Tech Company of the Year Awards recognize local success

WeLab makes credit affordable to the masses

WeLab, an online money lending platform provider that started business in 2014, is dedicated to provide a low-cost alternative to traditional financial services, and credit accessibility and financial freedom to the greater public.

"We want to democratize finance," said Simon Loong, founder and CEO of WeLab, winner of this year's Computerworld Hong Kong Awards Technology Company of the Year -- Startup category.

"Traditional banks offer their products and services using face-to-face and limited data points through physical channels. As a result, financial services are slow, inefficient and restricted to people with the luxury of time and money."

WeLab's proprietary smart data technology allows the company to collect and process vast amounts of multi-dimensional and unstructured data, and its machine learning capability gives the company a deep understanding of its customers.

"We are able to lend money to our online applicants within seconds without ever meeting any of them face-to-face," said Loong, adding that WeLab "generated zero fraud loss and one-third better credit performance than traditional banks."

To date, WeLab has attracted 20,000 members in the city, who generated an estimated HK$1.5 billion in applications in just two short years.

Loong attributes WeLab's rapid growth to three things: accessibility, speed and efficiency.

"The use of big data and advanced data triangulation technology enable us to quickly validate a customer's identity while simultaneously removing many forms of fraud and credit risk. And when combined with our fully online and mobile-optimized customer experience, we can instantaneously process transactions that banks normally do in five to seven days."

"WeLab is fundamentally re-imagining the entire process of loan processing. This has resulted in new ecosystem relationships and drastically increases the size of the potential market. This takes not only brains and hard work, but vision and courage," said HKUST's Wu.

"WeLab uses the mobile platform to disrupt traditional financing business in consumer lending. It leverages technology to collect and process a vast amount of multi-dimensional and unstructured data and process with machine learning capability to get a deep understanding of customers, leading to lower default rate in an innovative manner," said HKSTP's Yeung.

"WeLab enables customers to lend money online within seconds without ever meeting any of them face-to-face and, at the same time, generated zero fraud loss and 1/3 better credit performances than traditional banks. This demonstrates innovation in Hong Kong and scalable to mainland China and the rest of the world," Yeung added.

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