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2022-01-02
2022-01-02

Industry News
業界資訊
[Chinese version only] | 【業界資訊(轉載)】Visa調查:港人最常用支付卡 小金額更傾向無現金交易
Visa調查:港人最常用支付卡 小金額更傾向無現金交易

Please refer to Chinese version.

【業界資訊(轉載)】

 

電子支付愈來愈普遍,最新調查發現,有近7成受訪者曾於 2021 年嘗試無現金支付。在香港,支付卡成為最常用的支付方式,使用率高達93%

Visa公布最新調查《Visa 消費者支付取態研究 3.0》,研究香港、澳門及台灣消費者的偏好及新興趨勢。香港與台灣的情況相似,支付卡(信用卡/扣賬卡)為最常用的支付方式,使用率分別高達 93% 99%

隨著電子付款日漸普及,Visa調查認為港澳兩地正過渡至無現金社會。有4成港澳受訪者預計,其城市將於未來4年內成為無現金社會。66%的香港受訪者表示,愈趨傾向在較小金額 (低至港幣 100 元) 的交易中以無現金支付,比例較2019年的56%增加

 

折扣具吸引力 更常用無現金支付

同時,有接近4成的香港受訪者希望在未來 12 個月內更常使用無現金支付,主要由於獎賞及折扣具吸引力(54%)、更衛生(52%)及交易更快捷(48%)。本地大部分受訪者表示,無現金社會的最大好處是可輕鬆追蹤財務紀錄(47%)、環保(42%)及更衛生(42%)。

調查亦發現,網上購物有望於疫情期間及之後進一步增長。流動應用程式是香港最常見的購物平台,其次為電腦網頁及流動網頁。港人又視支付系統安全、定價清晰透明及易於付款,為更佳網購體驗的首要條件。 

 

9成曾參與獎賞計劃 

除了電子支付外,新興的支付趨勢及科技亦不斷湧現,以滿足消費者不斷變化的需求。調查發現有高達9成港人參與客戶忠誠及獎賞計劃,當中包括集合多個品牌的消費獎賞計劃平台,其次是電子錢包 及信用卡/扣賬卡支付品牌。而且,有至少7成消費者更喜歡以電子方式及網上途徑兌換獎賞,例如透過應用程式掌握其獎賞狀況。「先買後付」平台正興起,但仍在萌芽發展階段,香港僅得9%受訪者曾使用先買後付。

 

資料來源: HKET

2022-01-02
2022-01-02

Industry News
業界資訊
59% of CFOs Say Payments Digitization Is Key to a Healthy Balance Sheet
[English version only] | 59% of CFOs Say Payments Digitization Is Key to a Healthy Balance Sheet

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are investing in payments digitization because they believe it is integral to building and keeping healthy balance sheets. For different CFOs, that may mean greater working capital, streamlined accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) processes, or improved customer and partner satisfaction. 

In fact, 59% of CFOs say payments digitization is key to a healthy balance sheet, according to the Business Payments Digitization report, a PYMNTS and Corcentric collaboration based on a survey of 400 CFOs. 

Get the report: Business Payments Digitization: A Path to a Better Balance Sheet

The larger the firm, the more likely its CEO is to say that they consider digitization to be “very” or “extremely” important to improving balance sheets. Among the smallest firms included in the survey — those with revenue between $400 million and $750 million — 50% of the CEOs said digitization is key. Among the largest firms — those with revenue between $1.5 billion and $2 billion — 74% of the CEOs place that much importance on digitization.

 

Optimizing AR and AP Processes 

Among the factors contributing to those healthy balance sheets are greater working capital, streamlined AR and AP processes, and improved customer and partner satisfaction, CFOs said. 

Having optimized AR and AP processes is the first and most important component of a healthy balance sheet, according to the CFOs, with 96% of them believing that AR and AP optimization is “very” or “extremely” important to keeping their balance sheets healthy. It follows that these firms would also emphasize the importance of digitization, which can help accelerate and streamline inbound and outbound payment flows. 

