SEAN MURRAY

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Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked (2010), deBanked Connect & Broker Fair (2018), and DailyFunder (2012).

Murray entered the nonbank finance industry in 2006 and has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting & Finance from University of Delaware. He is widely known for his extensive reporting on the merchant cash advance industry and fintech.




Sean Murray



Recently Authored by Sean Murray

Reliant Funding Shifts Gears
By: Sean Murray

Reliant FundingReliant Funding has begun a sale of its portfolio, deBanked has learned, a move complemented by some material adjustments internally. For example, posts on social media have revealed that numerous members of Reliant's staff are suddenly seeking new employment. A source familiar with events taking place inside the company confirmed that Reliant is indeed right-sizing its team and that funding on balance sheet has paused. Due to its ability to get deals funded off balance sheet, however, January was actually the company's strongest month ever for originations. Market conditions and the rapid rise of interest rates may be related to the sudden shift at Reliant, which has been in operation since late 2008. At the time the Federal Funds Rate had dropped to 0% and it had remained exceptionally low until recently.
Regulators Seek to Shore Up Potential Hole in Commercial Financing Disclosure Rules
By: Sean Murray

lawyer going to the courthouseAfter a trade association sued the Commissioner of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation over its allegedly unlawful disclosure rules, regulators appear to be scrambling to cover their bases. In particular the SBFA, as plaintiff, has argued that California's prescribed APR formulas are actually preempted by the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and thus irrelevant. Within 24 hours of the lawsuit becoming public, a federal agency, the CFPB, coincidentally asked the public to comment on whether or not the disclosure law of a separate state (New York) should be preempted by TILA. The CFPB is requesting comment on whether it should finalize its preliminary determination that the New York law as well as potentially similar laws in California, Utah, and Virginia are not preempted, the agency said. It is of the CFPB's opinion that such state laws are not preempted and it has proposed to codify such in an official ruling. On January 20th the Attorney General for the State of California praised the CFPB for this initiative. "...if TILA were to preempt the CFDLs commercial financing disclosures, there would be no required disclosures at all for commercial credit in California, undermining TILAs purpose in promoting uniform information and eliminating protections for small businesses and entrepreneurs in California," said AG Rob Bonta. The disclosure rules in California went into effect on January 1st despite the lawsuit being filed in December. The SBFA did not attempt to obtain a temporary injunction so there was no anticipation of a delay. The only thing that has happened in the case thus far is that California has asked for an extension to answer the lawsuit. The State now has until February 21st to submit it. In the meantime, the comment period for the CFPB's proposed rule ended on January 20th, which now potentially puts the agency on course to quickly invent a rule to head off the challenge in California and other states.



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Stories

Sean Murray to Moderate Best Practices Panel at New York Institute of Credit Event

October 15, 2018
Article by:

deBanked President and Chief Editor Sean Murray will be moderating a best practices panel at the New York Institute of Credit Event on October 16th. The event is also supported by the IFA Northeast, the Alternative Finance Bar Association, and deBanked.

The subject of the panel is to discuss best practices when dealing with different financial firms, namely ABL, factoring, and merchant cash advance. The panelists are:

  • Bill Gallagher, President, CFG Merchant Solutions
  • Bill Elliott, President, First Business Growth Funding
  • Raffi Azadian, CEO, Change Capital
  • Dean Landis, President, Entrepreneur Growth Capital

Merchant Cash Advance APR Debate (Sean Murray v Ami Kassar)

November 24, 2015
Article by:

The other day, Inc. writer and loan broker Ami Kassar took some time out of his day from taking photos of his shadow in the park to engage me in a debate about the use of APRs in future receivable purchase transactions. He was apparently very bothered by my analysis of Square’s merchant cash advance program which has transacted more than $300 million to date.

To clarify my position here, I am indeed in favor of transparency, so long as it’s intelligent transparency. Coming up with phony percentages based on estimates and applying them to transactions where they don’t make sense is not transparency. Similarly, advocating that merchant cash advance companies and lenders alike move away from a dollar-for-dollar pricing model to one that requires the seller or borrower to do math or hire an accountant is also not transparency.

Even a Federal Reserve study that attempted to prove merchant cash advances were confusing inadvertently proved that APRs in general were confusing. If someone doesn’t know how to calculate an APR, then it’s unreasonable to assume that they could work backwards from an APR to determine the dollar-for-dollar cost of capital. In effect, APR is a surefire way to mask the trust cost despite arguments to the contrary.

My unplanned debate with Ami Kassar on twitter is below:

Sorry Ami. The only thing unclear is your argument.

