The best way to build a defensible lending business is to have some combination of: proprietary data, lower acquisition cost, lower cost of capital, ability to get paid back synchronously with the borrower.
Ant Financial, one of the largest fintech companies worldwide, is massive. They have over 1B users, are doing $17T (yes trillion) in payment volume, and did a reported $3B in net profit for the first half of 2020.
Here is a quick primer on what Ant Financial is and here is a deeper dive analysis by Ian Karr of Fintech Today about why Ant Financial is so dominant in all of the verticals they operate, including payments, lending, investing, insurance, etc.
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