Top Hong Kong virtual banks seek new frontier in second year of operations, eye marriage with wealth management services
- Wealth management is our next priority, say CEOs of ZA Bank, WeLab Bank, while Mox Bank wants to expand its credit card services
- Virtual lenders have revolutionised banking over the past year, says Chan Ka-keung, WeLab Bank chairman and former Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Three of Hong Kong’s top virtual banks are eyeing wealth management and credit products as they step into their second year of operations.
At the same time, wealth management presents the other new frontier for Hong Kong’s banking sector. The marriage of such services with virtual banking is viewed as expanding both beyond what is currently available in the market.
WeLab Bank, the third-largest, had as of last month a customer base of about 130,000, as well as HK$2 billion in deposits and HK$700 million in personal loans. As of June this year, all eight banks had 840,000 customers and HK$21 billion in deposits, according to HKMA data.
“As a new bank, the speed of our growth is encouraging and this strong result is driven by our user-centric approach and fintech DNA. And our aim is to continue being the No. 1 virtual bank in Hong Kong,” said ZA Bank’s Hsu. The lender currently offers loans, deposits, insurance, remittance and debit card services.
Mox Bank wants to see its customer numbers reach 200,000 by the end of this year, CEO Deniz Guven told the Post. Guven also wants to expand the virtual lender’s credit card services, which were launched in May and have already seen more than 5 million transactions. The bank plans to introduce a new borrowing service in the third quarter.
“Given that credit card services are loved by Hong Kong people, we’re proud to be the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to launch Mox Credit,” Guven said. “Our mission from the very start was to win the hearts and trust of Hong Kong people. We have managed to garner one of the highest app ratings on Apple Store and Google Play, compared with other financial institutions,” he added.
WeLab Bank wants to increase its customer base as well, to 200,000 by the end of the year, according to its CEO, Tat Lee. The lender is also eyeing wealth management services.
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“Wealth management will be our next focus. We will collaborate with Allianz Global Investors on developing digital wealth management solutions for customers,” Lee said last week. He added that the lender had already applied for the appropriate licences.
The next revolution will centre on investment, he said. “There are many people who do not know how to invest. WeLab will offer a wealth management solution to make it easy for them to invest their money.”