Hong Kong Fintech Update

Invest Hong Kong Appoints New Head of Fintech

King Leung has been appointed Head of Fintech at InvestHK which took effect in early May.

Leung will lead a specialist Fintech team with the objective of attracting top innovativeFfintech companies, entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and R&D institutions from Mainland China and overseas to Hong Kong.

Leung is said to have over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience. He founded a data analytics/CRM startup in Hong Kong, and invested in new ventures involving Conversational AI and Big Data Exchange based InsurTech business.

Hong Kong Insurtech

Hong Kong is home to more than 550 Fintech firms which also includes over 30 Insurtech startups, according to InvestHK.

The Insurance Authority (IA) launched an Insurtech Sandbox in September 2017 to help boost the sector of Fintech. The sandbox allows insurance entrepreneurs to test the application of new technologies in a controlled environment before releasing it live into the wild. The IA also has a “Fast Track” program to expedite the regulatory process.

Additionally, the Future Task Force, part of the insurance industry, has a working group designed to foster innovation. Its called “Embracing Fintech in Hong Kong.

The first half of 2019 has been eventful in the fintech sector for Hong Kong with the launch of virtual banks and Open APIs in the banking sector. And there’s much more to come in the build-up to Hong Kong Fintech Week in November.

Virtual banks Operating by years end

Between late March and late May, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued eight virtual banking licenses. This brings the total number of licensed banks in Hong Kong to 160.

According to InvestHK, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is now working closely with the virtual bank licensees to prepare for the launch of their services in the coming months.

As part of the digitization of banking, there is an Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework.

This Framework involves 130 sets of information covering all financial data and important information in the banking sector. The goal is to create more innovative, integrated banking solutions.

More than 650 new datasets are expected to be released by the year-end by other government bureaus and departments.

Alibaba and InvestHK Partner on Global Competition

InvestHK and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund are launching the FintechHK Global Competition, which aims to connect Fintech ecosystems worldwide.

The competition will start accepting applications from Fintech start-ups around the world on 26 June 2019.

Semi-final competitions will be organized in different cities including London, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, three Mainland China cities, and Hong Kong.

For the Fintech start-ups, the final will take place during Hong Kong Fintech Week.

HSBC Launches Digital Wallet in Hong Kong

HSBC has launched its first digital wallet, according to the FT.

HSBC is targeting start-ups and other small businesses in Hong Kong as it fends off growing competition from big tech firms like Tencent and Alibaba.

Both Tencent and Ant Financial (part of Alibaba) received virtual banking licenses and are thus well positioned to challenge old school bank HSBC.

Fintech Branch of Ping An Insurance, Ping An OneConnect to Provide AI to Better Manage Fraud

Ping An OneConnect, part of Ping An Insurance, plans to provide artificial intelligence (AI) to other financial services firms. This new AI is designed to help protect against fraud and loan default risk, according to SCMP.

Jeffrey Ng, head of Fintech solutions at Ping An OneConnect, stated:

“Professional services are the missing part of Hong Kong’s Fintech ecosystem, we are trying to improve the relevant technologies through the Fintech services we will be providing.”

Ping An has also received a virtual banking license from the HKMA.

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