Fintech Hong Kong http://fintechnews.hk - FintechNewsHK Fri, 20 Sep 2019 02:54:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 4 Reasons Why China’s Central Bank is Launching a Digital Currency http://fintechnews.hk/10126/fintechchina/china-digital-currency-why/ http://fintechnews.hk/10126/fintechchina/china-digital-currency-why/#respond Fri, 20 Sep 2019 02:54:53 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10126 Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been all the rage these past years. Now even central banks are looking to launch their own digital currency. So-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) differ

The post 4 Reasons Why China’s Central Bank is Launching a Digital Currency appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been all the rage these past years. Now even central banks are looking to launch their own digital currency.

So-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) differ from traditionally digital currencies like bitcoin and ether in the sense that the latter are not issued by the state and lack the legal tender status declared by the government.

Over the past years, governments and central banks have been studying and testing CBDCs to realize the many positive implications these could contribute in the areas of financial inclusion, economic growth and technology innovation.

While the Bank of England is often cited as one of the first to initiate a global discussion on the prospects for the introduction of a CBDC, it is actually the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that has been amongst the pioneers on the topic.

The PBOC was in fact the first major central bank to study digital currencies in 2014, and after receiving approval from the State Council, the central bank began working with market institutions on creating a CBDC.

Speaking at an event in China in August, Mu Changchun, deputy director of the payments unit at the PBOC, said its researchers have been hard at work since 2018 to complete the systems needed to support the digital yuan offering and that it is “close to being out.”

But why is the PBOC rushing to get the digital yuan up and running? And why is it so interested in launching a China’s own version of digital currency anyways?

We’ve compiled some the key ideas and reasons formulated by experts, academics and industry participants on why the PBOC is so eager to launch its very own China digital currency.

 

Curbing the dominance of tech giants

In China, mobile payment is a big thing and the US$17 trillion industry is dominated by tech giants Tencent and Ant Financial, which have a combined 90%+ market share. However, neither Ant Financial nor Tencent are banks, and so must be a 100% backed by reserves.

“The result is that these digital wallets store enormous cash reserves … Since Alipay and WeChat Pay are not regulated as banks, it creates huge financial risk for consumers,” wrote Henry He, a serial entrepreneur, token economics evangelist, and security and IP routing expert, in a guest post on VentureBeat.

“China’s DC/EP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) product will disrupt these closed systems.”

By launching its own sovereign digital currency, the PBOC could tighten its grip on the country’s deposit pool and help banks catch up with their mobile payment business, according to Cindy Wang, an analyst at DBS Group Research.

“Currently, banks are under pressure to retain their deposit base because, with the money market funds distributed by third-party payment providers like Alipay or Tencent, some of the idle money held in mobile payment accounts are leaked out of the banking system into the hands of fund managers,” Wang told the South China Morning Post.

“With banks’ loan-to-deposit ratio rising, if banks continue to lose their deposit base it will be difficult for them to keep up with their lending, so through the digital currency the PBOC hopes to divert some of the deposits back to the banking system.”

 

Capital control

According to the PBOC’s Mu, the development of a digital yuan could help protect China’s foreign exchange sovereignty as commercial applications of digital currencies are rapidly expanding. And the fact that US tech giant Facebook has recently unveiled its Libra stablecoin initiative, has put a sense of urgency to the task.

“Why is the central bank still doing such a digital currency today when electronic payment methods are so developed?” Mu said, quoted by Reuters.

“It is to protect our monetary sovereignty and legal currency status. We need to plan ahead for a rainy day.”

Facebook’s push to introduce Libra could strengthen the US dollar’s dominance, and weakening China’s capital controls. According to Wang Xin, the head of the PBOC’s research bureau, that could have “economic, financial and even international political consequences.”

 

Traceability

Experts and analysts have also said that a digital currency would allow China to get total traceability over all economic transactions, thus avoiding the problems associated with cash, such as crime and submerged economy. That’s “all very much in line with Beijing’s policy of rigid population control,” said Enrique Dans, professor of innovation at IE Business School.

