Baidu today officially rebranded its financial services branch (hat-tip to Techweb) changing the name from “Baidu Licai” to “Baidu Jinrong” (both of these can be translated to “Baidu Finance”).
The name change comes with a slew of upgrades for the search giant’s financial platform, including a new personal loan service. Users can borrow up to ten times their monthly income and pay it back over a maximum of three years. Baidu is limited to 500,000 concurrent applications, which are divided into credit loans and mortgages. Baidu claims it can approve a loan application in as little as five minutes.
It also comes with a new “interactive finance” dashboard so users can monitor their loans and other finances on desktop and browser.
Baidu Finance has seen strong growth so far, exceeding RMB 30 billion (US$4.8 billion) in daily transactions in December last year, up RMB 20 billion (US$3.2 billion) from October.
In addition to loans, Baidu plans to launch a mobile payment insurance service that will reimburse customers up to RMB 100,000 (US$16,000) annually if their payment information is compromised and it results in a monetary loss. The program is set to go live in May, and users pay per device.