WeBank: The World's Leading Digital Bank Decoded



From Nov. 11 - 13, 2019, WeBank, the first digital-only bank in China, will showcase its fintech solutions at the Singapore Fintech Festival.

Global research and advisory firm Forrester recently claimed in their published case study that WeBank has become the world's leading digital bank. In doing so, WeBank has taken its "secret sauce" of tech-driven innovations to drastically improved financial access in China.


WeBank's dramatic rise has been the result of developing convenient products with advanced technologies:


Since its establishment on December 16, 2014, WeBank has maintained a clear focus on providing inclusive financial services to underbanked individuals and small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). WeBank's first loan product called Weilidai - an unsecured consumption loan offered through WeChat and QQ's wallets - has become one of the most accessible forms of financing for China's mass market. Seventy-five percent of WeBank's individual borrowers are blue-collar; moreover, the average loan size is only USD $1,180.

The large volume and small ticket nature of these loans are the key drivers for WeBank to build their low-cost technology infrastructure to serve this segment. In fact, the average annual IT cost-per-account as of this year is only USD $0.50, as compared with most incumbent banks which operate equivalent account at a cost of 6 to 30 times that amount. Additionally, customers applying for credit approval can receive their application result in under 5 seconds and funds draw-down in under 1 min.


WeBank's SME borrowing customers are all relatively small, private companies, with 10 employees on average. For sixty-six percent of these SMEs, this is their first time receiving a loan from a financial institution, with an average loan size of USD $30k.

Driving this success is Fintech. As Forrester's senior analyst Aurelie L'Hostis suggested in WeBank Is Driving Financial Inclusion At Scale In China, "WeBank combines a multitude of modern technologies to provide the foundation for a forward-looking banking platform architecture that includes cloud, microservices, open technologies, open source databases, powerful embedded analytics, and AI -- all of which helps the digital bank increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and scale faster".


In particular, WeBank embraces the "ABCD" of Fintech (AI, Blockchain, Cloud computing, Big Data) as its strategic focuses and is an active leader in their related research and application within the financial sector. In terms of AI, 98% of total inbound customer inquiries are handled by WeBank's chatbot; furthermore, WeBank's eKYC facial recognition solution has fulfilled over 640 million identity verification requests. For blockchain, WeBank initiated China's 1st Financial Blockchain Consortium (FISCO) and utilizes blockchain technology in the areas of finance, supply chain, legal, public services, etc. As of today, FISCO consists of over one hundred consortium members. WeBank is also the world's 1st bank to fully deploy its core banking systems on private cloud. It has constructed a 100% in-house designed distributed core banking system with self-owned intellectual properties, capable of handling high-volume, high-frequency transactions. WeBank's big data platform houses over 15 petabytes of data, with over 300 thousand batch jobs being processed daily.


During the three-day exhibition in Singapore, WeBank will showcase its "ABCD" fintech applications and solutions. Notable technologies include China's first enterprise-grade federated learning platform open sourced by WeBank - Federated AI Technology Enabler (FATE), as well as WeBank's comprehensive blockchain solutions. Blockchain solutions range from the infrastructure platform FISCO BCOS and middleware kits WeBase, to blockchain applications such as WeIdentity and WeEvent. In terms of cloud computing, an IT management framework of distributed architecture named WeCube will be presented. WeBank also offers a big data analytics solution called WeDataSphere. Most of WeBank's technologies can be accessed and evaluated by interested financial services innovators through WeBank's FinTech Sandbox via open APIs.

Henry Ma, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of WeBank will join the "2020 Digital Transformation Agenda" session at 10:30, Nov 11 to share WeBank's latest practices of digital transformation.

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