China-based mobile lending and analytics firm WeLab is thinking about entering the insurance arena by utilizing its risk assessment capabilities.
WeLab founder and CEO Simon Loong said that the company is interested in insurance because it’s a big market and that its products were still very much traditional, with much space for innovation.
“We like to look for opportunity where we can deeply leverage on what we have built so far on credit analytics and expand it into other areas,” Loong said. Exploring the insurance sector is a good fit for WeLab’s capability to obtain insights form a particular set of data.
WeDefend, its proprietary risk management platform, helps WeLab reduce fraud and speed up the lending process. In three years of operation, the company has posted 0% fraud loss, with loans approved in 24 hours. In fact, its record for fastest loan approval took only 21 seconds.
WeLab has enjoyed excellent growth, especially in mainland China. The number of loans grew at around 30% month-on-month, while its user base increased by 16 times from the level in 2015.
With regards to fintech, Loong argued that it should not be seen as an “enemy” to banks and other financial institutions.
“Helping banks is a logical approach as it leverages the expertise of both sides. They (banks) have the licence, balance sheet, and low cost of capital. Combine that with what we have: great technology, online infrastructure and big data. It is a very good match,” he said.
He also added that WeLab provides a method that can help banks tackle various problems such as customer acquisition, risk management and diversification.
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