Asset investments and sources of capital or working capital are also widely considered to be key components of healthy balance sheets. Ninety percent of CFOs see asset investment as critical, while 53% say the same of working capital. Working capital is especially important to larger firms. Sixty-one percent of CFOs at the largest firms said that boosting working capital is critical to maintaining healthy balance sheets, compared to 46% of those at the smallest firms. 

An enhanced ability to attract and retain customers is another one of the CFOs’ top reasons for fast-tracking digitization. Thirty-six percent of the CFOs surveyed said that is a reason for accelerating their payments digitization efforts. 

 

Citing 4.5 Reasons for Fast-Tracking Digitization 

There is no single reason explaining firms’ drive to digitize. Countless interlocking factors have pushed digitization ahead, with CFOs reporting many ways that digitization could improve their businesses. CFOs cited an average of 4.5 reasons that they fast-tracked digitization, ranging from meeting supplier expectations to enhancing payment security and improving communication with vendors. 

With these many benefits, it’s no wonder that 71% of CFOs have increased their use of digital payments since the pandemic’s onset. Nearly all firms included in the survey reported that they are making and receiving payments via cash or checks less often and receiving digital payments more often than they were before March 2020. 

Among the payment types that have seen the biggest uptick in usage are credit card-enabled digital payments ( up 85%), direct deposit (up 71%) and PayPal (up 62%).

 

Source: PYMNTS

Please refer to English version.

2022-01-02
2022-01-02

Industry News
業界資訊
Automation and payment transformation: 2022 and beyond
[English version only] | Automation and payment transformation: 2022 and beyond

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

The transformation of the digital payments space is moving faster than anyone could have anticipated in the wake of the pandemic. We look at future trends

Back in 2019 - before the world shifted on its axis, digital payment solutions from chip and pin and online transactions, to ApplePay, were thriving. 

At that time, according to data released by the Federal Bank of San Francisco, US consumers used cash in 26% of their transactions, and this was down from 30% in 2017. The diminishing role of physical money was sedately winding itself down, allowing everyone to adjust accordingly. 

Then earlier this year, the same source released its most recent findings - and revealed that cash usage in 2020 had dropped dramatically to just 19%. Data suggests cash will drop further still, and could even go as low as 10% by the end of 2022.

Fear of spreading COVID-19 through the use of banknotes and increased online shopping has hit traditional currencies hard, and even though the world has now opened up, the numbers continue to tumble. 

As cold hard cash and pocket-jangling change becomes increasingly obsolete, financial technology companies are finding evermore ingenious ways to help us do business through digital payment solutions.

From voice recognition biometrics to blockchain technology and seamless Amazon store payments, automation is at the heart of this massive transformation.

 

A glimpse into the future of payments

But what will this fast-moving financial future look like, and who will benefit from the transition? 

According to a recent survey by Marqueta, the way we pay our bills and purchase all given items will look very different in a decade. Those debit and credit cards we love to carry will almost certainly become obsolete, while nifty, mobile payment apps will also disappear. The research found that: 

  1. The future iterations of ambient commerce include a mixture of facial recognition and AI-based decision making
     
  2. Payments may become increasingly invisible as we move to more “ambient” models of commerce – such as the recent emergence of till-less grocery stores. By 2030, this will evolve even further so there will be no cards or payments devices. Instead, a person’s biometric data would be captured by cameras, along with the item they are purchasing and sent directly to their bank. While (32%) of surveyed consumers find the idea of ambient commerce ‘creepy,’ experts believe given how quickly Uber and the like have been accepted as a norm, the convenience would soon win people over. 
     
  3. 51% of consumers surveyed saying they would consider using a contactless microchip implant to make payments
     
  4. 31% of 18–24-year-old respondents say they would be comfortable with AI making automated decisions on their behalf to choose the most ethical way to pay

 

Changes brought by automation

Automation of payments has become the logical solution to what would otherwise be a labour intensive and time consuming process. Martin Rehak, CEO of Resistant AI says manual processing simply isn’t a realistic option anymore, given the volume of transactions payment processors deal with today. This change, although accelerated by the pandemic, was inevitable. 

He explains, “Human oversight cannot guarantee consistent security against fraud or hacking at those scales. So there is no going back on automation. Done properly, automation can harden many parts of the payment process to improve security — but the caveat, here, is “properly”. 

