WeLab Eyes to Launch Virtual Bank by This Year

WeLab Eyes to Launch Virtual Bank by This Year

by July 10, 2019

It’s been several months now since the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the 8 licensees granted approval to operate a virtual bank in Hong Kong.

Since then all the players were clamoring for talent and racing to launch their respective virtual banks. Among these players is WeLab, the only homegrown and standalone fintech startup to be granted a license by HKMA.

In an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the wildly popular tech conference RISE, Simon Loong, CEO, WeLab, said that he is eyeing to have WeLab’s virtual bank to be up and running by end of this year.

Simon sees that virtual banks like WeLab will have an inherent advantage in being mobile first as they do not have to deal with legacy systems and unwinding layers of work done over the years. In building WeLab’s virtual bank, Simon said they are looking at “three I’s” — instant, intelligent and interactive.

He further added that their current priority is to “rebuild the core functions of a bank but in a more innovative and a more tech driven approach.” and to hire talent. In particular Simon told Bloomberg that they are massively hiring specifically for talent in technology, products and compliance.

Simon predicts that when the virtual banks launch in Hong Kong, many of the older generation will use it as a secondary account and slowly transition into using it as their primary account. With the younger generation who are opening their account for the first time, he foresees that virtual banks will end up being their primary account.