The Australian finance sector and social media: towards a history of the new banking

Mark Balnaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The names iGrin and Lending Hub might not raise eyebrows, but they are the first peer-to-peer lending companies in Australia's internet history. Peer-to-peer lending is a new category of lending organisation - a part of the new banking distribution layer - that provides alternative ways of organising the relationship between borrower and lender, alternative ways of distributing money and alternatives ways of making decisions about finance using social networks. Its ethos is mutual aid, crowd funding, collaborative consumption, social lending and social sharing, moving away from traditional banks as 'trusted agents'. New currency platforms are also emerging that take advantage of peer-to-peer networks. Google as a hyper-giant - an aggregator - has taken out a banking licence in the Netherlands and bought a currency platform. These new players are called 'disruptors' because they are perceived simultaneously as creators of new opportunity and a threat to the traditional banking value chain. There is a change of 'game', in a Bourdieuian sense, underway in the finance sector. Peer-to-peer lending, mutual aid, signifies a move towards remutualisation, something not missed in the international policy domains. This article covers the history of peer-to-peer lending and the differences that are emerging between social media as 'mutual aid' (new lending organisations deploying social media in mutual support) and social media as 'customer intimacy' (traditional banking deploying social media to gain sophisticated engagement).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-145
Number of pages14
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number143
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

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