back to article Did you know? Internet money lender Opera also offers a free web browser

Those who remember Opera for its freeware browser may be saddened to note its ever-increasing dependency on fintech revenues, judging from financial figures it shared last night. Opera's full-year sales jumped 94 per cent from $172m in 2018 to $335m in 2019, we're told, with the stand-out being its online money-lending service …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Browser share

    > someone crueler than us might mistake Opera's browser market share for a rounding error these days

    That's okay, its difference from Chrome is also a rounding error these days.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Browser share

      It seemed to me when I ran it for a few months that the multithreading/multiprocess implementation wasn't as robust - that one part of the browser could freeze the whole thing unlike Chrome which is rock solid.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Browser share

        Downvoters - not that I care about such things, but tell me why I'm wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Browser share

          Not a downvoter, but at a guess I'd say it's because Chrome is anything but rock solid.

          Atrocious memory hogging performance killing overrated piece of software would be more like it.

          It isn't unusual for a mere handful of tabs to result in several GB of RAM usage. With Firefox that drops a third. With Brave it drops a half.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Browser share

            But my point was that one stalling tab doesn't bring down the whole thing for a few seconds, whereas Opera does.

            My comment didn't address memory usage.

            But thanks, that's at least an explanation - they didn't read my comment.

  2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Fintech concerns

    I note their "fintech"/lending business is losing $27m+ in credit losses per quarter, which is nearly half of its total revenue.

    Other concern: the fin.stts call its revenue "origination fees and interest". They're originating!?! What is their actual business model, here?

    1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
      Boffin

      Re: Fintech concerns

      "Origination fees" are charges tacked on at the start of the loan term(as opposed to servicing fees, which are tacked on on a periodic basis). For short term loans, they're frequently the main source of revenue, with the actual interest being a mere pittance(the absurd APRs quoted almost always factor them in); said fees are also frequently taken out of the initial disbursement, meaning a company loaning $100 with a $25 origination fee is only really risking $75.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Fintech concerns

        Oh, of course, sorry. Vast bulk of my experience is at bank/manager/client level not retail. "Origination" is normally used in the industry to mean putting together (slowly, by protracted negotiation) deals which are custom, structured (and typically complex), or/and large (e.g. US$100m+).

        But yes I suppose, technically you could apply the term to banging out insta-cash ST microloans. Technically. I guess.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: Fintech concerns

          I'm pretty sure the term is used for the first lender on a home or car as well.

  3. pradeepvasudev

    About murky waters and all that....

    I am a user of Opera in India, and would like to point out something to people who beat up the little company for getting into the financial industry - with "short-term, high-interest" loans. The thing is: in a country like India, with a high growth, high interest rate regime, what may look like extortion to Westerners is very very routine for us. Here are some points:

    - Inflation is between 4-5%, so any business that charges less than that is losing money.

    - Banks offer savings accounts with 6% interest on savings.

    - My credit score is perfect, so my home loan is as low as it can go, at 8.5% per year.

    - My bank offers me a personal loan at 14% and its regarded as low. I've avoided personal loans for 2 decades, of course.

    - My credit card company charges an interest of 45% on outstandings! This is high, even by my standards.

    - Companies like earlysalary offer short-term loans ("payday loans") at 2.5% per month, which is 30% per year, and they have a 98+% payback rate.

    In short, 33% may look look like loansharking in slow growth Western economies, but its utterly normal in India.

    I have, in all honesty, only glanced at the Hinderburg report and I am uninclined to investigate further (mostly because I have zero intent to be their customer), but the point I am making is that in a credit-starved nation, short-term, high-interest credit from Opera is far better than going to loan sharks.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: About murky waters and all that....

      Looks like extortion to me, but then again in the UK we have payday services charging 2000% per year (As they always have an admin fee for a payday loan meant to be paid back in 30 days, but you still often see you almost have to pay double what you borrowed) and services light Brighthouse.

      The sooner they all go under the better.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: About murky waters and all that....

        Interest rate is based on risk - if you are a high risk borrower who has a 50% chance you'll pay back a loan, a lender needs to charge 100% interest just to break even on the initial capital.

        If they were overcharging, they would be undercut.

        The loans are designed to be short term, eg: 2 week loan to cover short term liquidity crisis, eg: my car has broken down and I need it to get to work, payday is a fortnight away.

        In such situations, annual interest rate is a misleading figure.

        The choice is either we ban high interest rates and don't allow poor people to have access to credit, or we allow poor people to have access to credit.

        In the above example, better that the person can fix their car, go to work and pay it back on pay day.

        I'm in favour of restricting their advertising, but the service they provide is a valuable one.

        1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

          Re: About murky waters and all that....

          There's no place for common sense on El Rego. Go to your room and think about what you've done.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: About murky waters and all that....

      2.5%/month doesn't seem terrible for a short term bridge loan.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: About murky waters and all that....

        It's not, but a lot of states have usury laws that it would violate.

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