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Livi Bank revolutionises banking for SME with fast-track account and loan approvals

Hong Kong-based digital bank leverages AI, eKYC, and machine learning to streamline banking processes for SMEs.

Hong Kong’s innovative digital bank, Livi, has announced the launch of “Livi Business,” which offers an array of personalised financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With a simplified account opening process and expedited loan approval within 24 hours, Livi Business is positioned as a game-changer in the financial sector.

Historically, SMEs in Hong Kong have encountered significant challenges in obtaining financial services. Time-consuming account opening processes, lack of transparency, and extensive documentation requirements have traditionally been barriers to entry for these enterprises.

Gary Lam, chief technology officer at Livi Bank Limited, told Asian Banking & Finance that Livi Business aims to change this by revolutionising the financial sector and making banking services more accessible and efficient for SMEs.

“Livi Business is a game-changing service designed to empower SMEs as they grow their businesses,” Lam said. “With our cutting-edge technology capabilities, including AI and eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer), customers can open a bank account in as little as 20 minutes, in a simple four-step process.”

Through this digitised approach, Livi Bank seeks to save SMEs time by integrating official data providers into their application process, removing the need for manual data input. Lam emphasised that the bank's AI technologies enable a high level of security and offer the ability to process applications from any location, at any time.

Beyond easing account opening, Livi Business also offers a digital unsecured instalment loan service.

As the first virtual bank to introduce this service in Hong Kong, Livi utilises advanced technology like data analytics and machine learning for credit assessments, effectively digitalising the entire banking process. Their success is evident as the total approved loan amount reached HK$70m (US$8.9m) by the end of April this year.

Lam told Asian Banking & Finance that financial inclusion is a crucial part of Livi’s mission. They focus on serving sectors traditionally underserved by conventional banking, he said.

Recently, Livi’s invoice financing service through the network of one of its shareholders, Jardine Matheson, was launched. It is designed to aid the construction and engineering sectors, further exemplifying Livi’s commitment to expanding its reach.

Looking ahead, Livi Bank plans to continue capitalising on its advanced technology and shareholder networks to offer high-quality, competitive products that cater to the diverse needs of SMEs.

“This coming year, we will keep pushing lots of new products addressing financial inclusion, helping SMEs emerge post-pandemic, and working with Hong Kong SMEs to take advantage of Hong Kong’s reopening to the world,” Lam said.

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