Echoing Dans’ statement, He Zhiguo, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told Forkast.News in a recent interview:

“The fundamental economics reason behind it is that [the government] understands there’s a lot of good part of having a digitalized asset where you can trace where you’re coming from, where you go, and make the settlement super quick … there’s a lot of legal issues in China with fraud.”

Though the PBOC’s Mu has said that the central bank has put effort to balance anonymity and privacy, and the need to fight financial crimes, user identities will likely be tied to individual wallets, reports Bloomberg. Additionally, banks may need to submit daily information on transactions to the central bank.

 

Staying at the forefront of innovation

Another possible reason for China’s push to launch a national digital currency might be Beijing’s desire to stay at the forefront of technology.

“If Beijing still doesn’t allow us to innovate [on cryptocurrency], we are lagging behind for the next 200 years. We’re back into the Opium War,” He said.

“[Beijing doesn’t] want to lag behind the frontiers of technology, but all of a sudden, there’s a brand new idea [of cryptocurrency and Facebook’s Libra] that also seems to be getting support from other parts, not just these Chinese crypto people, but also from the US.”

Research and innovation regarding digital currencies was mentioned in the grand plan to turn the tech hub of Shenzhen into “one of the leading cities in the world in terms of economic strength and quality of development” by 2025. Shenzhen has been flagged by the Chinese government for trials of the new digital currency.

More broadly, Beijing has pledged to transform the mainland into a global powerhouse in innovation by 2050.

The post 4 Reasons Why China’s Central Bank is Launching a Digital Currency appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10126/fintechchina/china-digital-currency-why/feed/ 0
UnionPay Bets on Wirecard to Support Global Expansion http://fintechnews.hk/10108/mobilepayment/unionpay-bets-on-wirecard-to-support-global-expansion/ http://fintechnews.hk/10108/mobilepayment/unionpay-bets-on-wirecard-to-support-global-expansion/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 09:24:39 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10108 UnionPay, the world largest card scheme formed a partnership with Wirecard a global player in the payments space. This agreement will see Wirecard supporting UnionPay’s ongoing international expansion and Wirecard’s

The post UnionPay Bets on Wirecard to Support Global Expansion appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
UnionPay, the world largest card scheme formed a partnership with Wirecard a global player in the payments space. This agreement will see Wirecard supporting UnionPay’s ongoing international expansion and Wirecard’s growth in China.

With over 7.59 billion cards issued under its brand, amounting to 57.6% of the world’s payment cards in circulation according to the Nilson Report, UnionPay leads the global card scheme market. The cooperation between Wirecard and UnionPay will focus on expanding the global acceptance of UnionPay as a digital payment method across all channels — a continuation of UnionPay’s ongoing efforts to expand outside of Mainland China.

In addition, the partnership will also launch a number of issuing projects, including corporate solutions such as payout products and SCP (Supplier and Commission Payments), and consumer-oriented products in the form of digital wallets for incoming tourists to China.

Georg Von Waldenfels

Georg Von Waldenfels

“As the world’s largest card scheme in terms of card issuance, UnionPay will be one of our key alliances in Asia,”

commented Georg von Waldenfels, EVP Group Business Development at Wirecard.

“We’re excited about the immense potential this partnership creates for both entities, and to deliver innovative solutions for current and future UnionPay cardholders globally. As a major tourist and business destination, China receives hundreds of millions of travelers every year, which means that the scope of our solutions will also address non-Chinese nationals and enable them to pay with UnionPay nationwide.”

Larry Wang

Larry Wang

“Through our global strategic partnership with Wirecard, we plan to continue driving our international expansion forward,”

added Larry Wang, Vice President at UnionPay International.

“We are proud to have an experienced partner in digital financial technology and global payments by our side to provide an even wider range of innovative solutions for UnionPay customers. We look forward to launching our partnership with Wirecard.”

