ZA Bank Limited (“ZA Bank”) announced today the launch of its pilot trial (“ZA Bank Pilot”) to offer banking services to selected retail banking users in Hong Kong before full business launch to the general public. The pilot trial is conducted under the Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (“FSS”) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”).
ZA Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZhongAn Technologies International Group Limited (“ZA”) and is one of the first batch of virtual banks to receive a banking license granted by the HKMA on 27 March 2019.
ZA Bank Pilot aims to target around 2,000 retail users initially in order to gather practical feedback from invited users for further improvement on its banking service platform before its full official business launch.
Rockson Hsu, CEO of ZA Bank said:“ ‘ZA’ represents a reverse of the alphabetical order – going from Z to A – reminding us to always think out of the box and view things from a different perspective. It’s good to be bold, contrarian and creative. ‘Z’ and ‘A’ also means ‘end-to-end’, it symbolises our mission to redefine customer journey through technology, from the front-end (mobile app / branch), mid-office (customer service / operation department) to back-end (operating system), from product development to service process."
“Ever since we receive our license, we have put great effort into testing and developing our backend systems, whist putting huge emphasis on delivering a superb user-centric experience,” said Mr. Hsu. “We think it is time for ZA Bank to enter the next stage with our users. We will invite ZA Fam members, who have been actively following our development, to participate in this exciting phase. We hope to prioritize our customer needs first before we go about developing new products – so that we could ‘be different together’.”
ZA Bank strives to create a new banking model with our “Community Driven” approach. In view of that, a community known as ZA Fam was established which members are invited to participate in ZA Bank’s product development and design process, thus guiding ZA Bank to create innovative products and services to better serve the needs of Hong Kong users.
Unlike traditional banks, ZA Bank provides users with a full suite of services 24/7. Users can open an account in five minutes soonest with his/her own Hong Kong identity card only. Furthermore, ZA Bank supports inter-bank transfer through the Faster Payment System (FPS) and a number of innovative features, such as “5-second transfer recall” and “facial authentication”.
As a licensed bank in Hong Kong, ZA Bank is regulated by the HKMA. It is also a member of the Deposit Protection Scheme, which its customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Scheme.
During the pilot trial, ZA Bank will acquire around 2,000 users from ZA Fam, and friends and relatives of ZA staff. Each selected user will be invited to open an account with ZA Bank to experience the banking services and benefits. During this period, ZA Bank will provide efficient mobile banking services, including Remote Account Opening, Multi-currency Savings Account, Time Deposit, Local Transfer and e-Statement.
Mr. Hsu said: "As a new operating model, virtual banking will disrupt the current traditional banking services, and shift the lifestyle of the future banking users. Therefore, ZA Bank Pilot aims to improve banking services by interacting with users and working together with them to provide innovative products and services to better meet their increasing demands. After the past months of intensive preparation, we are ready and confident to present our results before the users now. Meanwhile, we are also excited to receive valuable suggestions and comments from our selected users, which will definitely help us grow faster.”
Taking into account the feedback from the selected users as well as the evaluation of our operational and technical readiness, ZA Bank will discuss with the regulator to determine the timing of full business launch.