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HK virtual bank WeLab opens 10,000 accounts in first ten days; Livi goes live

WeLab’s new virtual bank in Hong Kong has picked up 10,000 new accounts within ten days of opening to the public.

WeLab was the first first homegrown applicant to be granted one of Hong Kong’s new virtual banking licenses back in 2019. The mobile lender raised US$156 million of Series C strategic financing in December last year to build out its banking proposition, using AI, machine learning and big data to create a fully-functioning app-based service.

So far, more than 60% of new customers are using two or more WeLab Bank products, with the firm’s innovative GoSave time deposit account proving particularly popular. GoSave harnesses the power of the community to pay higher interest rate as more people join each group.

Since launch, a total of 137 GoSave accounts have commenced with more than 8,200 customers participating.

Adrian Tse added, “The pandemic has created challenges for many industries. While some banks have shortened their branch banking hours, WeLab Bank continues to provide a refreshing banking experience to the Hong Kong people efficiently. WeLab Bank is fully digital and everything can be done simply from their phone. Customers can open an account anytime, anywhere in as fast as 5 minutes, immediately use the virtual Debit Card to earn cash rebates, and board the GoSave minibus to earn competitive interest rates.”

Meanwhile, Livi VB, co-owned by Bank of China (Hong Kong), JF Digits and Jardines has opened for business in Hong Kong. The new virtual bank is debuting with accounts paying 0.5% interest and the incorporation of UnionPay’s QR payment code into the mobile app for offline spending.