Western Union customers in Hong Kong can soon apply for small personal loans from PrimeCredit Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank PLC, following an agreement signed by the two companies to offer a pilot consumer lending program.
Effective from February 18, 2008, the program will allow Western Union consumers in Hong Kong to draw 12- to 18-month installment loans from PrimeCredit, then remit the borrowed money via Western Union Money Transfer.
Internal research found that 79 percent of consumers sending money transfers are receptive to other financial services offerings from Western Union, and that one in four Western Union consumers would consider applying for a loan product associated with Western Union.
PrimeCredit has more than 10 years of experience serving migrant workers in Hong Kong, with 17 of its 31 branches focused specifically on overseas workers. Many of PrimeCredit's Hong Kong branches are open on Sundays, offering additional flexibility for consumers.
Initially, the program will be offered to Western Union's Filipino consumer base in Hong Kong. The offer is expected to be extended to other consumer segments and other markets in the Asia Pacific region once the program matures.