Shannon Kreps, Vice President of product marketing, Medius, agrees. She says, “Automation enables manual and time-consuming tasks such as the accounts payable (AP) process to be managed far more quickly and accurately.” 

She also points out that the fundamental purpose of automation is to boost business productivity – for example in the case of AP automation, automating payments enables it to automate workflows, reducing chances of common errors such as incorrect PO numbers, line items not matching POs, missing VAT numbers and invoices that have been addressed to the wrong department, she says, “occur all too frequently.”

But it's not only about streamlining back office processes. Automation in the payment solutions space has also been massively instrumental in driving forward ecommerce and enabling multiple payment points. 

Julie Chariell, Senior Analyst, Fintech, Bloomberg Intelligence believes the proliferation of electronic payments has contributed to greater adoption of e-commerce, by enabling multiple types of payments beyond cash and check at the point store. “This, along with the introduction of NFC (near-field communications) technology, has enabled contactless payments at the point of sale, where smartphones or NFC-enabled cards can be held near a reader as a touchless way to pay. While this technology existed before the pandemic, but Covid-19 and the related desire to avoid touching anything, especially cash, drove rapid adoption.”

In essence, automation is at the heart of all the latest innovations in the paytech space that are driving the online transaction revolution. 

 

Payment technology drivers

Currently, there are three main technologies that drive automation in paytech. The first is the way companies acquire customers. Between KYC providers and specialist screening and geolocation technologies, fintechs can verify, process and conduct customer risk-assessments in real-time, leading to an onboarding time of under two minutes. 

Chariell explains that as part of this, AI and machine learning is key to the growth of automation in paytech. She says, “When applied to transaction monitoring and screening, it can handle requests at scale, and at pace, and is more efficient than other processes in significantly reducing error. 

“Finally, the method in which fintechs connect to payment systems has been underpinned by automation. Thanks to open banking, fintechs can plug-in-and-play with different APIs in one automated, secure process. Information is exchanged in real-time between different financial providers or intermediaries, enabling the user to enjoy a range of benefits including faster and more secure payments.”

Ron De Bos, Director Products Management – Payments for the global ecommerce enabler, Digital River, the global ecommerce enabler, agrees. He says, “AI in the payments industry can enhance customer service, by providing hyper-personalised credit scores and offers. It can also drive new forms of transactions – we are already seeing retail stores with no cashiers – shoppers can just grab and go.

De Bos also points out that AI is responsible for big advances in the areas of payment orchestration, billing optimisation (DCA, TOD submission of renewals optimisation), customer identification and authentication based on multiple data sources, fraud detection, payment optimisation, credit scoring, monitoring, and alerting.

 

A driver of digital currencies

But automated transactions and the development of the space are also set to change the financial markets as we know them. Cryptocurrency and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) are being driven forward at an extraordinary rate because technology is enabling their usage in more and more marketplaces. Indeed, recently the Bank of England issues a warning that cryptocurrency could even lead to another large-scale financial crash that change damage the global economic financial system, simply because its accelerated usage shows not sign of slowing down, and its stability is negligible. 

De Bos says blockchain technology is the motivating factor behind the increased use of crypto - and even the social media giant Facebook is considering entering the digital currency market as a result of it. “The largest and most successful technology for making international payments possible is blockchain. The immutable and transparent nature of blockchain places it at the forefront of the payment industry trends. It's an excellent candidate for an international cashless currency. Even Facebook is planning to create a virtual currency.”

Chariell concurs, “Payments automation makes it easy to accept multiple types of payment mechanisms, from cards to digital wallets to bank accounts directly, and most recently, to crypto payments. Visa and Mastercard, the backbone of the automated payments network, are allowing cards to be used to buy crypto and access crypto accounts to make payments at any merchant accepting their cards.”

She adds, “Crypto providers such as Coinbase, have build crypto-wallets for investors to store and transact in their digital currencies, plus tools to help merchants accept crypto-payments.”

 

What will the future of payments look like?

As Amazon matches forward with its entirely contactless stores, the world of payments is already becoming unrecognisable when compared to just a decade ago. But what will it look like in the future? 

