So, here we are – at the final day of what has been a thrilling week of fintech keynote speeches, panel sessions and lively discussion. Day Three of the main event of this year’s edition of Hong Kong FinTech Week, hosted jointly by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and InvestHK, was a virtual-only day, but no less action-packed!
If you don’t know already, Hong Kong Fintech Week is 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.
Let’s take a quick look at what the final day of Hong Kong Fintech Week brought us – featuring big names from the fintech industry, highly topical discussions, and the posing of interesting questions.
Opening Remarks from the final day of this event were provided by Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong SAR. He spoke about how events such as this demonstrate Hong Kong’s transition to a digital economy, and its willingness to embrace fintech and adapt to the latest developments.
He also touched on how the pandemic has influenced the shape of the industry, acting as an accelerant to products and ideas such as corporate digitisation and new technologies, and how it has highlighted which institutions are more resilient than others. He concluded by speaking about how Hong Kong will look to continue to develop and nurture innovative startups in this sector.
Ping An Keynote
The Ping An Keynote was delivered by Ms Jessica Tan, Co-CEO and Executive Director, Ping An Group. She shared her view that Hong Kong is currently well-positioned to take the lead in creating an operable platform for regulation and inter-government consolidation of data. Once this has been created, it can then be made available to financial institutions across markets to advise their credit-related decisions.
She also took some time to pose the possibility of a regional effort to bring entities together to enable greater interoperability, while calling for large enterprises to support fintech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Crypto – The Buzzword for FinTech
Ms Angie Lau, Founder at Forkast.News, led a discussion on how consumers and businesses are using digital currency and the future of NFTs. Joining her was Mr Cuy Sheffield, representing Visa, and he shared his views on how traditional banking is looking to incorporate recent developments such as digital currency and NFTs.
Mr Cuy Sheffield, who is the Head of Crypto at Visa said “Visa is working on becoming the bridge between the crypto ecosystem and our global network of 70 million merchants and tens of thousands of financial institutions.” Sheffield said Visa will ramp up efforts in the NFT space in the near future.
InsurTech: Moving Beyond Insurance
Mr Peng Shen, Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Waterdrop, joined Ms Nina Xiang, Founder and Managing Editor of FutureLogic, for this discussion. During the panel, he explained that talent acquisition is the most critical challenge faced by China’s insurance industry.
Product digitalisation, serving a younger demographic, data-driven marketing and service-enabling solutions are the four key industry trends to watch for in the next decade. Mr Peng said greater collaboration and partnership efforts are needed in the healthcare ecosystem to address them and remain compliant with new regulations.
The “Greenification” of Finance
In this panel, Mr Jason Tu, Co-founder/CEO, MioTech, and Mr Rakesh Vazirani, Global Head of Sustainability Services, TUV Rheinland joined together in a discussion moderated by Ms Grace Hui, Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.
They addressed how leveraging emerging technologies can help to scale up green investing through sustainability reporting standards and common taxonomy. Members of the panel also reiterated that companies need to embed ESG into the heart of their operation for long-term sustainability.
Final Day Highlights
It may have been the final day of Hong Kong Fintech Week, and it may have been a day of remote events, but this didn’t stop announcements rolling out across the many virtual stages.
Firstly, Mr Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, declared that EU Fintech regulation is imminent, and called for more international cooperation on fintech regulation. As part of this announcement, he went on to say that “our MiCA (markets in crypto-assets) directive is in the making. In the next few months, Europe will also produce a directive that provides a clearer view of how to deal with fintech regulations.”
In addition, Lord Gerry Grimstone took to the stage to highlight recent collaboration between the UK and Hong Kong, stating that “great technology makes collaboration happen”. Lord Grimstone, the UK Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade (DIT), delivered these remarks as part of a keynote speech hailing the continued work and developments between the UK and Hong Kong fintech markets, and to look ahead to the potentially great opportunities both countries will have in scaling their fintech together.
A Great Week of Fintech
Week-long events such as this are a great reminder that there is still a place for physical-first, in-person events, with a great turnout and atmosphere across the main days. It was also a sign of what may be to come – going forward, hybrid events may become the norm.
In his final-day remarks, Mr Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong SAR, summed it up well: “This Week has shown Hong Kong provides a comprehensive platform for the fintech industry to connect and collaborate.”
In case there is anything you have missed – you can check out our summaries from the previous two days.