Digital Banking: Hong Kong’s livi Bank Launches New Business Service to Empower SMEs

livi bank, which claims to be one of Hong Kong’s leading lifestyle and technology-driven virtual banks, recently announced the full launch of livi Business, which is described as its game-changing service designed “to empower SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to pursue their ambitions by meeting their needs as they grow their business.”

livi Business reportedly “offers SME entrepreneurs access to fast, simple and personalized financial services supported by advanced technology and data analytics.” Debuting in the offering is “its new digital unsecured loan service, livi Business Instalment Loan.”

In a “disruptive” move, livi was reportedly “the first virtual bank to bring the fully-automated account opening capabilities to Hong Kong SMEs through the livi App.”

This allows customers “to apply for a business account in 20 minutes and have it opened in as little as 24 hours, while loan approvals are also as fast as 24 hours.”

Some 600 SME customers “have opened livi Business accounts since its initial introduction, with total approved SME loan amounts in the order of HK$35 million.”

This strong response “shows the high customer appreciation of this mobile SME banking solution.”

David Sun, livi Chief Executive Officer, at the press briefing of the launch of livi Business, said:

“We are very excited with the range of benefits we are bringing to SMEs with livi Business, not least that we are the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to offer a digital unsecured instalment loan which we know will address a major pain point for SMEs. Our market leading technological and data capabilities at the heart of livi Business are key to supporting our SME customers on their growth journey by enabling access to seamless, convenient, fast and personalized financial services, anytime, anywhere.”

David Sun continued:

“The strong momentum of SME account opening is just the beginning. As we progress in 2023, we have a robust pipeline of product offerings that will provide a suite of financial services. These are designed to address the pressing business needs of SMEs as they look to build their businesses as they take advantage of Hong Kong reopening to the world – including FX, USD deposits, and global remittance,”

Mr Michael Lai, Executive Vice President of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business, commented:

“We in the SME sector are pleased that livi bank is taking us seriously and cares about our businesses. It’s well known that for an SME, opening a bank account and getting a loan often takes weeks, if not months, despite the important contribution SMEs make to the Hong Kong economy and employment. It’s important that our voices are now being heard.”

First Hong Kong virtual bank “for digital unsecured instalment loan service application,
livi is bringing a fresh way of thinking for Hong Kong’s small businesses as the first virtual bank to introduce a digital unsecured instalment loan service with the livi Business Instalment Loan.” livi’s digital experience “promises a fast, simple and personalized journey for its customers with the offer of an unparalleled 24-hour loan approval with no documents needed.”

With these new industry firsts, livi Business Instalment Loan “offers customers unsecured loans of up to HK$8,000,000, at as low as 0.28% per month, equivalent to an Annualized Percentage Rate (APR) of 6.52%, with instalments of 6 to 60 months.” Financial inclusion benefiting from advanced technology and alternative data Powered by Open Application Programme Interface (API), Commercial Data Interchange (CDI) and machine learning, as well as partnerships with other merchant partners, livi’s ability to manage alternative data will provide it with greater insights for informed credit assessment. This enables the Bank “to shorten the loan approval process to as little as 24 hours and offer its customers competitive rates.”

Gary Lam, livi Chief Technology Officer, said:

“Supporting financial inclusion is a key part of our vision. SMEs in Hong Kong have been significantly underserved by the traditional financial sector and we are determined to help make a difference with our digital strength. We will personalize our offerings and provide greater value to our SME customers based on our innovative technical solutions and unique data capabilities.”

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