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MoneyHero Study Shows Inquiries for Urgent Loans in Hong Kong Almost Doubled in Post-Pandemic Era

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  • MoneyHero study casts a spotlight on personal loan trends in Hong Kong, analysing organic traffic data and applications through the MoneyHero platform that manages approximately 1.4 million monthly unique users.
  • Year-over-year data also revealed an increase in user interest in loans from licensed money lenders, with the proportion of applications for money lender loans versus bank loans growing from 51% in 2022 to 62% in 2023, while interest in bank loans declined.
  • 47% of MoneyHero users applied for personal loans more than once between 2021 and 2023, and 53% of repeat applications were made during the 2023 tax loan period from October 2023 to January 2024.

HONG KONG SAR 9 May 2024 – MoneyHero Global Ltd (“MoneyHero”), Hong Kong’s largest and most visited digital personal finance platform and a subsidiary of MoneyHero Limited (NASDAQ: MNY), today released the findings of a study on personal loan and consumer behaviour trends in Hong Kong.

The study focused on data over nearly a three-year period from March 2021 to December 2023 and sought to understand how personal loan preferences among Hongkongers shifted during and after COVID-19. Analysing organic traffic data[1] and applications through the MoneyHero platform, the study provided insights into Hongkongers’ personal loan preferences and how consumers are reevaluating their borrowing choices based on their financial needs and loan application requirements.

The study highlighted a significant surge in consumer interest towards urgent loans. Year-over-year (YoY) organic traffic data from MoneyHero’s website revealed high user traffic on its urgent loan pages, witnessing a 36.7% increase over the last two years.

The MoneyHero study also highlighted growing user interest in loans from licensed money lenders, with the proportion of applications for money lender loans versus bank loans through MoneyHero increasing from 51% in 2022 to 62% in 2023 (+9% YoY). In contrast, the proportion of applications for bank loans declined from 36% to 33% over the same period (-3% YoY). This occurred despite the increasing organic traffic to MoneyHero’s bank loans page that grew by 180% over the last two years.

“Economic uncertainty and financing challenges have increased demand for quick access to cash and highlighted a shift towards alternative financing options to address immediate needs,” said Rohith Murthy, Chief Executive Officer of MoneyHero Group. “In another survey, we found that more than half of our users said they would apply for two to three loans for comparison. Indeed, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) can vary between different loans, ranging from 1% to 1.5%. The personal loan market in Hong Kong has become increasingly competitive, with licensed money lenders introducing a wider array of loan products and rewards programs to attract consumers.”

The shift towards urgent loans and licensed money lenders reflects the growing appeal of short-term fast cash loan options to consumers. Compared to traditional bank loans, these alternatives offer several advantages that resonate with Hongkongers. These include easy application processes, speed of approval and disbursement, flexibility, convenience, less strict eligibility criteria, and shorter repayment periods – key considerations that affect a consumer’s financial decision.

Table 1: Comparison of traditional bank loans and money lender loans (source: MoneyHero Blog)

Traditional banks Licensed Money Lenders
Interest Rate* Lower Higher
Maximum loan amount From HK$2 million to HK$4 million From HK$100,000 up to HK$2 million
Application procedures
  1. Apply from a branch or online.
  2. Borrowers have to provide ID documents and income proof.
  3. Banks to assess borrowers’ credit score with TransUnion.
  1. Apply from a branch or online.
  2. ID documents can be exempted for some loans.
  3. TransUnion credit score assessment can be exempted for some loans.
Approval process Except for pre-approved loans, it usually takes more than 7 working days for approval. Can be completed within a few minutes.

The study also revealed that 47% of MoneyHero users applied for personal loans more than once in the past three years. Notably, for users applying for more than four loan products, 53% of the repeat applications were made during the 2023 tax loan period between October 2023 to January 2024.

The MoneyHero study underscores the critical need for financial literacy tools in the post-pandemic economic climate. As consumers try to keep up with socio-economic changes, so does MoneyHero, expanding its business and bringing more comprehensive solutions to the market. MoneyHero has grown from a first-mover start-up that offered simple product comparisons and blog articles, to being the city’s most prominent personal finance platform, empowering users to make informed financial decisions.

“At MoneyHero, we are committed to empowering Hongkongers by equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to simplify their financial decisions. Through our impartial comparison of financial products, we aim to enhance financial literacy and guide individuals towards a better financial future. Our commitment to this mission remains, and we will continue to provide accessible and transparent financial information to all Hongkongers, further developing and strengthening our platform as a trusted partner in assisting consumers during times of financial stress.” Rohith added.

To discover how MoneyHero can assist with loan applications, please visit www.moneyhero.com.hk. To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow if you can repay. Don’t pay any intermediaries.

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