MoneyAisle Introduces Multi-Auction CD Laddering

image CD laddering is a great way to increase yield without sacrificing liquidity. Sophisticated savers have used the strategy, often at the suggestion of personal or private bankers. It’s not rocket science, but it takes a bit more planning.

It’s a trivial bit of logic to program a ladder tool into a computer or website, so it’s surprising that it’s rarely featured on banking sites (note 1). That may be because most financial institutions have dozens of product lines to nurture, and it’s difficult to justify the resources for speciality features.

That’s just the kind of thinking that creates market opportunities for startups like MoneyAisle from neoSaej. The Boston-area company, which made its public debut at Finovate 2008 (demo video here), is totally focused on deposits and can justify the investment in advanced features. In fact, their livelihood depends on it.

So it makes sense they’d be first to market with an automated CD-laddering tool. But what makes it especially impressive is that MoneyAisle users can run up to 30 simultaneous auctions placing funds in up to 30 different financial institutions (see note 2).  

In our test of a relatively simple, but typical, four-rung ladder (see below), four different financial institutions won the bidding:

  • MetLife paying 2.1% for a $25,000 3-month CD
  • First National Bank of Florida paying 2.3% for a $25,000 6-month CD
  • Wainwright Bank paying 2.5% for a $25,000 9-month CD
  • KeySource Commercial Bank paying 2.93% for a $25,000 12-month CD

And by distributing our funds into four different maturities, 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, and 12-month, we were able to increase the yield by 0.36% compared to putting it all into 3-month certificates. And we are still able to withdraw 25% of our funds every 3 months without penalty. To further increase yield, the shorter-term CDs could be reinvested into longer-term CDs at maturity, e.g., each CD could be rolled into one-year CDs at maturity to create a ladder of four 12-month CDs with one maturing every 3 months.

Advanced option: The advanced ladder is designed for users that want to spread their deposits around. The money designated for each CD maturity can be spread to two or three different banks if desired. Users may also choose up to 10 banks they want excluded from the bidding.

Simple CD ladder tool at MoneyAisle (11 Feb. 2009)


 Results from the above auction: Four $25,000 CDs of varying maturities
(11 Feb. 2009)


MoneyAisle’s Advanced laddering tool (11 Feb. 2009)


1. Bank of America has a Java-based laddering calculator here as does Citizens Bank (here) and Safe Credit Union (here).

2. The maximum number of simultaneous auctions in the simple ladder program (shown above) is 10.

3. For more information on MoneyAisle and other new lead-gen programs, see our Online Banking Report on Lead Generation and our recent report on Growing Your Deposits Online.

Receivables Exchange Launching Auction Platform for Financing Accounts Receivables

image A new financial market will open Monday where businesses as small as $1.5 million in annual sales can borrow against their receivables with prices set in an auction market.

New Orleans-based The Receivables Exchange opens for trades on Monday (17 Nov) after an 18-month development cycle.

Businesses register with the exchange, a process that entails uploading financial statements and completing an application. The Receivables Exchange conducts due diligence on the potential participant to ensure that it is legitimate.

Businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of $1.5 million in annual sales
  • At least 2 years of operating history
  • Registered to do business in the United States

Upon approval, the business can list specific invoices for financing, with a minimum total value of $10,000. Then accredited investors (SEC definition here) bid to provide short-term financing until the receivables are collected. Sellers are encouraged to upload PDF copies of invoices, proof of delivery, and so on to get the best rates. However, many documentation requirements are optional.

Sellers select the terms they are willing to accept and the bidder that beats those terms by the widest margin wins the credit. If no bidder meets the minimum terms, the auction ends without a trade.

Co-founders: Justin A. Brownhill and Nicolas R. Perkin

VC backers: Prism VentureWorks LLC and Fidelity Ventures

In an era of tight credit, it's a welcome addition to the financing tools available for small and mid-sized businesses. Larger businesses typically have more options through commercial paper and other capital markets.

The startup expects banks to be valuable sources of referrals. Although, at this point, there are no referral fees or revenue-sharing options.

So far, The Receivables Exchange has signed up sellers with a total of $2 billion in annual sales. And there's been a lot of interest. Founder Nicolas Perkin says his company has been approached by 20 $1+ billion companies.

But what about the other side of the trade, the lender/investor? The company says it has access to $8 billion deployable capital. Of course, that doesn't mean that the capital will be easily enticed into actual deals.

Starting Monday, we'll see what the buy side thinks. Are they willing to risk their capital in the unproven market? If The Receivables Exchange can drive out fraud and deliver on its promises, we think the answer will be yes.

The Receivables Exchange homepage (11 Nov 2008)