The initial stage of the partnership will focus on launching additional projects in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, where both partners already work together for several years. Especially point of sale and issuing solutions will merge with the existing online payment business.

Additionally, a consumer solution for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is being planned to take advantage of the large number of tourists who will visit the country.

The post UnionPay Bets on Wirecard to Support Global Expansion appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10108/mobilepayment/unionpay-bets-on-wirecard-to-support-global-expansion/feed/ 0
Legacy Trust Launches Digital Asset Pension Plan http://fintechnews.hk/10096/blockchain/legacy-trust-digital-asset-pension-plan/ http://fintechnews.hk/10096/blockchain/legacy-trust-digital-asset-pension-plan/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 03:13:00 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10096 Hong Kong-licensed Legacy Trust Company Limited is launching a digital asset pension plan; a voluntary pension plan available to employers and the self-employed, where the contributions and underlying asset portfolio

The post Legacy Trust Launches Digital Asset Pension Plan appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Hong Kong-licensed Legacy Trust Company Limited is launching a digital asset pension plan; a voluntary pension plan available to employers and the self-employed, where the contributions and underlying asset portfolio can include digital assets alongside fiat currencies.

According to the company, the digital asset pension is structured as a non-vested trust, it’s fully compliant with Hong Kong regulations and it’s available to members residing anywhere in the world, provided that they are gainfully employed.

The pension is funded by voluntary contributions made by an employee, employer or deducted directly from a salary, on a frequency of their choice. It is then paid out when the member retires, or to their beneficiaries should they pass.

Vincent Chok

Vincent Chok

“We envisage that this will appeal to businesses who are active in the digital assets space, and who want to offer additional benefits to their employees to retain talent and recognise achievement,”

said Vincent Chok, CEO of Legacy Trust.

“What better way to drive employee loyalty while allowing valuable staff to participate in the growth of the company and the digital asset space?”

 

Long-term digital asset investors are also expected to find the offering attractive as the time horizon for makes the pension suitable for inclusion in a mixed-portfolio or provides a solely digital-asset pension.

The new product addresses various tax concerns for digital assets holders, and eliminates the temptation to sell during price dips thanks to limitations on accessing the capital assets.

Legacy Trust, founded in 1992, was initially established as a traditional pension and family trustee, so it brings a quarter century of experience, plus an unparalleled expertise in providing institutional-grade service and security to the emerging space of digital assets.

Legacy recently collaborated with Ledger on an institutional-grade digital asset storage solutions – Ledger Vault – and offers custody to TrustToken’s TrueHKD stablecoin reserves.

 

Featured image credit: Legacy Trust Twitter

The post Legacy Trust Launches Digital Asset Pension Plan appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10096/blockchain/legacy-trust-digital-asset-pension-plan/feed/ 0
Finfabrik and Lumiere Tokenised Co-Investment into Algerian Indie Film http://fintechnews.hk/10084/blockchain/finfabrik-lumiere-papicha/ http://fintechnews.hk/10084/blockchain/finfabrik-lumiere-papicha/#respond Fri, 13 Sep 2019 04:25:56 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10084 Lumiere and FinFabrik have joined forces bringing their business and technical expertise together to tokenise a co-investment into a film titled ‘Papicha’. By having their equity participation digitalised, investors will

The post Finfabrik and Lumiere Tokenised Co-Investment into Algerian Indie Film appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Lumiere and FinFabrik have joined forces bringing their business and technical expertise together to tokenise a co-investment into a film titled ‘Papicha’.

By having their equity participation digitalised, investors will have the opportunity in the future to transfer or sell it to other investors who want to have access to an alternative asset.

‍‘Papicha’ is a progressive film directed by Mounia Meddour, produced by Xavier Gens and Gregoire Gensollen from The Ink Connection, and Patrick Andre from High Sea Productions, and distributed worldwide by Jour2Fête; it premiered in Cannes earlier this year and has been selected to represent Algeria for the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars.

