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Zed launches first credit card created for Filipino young professionals

Created by two Stanford engineers and Y-Combinator alumni, Zed is a credit-led neobank regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

In the Philippines, despite the financial industry’s recent attempts at digitalization, customers still face significant hurdles when it comes to accessing credit products. A recent study by TransUnion Philippines showed that 94% of Filipino Gen Zs see the importance of credit and lending products to reach their financial goals. Still, only 35% report having sufficient access to such products. 

“If you talk to any Filipino, there’s still significant frustration with the complexity, lack of transparency, and bureaucracy embedded in financial services. Only 8% of Filipinos own a credit card, largely because it is incredibly difficult to get one if you don’t already have one,”  said Danielle Cojuangco Abraham, Zed co-founder. 

Complicated application processes, tedious documentation, and arbitrary underwriting methods are among the challenges that disproportionately impact young people when applying for their first credit card accounts. Those lucky to get approved face astronomical APRs, punitive fees, and a broken customer experience. These observations led to the creation of Zed, the first credit card for young Filipino professionals.

“We founded Zed on the belief that young people in the Philippines and Southeast Asia deserve better financial products, better technology, and ultimately better service tailored to their lifestyles and exceeding their expectations,” Danielle added.

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Created by two Stanford engineers and Y-Combinator alumni, Zed is a credit-led neobank regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Its first offering is a Mastercard Titanium credit card that boasts no interest, no foreign transaction fees, no annual fees and is backed by a groundbreaking app – all of which makes it the ideal credit card for everyday spending, travel, utilities, and everything in between.

“As a technology company from day one, we don’t have to pay for costly overhead like physical branches or bloated headcounts for manual, back office processes. We’re able to pass these savings on to customers in the form of no revolving interest, no fees, and excellent customer service. We started Zed on the premise that you could build financial services where a customer’s success was a core value,” said Steve Abraham, Zed co-founder. 

“Our proprietary technology platform allows us to remove the pain in traditional banking, deliver powerful first-to-market features, and provide a fair and transparent cost structure where both Zed and the customer could win,” he added.

This sentiment and Zed’s mission resonated with many Filipinos. The waitlist received almost 25,000 sign-ups within the first three weeks.

“Our business model is simple and purposely built to succeed only if our customers do. Our revenue comes from the interchange fee, a standard fee that gets charged to merchants by all banks for transactions that flow over the Mastercard network,” Steve explained.

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First-in-market features tailored to the Gen Z lifestyle

Beyond no interest and no fees, the Zed card is backed by a robust and secure app that ensures that customers always have full and instant control of their expenses by giving them a real-time view of their transactions, the ability to set spending limits and access to fraud controls like the ability to lock/freeze a compromised card in the app.

Zed also puts a premium on user privacy and security by offering unlimited virtual cards: Users can generate unique credit card numbers to use with merchants so they never have to worry about their primary card details being exposed. Zed also provides zero liability for all unauthorized transactions and protects customers from paying for charges made without their permission.

In addition to these features, customers enjoy an effortless payment experience facilitated through the app, where they can generate an InstaPay QR code to instantly settle their monthly bill from any bank app or e-wallet, ensuring stress-free on-time payments. 

The streamlined application process also allows customers to complete the entire card application within minutes through the app, eliminating the need for cumbersome documentation or in-person visits to bank branches. 

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Zed determines smart credit limits based on current and future income, rather than outdated credit scores, traditional career profiling, or existing card limits. This approach caters to young professionals with high incomes but limited credit histories.

“At Zed, we’re reimagining what a credit card could be – smarter underwriting, groundbreaking features, no fees, and a revenue model that doesn’t rely on a customer’s failure to pay down their balance,” said Danielle.

Learn more about Zed and hop on the waitlist by visiting zed.co.

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