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A Zopa lender writes (Second guest post!)

“1020990” is a Zopa lender, and an active member of the Zopa discussion boards. No one knows what the numbers mean – a bit like Lost. 🙂

So how did this all happen!? Last time I looked, which still seems to be a far too regular occurrence, I’d racked up over 100 posts about Zopa here having only been bitten by the bug a couple of months earlier. Maybe I should blame Cliff for ever having mentioned the idea over on the Motley Fool. Alternatively, it may just be true what they say about mad dogs and English men given the excess of summer sun in recent days – even though that doesn’t normally coincide with Wimbledon!

Either way, at some unwittingly altruistic moment I promised the resident Zopa blogger (Zlogger entry anyone?) a few words on subjects that must apparently relate in some way to Zopa or P2P activities. After all, despite his appeal, I think there’s only been 1 guest blog post – so that makes this at least the second best of all time guest blogs at time of going to press!

Given that my experience of P2P activities is limited to that of ZOPA the possibility of an earth shatteringly innovative article is somewhat unlikely! However, the question “What bits of Zopa make you go ‘Doh’?” has been previously asked, so I’ve hopefully pulled together a few of the major sticking points that Zopa lenders are currently operating as judge, jury and executioner on, on the lenders discussion forum. As new website releases are still coming through, we’ll hopefully be able to have an influence; however slight; on the tweaks which happen. After all, “great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”.

So with my IT knowledge limited to Excel macros and my biased position as a lender, I’m hoping the small things I picked up below are relatively minor rather than requiring fundamental redesign, but will if achieved please the majority. For those of you who frequent the bulletin boards you may well have seen some of these before but for those that don’t then hopefully they’ll add some food for thought, prompt discussion and hopefully some of those friendly people at Zopa can provide some feedback if possible, as well as likely delivery timescales if applicable:

  • The Zopa Triangle – The (dead) zone where money disappears to from your holding account for an indeterminately long time when trying to lend to borrowers. Sometimes also known as Loans currently being processed – can we be provided with more information on this one area rather than just a top level amount?
  • Remove all the scrollable boxes that are used in screens like “Offers to Borrowers” “Zopa Borrowers” etc. This is the 21st century – I have a 17 inch monitor I don’t need to only use 4 inches of it!
  • Summary schedule of expected repayments due over the next 30 days and identifying where any bad debts may have arisen (are there any!?! 😉 ) A similar sort of thing is currently split out by lending offer but ideally an overall summary would be useful of payments received and expected.
  • Electronic (automatic) withdrawal of money if required – currently contact with a person at Zopa is required. Automating would reduce the amount of human intervention required and therefore benefit Zopa’s costs, and please lenders!
  • Lenders being able to sell their loans to other lenders on an exchange, for a rate agreed by both parties to allow lenders beset by unexpected issues to liquidate their loan portfolio

There’s so much other stuff which has been requested in one place or another. Above is hopefully a non-controversial snap-shot. I’ve pilfered the ideas from other people’s posts in the main so hopefully they don’t mind and I know Zopa have responded on at least the bottom one which is at least a year away – but at least they know about it!

I’m sure some of you will be cynical but a number of the requests that have been posted on the discussion boards have subsequently been implemented. Automated re-lending of a sort is now available, details regarding the expected returns on lending contracts etc. After all, the best way to eat the elephant standing in your path is to cut it up into little pieces.

So feel free to comment here or even better, come and join some of the other Zygotes, Zucchinis, Zebras and Zebedees (thanks Justin!) on the discussion boards.