Broker Fair Returns to New York City May 8, 2023

January 30, 2023
Article by:


Broker Fair 2023 LogoBroker Fair returns to NYC on May 8th at the New York Hilton Midtown. Once again brokers from the small business lending, commercial financing, revenue-based financing, leasing, equipment financing, factoring, and mca industries, will come together in the heart of New York.

“It’s exciting to return back to our pre-pandemic schedule and host Broker Fair in the Spring,” said event founder Sean Murray. “This is the biggest annual small business finance conference in Manhattan and we’re excited to be doing it again now for the sixth time since 2018. If you haven’t seen what this show is all about, 2023 is the best year to come and find out!”

Register here. For inquiries or questions, email events@debanked.com.



See last year’s sizzle reel:

DailyFunder Marks 10 Year Anniversary

July 26, 2022
Article by:

dailyfunderThe DailyFunder.com domain was registered ten years and 1 month ago. Formed two years after the debut of deBanked, DailyFunder went on to become the most active small business finance community in North America. The forum has generated more than 160,000 posts and has more than 12,000 members. It has regularly surpassed two million page views per year.

“There is no doubt that the DF has impacted the trajectory of the industry over the last decade,” said Sean Murray, who founded it. “The site receives thousands of visitors per day. In the early years it ushered in an era of broker commission transparency.”

Murray recalled a time when sales agents were not always aware that there were even commissions being paid at all.

“There were reps who thought that they had to charge merchants a separate fee in order to earn anything at all,” Murray said. “And their bosses were taking 50% of that. When I would bring up commissions, they’d be like ‘wait, the funders are paying my boss for these deals too?’ and I’d be like ‘how do you not know this?’ Widespread communication via the forum eliminated a lot of the secrets.”

One of the most popular categories on the forum in more recent times has been the Deal Bin, where brokers try to find placement for deals. It’s recorded more than 41,000 posts.

“Ten years is a lifetime as far as I’m concerned,” Murray said. “Love it or hate it, everybody knows the DF. If you’re a lender or funder, your brokers are lurking on there whether they admit it or not.”

Small Business Lending on Blockchain to be Discussed at NFT NYC

June 23, 2022
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Sean Murray is scheduled to speak at the NFT NYC Conference this afternoon about the use of NFTs in the small business lending market. NFT NYC is a 4-day event dedicated to the subject of non-fungible tokens. Blockchains present a possible solution to some inefficiencies that exist in the small business finance industry. Some or all of Murray’s presentation will be shared on deBanked.

Here’s a short preview of what’s going at NFT NYC:

Join the deBanked Team in NYC for a Night of Networking in Web3 & Crypto

May 8, 2022
Article by:

The Refinery Rooftop NYCThe team behind deBanked is hosting a 3-hour open bar in New York City this Wednesday night on May 11th from 6-9pm. It’s called deCashed. deBanked readers interested in Web3, NFTs, and crypto are welcome to attend the event being held at The Refinery Rooftop.

Sponsored by Artchive and designated as the first in-real-life meetup for enthusiasts of the Ethereum Name Service’s recently formed “10KClub,” deCashed intends to bring crypto-capable folks together for a night of fun, networking, and cocktails.

“I think there is a big misconception among folks who associate crypto with things like the value of bitcoin,” said Sean Murray. “In my opinion, cryptocurrencies are not investments. They’re payment tools and a means of identity. If you’ve soured on crypto because you were told a coin was going to go up and then it went down instead, that is unfortunate because the actual use-cases for crypto are just starting to be used and are on the verge of mass adoption. You don’t need to invest in any coins, just be knowledgeable of the infrastructure.”

Twitter, for example, has already implemented a limited Web3 mechanism in which ethereum-based NFTs can be used as profile pictures for users that connect their wallets. Instagram too is slated to roll out integrations with ethereum, solana, flow, and polygon THIS WEEK as social media the world over begins its slow evolution forward. Coinbase too rolled out its own social network last week. Similarly, a handful of non-bank lenders have already pivoted to smart-contract-based loans in which lenders are effectively 100% insulated from loss.

Seven years ago there was a big rush for small business lenders to incorporate social media activity into the underwriting process with the premise that much could be learned by what businesses say, share, and present themselves as on social media. Today, social media users are slowly gravitating toward a blockchain-based experience connected to their digital wallets in which their bank statements and their online photos are effectively accounted for in the same system. Do you know how to examine that?

See you at the deCashed three-hour open bar this Wednesday night in NYC at The Refinery Rooftop from 6-9pm if Web3 and crypto appeals to you. Please register in advance. If you need help, e-mail events@decashed.com or call 917-722-0808.

