Virtual lender Airstar Bank announced the official launch of operation on 11 June, as one of seven digital banks licensed to operate in Hong Kong.
The bank’s pilot scheme first commenced in March, following a development period of less than a year which saw the creation of a digital finance platform from scratch.
As part of its official launch Airstar Bank is providing a 3.6% p.a. interest rate to customers for the first 20,000 Hong Kong dollars placed in their savings accounts, as well as personal loans with preferential annualised percentage rates of as low as 2.99%.
Airstar Bank was one of seven virtual banks to obtain a license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in May of 2019.
The company was jointly established by Chinese tech giant Xiaomi and financial services conglomerate AMTD.
Airstar Bank’s mobile app permits real time money transfer in both Hong Kong dollars and the renminbi via the Faster Payment System, as well as interbank transfer of Hong Kong dollars, the renminbi and US dollars via the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS remittance system.
Other virtual banks that have already reached the trial operation stage in Hong Kong include Zhong’an-backed ZA Bank (众安银行), which commenced its pilot in late March, and WeLab Bank, which commenced trial operation in late April.