become not just another crowdfunding platform, but one that is able to exhibit foresight and build trust to help fellow local businesses and entrepreneurs grow.”

Since 2014, BRDGE is said to have helped fund over SGD72 million in capital to Singaporean SMEs.

BRDGE had also collaborated with media and technology marketing agency Unravel Studios for the #KEEPUPTHEGOOD initiative. The partnership was intended to help tide SMEs through this period, by providing resources to help them continue.

SMEs who receive funding will also be provided with complimentary support for one month to fulfill their marketing objectives.

BRDGE has also been actively connecting SMEs to opportunities and initiatives beyond funding, such as organising WeConnect, a networking event for SMEs to develop partnerships and engage one another.

Moving forward, BRDGE has also announced intentions to expand operations into Indonesia and is currently in the process of securing regulatory permission from the relevant authorities.

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Source: https://fintechnews.sg/44705/crowdfunding/p2p-lending-platform-seedin-rebrands-to-brdge-plans-expansion-into-indonesia/

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Financial institutions can support COVID-19 crowdfunding campaigns

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The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the financial outlook for millions of people, and continues to cause significant fiscal distress to millions more, but such challenging times have also wrought a more resilient and resourceful financial system.

With the ingenuity of crowdfunding, considered to be one of the last decade’s greatest “success stories,” and such desperate times calling for bold new ways to finance a wide variety of COVID-19 relief efforts, we are now seeing an excellent opportunity for banks and other financial institutions to partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns, bolstering their efforts and impact.

COVID-19 crowdfunding: A world of possibilities to help others

Before considering how financial institutions can assist with crowdfunding campaigns, we must first look at the diverse array of impressive results from this financing option during the pandemic. As people choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, and countless other despairing circumstances, we must look to some of the more inventive ways businesses, entrepreneurs and people in general are using crowdfunding to provide the COVID-19 relief that cash-strapped consumers with maxed-out or poor credit do not have access to or the government has not provided.

Some great examples of COVID-19 crowdfunding at its best include the following:

The possibilities presented by crowdfunding in this age of the coronavirus are endless, and financial institutions can certainly lend their assistance. Here is how.

1. Acknowledge that crowdfunding is not a trend

Crowdfunding is a substantial and ever-so relevant means of financing all sorts of businesses, people and products. Denying its substantive contribution to the economy, especially in digital finance during this pandemic, is akin to wearing a monocle when you actually need glasses for both of your eyes. Do not be shortsighted on this. Crowdfunding is here to stay. In fact, countless crowdfunding businesses and platforms continue to make major moves within the markets globally. For example, Parpera from Australia, in coordination with the equity-crowdfunding platforms, hopes to rival the likes of GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

2. Be willing to invest in crowdfunded campaigns

This might seem contrary to the original purpose of these campaigns, but the right amount of seed-cash infusions to campaigns that are aligned with your goals as a company is a win-win for both you and the entrepreneurs or causes, especially now in such desperate times of need.

3. Get involved in the community and its crowdfunding efforts

This means that small businesses and medium-sized businesses within your institution’s community could use your help. Consider investing in crowdfunding campaigns similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Better yet, bridge the gaps between financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms and campaigns so that smaller businesses get the opportunities they need to survive through these difficult times.

4. Enable sustainable development goals (SDG)

Last month, the United Nations Development Program released a report proclaiming that digital finance is now allowing people from all over the world to customize and personalize their money-management experiences such that their financial needs have the potential to be more readily and sufficiently met. Financial institutions willing to work as a partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns will further these goals and set society up for a more robust rebound from any possible detrimental effects of the COVID-19 recession.

5. Lend your regulatory expertise to this relatively new industry

Other countries are already beginning to figure out better ways to regulate the crowdfunding financing industry, such as the recent updates to the European Union’s handling of crowdfunding regulations, set to take effect this fall. Well-established financial institutions can lend their support in defining the policies and standard operating procedures for crowdfunding even during such a chaotic time as the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will ensure fair and equitable financing for all, at least, in theory.

While originally born out of either philanthropy or early-adopting innovation, depending on the situation, person or product, crowdfunding has become an increasingly reliable means of providing COVID-19 economic relief when other organizations, including the government and some banks, cannot provide sufficient assistance. Financial institutions must lend their vast expertise, knowledge and resources to these worthy causes; after all, we are all in this together.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/financial-institutions-can-support-covid-19-crowdfunding-campaigns/

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Crowdfunding

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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You rely on Crowdability to bring you the best start-up deals. Now rely on us to bring you the most fascinating stories and trends from the world of technology. You won’t find this stuff in the mainstream press. Look for it every Friday morning.

The Scariest Movie Ever — According to Science

The Exorcist? Poltergeist? Friday the 13th? What’s the scariest movie of all time? Well, just in time for Halloween, science finally has an answer. The scariest movie ever is… »

Teenager Discovers Potential Cure for Covid-19

Top scientists are racing to develop a cure for the coronavirus. But meanwhile, a 14-year-old high school student might have beaten them to it. Learn more »

Finally, Help for Earworms

Ever had a song stuck in your head, but you can’t remember the name of it, or any of the words? Help has arrived »

Now You Can Surf the Web on the Moon

The population of the Moon is pretty small. In fact, it’s zero. So why is it getting wireless internet service? All the facts right here »

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

Need help focusing at work? Got a big project that requires your attention? This could help »

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/taking-lsd-could-help-your-career

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