Kreps believes it will simply be much more efficient - but this will be driven by necessity rather than innovation for innovation’s sake. “I think [the paytech space] will be much better than today – with increasing trade across borders, especially when there are issues like today with supply chain, we’ll need to find ways to pay suppliers faster and electronically, with increased transparency.

“It will need to be quick to avoid issues in FX fluctuations and to stop suppliers worrying about long settlement times – this space is definitely changing and will allow us to expand where we trade quickly,”she says.

Other experts say there will be changes that transform it entirely - and that even automation itself will be outmoded by better technologies. Jason Ollivier, Head of Disruption for Contis, says, “Paytech will be unrecognisable, and the need for automation will be as antiquated as cheques are today. Processes will be so innately efficient that the idea of automation will be redundant.” Ollivier believes that blockchain and open finance movements will be mainstream and act as channels through which data analytics optimise the act and safety of transacting.

He says, “Something as painful as getting a mortgage will require me only to input the amount I want to borrow and the property (including the price) I am looking to buy. My identity will automatically be anonymised, relevant information about me will be automatically pulled (salary, years in job, relevant bank account details) and automatically posted for the mortgage providers to review and bid for my business, in similar way to internet advertisers bidding to put their content before an internet user based on the their browsing history. 

Ollivier adds, “What comes back to me as a customer is a summary of offers in a form that allows me to either press 'accept' or 'decline'. For me as the user, the process will be streamlined to such a degree that it becomes as simple as, ``this is what I want, and I accept.”

 

Automation case study

Rob Israch, GM Europe, at Tipalti, tells us about how automation has helped scale Hopin

“The event technology platform Hopin is one of Europe’s fastest growing start-ups. It launched in June 2019 and was valued at $7.75bn just two years later.  It has seen tremendous growth as it helps customers host immersive virtual, hybrid and in-person event experiences. 

For the company’s finance team, this meant needing to process a huge volume of international payments, initially in a time consuming, manual and complicated manner including manually selecting the correct currencies. Knowing it needed to automate in order to gain the visibility and overview needed to help sustain and scale the company’s growth, the team at Hopin worked with Tipalti to cut out manual intervention and future-proof processes. This meant being able to bring invoice processing back in house, while the multi-entity setup provides complete visibility across operations.”

Melissa Richards, Senior Accounts Payable Analyst at Hopin, explains, “Our workflow is quick and easy with all our payment processes in one central location - the days of juggling different systems and exporting files are long gone – we have no manual intervention. With automated accounts payable, we can continue to scale and not have to add more headcount to keep up.”

 

Source: FinTech

Please refer to English version.

2021-12-16
2021-12-16

News
新聞稿
KPay serves more than 8,000 merchants in its first year of business
創新一站式綜合支付解決方案服務供應商KPay投入市場僅一年 憑超強技術支援吸引逾8,000家中小企業商戶採用

Small and medium merchants attracted to the innovative one-stop integrated payment solution service provider thanks to its strong technical support

 

(Hong Kong, 16 December 2021) Established in Hong Kong at the end of 2020, fintech start-up KPay has broken the industry record among local comprehensive payment solution service providers in just one year by providing more than 8,000 local small and medium merchants with comprehensive and advanced offline payment and settlement services. With its business growing tremendously, the company has been invited to be one of the main sponsors of this year’s "Winter Wonderland" and to become the designated electronic payment provider for this large-scale event.

 

Smart POS terminals are widely used, allowing merchants to make smooth transactions

KPay supports a variety of payment methods, including scanning or displaying a QR Code, tapping or inserting a card, and contactless NFC. The payment services provided by KPay include terminals and settlement platforms, all of which have obtained the relevant certifications and are subject to the relevant regulatory authorities, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, EMV certification, Visa payWave, Mastercard PayPass certification and UnionPay card acceptance terminal certification, enabling merchants and consumers to complete transactions with peace of mind.

 

In addition, the one-stop KPay smart POS terminal can receive up to 12 major payment channels, including Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay, JCB, AlipayHK, Alipay, WeChat Pay (Hong Kong and China Wallets), Cloud Quick Pass, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. It has been advancing alongside small and medium-sized merchants in the era of electronic payment, and provides a resolution to the cumbersome payment and settlement processes of the past with its professional and reliable services.

