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KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Local financial technology (fintech) company Blue Duck Tech Sdn Bhd (BlueDuck), which introduced its Zero Deposit offering for tenants in the rental market last year, plans to launch a new feature called “BlueDuck Tenant Profile” by end of this year to help landlords make better and informed decisions even before accepting their tenants.

Founder and chief executive officer Earnest Wong said the latest initiative is expected to benefit 50,000 tenants in the next three years.

“It is like (providing) a resume, only in a smaller and simpler version. With this initiative, landlords can decide whether or not to accept the tenants as their profile would have been through CTOS screening and identity card (IC) verification, as opposed to through the physical way of meeting the tenants previously,” he told Bernama.

Wong said the initiative is a collaboration with CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd (CTOS), where it would involve CTOS scoring for the tenants to see if they are under any financial distress programme account and so on before the tenants are accepted into its Zero Deposit programme.

He also expressed hope that landlords would consider the credit score and the history of the tenants as a good paymaster rather than looking at preferences such as skin colour or culture, which the company does not encourage.

“I also see that as the new generation of renters are more receptive in terms of technology, they are more comfortable in viewing online and having the documents signed digitally, as it saves time.

“In the next five years, we will see landlords having a full form of a tenancy management system that will enable a payment gateway method to do the collection of rentals,” said Wong.

In the coming six months, he expected that at least 50 per cent of tenants would view the housing units virtually following the implementation of Movement Control Orders (MCOs) and standard operating procedures.

“He also noted that despite the movement restrictions, BlueDuck has seen a growth of about 30 per cent month-on-month on average in its rental market transactions since early this year”

“The increase in (tenant) movement during this MCO period is because more tenants can no longer afford a higher priced unit; they need to move out and find a smaller unit with a lower ticket price,” said Wong, adding that to date, BlueDuck has helped over 700 tenants since its launch in October last year.

The company, which was incorporated in 2018, allows tenants to move in without paying anything upfront except an amount of about 10 per cent of the typical deposit, which is used as a form of insurance for landlords to secure their units in case tenants are later unable to pay or cause malicious damage.

BlueDuck mainly targets property or real estate agents, where it acts as the information technology partner that also provides digital solutions on agreement signing and direct debit solutions.

Wong said the company also offers its services to individual landlords, which currently stand at around 15 per cent of its clientele.

“Through this method, landlords get more protection, whereby instead of a deposit, the tenants are paying insurance for the units. For tenants, this allows them to save and have more money in their pocket,” he said.

The Zero Deposit programme was co-developed with Liberty Insurance Bhd.

News Source: Bernama / Rosemarie Khoo Mohd Sani 5 July 2021

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