FSMOne Tackles the Pain Point in Seamless and Quick Investment Account Openingby Fintech News Hong Kong June 29, 2023
Before fintech and digitalisation became prominent, investors had to fill in long and clumsy account opening forms and even pay a visit to the branch just to open an account at an investment platform or a brokerage firm.
Out of the concerns of potential money laundering and other misconduct, authenticating the identity of an investor is important in order to complete account opening.
Given the competitiveness of the Hong Kong wealth management industry, investment platforms and brokerage firms have always struggled to strike a balance between security, compliance and convenience while being compliant with local regulations.
FSMOne (Hong Kong), an investment platform owned by iFAST Financial, manages to ride on the latest fintech technology in tackling this pain point.
Streamlining the process while complying with regulatory requirements
FSMOne HK, a one-stop fintech wealth management platform that offers fund, bond and stock trading services, was the first of its kind to adopt the “iAM Smart” mobile application developed by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in the account opening process.
Due to regulatory requirements, investors are required to authenticate their identities during the account opening process. For many years, investors had to visit the FSMOne office to do a face-to-face verification with their staff to verify their identities and signatures.
If they did not wish to pay a visit, they could only mail an HKD 10,000 cheque to have their identities verified based on the name on the cheque. Because of the pandemic, the option of an E-account opening was made available with the setup of the Electronic Direct Debit Authorisation (eDDA).
Despite being more digital and more convenient, it still took time to process. Since the account opening forms were filled in manually, any error made would increase the time and effort required for back-end checking.
Some brokerage firms would choose to simplify the account opening process by splitting it into two parts, requiring investors to initially register using only an email address and a mobile phone number, leaving all the identity authentication steps later.
Yet, FSMOne never ceased to tackle the pain point by looking for a solution that could streamline the process and give investors a better user experience, while complying with the existing regulations.
“We always believe that an online investment platform should be completely paperless and digital. When the ‘iAM Smart’ mobile application was first launched, it was mostly adopted by government organisations to let users fill in application forms with just one click. It came across our minds that this could be the key to tackling the identity authentication part as well as shortening the time required for investors to wait for their accounts to be activated.
The best scenario is that investors could start investing right away, as we know investors who open an account with us may already have some investment plans in mind and could not wait to make transactions before those good investment opportunities slip away. A real fintech platform needs to be able to do that.”
said Will Shum, General Manager of FSMOne HK.
In the end, FSMOne became Hong Kong’s first fintech wealth management platform to adopt “iAM Smart” for mobile account opening. As long as investors have “iAM Smart” installed on their mobile phones, they could log in FSMOne’s mobile app via “iAM Smart”.
After authorising “iAM Smart”, it helps investors fill in their personal information, and their identities would be authenticated instantly, which is a major breakthrough from the limitations on identity authentication of traditional account opening methods.
Seamless fintech experience all in one app
Established in 2007, FSMOne HK has pioneered many fields. From being one of the few online investment platforms offering fund trading services in Hong Kong, to waiving the fees for switching funds between the same categories and for making bond fund subscriptions, FSMOne has always taken the lead to introduce new services and enrich its fintech wealth management platform.
In 2015, FSMOne launched the fully-digital bond IPO service on its app and website, redefining bond investment and taking it to the next level.
Bond investors no longer had to make bond IPO subscriptions via phone calls, and could even enjoy a higher flexibility in allocating their capital under the “subscribe first, pay later when it’s yours” model introduced later.
During the same year, the Discretionary Portfolio Management Service which used to be offered only by private banks to high net-worth clients, was launched at FSMOne as an affordable and down-to-earth option available online for all retail investors.
In the past 16 years, FSMOne not only provided a seamless fintech experience to its clients but also offered fintech and white-label solutions to a considerable number of local brokerage firms.