‍Patrice Poujol, Founder and CEO of Lumiere, also the author of the book ‘Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and SmartContracts’ said,

“The film industry needs more than ever a revival of creativity, and this revival can only be embraced through openness and diversity, it also means that the entire funding and production model should be transformed if it is to survive. The film industry is century old and has gone through many technological transformations. This time with the rise of blockchain, we are privileged to witness this flourishing moment in film history –independent filmmakers can see new gates opening to finance and produce their films.”

 

‍Alex Medana, Co-founder and CEO of FinFabrik said,

Alex Medana

Alex Medana

“FinFabrik is about reinventing capital markets and bringing finance to everyone. We are humbled to bring forward our experience and our distributed ledger technology (DLT) based asset tokenisation platform CrossPool to co-create with Lumiere a new way to invest into movies, that will lead to more transparency, security and efficiency gains.”

Featured image: Papicha Poster

The post Finfabrik and Lumiere Tokenised Co-Investment into Algerian Indie Film appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10084/blockchain/finfabrik-lumiere-papicha/feed/ 0
A Look at Line and Nomura’s Zero-Commission Online Brokerage in Japan http://fintechnews.hk/10071/wealthtech/line-nomura-online-brokerage-zero-commission/ http://fintechnews.hk/10071/wealthtech/line-nomura-online-brokerage-zero-commission/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 03:15:01 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10071 Line Securities Corporation, a joint venture between Asian financial services group Nomura Holdings and Line Financial Corporation, the financial services arm of Internet firm Line Corporation, has launched a new

The post A Look at Line and Nomura’s Zero-Commission Online Brokerage in Japan appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Line Securities Corporation, a joint venture between Asian financial services group Nomura Holdings and Line Financial Corporation, the financial services arm of Internet firm Line Corporation, has launched a new mobile investment service targeted at younger, digital-savvy generations.

The new service aims to make investing more accessible to a wide range of clients by providing users with an easy and convenient securities and trading service that’s accessible from the Line messaging app. The Line platform counts some 165 million monthly active users.

According to a press release, dated August 20 from Line, the service was designed to offer maximum simplicity, requiring only six taps from the Wallet tab to complete an order.

Line Securities, purchase process, via Line

Line Securities, purchase process, via Line

Line Securities is available on both Android and iOS devices, and, at launch, lets users trade stocks of 100 leading Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor Corp., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., SoftBank Group Corp., and Seven Group Holdings, in amounts as small as one share.

Users also have access to nine domestic exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking indexes such as TOPIX, real estate (Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT), the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, gold, and crude oil, in amounts as small as one unit. Line Securities also offers instant buy/trade until 9 pm on weekdays.

Additionally, the service offers categories and top rankings so that users with no or little trading experience can easily select their desired stocks. Line said that several of the stocks available on the platform can be traded for under JPY 3,000 (US$28), making investing accessible to users with smaller budgets.

Line Securities 100 Stocks, via Line

Line Securities 100 Stocks, via Line

 

Line Securities 9 ETFs, via Line

Line Securities 9 ETFs, via Line

Opening an account with Line Securities is easy, and straight-forward. After making an account opening request through the Line app, users receive a simplified registered postcard by mail within the following four business days. They then simply need to scan to QR code on the postcard to access Line Securities.

Line Securities, opening account process, via Line

Line Securities, account opening process, via Line

Moving forward, Nomura and Line said they will work together to further enhance Line Securities’ service lineup to deliver “greater convenience to working people,” Nomura said in a separate press release.

The joint venture with Line Financial, established in June 2018, is part of Nomura’s strategy to appeal to younger populations. Nomura already has an online service with about 3.5 million customer accounts, reports Bloomberg.

For Line, the initiative is part of the group’s broader push into financial services, which began with the launch of Line Pay in 2014, a service that sits within the Line app that allows users to request and send money from users in their contact list and make mobile payments in-store.