 

Moreover, the KPay smart POS terminal allows merchants to process transactions with a SIM card or indoor WIFI connection according to their needs. It, therefore, does not require a fixed location, so merchants can enjoy greater flexibility in their store layout and smoother payment experiences.

 

Business results outperform industry peers in less than a year in business

KPay currently has a broad customer base drawn from the catering, retail, medical and service industries. The company also has an accomplished and experienced customer service and sales team, providing customers with prompt and accurate local after-sales services, including installation, technical support and training, so that merchants can focus on business development and explore more business opportunities with peace of mind.

 

Mr. Daniel Cheung, Co-founder of KPay, said, "KPay's electronic payment service was launched into the market less than a year ago. Since then, we have attracted more than 8,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and merchants by riding on the consumption fever sparked by the consumption voucher scheme. KPay understands the needs of customers for one-stop payment solutions. With a strong and solid product and business development team and technical support, diversified payment solutions, data security and efficient transaction management, KPay ensures that its customers payment collection process is smooth and easy, allowing them to achieve profit goals more effectively."

 

Given its technological advantages, KPay has become one of the major sponsors of this year’s winter carnival in Hong Kong - "Winter Wonderland" (URL: winterwonderland.hk), providing electronic payment services for the merchants and game booths participating in the event, so that visitors can use credit cards or e-wallets to play games and make purchases at the venue. KPay will also distribute event tickets through its Facebook page. For details, please visit https://www.facebook.com/kpaygroup/.

 

Explore new markets and develop more innovative and convenient trading functions

Looking ahead, KPay will continue to focus on serving the Hong Kong market while also realizing its potential in the Asia-Pacific region. Guided by the three principles of "Pay it Easy", "Pay it Smart" and "Pay it Swift", the company will develop and launch more online payment solutions and add more innovative functions that provide greater convenience to merchants. These will include diversified SaaS products such as catering pre-orders, inventory management software and membership management systems, with the overall aim of creating a quality business environment for all industries and business sizes.

 

About KPay

KPay is a financial technology (fintech) company focusing on integrated business solutions. It uses professional and innovative products to enhance the market competitiveness of medium, small and micro enterprises.

KPay's business covers online and offline fintech services, including electronic payment platforms and products boasting high levels of customer loyalty. With a professional technical development team, the company strives to improve the functionality of merchants’ products based on their needs, so as to help maximize their profits. KPay keeps abreast of the market trends in various regions, and its experienced sales and after-sales teams respond quickly to provide merchants with appropriate business logistics support. Thus, medium, small and micro enterprises from all industries can realise smoother strategic operations and KPay can fulfill its vision of "building a mutually beneficial and complementary e-finance ecological environment”.

KPay Merchant Service Limited was established in July 2020 with headquarters in Hong Kong, China. It began to provide its services to the market at the beginning of 2021 and will gradually expand to major cities around the world.

 

For more information about KPay, please visit the Company's website: kpay-group.com

(2021年12月16日,香港訊) 金融科技初創公司KPay於2020年底在香港成立,短短約一年已打破本地綜合性支付解決方案服務供應商的行業紀錄,為逾8,000家本地中小企業商戶提供完善和先進的線下收款及結算服務,業務發展相當卓越;更獲邀為今屆「冬季奇幻國度Winter Wonderland」的主要贊助商之一,成為該項大型活動的指定電子支付服務供應商。

 

智能POS收款機廣泛通用 讓商戶交易支付暢通無阻

KPay支援多種收款模式,包括掃描或顯示二維碼 (QR Code)、拍卡收款、插卡收款及手機NFC感應式收款。KPay提供的收款服務包括終端機及結算平台,均取得各項相關認證及受有關監管機構約束,包括PCI DSS 支付產業數據安全標準、EMV認證、Visa payWave、Mastercard PayPass認證及銀聯卡受理終端產品認證,讓商戶及消費者均能安心交易。

 

