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Developing a P2P lending platform: stages, strategies and platform configurations

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Online Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms are becoming increasingly popular globally in recent years. Our knowledge of how to develop and manage the digital platforms that make P2P lending possible, however, is limited. Through an in-depth examination of the strategies deployed and actions taken across the various stages of development of Tuodao, one of the most successful online P2P lending platforms in China, the purpose of this study is to develop a process model of P2P Lending Platform Development to address this knowledge gap.


The case research method was adopted for this research, and a total of 16 informants were interviewed. The informants were composed of representatives of Tuodao’stop management, organizational IT functions as well as its various business units.


Our study reveals that the development of a P2P lending platform can unfold in a specific sequence across three stages, and the development of a particular side of the platform should be emphasized in each stage (i.e. Partners, followed by Lenders, and then Borrowers). Each stage is also distinctive in terms of their strategies and platform configuration outcomes, which are elaborated on in our paper.


Our process model contributes an in-depth view of how P2P lending platforms should be established and nurtured to complement the existing studies in this rapidly growing research area. In addition, our study also hints at the strategies that can facilitate the various stages. Our model can potentially serve as the foundation for formulating guidelines for the managers of P2P lending platforms, so that they are able to optimize the development of their platforms and extend the benefits of P2P lending to a broader base of customers.

Keywords: Case study; China; FinTech; P2P lending; Platform development; Process model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Discipline of Business Information Systems, The University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, Australia 2: School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China

Publication date: April 14, 2020

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