Covid-19 has accelerated the use of digital banking in Hong Kong over the past year.
A survey conducted by Global the payment giant Visa found that all four in ten consumers in the city had increased their use of mobile banking services at their major banks in July compared to the days before the coronavirus. The epidemic began in January of last year. The same level of growth was expected over the next 12 months, according to the July survey of 2,000 Visa customers in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
“The pandemic has brought about a significant change in consumer behavior, with digital becoming more and more an integral part of everyday life. We are delighted to see that virtual banks are growing in the region and more and more consumers are adopting mobile banking services, ”said Maaike Steinebach, Managing Director for Hong Kong and Macau at Visa.
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The use of digital banking services has increased during the pandemic, forcing many banks to close branches and shorten hours of operation due to staff infections and foreclosure measures, while millions of people were working from home as workplaces beyond the banking sector were also closed.
The increase in the use of digital services also coincided with the launch of eight virtual banks in Hong Kong. The Visa survey showed that half of those polled had opened a virtual bank account, up from 21% last year. Since launching, these lenders have collectively secured 600,000 customers with HK $ 20 billion ($ 2.6 billion) in combined deposits in March.
Maaike Steinebach, Managing Director for Hong Kong and Macao at Visa. Photo: KY Cheng alt = Maaike Steinebach, Managing Director for Hong Kong and Macao at Visa. Photo: KY Cheng
Data provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, also indicates a increased use of digital banking services. It shows that over 9 million Faster Payment System (FPS) accounts were registered at the end of September, an increase of 200,000 new accounts from the previous month. In the first nine months of this year, registrations increased by 2.19 million, or 32%. FPS, an electronic platform that allows users to transfer money between different bank accounts through their mobile phones, allows multiple accounts, which is why its account numbers exceed Hong Kong’s total population by 7.5 million. .
The Visa survey also showed that users were concerned about the security of their data. The majority of those surveyed said sharing data was more risky than beneficial. About 63% said they should be the primary custodians of their personal and financial data rather than banks, governments or businesses.
This has led many people to prefer traditional banks over their virtual counterparts. About 80% of Hong Kong people, for example, said they would use traditional banks as their primary bank, while 59% said they thought their money was safe with traditional banks, and 56% found traditional banks. reliable for transactions.
“It’s critically important for the industry to balance convenience, speed and user experience with robust privacy and security protection,” said Steinebach.
Hong Kong people used mobile banking the most, with 82% using these services frequently, compared to 71% in Taiwan and 64% in Macau. Around 20% of those polled also said they experienced security breaches during mobile payments, including not charging the correct amount or having their personal information misused.
This article was originally published in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice on China and Asia for over a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP application or visit the SCMP Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.