Background: Online peer-to-peer lending (P2P lending) is booming as the popularity of e-finance. To develop a conceptual model for the P2P lending process is great valuable for managers to tack the issues of marketing, management and operation. Methods: In this paper, we focus on the P2P lending process model and provide a comparative analysis comparing with traditional bank loan process. Results: Firstly, our model shows that the information flow in P2P lending is more frequent and transparent. Secondly, the model reveals that P2P lending uses a quite different credit audition method, which relies on information and the decision model in the P2P systems. Thirdly, the loan management is not complete normally in P2P lending, because most P2P companies do not have the post-loan records of borrowers. Conclusions: These findings inspire future studies and practices on P2P lending process and key technologies.