此外,一站式的KPay智能POS收款機可一機收取多達12個主要支付渠道,包括Visa、Mastercard、銀聯、JCB、AlipayHK、支付寶、微信支付 (香港和中國錢包)、雲閃付、Apple Pay、Google Pay及Samsung Pay,與中小商戶於電子支付年代中與時並進,並以專業可靠的服務解決以往繁瑣的收款及結算流程。

 

同時,KPay智能POS收款機亦可因應商戶需要,配合SIM卡或室內無線上網使用,無需固定於指定位置上,在店舖擺設上更具彈性,同時讓交易支付更暢通無阻。

 

創立不足一年 業務成績傲視同儕

KPay目前客戶廣泛分佈於餐飲、零售、醫療、服務等行業;該公司並擁有一支資深而經驗豐富的客戶服務及銷售團隊,為客戶提供迅速和到位的本地售後服務,包括安裝、技術支援、培訓等方面,讓商戶可安心專注業務發展,擴大商機。

 

KPay 聯合創辦人章小健表示:「KPay電子支付服務推出市場不足一年,藉著早前電子消費券熱潮我們在市場上迅速吸納逾8,000家中小企業商戶採用。KPay深諳客戶對一站式支付方案的需求,憑強大且紮實的產品及業務的開發團隊和技術支援、多元化支付方案、數據安全保障以及高效率的交易管理,確保客戶的收款過程輕鬆無阻,從而更有效地實現盈利目標。」

 

KPay更憑藉技術優勢成為今年香港冬日嘉年華—— 「冬季奇幻國度Winter Wonderland」(網址:winterwonderland.hk) 的主要贊助商之一,為場內參與活動的商戶品牌及遊戲攤位提供電子支付服務,以便到訪人士可利用信用卡或電子錢包等參與遊戲及場內消費。此外,KPay透過旗下Facebook專頁派發活動入場券,詳情請瀏覽 https://www.facebook.com/kpaygroup/

 

未來開拓更多新市場 研發更多創意便利交易新功能

展望未來,KPay將繼續專注服務香港市場,亦蓄勢待發於亞太地區大展拳腳;本著"Pay it Easy"、"Pay it Smart"及"Pay it Swift"三大原則,公司將研發及推出更多在線支付解決方案,及增加更多具創意且能實際便利商戶的嶄新功能,例如餐飲預購、庫存管理軟件及會員管理系統等多元化的SaaS產品,務求為各行各業締造優質的營商環境。

 

有關KPay

KPay 是一家專注於綜合商務解決方案的金融科技公司,利用專業而創新的產品為中小微企業提升市場競爭力。

KPay業務涵蓋線上、線下之金融科技服務,包括電子支付平台及用戶黏性產品等。憑藉專業的技術開發團隊,針對商戶所需竭力提升各類產品的功能性,務求協助商戶將利潤最大化。KPay緊貼各地市場脈博,具經驗的銷售及售後團隊快速應對為商戶提供適切的商貿後勤支援,讓各行各業的中小微企業經營更順暢及具策略性,實現「建立互利共營的電子金融生態環境」的願景。

KPay Merchant Service Limited成立於2020年7月,總部位於中國香港,至2021年初全面投入市場服務,並將逐步推進至全球各個主要城市。

 

有關KPay的詳情,請瀏覽網站:kpay-group.com

2021-12-01
2021-12-01

Industry News
業界資訊
Cash No Longer King As Digital Payments Boom
[English version only] | Cash No Longer King As Digital Payments Boom

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

Hong Kong is heading towards a near-cashless society with FIS, a payments processor, forecasting that paper money and coins will account for no more than 1.6% of point-of-sale (POS) transactions by 2024, the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region, and down from 9% in 2019.

 

The disappearance of cash is in part due to Hong Kong’s burgeoning e-commerce market, which is projected to grow to US$29 billion from US$21 billion in 2019. The overall POS market in Hong Kong is forecast to increase by almost 27% to US$236 billion over the same period.

While the most popular online payment method in 2019 was using a credit card, digital wallets are projected to take the top spot by 2024. “We are approaching a new frontier of digital commerce, and Hong Kong is leading the charge across the region as they accelerate cashless payments,” Phil Pomford, Asia-Pacific general manager of Worldpay Merchant Solutions at FIS, has said recently.

