Mobile operator 3 Hong Kong has partnered with local fintech provider WeLend to launch a new service allowing customers to purchase a new smartphone and take out a loan in one step without having to make upfront payments.
The 3Money New Phone and Cash Plan will allow customers to apply online 24 hours a day to subscribe to tariff plans that come bundled with designated smartphones.
Customers will at the same time be able to take out a WeLend cash loan of up to double the total value of the contract. The loan has an effective interest rate of 18.89% over 60 month installments.
For example, a bundled mobile plan that would normally require a HK$5,880 prepayment can be subscribed to with no prepayment, and customers can borrow HK$6,000 in cash for a monthly fee of HK$501.
Loans will be capped at HK$50,000 ($6,397) or triple the value of a service contract, whichever is lower. Depending on the bank, cash loans can be transferred as quickly as the same day as they are approved.
3 Hong Kong is using facial recognition to verify users during the application process, and big data to automatically assess and approve applications. Approved customers will be given a code to use while subscribing to a plan at one of the operator's retail outlets.