WeLab Bank launches in Hong Kong
WeLab Bank, the virtual bank operated by Hong Kong-headquartered fintech WeLab, has finally launched.
WeLab already operates China’s mobile lending platform WeLab Digital – previously called Wolaidai, as well as Hong Kong’s lending platform WeLend, and Indonesian fintech venture Maucash.
In December, the fintech raised $156 million (HKD 1.2 billion) to fuel the launch of its new digital bank this year.
WeLab Bank’s offering
Open for all users in Hong Kong, the challenger is offering users a numberless debit card. In the first few months following launch, users can earn 8% cash rebate on their spending.
They can also earn up to 4.5% on their deposits with GoSave. GoSave is a time deposit. Its annual interest rate is determined by the number of people which join each deposit batch.
Users can deposit a minimum of HKD 10 ($1.29) to a maximum of HKD 100,000 ($12,900) for each GoSave time deposit. After the deposits start, each user in the batch has two withdrawal opportunities without any fees.
Virtual banking in Hong Kong
WeLab automatically had a Hong Kong virtual banking licence upon launch. Its parent WeLab secured one of these back in April 2019.
Simon Loong, founder and group CEO at WeLab, told Bloomberg in December that “2020 marks the inflection point where the calls for supervision and governance are necessary, starting with regulated digital banks”.
In March, Standard Chartered unveiled its ‘Mox Bank’ in Hong Kong. Then in May, HSBC launched PayMe, its e-wallet for teens aged 16 and above living in Hong Kong.
Other players operating in the country already include Tandem Bank and Revolut.
Other entities which have secured Hong Kong virtual banking licences include Ping An OneConnect, Livi Virtual Bank, Insight Virtual Bank, Fusion Bank, and Ant Financial.
Read next: Hong Kong’s fintech WeLab raises $156 million to launch WeLab Bank in 2020