BROKER FAIR IS BACK! – NYC

May 2, 2022
Article by:

Broker Fair 2022 - New York Marriott MarquisBroker Fair is coming back to New York City on October 24th at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Anticipated to be the biggest Broker Fair ever, brokers from the small business lending, commercial financing, revenue-based financing, leasing, factoring, and MCA industries, will come together in the heart of New York.

“It’s amazing to have participated in the industry’s growth over the last four years,” said Broker Fair founder Sean Murray. “Our first event launched in Brooklyn in 2018 and now the demand has brought us into a massive newly-renovated venue in the middle of Times Square.”

Brokers, lenders, funders, factors, equipment financiers, fintechs, and the whole small business finance ecosystem can expect a full day of education, inspiration, and high quality networking opportunities.

Register here. For inquiries or questions, email events@debanked.com.

See last year’s sizzle reel:

Alchemy’s Lending Tech Has Come to the Small Business Lending Market: Here’s What You Need to Know

April 7, 2022
Article by:

Alchemy Site“We are the salesforce for embedded finance.”

Timothy Li, CEO of Alchemy, has launched a financing software for both commercial and small business lenders that can automatically approve applicants through an integrated decision engine. The service offers what he calls a “soup to nuts” digital lending platform — offering lines of credit, installment loans, and even loan servicing.

For the past six years, Li has been building a suite of products for those who want to sell financing. He compared his product to what many companies are now offering in the form of Buy Now Pay Later. As his service began to grow, Li realized there was an “extension” of potential with his service.

“[The] extension of this is that some of the small businesses also happened to be small business lenders,” he said.

 

“ANYBODY CAN PUT THEIR LABEL ON AND HAVE [THEIR LENDING PLATFORM] UP AND GOING IN A MATTER OF WEEKS”

 

According to him, he created the service not as an idea of innovation, but to meet a growing demand from his users. “I heard from all of the small business lenders in the New York area,” said Li. “They said ‘Tim, could you augment or come up with a piece of software fully automated for us to use’”?

Although it took some time, Li said this recent announcement is what the lenders that came to him years ago were looking for. “I said well, we’re almost there, give me a year or two to kind of really properly do it right. So that’s what we’ve done.”

In what he refers to as “private labeled” software, Alchemy’s Lending SaaS (or Lending-as-a-Service) allows merchants and lenders alike to operate a fully branded and operational lending platform with a full suite of financial products. Customers range from tattoo removal companies to lenders, to companies that have now grown to become publicly traded.

The ability to literally send Alchemy a JPEG of some branding and marketing and becoming on online lender is as easy as just that. “Anybody can put their label on and have [their lending platform] up and going in a matter of weeks,” said Li.

 

THE GOOD ‘OL ISO MODEL IS GREAT. BUT…

 

When speaking about the role ISO’s play alongside his technology, Li didn’t dismiss the value brokers play in the small business lending industry. “The good ol’ ISO model is great,” he said. “It’s great that there is a product like this that can help [merchants] grow and drive their company. But as the new generation comes in, they don’t have time. They might be on their phone for five minutes after they close their store or small business, and these kind of products are out there sitting there for them to apply for on their own time.”

Alchemy deBanked
Flashback: Li spoke with deBanked Editor Sean Murray in Aug. 2020

Li hinted that his product is best utilized by merchants who are digitally-native and are looking to have access to data quickly, while being given the time to make a decision regarding the type of financial product best suited to their business.

“[Alchemy] lets them pick what they want to pick based on their own cash flow,” he said. “It’s no longer that there will be a sales process where things aren’t as transparent. The ‘I am not going to tell you who my lender is until I’m paid,’ [thing], you know how the ISO world works. This stuff takes all of that away, and puts it right in the hands of the consumer that needs it.”

When asked if brokers could find any use of this product, Li said that if used right, the value proposition for brokers that use this software is huge.

“Brokers can use our system just like any other lender. If they want to have another way to be able to market to these small businesses, and have them use their products more. It’s essentially HubSpot for financing.”

Threads on deBanked


07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
dale laszig has written a terrific article (http://www.greensheet.com/emagazine.php?article_id=6033) on the green sheet (http://www.greensheet.com/) a...




Found on DailyFunder:

07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
sean murray, president and chief editor at*debanked, makes great points about education for sales agents being paramount to their success.*if knowledgeable about the diversity of financial products, and their distinctions from one another, agents can*help customers make informed decisions, which allows them to close more deals., , *, , customers trust in the person, brand or company they are working with is...
06-07-2019

How in the WORLD!!!??...
sean murray over at debanked to do a nice piece for his magazine debanked., , this is just getting crazy!!! still waiting for approval/denial and merchant has been called 4 times already.... wwooowwwwww!!!!...
01-28-2019

Quicksilver...
sean murray would have stepped in to stop this but i guess doesnt want to hurt his bottom line...