SHENZHEN, China, April 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — WeBank was again named the Asian Banker’s “2023 Best Global Digital-Only Bank” in recognition of its exceptional fintech innovation capabilities and robust inclusive financial services. In addition, WeBank received two awards, namely “Best Digital-Only Bank in Asia Pacific” and “Best Chatbot/Voice Banking Service”.
Sponsored by The Asian Banker, the leading provider of strategic intelligence and community platforms in the financial services industry, the TAB (The Asian Banker) Global Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2023 were presented at the recent Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention 2023 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
As a world-leading digital bank and China’s pioneer digital bank, WeBank has always leveraged technology to drive business growth. In pursuit of this goal, it has been actively developing leading-edge technologies including AI, blockchain, cloud computing, and big data. Empowered by leading-edge digital technologies, WeBank has built a matrix of distinctive and differentiated digital inclusive financial services, to enable more micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as the general public to enjoy financial services equally. This innovative approach has created a new sustainable model for inclusive finance, promoting its high-quality development.
The TAB awards program is one of the most prestigious in the world. The evaluation process is open, fair, transparent, and impartial. The winners of the awards are determined by international researchers and advisors of the Asian Banker based on their evaluations, investigations, and interviews. This year’s candidates include 200+ financial institutions from 30+ countries.
Building a leading global digital bank driven by technology
Since its establishment in 2014, WeBank has been leveraging digital technologies to improve the coverage, availability, and client satisfaction of financial services, so as to better serve the general public as well as MSMEs. For over eight years, WeBank bears the concept of fintech innovation, and has built an agile organization. While WeBank consistently invests in the research and development of technology, it also strengthens its core competencies by incorporating leading-edge technologies and data into its daily operation.
Shortly after its establishment, WeBank already built the first fully distributed banking core system using secure and controllable technologies. The system realizes large capacity, low cost, and high availability at the same time, which effectively supports the development of WeBank’s inclusive financial services. The annual cost of IT operation and maintenance for each account at WeBank is reduced to RMB 2, less than one tenth of that of its Chinese and overseas peers. Since the system was launched, it has been operating 24×7 without any interruption, with the peak daily transactions reaching 800 million and product availability being 99.99975%. To date, WeBank has successfully served more than 350 million individual clients and 3.4 million MSMEs.
WeBank was granted the honor of “Best Chatbot/Voice Banking Service” in recognition of its application of AI technologies in its financial services. Early in 2018, WeBank independently developed FATE (Federated AI Technology Enabler), the world’s first underlying technology platform for federated learning fully. In 2019, WeBank had open-sourced and donated it to the globally-renowned Linux Foundation.
WeBank has also been deepening the integration of advanced technologies like Federated Learning with related business scenarios. It has built AI applications incorporating Federated Learning and Transfer Learning, which cover multiple scenarios such as marketing, operation, customer service, KYC (Know Your Customer), and risk control. Those applications have led to new achievements in improving the intelligence level..
In 2022, WeBank also co-worked with renowned Chinese universities and enterprises to study the theory of “Trustworthy Federated Learning” and put it into practice. The research results were published by top international academic journals and top academic conferences, which helped create a forward-looking technological guide for putting Federated Learning and Privacy Computing into practice.
In terms of blockchain technology, WeBank began to foray into blockchains in 2015. In 2016, it led the effort to create the Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium (FISCO), the first blockchain consortium in China’s financial industry. In 2017, FISCO BCOS, the blockchain platform developed under the leadership of WeBank, became fully open-source. As one of the earliest open-source blockchain platforms of a domestic consortium, FISCO BCOS is designed to drive the development of industrial consortium chain, and to explore new ways for the integration between the digital economy and the real economy. To date, FISCO BCOS has helped ecosystem partners launch 300+ benchmark applications, and provided support for several new national infrastructure projects, covering various areas such as government service, finance, healthcare, carbon reduction, agriculture, and cross-border data circulation, to facilitate the integration between the digital economy and the real economy, and to promote fairness and sustainability.
Remaining committed to serving the real economy’s high-quality development
Leveraging its strong fintech capabilities, WeBank has launched a series of inclusive financial products such as Weilidai, Weiyedai, and WeBank Fortune Plus, by which it provides fundamental financial services such as account opening, account management including savings, wealth management, loans and lines of credit, payment service, and so on. Its inclusive financial services cover a wide range of clients, including MSMEs, the long-tail clients including farmers, low-income urban residents, people with disabilities, and seniors.
To better serve the real economy, in 2017, WeBank launched Weiyedai, China’s first online unsecured loan product to provide working capital for businesses. It was designed to meet the short-term, small-amount, frequent, and urgent financing needs of small and micro-businesses. The product has proven effective in lowering the financing threshold for small and micro-businesses. As of the end of 2022, Weiyedai had covered 30 provincial administrative regions in China, received more than 3.4 million applications from MSMEs and sole proprietors, and provide credit services to more than 1.1 million clients for a total amount of RMB 1.1 trillion.
On top of Weiyedai, WeBank has opened up two extended service scenarios: supply chain finance and loan for start-up technology, providing differentiated financial services pertinent to their needs.
As of the end of 2022, Weiyedai had provided digital financial support for 30 national key industries through the supply chain finance, collaborated with nearly 600 brand partners, and served more than 200,000 distributors and suppliers. Meanwhile, it has received applications from nearly 230,000 tech startups.
Launched in 2014, WeBank Co., Ltd. (“WeBank”) is the first privately-owned bank and digital bank in China. WeBank provides more convenient financial services to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the general public, and continuously improves the quality of services in response to customers’ specific needs. As one of the top 100 banks in China, WeBank now ranks 331 in Top 1000 World Banks by The Banker.
WeBank focuses on innovation and technology. As the first commercial bank to obtain the national high-tech enterprise certification in China, WeBank has maintained its proportion of technical personnel above 50% since its establishment, while its research and development expenses of accounted for around 10% of its revenue. WeBank is now at the top of the industry in core technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud computing and big data.
SOURCE WeBank Co Ltd