Mar 28, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Hong Kong has now issued three virtual banking licenses to allow financial institutions to operate online only savings and loans businesses, paving the way for a host of fintech startups to disrupt the traditional banking industry.
Livi VB, co-owned by Bank of China (Hong Kong), JD Digits and Jardines, SC Digital Solutions, a joint venture between Standard Chartered, HKT, PCCW and Ctrip, and Zhong An Virtual Finance, a joint venture between ZhongAn Online and Sinolink will be the operators of the first three licences.
The licenses aim to increase competition in the banking industry and better serve the needs of the people as virtual banks that do not need to open physical branches and use technology to cut costs are better able to offer small loans to customers unlike traditional banks who view such loans as too small for them to place their focus on.
The three virtual banks to obtain their licenses are the first among 33 financial services provider who had applied to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for virtual banking licenses. More licenses are still under processing and more applicants may be approved in the coming months.
These banks will be trailing their systems to launch new services in the coming months. Zhong An Virtual Finance aims to include more interactive elements on its platform to create more personalized financial products for its clients.
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