6 Min. Read

viainvest Review: Is it good? Don't invest before you read this! (11/2022)

viainvest

viainvest

13. janvāra iela 3, LV-1050 Riga

Test result

3.7 of 5

Invest now on viainvest

Safety

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4.50

Interest & Risks

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3.25

Features

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3.00

Advantages

  • Regulated dropdown icon

  • Experienced platform

  • Comparatively high Ø interest rates

  • Invest free of charge

  • Automatic investment function

  • Buyback guarantee

Disadvantages

  • Currently 2 warning signals

  • No secondary market

  • No app

How good is viainvest?

If that's what you want to know, then keep reading.

We took a close look at the platform and tell you whether it's worth it.

In this test, we show you:

What is viainvest?

Infographic: how does viainvest work

viainvest is a P2P platform from Riga in Latvia, founded in 2016.

It is a subsidiary of VIA SMS Group, which is also based in Latvia.

Almost universally, viainvest only offers P2P loans from loan originators that belong to the same company.

Since its inception, the platform has funded more than €300 million worth of loans, making it one of the mid-sized P2P platforms in Europe.

How does viainvest work?

To invest on viainvest, you must first register online and then deposit money via a bank transfer.

With the transfer, you also confirm the bank account, to which you can then make withdrawals.

After that, you can invest directly in the offered credits.

To start investing, you need to invest at least €50.

After that, you can decide whether you want to invest manually or automatically via Auto Invest.

On viainvest, you can only invest on the primary market (first issue of loans) because unfortunately no secondary market (loans from other investors) is offered.

Transition phase

Currently, the platform is switching to securities.

During the transition, there were some technical surprises for existing investors.

In addition, the loans are still displayed in an overview.

After consultation with viainvest support, only investments in securities are possible. For example, with Auto Invest you can only invest in securities.

As a new investor, you should (hopefully) notice less or nothing of the transition phase.

At viainvest, you do not invest directly in loans, but via securities in loan pools (several loans).

These securities are collateralized with these loans, and accordingly their value depends on them.

That is why they are called asset-backed securities.

The securities differ according to:

  • Country (origin of the loans),

  • interest rate (coupon)

  • maturity and

  • Amount (volume).

The best way to show this is with an example.

Example of a security on viainvest

  • Country: Sweden

  • Interest rate: 13

  • Maturity: 182 days

  • Amount: €2,260

If you invested €226 in this security, you would invest over it in 10% of the bundled loans.

The P2P loans offered on the platform all have an official security identification number (ISIN or WKN), as you may be familiar with from other securities such as ETFs or shares.

Features

In the following we would like to present the most important features of the platform.

Regulation

viainvest is officially supervised by the Latvian Financial Market Authority FCMC according to the regulations of the European Directive 97/9/EC.

This means that the platform must comply with strict regulations and offer investor protection of €20,000 per investor.

Loans

The average interest rate of the loans is 13% and loans with interest rates between 9% and 13% are offered.

In comparison, the platform's average interest rates are above average and there are some platforms that offer higher interest rates.

Which platforms offer higher interest rates?

Among the regulated platforms, there is only one that offers strikingly higher interest rates than all the others and that is NEO Finance with about 15%.

Otherwise, you can only get higher interest rates at non-regulated platforms, including Lendermarket (approx. 14%) and Esketit (approx. 13%).

But then you have to accept that these platforms do not offer you any investor protection and that you have to expect a higher platform risk.

The loans are currently offered by 5 credit brokers who, with one exception, belong to the same company as the platform.

And that exception is the loan intermediary for Vietnamese loans, for which a joint venture (joint venture) has been entered into with Twino.

You can invest in consumer loans and in business loans.

As for business loans, we would like to mention that you should not confuse them with usual corporate loans.

Rather, loans are made to other financial companies, loan providers or even P2P platforms, such as Robocash.

The loans come from 7 countries, mainly from:

  • Latvia,

  • Sweden,

  • Poland and

  • Spain.

While in the past most loans had terms of 30 days, this has changed with the introduction of the securities (loan pools).

The most recent securities offered have shown that future maturities will be 182 days (6 months).

Capital tied up

This is an important change in that your invested capital is tied up for the term.