Since then, Line Pay has expanded to allow other features such as offline wire transfers when making purchases and ATM transactions like depositing and withdrawing money. Earlier this year, it introduced its own credit card with Visa.

Recently, Line has been looking to expand its fintech business across the broader Asian region, investing in and collaborating with Asian counterparts from countries like Indonesia and Thailand.

One of the group’s most notable ongoing initiatives is its upcoming Internet-only bank in Taiwan, for which it received the green light from the country’s financial regulator in July.

The company said in a press release that Line Bank will leverage technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to provide “innovative and secure personal finance experiences that can truly improve banking for all consumers.”

Line Bank is supported by a consortium of industry players, which, alongside Line Financial Taiwan, the group’s Taiwanese financial arm, includes Taipei Fubon Bank, CTBC Bank, FarEasTone, Standard Chartered Bank, Taiwan Mobile and Union Bank of Taiwan.

Line isn’t the Internet firm in Asia that’s leveraging its massive user base to expand into financial services. In China, Internet giant Tencent has been providing the country’s financially underserved with an array of services through its popular multi-purpose “super-app” WeChat. Southeast Asian ride-hailing giants Go-Jek and Grab have been pursuing similar strategies.

 

Featured image: Line Securities, via Line.

The post A Look at Line and Nomura’s Zero-Commission Online Brokerage in Japan appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10071/wealthtech/line-nomura-online-brokerage-zero-commission/feed/ 0
Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Collaborates with Ping An on Fintech and Analytics http://fintechnews.hk/10062/various/hkex-pingan-fintech/ http://fintechnews.hk/10062/various/hkex-pingan-fintech/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 10:05:21 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10062 Ping An Insurance and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) have entered into an agreement to develop cooperation and collaboration in fintech and data analytics. The purpose of the MOU

The post Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Collaborates with Ping An on Fintech and Analytics appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Ping An Insurance and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) have entered into an agreement to develop cooperation and collaboration in fintech and data analytics. The purpose of the MOU is to enhance the financial market ecosystem of the region.

Ping An Group Chairman and CEO, Peter Ma, joined HKEX Chief Executive, Charles Li, at a signing ceremony, in Shenzhen at the Ping An Finance Center, Futian.

The signing of the MOU marks the beginning of a collaborative journey between Ping An Group and HKEX which seek to explore opportunities to collaborate in initiatives covering the Great Bay Area that aim to serve global financial institutions, to promote mutual access and strong coordination between the Chinese and international markets and the building of Hong Kong capital market ecosystems.

Within the Ping An group, the initiative will be led by its fintech arm, OneConnect.

Peter Ma, Ping An Chairman and CEO, said,

peter ma ming zhe ping an“The strategic cooperation with HKEX is an important milestone in our implementation of our “finance + technology” strategy and external cooperation. Ping An Group and HKEX will seek cooperation to facilitate HKEX in realizing its new vision of connecting China with the rest of the word. We look forward to the implementation and deepening of our cooperation.”

 

 

Over the past year, Ping An Group has successfully entered into multiple cooperative projects in Hong Kong. In July 2018, Ping An worked with HKMA to build a trade finance platform to facilitate cross-border trade finance and support the real economy.

In April 2019, Ping An was granted Hong Kong virtual banking licenses and Ping An OneConnect Bank will actively promote fintech innovation and the sustainable development of Puhui finance.

The post Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Collaborates with Ping An on Fintech and Analytics appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10062/various/hkex-pingan-fintech/feed/ 0
Crypto.com Appoints Eric Anziana as Chief Operating Officer http://fintechnews.hk/10053/blockchain/crypto-com-coo-eric-anziani/ http://fintechnews.hk/10053/blockchain/crypto-com-coo-eric-anziani/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 09:24:49 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10053 Crypto.com announced the promotion of Eric Anziani to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Eric joined Crypto.com in January 2018 and was the Senior Vice President of Group Strategy. Previously

The post Crypto.com Appoints Eric Anziana as Chief Operating Officer appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Crypto.com announced the promotion of Eric Anziani to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Eric joined Crypto.com in January 2018 and was the Senior Vice President of Group Strategy. Previously known as MCO, Crypto.com is best known for their Mastercard-enabled crypto wallet.

