Welcome to a roundup of Day Two of this year’s edition of Hong Kong FinTech Week, hosted jointly by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and InvestHK.
It’s Asia’s premier fintech spectacle, with last year’s virtual event drawing more than 1.2 million viewers and 500 exhibitors; hosting over 350 speakers, 230 journalists and 29 delegations from over 130 economies; and generating more than 100 hours of content. The week-long event featured conferences with prominent speakers, the Global Fast Track programme, exhibitions, a deal floor, networking events, demo shows and more.
Today’s event was another one that mainly featured in-person sessions and conversations, across a wide range of topics, and featuring speakers from governmental organisations, traditional businesses and fintech startups.
Let’s take a quick look at what the first day of Hong Kong Fintech Week brought us – including some fascinating insights from some of the most respected names in the Fintech industry.
Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong SAR, kicked off the day’s events by introducing the day’s upcoming sessions and speaking about the fintech and startup industry.
He focused on discussing this topic in local and global terms, saying “The Hong Kong government spares no effort in fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem and a culture of entrepreneurship in the city.” His comments were backed up by Mr Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, in his welcoming remarks in the afternoon, who stated that “Hong Kong is primed to be an international innovation and technology hub, providing support for fintech startups and businesses to leverage the tremendous opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.”
Evolution of the Global Capital Markets
This discussion was tackling three main questions, how capital markets are fueling innovation and economic growth, the issue connecting east and west – HKEX’s vision for supporting a thriving tech innovation ecosystem, and the future of global exchanges and what opportunities lie ahead
Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, led this talk. He took some time to speak about Hong Kong’s financial future, thanks to “China’s growing economic and financial influence which presents huge opportunities for Hong Kong as a capital raising, wealth management and risk management centre.” According to Mr. Aguzin, this will lead to the country’s capital value increasing to US$100 trillion by 2030, equivalent to the total market capitalisation of every listed company in the world’s developed economies.
Fintech in Asia: The Next Decade Ahead
Speaking at this session was Weijian Shan, Chairman & CEO, PAG. The talk explored what the next megatrends in FinTech investment might be, and the best way to fund your fintech ideas – SPACs, direct listings or IPOs. They also discussed the role of Hong Kong as a technology and innovation centre. This talk was moderated by Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.
Banking & Beyond
Ms Jayne Chan, Head of StartmeupHK at InvestHK, was joined by Mr. Barry O’Byrne, Chief Executive of Global Commercial Banking at HSBC, to talk about the future of banking and ways the banking sector can reinvent itself through fintech.
Mr. O’Byrne shared his thoughts on HSBC’s plans in terms of global growth and digital transformation. He emphasised that HSBC puts its focus on growth in Asia, as well as reiterating that they are on a journey to transition into a digital-first bank.
The evidence of this he pointed to was that HSBC has been broadening its investment focus to new digital applications in payments, customer service, banking as a service (BaaS) and trade finance – actions that have been taken following the launch of HSBC’s cloud-based SME banking app Kinetic earlier this year.
Role of Fintech in Building Inclusive and Vibrant Insurance Markets
On the Global Stage, Clement Cheung, CEO, Insurance Authority discussed the role of fintech in building insurance markets.
During his speech, he said: “Inclusion, diversity. How can we merge this together and make it happen in the workplace? The role of FinTech in building inclusive and vibrant insurance markets.
“We have to promote development. And we have to make sure that we do it through innovation. “
“For People-to-People focused distribution channels there’s a great scope for digitisation.”
Other Event Highlights
Firstly, we had Mr Clement Cheung, CEO of the Insurance Authority, announcing further support for insurtech in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. The Authority is examining the possibility of allowing more users to access the Insurtech Sandbox, launched in 2017, to test innovative ways of doing business. “We are also thinking about enabling an open API framework for the insurance sector in 2022,” he said.
Next up, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation (HKSTP) unveiled the FinTech Virtual Lab to accelerate fintech R&D and commercialisation in Hong Kong. Operating under HKSTP’s flagship STP Platform and supported by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the lab aims to enable banks, institutions and tech ventures to build and test their latest fintech innovations.
Finally, AMTD Digital announced the launch of their new app ‘AMTD PolicyPal Smart Insurance’. This app will be launched through its subsidiary AMTD InsurTech Group. The app will help Hong Kong consumers and SMEs to manage, buy and claim their insurance all through one platform.
Looking Ahead to the Rest of the Week
So, with Day Two of Hong Kong Fintech Week done and dusted, this brings us to the end of in-person sessions and panels. The final day, in what is very much in keeping with the current times, will be a fully remote, virtual affair. Despite that, Friday’s schedule looks jam-packed with interesting talks, panels and announcements, as well as offering the ability to network virtually.