For the last few years I’ve been a lender on Zopa. If you aren’t familiar with the service or the model, go check it out. If you have a few pounds sitting in a savings account earning nothing, you should start lending on Zopa. And if you have credit card or other high interest rate debt you should immediately try to borrow on Zopa and get a better rate. The model is simply superior to the old bank model, and as a result the service has been growing nicely since they started in 2005 (as a side note, Zopa was one of the few companies I contacted back in June 2005 when I moved to London in search of a great job at an innovative London based start-up). So full credit to the Zopa team for inventing a new model that is now being copied world wide (something very few UK start-ups can claim) and then executing well on that model.
But as a long time user I want to use this post to also mention the main thing that bugs me about Zopa: as a lender it is a chore to use. The Zopa model depends on me (the lender) setting rates I feel comfortable lending at for various risk categories. Every week Zopa sends me an email summary of how I did last week, which is very nice. What is missing though is that they don’t tell me if my rates are still competitive. Instead every week I have to log in and click through 5 screens to see if my offer remains competitive with the market or if it needs to be adjusted. If needed I then adjust it. The process is very tedious. Me manually doing this adds no value to the process, software should solve it. It turns my relationship with the company from one of unabashed love and admiration into a weekly chore.
Zopa, if you are listening, please give me the option to always stay “in the zone”. I hate logging in every week, (or not and instead wondering if I’m losing out). At the very least please include whether or not my offers are competitive in the weekly email you are sending me so I know if I even need to bother logging in. The reason I lend with you is to make money. My time also has a value, and every minute I have to waste on this administrivia changes the equation of whether your service is worth it or not. Most of all though it tarnishes your otherwise well deserved reputation as an innovator. Thanks