The company said in a media statement that, Eric has been instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of the company’s major initiatives, in particular the Crypto.com Chain.

As COO, Eric will provide company-wide leadership, management and vision, as he helps guide Crypto.com in the execution of growth-focused strategies.

Kris Marszalek, Co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com said,

Kris Marszalek“Eric leads with true founder mentality and relentless, data-driven execution. He has the rare ability to see the 30,000 feet strategic picture and execute even the most complex projects with mind-blowing attention to detail. As a company, we’re very fortunate to have talent of Eric’s caliber onboard, allowing us to promote from within as the business goes through rapid growth phase.”

The post Crypto.com Appoints Eric Anziana as Chief Operating Officer appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10053/blockchain/crypto-com-coo-eric-anziani/feed/ 0
CoverGo Teams up with Jetco to Build Car Insurance Open API Platform http://fintechnews.hk/10047/insurtech/covergo-open-api-jetco/ http://fintechnews.hk/10047/insurtech/covergo-open-api-jetco/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 07:16:33 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10047 Joint Electronic Teller Services Limited (“JETCO”) today announced its collaboration with  insurtech provider CoverGo to build car insurance API platforms that will offer price comparison, online applications, claiming and a

The post CoverGo Teams up with Jetco to Build Car Insurance Open API Platform appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
Joint Electronic Teller Services Limited (“JETCO”) today announced its collaboration with  insurtech provider CoverGo to build car insurance API platforms that will offer price comparison, online applications, claiming and a range of other innovative features based on JETCO APIX, an open API (application programming interface) exchange platform. 

According to government statistics there are more than 680,000 private cars and motorcycles in Hong Kong as of the end of 2018 with new registration of private cars amounting to over 40,000 annually over the past 3 years.

This represents an attractive market for local car insurance providers. Yet consumers generally believe that there is a lack of transparency in the car insurance market. Premiums of comprehensive insurance in the market could vary more than double, and variances existed also in premiums and policy terms among different sales channels

JETCO and Covergo share the common goal of leveraging open APIs to drive the digital transformation of the local car insurance industry, bringing about more transparency, convenience and innovations that will benefit all stakeholders in the ecosystem, including insurers, insurance brokers and agencies, third-party service providers (TSPs) and consumers. 

JETCO Chief Executive Officer Angus Choi saidAngus Choi, CEO Jetco

“The car insurance market has always been highly competitive and customer satisfaction is key to retaining loyalty and acquiring new customers. We are pleased to work with CoverGo which is a recognised insurtech innovator. JETCO APIX, currently offering over 270 APIs from 13 banks and many TSPs, will provide easy and seamless connectivity for car insurance agents, distributors, insurers and external parties and allow them to collaborate and co-create new services on a highly secure platform.” 

CoverGo CEO and Founder Tomas Holub saidTomas Holub

“JETCO APIX enables us to build white label solutions through API for car insurance distributors such as traditional and virtual banks, brokers and TSPs on the one hand. On the other hand, for agents and TSPs like online car re-sellers, we can provide end-to-end solutions including car insurance instant pricing to online applications, purchasing and claiming which no similar digital platform is available in the local market. We are confident to provide cost-effective solutions for all types of companies irrespective of their legacy system setup. Besides, this fully digitised process will help customers minimise hassles and time in dealing with multiple parties which is typical for the traditional buying and claiming process. We believe car insurance is a good start.”

