Chinese fintech companies are utilising a range of technologies to expand their stakes in the online banking market by specialising in the provision of finance to smaller, traditionally overlooked clients.
Alibaba-founder Jack Ma recently said that “true internet finance” means more than just providing financial services via online channels, but also involves the application of the latest developments in fields such as artificial intelligence and big data to finance.
aiBank (百信银行), a joint-venture between China CITIC Bank and search giant Baidu, is one Chinese lender that seeks to apply the latest technological developments to online finance.
CIO Kou Guan (寇冠)recently said that aiBank possesses three core capabilities – smart risk control, smart accounts and smart services, all of which are based upon AI applications.
As a chief shareholder, tech giant Baidu has said that it plans to use aiBank as a means for applying its big data and AI developments to the field of online finance.
The bank signed a credit information sharing agreement with China’s National Development and Reform Commission on 29 March in Beijing, which is expected to facilitate the provision of quicker and more convenient loan services to credit-worthy borrowers.
aiBank CEO Li Rudong (李如东) said at the time that the move would help the online lender to develop its core capabilities in the area of “smart risk control, smart accounts and smart services,” and vigorously drive the development of consumer finance, small and micro-finance and wealth management.
Established in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen three years ago, WeBank (China) (按微众银行) is China’s first online-only bank.
WeBank focuses on the provision of small-scale consumer loans to “long tail” clients, as well as business turnover loans for small and micro-enterprises.
A key advantage of WeBank is its ability to effectively gather data from more than 1 billion QQ and WeChat users, thanks to the participation of major shareholder Tencent.
WeBank has also outlined a four-fold “ABCD” tech strategy, referring to AI, blockchain, cloud computing and (big) data.
MYBank (浙江网商银行) was established in June 2015, and claims to be the first bank in China whose core systems are situated in the cloud.
The online lender says it uses its “internet and big data advantages to provide financial services to more small and micro enterprises,” announcing at the time of its establishment that it would not provide loans of more than 5 million yuan.
The online bank’s core advantage lies in its popularity with small and micro e-commerce enterprises whose make use of Alibaba platforms such as Taobao and Alipay.
MYBank recently announced that it would team up with over 50 financial institutions to provide as much as 200 billion yuan in funds to Taobao-based e-vendors during Alibaba’s Double Eleven Shopping Festival on 11 November.