Well, we’ve plugged everything back in again, turned it all on, and thankfully, it seems to be working! The site is back up and healthy – so what’s changed?
There are two major functionality improvements that will be most noticeable to members.
Firstly, you can now lend any amount you want to – from £10 to £25,000 – there’s no more £500 minimum! This means that if you want to try out Zopa with as little as £10 you can – although you’ll only be lending that £10 to one borrower – not 50. In fact, if you lend less than £500, you’ll be lending to less than 50 people, which slightly increases the risk that you won’t get your expected return (because you’re less diversified). On the other hand, it’s less money that you’re lending out. If you lend more than £500, your money will be diversified in the same way as before – over at least 50 borrowers.
Secondly, and more radically – you can now lend money that you don’t have at Zopa! Well, almost.
We’ve changed the system to allow lenders to make a lending offer of up to £25,000 before you transfer funds to Zopa – the offer will appear in your screens and you can amend the rates or withdraw – but it won’t be available to borrowers until you send in enough money to fully fund it. As soon as that happens, it will be placed in the market automatically, without you having to do a thing.
We’ve done this to make it easier to lend money at Zopa – you don’t have to wait for creaky old BACS to take 3 days to send your money and then come back to Zopa – you can do everything you need to do in one go. Also, it means that new lenders can really understand how Zopa works before sending in money, which hopefully will mean more of them do so!
Another thing we’ve enabled is that borrowers can now change their bank account details after they’ve set them up – we’ve a few borrowers for whom this has been an issue, and it’s going to make their (and our) lives a lot easier.
Finally, we’ve cleaned up the screen that shows your current lending offers – and replaced lots of links (withdraw, amend and lend more) with a little drop down menu to allow you to manage your offer much more simply.
Hope that is all useful – let us know in the comments what you think once you’ve had a play.