The post CoverGo Teams up with Jetco to Build Car Insurance Open API Platform appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10047/insurtech/covergo-open-api-jetco/feed/ 0
Tencent’s WeChat Pushes for Mainstream Adoption of Facial Recognition Payment http://fintechnews.hk/10038/fintechchina/tencents-wechat-pushes-for-mainstream-adoption-of-facial-recognition-payment/ http://fintechnews.hk/10038/fintechchina/tencents-wechat-pushes-for-mainstream-adoption-of-facial-recognition-payment/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 04:00:34 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10038 China has been quick to embrace facial recognition, a technology that’s already being used for making payments at numerous shops, supermarkets and restaurants. The latest development in the field comes

The post Tencent’s WeChat Pushes for Mainstream Adoption of Facial Recognition Payment appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
China has been quick to embrace facial recognition, a technology that’s already being used for making payments at numerous shops, supermarkets and restaurants. The latest development in the field comes from China’s Internet giant Tencent, which showcased last month, at the Chongqing Smart China Expo, a new device supporting facial recognition payments, reports TechNode.

Called the Frog Pro, the point-of-sale (POS) machine allows shoppers to make transactions by scanning their face at checkout. The device is equipped with 10.1-inch double-sided screen, a 3D depth-sensing camera for the facial recognition payment function, and a QR code scanner.

Image: Frog Pro, by Tencent, via pay.weixin.qq.com

Image: Frog Pro, by Tencent, via pay.weixin.qq.com

Tencent said the double-sided screen, a first in the industry, will allow businesses to push promotions more easily. The cashier will be able to display the QR code of its official web account in WeChat or new product information on the screen.

The Frog Pro is integrated with different WeChat features including Mini Programs, mobile wallet, official accounts, and group chats.

In parallel, WeChat Pay, the mobile payment system integrated into Tencent’s popular multi-purpose app WeChat, also introduced new features including one that allows shoppers to join a membership program by simply scanning their face.

Alongside the Frog Pro, the Frog series will include two other versions of the device designed for different retail scenarios: the Frog Basic for shops with limited physical space, and the portable Frog Mini, for businesses like restaurants.

According to Tencent, the advanced facial recognition technology used in the terminal will provide customers with a safer, quicker and more convenient way to transact.

Tencent has been quietly testing facial recognition payment solutions at retail outlets in China and promoting early versions of its Frog terminals. According to Chinese media MPayPass, the company has been testing thousands of devices at different retail locations including retail chains Jiatian and Meiyijia.

In China, face scan payment has become more prevalent as companies increasingly integrate online and offline retail, pushing offline payment capabilities to tap into additional demographics.

Another recent move by Tencent demonstrating the firm’s commitment towards pushing offline payments is WeChat on the Machine, a trial service deployed in July to allow flight passengers to make offline payments while flying.

WeChat Pay rival Ant Financial’s Alipay rolled out a facial recognition payment device called Dragonfly in late 2018 and launched the Smile to Pay facial recognition system for commercial use in September 2017.

Tens of thousands of merchants across 300 cities in China are already using Alipay’s facial recognition payment system and the company plans to spend RMB 3 billion (around US$448 million) in promoting the POS face-scan payment system alone.

Though evidence suggests that Alipay might be ahead in the facial recognition payment game, WeChat Pay leads the market when it comes to mobile payments with roughly 600 million users compared to Alipay’s 400 million. Tencent claims WeChat Pay processes a billion transactions daily, connecting 50 million merchants and businesses in China.

Facial recognition payment capabilities are rapidly being deployed and adopted in China, because, for one, Chinese tech giants are already on point with the technology.

Artificial intelligence startup Megvii, one of the four most highly valued facial recognition startup unicorns in China, has recently filed an initial public offering (IPO), and according to a Wired report, most of its revenue comes from surveillance and security systems.

Most recently, two pilot gates with facial recognition capabilities were spotted in Canto Tower Station, according to Crowdfundinsider. Currently, QR code payment, Yangchengtong Metro Card and Single Journey Coin/Ticket are accepted in Guangzhou Metro, but it appears that commuters will soon be able to pay by scanning their face.

