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The pandemic-hit labour market has placed some Hongkongers in a vulnerable position. In order to offer timely assistance to unemployed individuals, Hong Kong’s No.1 virtual bank1 ZA Bank has become the city’s only virtual bank to participate in and fully support the “100% Personal Loan Guarantee Scheme” (the “Scheme”) announced by the HKSAR Government.
ZA Bank will offer eligible applicants2 for the Scheme a loan amount of up to HKD 80,000, with a maximum tenor of 6 years and a fixed interest rate of 1% per annum. Applicants will have the option of principal repayment holidays for the first 12 months, under which they will only be required to make repayments of principal and interest in instalments over the remaining five-year repayment period. They will also receive a full rebate of the interest payment once the loan and interest are fully settled by the end of the repayment period. As a way to cheer Hongkongers in need up, ZA Bank will offer an additional HKD 400 in cash for successful applicants who open an account3 during the loan application process.
Pre-registration for the Scheme will begin from today on ZA Bank’s official website (https://bank.za.group/en/plgs), and members of the public can submit their applications in the ZA Bank App starting from early May. All steps will be completed on the mobile phone without the need for physical presence, providing a simple, convenient and personalised way for unemployed individuals to address their financial needs regardless of service hours.
Devon Sin, Co-Head of Retail Banking at ZA Bank, said: “ZA Bank is committed to fulfilling our social responsibilities. Following our participation in the Government’s Cash Payout Scheme last year, we once again become the only virtual bank to support the PLGS and give unemployed individuals access to loan relief with technology. We believe that ZA Bank’s fully digital service model can help disburse the loans swiftly to those in need under the Scheme, allowing them to complete the applications without leaving the house amidst the pandemic.”
Sin added: “With HKD 400, an applicant can make 21 MTR trips from Sha Tin Station to Central Station with a Single Journey Ticket4. The same amount can also cover the interest for the first six months after applying for a loan amount of HKD 80,000 under the PLGS5. We hope to offer this cash reward as a sweetener to the difficult situations facing unemployed individuals and get them through the current dark times alongside the Scheme.”
Meanwhile, ZA Bank will work with partners including part-time and temporary job recruitment platform WorkKing6 to provide matching services as an encouragement to the unemployed population.
During the Scheme, all ZA Bank users can get an HKD 200 cash reward upon referring a friend to successfully apply for the Scheme and open an account with their invitation code during the loan application process. Each referee will receive an additional HKD 100 on top of the basic HKD 400 cash reward7. There is no limit to the cash rewards – the more friends a user refers, the more rewards he/she can get8.
For details about eligibility criteria and required documents, please visit: https://bank.za.group/en/plgs.
(From left) Devon Sin, Co-Head of Retail Banking at ZA Bank; Eric Wong, Founder of WorkKing; and Rockson Hsu, CEO of ZA Bank.
1 “No.1” is defined by ZA Bank’s leading position in the virtual banking industry in terms of number of users, personal deposits and loan amount as of 31 December 2020.
2 Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above may apply for loans under the PLGS provided that they have been unemployed for at least two months at the time of loan application and can produce proof of cessation of their main recurrent incomes. Self-employed individuals, freelancers, gig or casual workers are also eligible upon the production of a declaration of unemployment and proof of a loss of main recurrent incomes.
3 The cut-off date for the promotion is 31 May 2021. This offer is only applicable to new users who open an account during the loan application process. The cash reward will be directly credited to the applicants’ ZA Bank account. Existing users are not eligible for cash rewards. Terms and Conditions apply.
4 According to MTR’s official website (http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/st/index.php), the fare for a trip from Sha Tin Station to Central Station with a Single Journey Ticket is HKD 18.5 as of 21 April 2021.
5 For a loan amount of HKD 80,000 under the PLGS with principal moratorium, the interest for the first 6 months is HKD 400 = (HKD 80,000 x 1% / 2). A fixed interest rate of 1% per annum will be charged under the PLGS.
6 Disclaimer: WorkKing will not collect any personal data from users on behalf of ZA Bank. Anyone interested in applying for the PLGS shall submit an application to ZA Bank directly.
7 The cut-off date for the campaign is 31 May 2021. Referees can get an HKD 100 cash reward only if they apply for the Scheme and open a ZA Bank account with an invitation code during the loan application process. The cash reward will be directly credited to the Referees’ ZA Bank account. For details, please visit: https://bank.za.group/agreement/html/en_US/1000057.
About ZA Bank
ZA Bank Limited (“ZA Bank”), licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) on 27 March 2019, is one of the first batch of virtual banks in Hong Kong. On 24 March 2020, ZA Bank officially launched its services to the public, making it the first fully-operating virtual bank in Hong Kong. On 22 March 2021, ZA Bank officially launched Business Banking to deliver an innovative banking experience to local small and medium-sized enterprises. ZA Bank was established by ZhongAn Technologies International Group Limited (“ZA International”). With its “Community-Driven” approach, ZA Bank encourages users to directly contribute to its product development and design processes, helping the bank create innovative services that better serve the needs of Hong Kong customers.
Based on market data, Hong Kong’s virtual banks combined have attracted 420,000 users as of 31 December 2020, with HKD 15 billion of deposits and HKD 1 billion of loans. ZA Bank secured a leading position in the industry in terms of number of users (220,000), personal deposits (HKD 6 billion) and loan amount (HKD 650 million), thereby becoming Hong Kong’s No.1 virtual bank.
ZA International was established in Hong Kong in December 2017, by ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. (HKEX stock code: 6060), an online-only insurtech company in China, to explore international business development, collaboration and investment opportunities in the area of fintech and insurtech in overseas markets.