Digital payments are more prevalent than ever in Hong Kong, spurred by the recent HK$36 billion in “consumption vouchers” issued by the government to Hong Kong residents this year to stimulate the economy. The city was one of the pioneers of cashless payment systems with the launch of the Octopus stored value card in 1997. Initially used for public transport, the Octopus can now be used in a range of retail outlets and has been one of four platforms used for the consumption voucher.

 

The voucher initiative is designed to boost local spending and accelerate the city’s economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Retailers reported sales growth of more than 20% when the first voucher was issued on August 1, with consumers snapping up everything from Rolex watches and electrical gadgets to fast food.

To be sure, Hong Kong has lagged behind the rest of China in its embrace of digital payments. On the Mainland, digital cashless payment is so common that it has prompted the People’s Bank of China to ban businesses from refusing cash payments. But Hong Kong has proved more resistant. Even as retail has embraced cashless payments, other important parts of the economy – from wet markets to taxis – have resisted.

 

King Au, Executive Director of the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC), has noted how digital currency and other innovations in financial technology have changed and are continuing to change today’s business models. The city’s move towards a cashless society is driven by both the private sector and government, with a common QR code specification developed for retail payments in Hong Kong.

The FSDC has closely followed the rise of digital payments. One crucial development was the HKMA’s Faster Payment System (FPS), which makes payments simpler and quicker. The system, operated by Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited, allows instant money transfers and bill payments via mobile phones, regardless of the bank or e-wallet that is being used.

 

Chris Barford, Director of the Financial Services Advisory Team at accounting firm EY, forecast during an FSDC event in 2018 that “Hong Kong is poised on the edge of a financial services revolution” with its issuance of virtual banking licences. “I hope that the difference between a mainly cashless, mobile first Mainland and Hong Kong's more traditional models that rely on money, paper forms and Octopus will converge,” he said.

 

According to KPMG, another accounting firm, Hong Kong’s digital banking landscape could follow a similar path to other jurisdictions like the UK, where virtual banks have been steadily building their customer base over time. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s initiatives to usher in a new era of “smart banking”, coupled with the opportunity to enhance customer experience in the sector, is creating an environment for digital banking to thrive in Hong Kong.

Most notably, the global Covid-19 pandemic contributed to an explosion in e-commerce across several jurisdictions at the expense of physical retail, which is likely to be an irreversible trend. Hong Kong is no exception, as the FSDC has noted.

“The payment pattern is, among others, one of the key changes we have observed during the pandemic outbreak,” the FSDC said in a statement. “As people and businesses in Hong Kong attempt to reduce cash transactions, electronic payment channels have become increasingly popular. Developed in Hong Kong, FPS has become a key means of transaction in our lives, with more merchants accepting it as a means of payment.”

 

One of the biggest obstacles to a fully cashless payment ecosystem is privacy concerns. Not only can the currency’s issuer and controller track usage, but potentially disconnect a digital wallet if breaches are suspected or detected. This will no doubt meet strong resistance from savers, and to some extent this may also explain why Hong Kong so far has been reluctant to go fully cashless.

So how can the SAR government encourage its take-up? One way to push the adoption would be to remove high-value bank notes from circulation. In 2016, the Indian government announced that all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes were no longer legal tender. Amid the chaos of a cash shortage created by demonetisation, cashless payments surged.

Furthermore, car owners, for example, could be encouraged to shift to cashless payments. From petrol stations and congestion pricing to parking, in-vehicle systems could turn vehicles into payment processing platforms. Such systems could also uncover defective components and schedule maintenance automatically, potentially reducing traffic accidents and cutting emissions.

 

Cashless payments have wider benefits, notes Maaike Steinebach, General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, at the Visa credit card giant. “Cash dominates and is still Visa’s number one competitor,” she acknowledged. “But sentiment is shifting to the benefits of the city. We believe that by adopting more digital payments, Hong Kong consumers, businesses and governments will benefit from greater economic growth, more jobs, higher wages, increased worker productivity, and even lower crime.”