Last year, Guangzhou Metro experienced with facial recognition technology for security checks. A third-party company responsible for facilitating research and development for the city also revealed that they were testing a payment solution leveraging facial recognition as well.

Earlier this year, a subway operator in Shenzhen tested several advanced technologies powered by the 5G network, including facial recognition payments.

 

Featured Image Credit: Pandaily

The post Tencent’s WeChat Pushes for Mainstream Adoption of Facial Recognition Payment appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10038/fintechchina/tencents-wechat-pushes-for-mainstream-adoption-of-facial-recognition-payment/feed/ 0
China Lays Out 6 Key Fintech Focus for the Next 3 Years http://fintechnews.hk/10032/fintechchina/china-fintech-plan/ http://fintechnews.hk/10032/fintechchina/china-fintech-plan/#respond Fri, 06 Sep 2019 06:59:49 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=10032 The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, has released a three-year fintech development plan that aims to improve the quality of financial services, strengthen regulation on technology-driven

The post China Lays Out 6 Key Fintech Focus for the Next 3 Years appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, has released a three-year fintech development plan that aims to improve the quality of financial services, strengthen regulation on technology-driven innovations, and prevent financial risks.

China wants to make its fintech sector a world leader and use the industry as a “new engine” for the development of its high-quality financial sector, the PBOC said in a statement.

Under the plan, China will establish a framework for fintech development by 2021 that focuses on enhancing fintech application in the financial sector, enabling in-depth integration and coordinated development of finance and technology, and boosting consumer adoption of digital, Internet-based financial products and services.

The plan lays out six main tasks and priorities:

  • The need to strengthen the strategic deployment of fintech, improve forward-looking design, identify fintech development trends, and concentrate on coordinated planning, optimization of systematic arrangement and talent building;
  • Identifying proper fintech applications, key breakthroughs to drive development, and adequate regulation and control of key generic technologies;
  • Enhancing the quality and efficiency of financial services by diversifying financial service channels, enabling cost reduction, and optimizing financing services to benefit Chinese consumers and allow for the healthy and sustainable development of the real economy;
  • Enhancing technological capabilities to prevent financial risks, properly balance the relationship between security and development, leverage fintech to identify, curb and tackle cross-market, cross-industry and cross-regional financial risks, and strengthen control of cyber-security risks and the protection of financial information;
  • Strengthening fintech regulation by developing a system of fundamental regulatory rules, exploring innovative management mechanisms for fintech, facilitating integrated statistics for the financial sector and making financial regulation “more professional, unified and penetrating”; and
  • Consolidating basic support for fintech while improving the ecosystem, optimizing relevant governance systems, and taking appropriate steps in the fields of technology, laws and regulations, credit services, standards, and consumer protection.

Over the past years, China has emerged a key contender in the global fintech race. The proliferation of software technology and mobile phones, as well as lenient regulations when it comes to data privacy, have allowed domestic Internet giants to experiment with and deploy new ways to transact and manage money, reaching the millions of people and small businesses that had historically been excluded from the traditional banking sector.

Leveraging technologies such artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and big data, China’s Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have been able to make lending decisions and offer loans to the country’s rural populations and small businesses through a process that takes just a few minutes.

Today, China is home to some of the world’s largest fintech companies and the world’s largest fintech market. According to Accenture, fintech deals in China amounted to US$25.5 billion in 2018, or 46% of all fintech investments globally.

Allibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial is now worth US$150 billion, making it the world’s most valuable unicorn startup company in the world. Internet giant Tencent counts more than one billion monthly active users on its multi-purpose app WeChat, which, alongside messaging and social media features, also offers mobile payments.

Both companies are responsible for more than 90% of smartphone-based payments in China, and handled US$25 trillion worth of transactions in 2018.

 

The post China Lays Out 6 Key Fintech Focus for the Next 3 Years appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.

]]>
http://fintechnews.hk/10032/fintechchina/china-fintech-plan/feed/ 0