Timely, well-priced financing can be a lifeline for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially in the challenging business environment during a pandemic.

Ping An OneConnect Bank (PAOB), a virtual bank recently launched in Hong Kong, is offering approved loans for SMEs within five business days – half the time most traditional banks would take.

The Trade-Connect Loan is exclusive to selected SME clients from Tradelink, a leading provider of e-commerce services in Hong Kong, to improve their cash flow and support business growth with flexible lending. Select SMEs will be granted pre-approved loan amounts of up to HKD2 million and can enjoy early repayment without penalty.

Combining its powerful risk assessment platform with business data from Tradelink, PAOB can serve Tradelink’s SME clients based on risk evaluation. Those SMEs do not need to submit documents for loan approval.

The 5-Day Service Pledge is a feature of the innovative Trade-Connect Loan. PAOB will pay cash compensation of HKD1,000 to eligible clients if it fails to disburse the loans within the timeline.

A PAOB relationship manager will arrange a face-to-face interview with SME clients to complete the account opening process which could take as little as one day.

Like many of the emerging virtual banks worldwide, PAOB aims to offer a brand new banking experience to SMEs and retail customers via a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week platform that is more convenient and cost-effective compared to traditional banks.

Without high rent, heavy paperwork and complex approval procedures, virtual banks can offer shorter waiting times and reduced service charges compared to traditional banks.

As a virtual bank, PAOB is committed to providing efficient and flexible banking services and promoting financial inclusion in the city.

During a three-month pilot of the Trade-Connect Loan earlier this year, Tradelink’s SME clients got their loans approved and disbursed in an average of four business days.

The bank plans to expand its hassle-free lending services to more clients using its unique risk assessment platform

PAOB provides banking services via its mobile apps PAOB SME for SME clients and PAOB for individual customers.

Individual customers can simply open an account with PAOB via the PAOB mobile app with their Hong Kong identity card. Unlike traditional banks, PAOB does not have a minimum account balance requirement.

Retail customers can enjoy an interest rate of 1% per annum for savings of HKD1 million or below, which is higher than most traditional banks currently offer.

For cash, PAOB is collaborating with Joint Electronic Teller Services Limited (JETCO) to launch cardless withdrawals soon. Customers will be able to withdraw cash from JETCO automatic teller machines (ATMs) using one of the PAOB mobile apps in the future.

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