WeLab Bank, a virtual bank licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has publicly launched banking services.
WeLab Bank is 100% digital, built for customers to enjoy a range of next generation digital services 24/7 from their mobile phones. It says within a five-minute onboarding process, customers can remotely open a WeLab Bank account with zero monthly fees and start enjoying differentiated services such as time deposits with competitive rates, an interest-bearing deposit account with an instant virtual debit card, and real-time payments powered by Faster Payment System (FPS).
The banks is also offering a numberless debit card issued with Mastercard.
Adrian Tse, CEO of WeLab Bank, said, “We have efficiently built WeLab Bank from scratch, free from any legacies, with innovative features that proactively help you to take control of your financial journey. Everything you need to do can be done simply from your phone.”
One feature is called GoSave, which the virtual bank calls Hong Kong’s first flexible, socially-driven savings product.
Customers can drive up the interest rate “in a fun way” with their family, friends, or the whole WeLab Bank community. More people joining GoSave means that customers can benefit from a higher interest rate of up to 4.5% p.a. GoSave is differentiated from traditional time deposit products where higher interest rates are only reserved for large-amount deposits or select customers, whereas all GoSave users can start with as little as HK$10. They can withdraw their funds at any time without additional fees.
WeLab’s debit card allows the withdraw cash from any ATM in Hong Kong under the umbrella of JETCO, a consortium of banks that excludes HSBC. Customers can receive 8% cash rebate during the promotion period on their spending. All card information can only be accessed securely from the WeLab Bank app. The app also provides instant notifications of activity in a customer’s account. In the future, using big data analytics, WeLab intends to reshape the way people engage with their banks.
Tse said, “We see the physical WeLab card as a medium that enables the customers to perform different activities. You can use it as a debit card to access the ATM today, but this is just the beginning to unlock endless possibilities, where it may also become the access card to the office, gym, carpark or even a credit card, all combined into one. The real power happens behind the scenes from the technology that powers the app on the mobile phone – that is the real remote control of the future.”
He said WeLab intends to launch lending products in the near future.