Welcome Savings Bank to unveil mortgage comparison tool

[Courtesy of Welcome Savings Bank]

[Courtesy of Welcome Savings Bank]

Welcome Savings Bank will launch a platform-based mortgage comparison service on Thursday as part of efforts to boost its digital sales amid mounting funding pressures and declining soundness.

According to industry sources on Wednesday, the savings bank will launch the service, the first of its kind from a savings bank, with a plan to enhance its non-face-to-face digital services and attract customers via collaborations with banks and other second-tier financial entities.

“Recognizing the demand for mortgage loans among depositors, we‘ve decided to launch a comparison platform,” the savings bank said, adding that its goal is to “create an ecosystem where all customers, including those with low to medium credit scores, can gain better access to various products by using this comparison service.”

Welcome Savings Bank anticipates synergies by integrating its existing My Data personal credit information management business into the comparison platform. The bank launched a debt management service in January 2022 and a loan comparison service in May of the same year after becoming the first savings institution to receive a MyData business license in 2021.

Currently, Welcome Savings Bank’s loan comparison service features more than 50 products from a total of 32 financial companies. These are mainly institutions lacking digital infrastructure, including savings banks, capital companies, online investment-related financial companies, and well-performing loan companies.

The service saw monthly loans of more than 20 billion won ($15 million) and cumulative loans of more than 120 billion won in just one year since its launch, attracting 500,000 members and receiving 1.1 million cumulative inquiries to date. The actual loans issued via the app totaled around 25 billion won as of January 2024, the highest among platforms operated by financial institutions excluding those operated by fintech and Internet-focused banks.

Welcome Savings Bank‘s moves are particularly notable as online-based financial product comparison services have typically been dominated by fintech companies. Most commercial banks have opted to join comparison services provided by major platform companies rather than launching their own, expecting Shinhan Bank and Hana Bank.

Other savings banks are also intensifying efforts to bolster their digital capabilities, with SBI Savings Bank integrating its online sales channels into its online banking application to offer customers an overview of various deposit products within the app.

Pepper Savings Bank also introduced its own platform in 2022 and provides partnership products via the app, such as a deposit product offering various benefits to pet owners in collaboration with pet healthcare company FitPet Co.

Acuon Savings Bank revamped its mobile app to enhance accessibility and create a personalized customer service environment to augment its digital capabilities. The bank also created its “Acuon World” within popular video game Roblox to broaden its appeal to younger customers.

“To mitigate market dominance and enhance consumer utility, incentives to encourage partnerships with banks, financial companies, and small and medium-sized fintech companies may be a solution,” Jung Yu-sin, head of the Digital Economic & Financial Institute under the Korea Fintech Industry Association, said.

By Yang Se-ho and Chang Iou-chung

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea &, All rights reserved]

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