CNN has an interesting article about Peer-to-Peer lending; basically one-to-one lending.
This concept has been pioneered by a British Start up called Zopa. Like P2P, middleman intervention is cut to the bare minimum.
Zopa is therefore both advantageous to borrowers and lenders who get lower rates of interests and higher returns respectively, as compared to high street banks. Both ends are covered against conmen and fraud as Zopa operates the same way as traditional banks do. Zopa’s management backbone is actually formed by ex-Egg executives.
More than 55,000 users have been using it and their business plan is sound enough for Bessemer Venture partners to put $15 million in the business.
Given that banks are raking in billions of pounds in profits, Zopa can expect to get a tiny fraction of the UK money cake - which will be more than enough to keep its investors happy.
My bet, I sense that Zopa could be the next big thing, especially if a company called Ebay grabs it and merge it with Paypal.