Four out of Hong Kong’s eight licensed virtual banks have kicked off trial operations amidst the turmoil created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 28 April WeLab Bank Limited commenced pilot operations with the participation of 2000 trial customers, including WeLab personnel and their family members.
During the trial period WeLab Bank will provide a range of purely digital services to customers, including remote account opening, fixed deposits and savings accounts, as well as virtual debit cards.
WeLab Bank has also teamed up with Mastercard to issue the WeLab Debit Card, which it has billed as a card without a card number.
WeLab Bank, fully invested subsidiary of WeLab Holdings, is the fourth of eight virtual banks in Hong Kong to commence trial operations after receiving licenses from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in the first half of 2019.
On 24 March Zhong’an-backed ZA Bank (众安银行) became the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to commence trial operation, followed by Xiaomi and AMTD Group’s Airstar Bank (天星银行 ) on 31 March.
Standard Chartered’s virtual bank Mox has also launched a trial run of its online services in Hong Kong.