According to a study conducted by Deloitte entitled “Connecting Global Fintech: Hub Review 2016”, Hong Kong is the fourth leading fintech hub in the world. This performance is no surprise because, for a long time, Hong Kong has been a leading global financial hub competing with the likes of New York and London. As a result, financial technology innovators and startups have been keen to set up companies in the city. Among the key factors that have enabled Hong Kong fintech sector to flourish are:
- An established financial market
- A large talent pool
- An institutional network
- An effective legal and regulatory framework
It should be noted that the growth of Hong Kong fintech hub is a result of concerted efforts by both the private and public sectors. Significantly, the Hong Kong authorities have been keen on promoting financial technology in the city. In September 2016, for example, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan announced that the authority would set up a fintech innovation hub in collaboration with the Applied Science and Technology research institute. True to his word, the hub was established in November, barely two months later. Among other things, the hub consists of:
- A brainstorming zone intended to facilitate open discussion
- A demonstration room capable of displaying two demonstrations concurrently
- A co-working room for incubation of ideas
Currently, there are many fintech startups operating in Hong Kong. Examples include:
1) 8 Securities
With offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo, 8 Securities provides mobile and online investment services in Asia. 8 Securities has developed a mobile app for stock trading that is similar to the U.S. based Robinhood app.
APrivacy provides financial services providers with an information security and tracking services. In addition to Hong Kong, APrivacy has an office in Ontario, Canada.
ANX International specializes in blockchain and digital currency technologies. Its focus is to merge blockchain technology with traditional payment network in a digital assets ecosystem. Additionally, the company has two trading platforms.
Lenddo provides credit scoring through the application of non-traditional data. Lenddo has experience in online lending, which it leverages on in data collection, analysis, and processing. The company’s science team employs advanced machine learning techniques in predictive analysis.
Bitspark is a fast cash in cash out remittance platform mainly serving the Asia-Pacific market. It allows individuals and money transfer operators to send money to many destinations quickly but at relatively low transaction charges. Bitspark employs bitcoin as the means of transmission.
Hong Kong is set to host an international technology conference in June 2017. With this kind of sustained momentum, the city will remain on top in the global fintech hub rankings.