Chinese mobile lender WeLab aims for new ways to win over its customers

  • WeLab, a Hong Kong-based financial technology firm, plans to expand its services after applying for a virtual banking license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority this year.
  • Adding new services such as virtual banking to WeLab's portfolio would help meet different needs of its customers at different points of their lives, says CEO of WeLab Simon Loong.

One of China's major mobile lending platforms, WeLab, plans to diversify its services to meet the changing needs of its customers as they enter into new stages of their lives, said the company's CEO, Simon Loong.

WeLab, a Hong Kong-based financial technology firm, plans to expand its services after applying for a virtual banking license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority this year.

In the past, the company only provided its users with lending services but it's now exploring new opportunities.

"Can we actually with the license, with the technology, offer them other additional financial services and also grow with them throughout their life cycle?" Loong told CNBC at the Hong Kong Fintech week on Wednesday.

Adding new services such as virtual banking to WeLab's portfolio would help meet different needs of its customers at different points of their lives, Loong said.

The customers at WeLab five years ago were 20 years old, and they may have had needed more lending services at that time, said Loong. Today, the services they need might have changed and evolved to include managing "deposits, transactions, wealth, insurance," he said.

New wave in fintech

The financial technology sector is currently experiencing a new wave of change as businesses across industries now look to fintech solutions to boost their growth, said Loong.

"The first generation of fintech firms were trying to find solutions and grab market share by themselves," said the WeLab founder. "The second phase of it is where we started working with banks. And the third phase of it is — financial services, conglomerates across industries all coming together to see how fintech can help them to grow their business," he added.

Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison is forming a collaboration with WeLab's fintech-enabled sales financing and consumer lending solutions to its telecom and retail divisions, according to the company's press release in September.

That collaboration was cited by Loong as an example of how various industries are looking to embrace fintech solutions.