October 25, 2019

SCMP Redefining Hong Kong - The Future of Payments

The South China Morning Post recently asked me to host a roundtable discussion on "Redefining Hong Kong - The Future of Payments". Here is their summary of the findings. 

Hong Kong was one of the first places in the world to introduce a cashless payment system when the Octopus card was launched in 1997. While little has changed in the city's digital payments ecosystem, other countries around the world have raced ahead in the drive towards cashless economies.

What can be done to help Hong Kong catch up in the mobile payment industry?

Key suggestions from the Redefining Hong Kong audience.

Panelists: (from left) The South China Morning Post's technology reporter Zen Soo; Managing Partner, Asia Pacific FinTech and Innovation Financial Services, EY, Effie Xin; Chief Executive Officer of Octopus Holdings Limited Sunny Cheung Yiu-tong; and Decathlon Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Marc Zielinski.

1. Hong Kong needs a mindset change

A panel of experts played down the notion that mainland China is much more advanced than Hong Kong in terms of the technology of mobile payments, saying it was more of a 'perception' issue among consumers.


It is no surprise that everyone in the audience agrees that we need to move further to a cashless society, but the question is, how?

3. Convenience, incentives and improve the process

Is Hong Kong ready to go cashless - perhaps we should go coinless first? Audience members have suggested that incentivising and improving the process will help encourage consumers' adoption to digital payments.

4. Data, privacy and regulation

There are concerns around privacy and data in Hong Kong. One of the key questions is who owns the data in Hong Kong? It seems that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made it really clear but more regulatory clarity on the usage of data and whether the government has access to that data still needs to be given. People are willing to give their data in exchange for convenience and better product development, but more transparency is needed on how the data is used after it's collected.

A BIG THANK YOU to our platinum sponsor, EY, speakers and roundtable facilitators for their support of our Redefining Hong Kong series.

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