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PAOB debuts Hong Kong SME virtual loans
Service aims to alleviate immediate cash flow challenges as retail, tourism pick up
The Asset 31 May 2023

Small and medium-sized (SME)-dedicated virtual bank Ping An OneConnect Bank (Hong Kong), or PAOB, has partnered with eftPay (Asia), a Hong Kong electronic payment service provider, to launch a new loan service - Business Revolving Loan.

The service allows eftPay’s SME customers in the territory to navigate through opportunities amid the post-pandemic economic recovery in a timely, convenient manner via virtual banking.

The maximum credit amount of loan service is HK$300,000 (US$38,300), with a repayment period ranging from one to three months. SMEs can have numerous withdrawals within the approved credit limit in a year, allowing them to allocate their funds anytime and anywhere.

As the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to use alternative data as the basis for credit assessment, PAOB says it assists eftPay merchants to submit loan application and conducts credit analysis with commercial data through its risk assessment platform, which streamlines the loan approval process without the need of submitting any application documents or collaterals.

Since reopening the border and lifting most of the anti-pandemic measures earlier this year, Hong Kong’s retail and tourism sectors are gradually recovering. For the first quarter of 2023, statistics from the Hong Kong Data and Statistics Department, show that the total value of retail sales in Hong Kong increased by 24.1%, and the total number of visitors to the territory, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, exceeded four million, compared with the same period last year.

The retail sector has also been buoyed by the government’s recovery measures, the distribution of consumer vouchers to the public and the promotion of conferences, exhibitions and tourism.

“PAOB has been expanding into different scenarios and virtual banking services in line with our commitment to financial inclusion,” says Michael Fei, the bank’s chief executive and executive director.

Andrew Lo, eftPay (Asia)’s chairman and CEO, adds: “In recognition of the cash flow issues that often beset retail businesses, such as stocking and expansion costs, we have partnered with PAOB to provide a convenient and expedited financing solution that helps SMEs alleviate their immediate cash flow challenges.”

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