This is less of a problem for a 30-day term than for half a year.

And viainvest does not offer any options to get out of current investments earlier.

To be able to assess the risk of the individual loans, the platform assigns risk classes (ratings) from 0 to 10 (low risk).

Manual investing

On the platform, you can choose every single loan you want to invest in yourself.

This is especially useful if you intend to invest your money quickly in the beginning and then invest via Auto Invest.

Otherwise, manual investing would involve a lot of effort, which is why, in our opinion, automatic investing is preferable.

Auto Invest

The platform offers an automatic investment function with Auto Invest.

You can specify which loans you intend to invest in with the following settings.

  • Interest rate,

  • countries (lenders),

  • loan type,

  • term (in days) and

  • status.

Auto Invest is very streamlined and self-explanatory.

You can set it up to your liking within minutes.

Buyback Guarantee

Even though the loans are now offered as part of loan pools, the loans are still subject to the Buyback Guarantee.

And loans that are delayed for more than 60 days will be bought back by loan servicers.

Secondary market

Unfortunately, viainvest does not offer a secondary market to date.

This is somewhat disappointing and nothing seems to change for the moment.

In the past, we were less critical of this point, as most loans had short maturities.

However, as mentioned above, this is changing due to the switch to securities that have maturities of 6 months.

Accordingly, we think viainvest should urgently consider introducing a secondary market or alternative to exit loans early.

Tax report

You can easily create the documents for your tax return on viainvest.

You only have to select the year for the tax report and can download the report afterwards.

App

The platform does not offer an app.

Currently, we do not expect one to be offered in the future.

How much does investing on viainvest cost?

For investors, the use of the platform is completely free of charge.

There are also no fees for deposits or withdrawals.

Warning signals (red flags)

Currently, we would see the following warning signals on viainvest.

#1 No credits available

We have observed that, especially often, no or only few credits are offered on the primary market for investing.

Sometimes many loans come onto the platform at once, and then a longer lean period follows.

If you are already invested in loans, this is less of a problem.

For new investors, however, it can take a relatively long time until they have invested their entire investment amount.

#2 Transition phase to securities

During the transition phase to securities, the platform has been less on its best behavior.

Many investors had to deal with numerous technical problems.

In some cases, Auto Invest settings were applied incorrectly, resulting in unintentional investments in loans with very long maturities.

In addition, there were some changes in the terms and conditions: For example, the platform simply removed the buyback guarantee for certain loans (credit lines).

Furthermore, the return option for loans with long terms was also removed without comment.

Even though the transition phase is now largely complete, the platform needs to prove itself reliable again before we remove this warning signal.

Frequently asked questions

Below, we address some questions that are often asked about viainvest.

viainvest Regulierung

As mentioned above, viainvest is supervised by the Latvian Financial Market Authority.

Furthermore, the platform has brokered loans worth more than €300 million and has also proven itself during recent crises, for example during the Corona crisis.

Accordingly, there is no doubt on our part about its safety.

The platform follows a legal business model and is embedded in a reputable financial company.

How does viainvest earn money?

As a subsidiary of VIA SMS Group, the platform passes on its profits and losses to the parent company.

The latter earns its money from interest income, commissions and other income from operations.

Who owns viainvest?

viainvest is wholly owned by VIA SMS Group.

What about withholding taxes on viainvest?

A withholding tax of 20% is withheld by the platform on your earnings.

However, you can reduce the tax to 10% with a certificate of residence from your tax office.

With an average interest rate of 13%, you will still have 10.4% or 11.7% (with certificate) after taxes.

Expert conclusion

viainvest is as a safeP2P platform with an official regulation and a financed loan volume of more than €300. The platform offers investors double-digit interest rates and the use is free of charge for them.

Registration takes only a few minutes and after the first deposit, investors can easily specify which loans they want to invest in with Auto Invest.

But the platform also has some weaknesses.

For example, it still lacks a secondary market that allows investors to exit their loans earlier. In addition, sometimes only a few loans are available for investing. This, together with the lack of a secondary market, means that it can take a long time to invest a large amount.

The problems during the transition to securities seem to have been largely solved, but the platform still has some catching up to do.

Overall, we consider the platform recommendable.

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Last updated on 05 October 2022