Pan-Asian fintech platform, WeLab, is celebrating its 10th-anniversary milestone this year, looking back at how it has championed fintech development across Hong Kong and the rest of Asia, by embracing developing innovative technologies and promoting financial inclusion since its inception.
As the fintech industry continues to surge forward, WeLab eagerly embraces the promising changes ahead and the impact that it is poised to bring.
Early in 2013, WeLab recognised the possibilities of digitalising financial services and established WeLend, Hong Kong’s first pure online lending platform. This was followed by adding new business lines, diversifying into digital banking, B2B business, whilst also expanding geographically into Mainland China, Indonesia, and recently Malaysia.
WeLab currently boasts over 60 million users and over 700 enterprise customers, disbursing in excess of HKD 100 billion of loans to date, with a positive growth trajectory that is exceeding a pre-pandemic run rate. As fintech is widely adopted in daily life and the regional fintech ecosystem develops more comprehensively, WeLab has also announced its next-decade goal: to serve 500 million users in Asia Pacific.
Simon Loong, founder and group CEO of WeLab, commented: “In the fast-paced journey of the past decade, the Asian financial market has undergone a phenomenal digital transformation. As a pioneer in Hong Kong’s fintech sector, we were excited to be part of this revolution.
“Since inception, we have been committed to reimagining the financial service experience with technology. Thanks to the dedication of our team and the support of the HKSAR government for nurturing the local fintech ecosystem, WeLab has achieved exceptional accomplishments, but our ambitions extend far beyond.
“As fintech evolves, and traditional financial services fall short in meeting the needs of the Asian market, we anticipate a shift from B2B (Business to Business) to B2B2X (Business to Business to Any User), seamlessly integrating financial services into various products and services for a holistic experience. WeLab is poised to capitalise on every opportunity that emerges in the upcoming surge of rapid growth in Asia.”
Achievements and future plans
WeLab explained that it is proud of the impact it has had on the financial services industry in the region, having operated WeLab Bank, one of Asia’s first licensed digital banks, which has also been recognised as the most innovative company in Hong Kong.
The fintech platform was also Asia’s first purely digital bank to launch digital wealth advisory services, which has generated investment returns of up to 14 per cent since its launch.
Other achievements include being appointed as the only financial service provider in Asia for Apple’s subscription program; becoming the top lender in Tesla’s electric vehicle loan market in Hong Kong (exceeding 80 per cent market share); and being the first company in Hong Kong to acquire a bank in Indonesia, Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ).
BJJ’s digital banking service in Indonesia, is on track to be launched imminently. WeLab has also signed a MoU with HSBC to explore delivering world-class customer journeys and innovative product offerings in Southeast Asia, with preparations underway for Malaysia being launched as the first market.
Looking to the future, WeLab has plans to further expand its fintech offerings across Asia. The fintech platform is confident about the potential in the region and believes that through cross-market and cross-industry collaborations, synergies can be created to enhance both reach and scale.