With China, the world‘s second largest economy, on the verge of launching a central bank digital currency (e-CNY) nationwide, Hong Kong should jump aboard the cashless bandwagon. With cross-border renminbi transactions growing year on year, Hong Kong could play an important role in the launch of the digital renminbi. The first step is to build momentum to become truly cashless.

 

Source: Forbes

Please refer to English version.

2021-12-01
2021-12-01

Industry News
業界資訊
[Chinese version only] | 粵挺港版移動支付 鼓勵平台減免手續費
粵挺港版移動支付 鼓勵平台減免手續費

Please refer to Chinese version.

【業界資訊(轉載)】

 

香港和內地恢復正常通關已逐步提上議程,不少港人都一門心思做好北上的行程表。而陪伴港人北上的,還會有港版移動支付。廣東近日印發文件,提出引領「新興消費」,提及「持續推進港澳版雲閃付APP、微信及支付寶香港錢包、澳門通及中銀澳門跨境錢包等移動支付工具在粵港澳大灣區互通使用。」專家認為,隨着兩地恢復正常通關,利用港版移動支付到灣區內地城市消費的港人將越來越多,有必要提前掃除港版移動支付在內地使用的各種障礙。

114日,廣東省印發了「關於以新業態新模式引領新型消費加快發展的實施意見」,除了提及支持港澳版跨境移動支付工具在粵港澳大灣區互通使用外,還提及將組織支付服務市場主體大力推進消費電子支付市場建設,減免商戶交易手續費和支付終端費。預料未來港澳消費者到大灣區內地城市消費,將能享受到更多商戶提供的服務。

 

灣區跨境電子錢包交易額近10

記者了解到,移動支付近年來在香港社會得到普及,帶着一部手機「闖蕩」內地的港人也越來越多。記者了解到,2018年多個港版移動支付平台已經開通了內地支付功能,港人用港版移動支付,便能按當日匯率把所需支付的人民幣金額自動換算為對應的港幣金額,用戶可通過錢包餘額、已綁定的信用卡或銀行賬戶進行支付,隨後即可輕鬆解決吃飯、打車、看電影、購物等方面的支付需求。

儘管因為疫情,不少港人未能親身北上體驗,但也有不少跨境工作、旅行或者定居內地的港人已經嘗鮮採用港版支付寶消費。根據人民銀行廣州分行數據,截至20213月末,大灣區各類跨境電子錢包在內地共交易620.91萬筆、金額9.66億元(人民幣,下同)。

 

加快電子支付系統互聯互通

從事金融行業的港人周先生告訴記者,自己有使用港版微信錢包的習慣,平時到便利店購物或者到餐廳食飯,買單非常方便。「其實基本內地很『網紅』的店,都可以用香港移動錢包支付,比如喜茶、海底撈等,但也有一些比較特色的小店則不支持。如果要提建議的話,我就希望可以能引入更多支持港版移動支付的商戶。」

香港學生陳同學告訴記者,自己初到內地讀書,用的就是港版的移動支付,掃碼乘車比較方便。「後來發現,雖然外面很多大型商場支持港版移動支付,但校園裏很多店舖其實是不支持港版移動支付的。」

暨南大學管理學院教授、廣東省物流與供應鏈學會執行會長兼秘書長陳海權告訴大公報,隨着內地和香港未來恢復通關正常化,相信會有越來越多的香港消費者到內地探親、出差、旅行,而大灣區內地城市往往是他們北上第一站。「在消費群體更為多元化的同時,消費需求也日趨多樣化。港澳版移動支付平台可以積極拓展市場,增加更多參與支持港澳版移動支付的商戶,滿足增長的消費需求。」

陳海權認為,廣東提出鼓勵支付平台減免商戶交易手續費和支付終端費,有利於帶動整個粵港澳大灣區移動支付消費的增長。他又指出,增大參與跨境移動支付的商戶數量,既加快了大灣區電子支付系統基礎設施互聯互通,同時也是強化金融服務功能、服務粵港澳民生互聯互通的有效方式。

 

橫琴建智慧園區 推廣移動繳稅費

粵港澳大灣區不同城市也在探索建設更便利化的移動支付環境。記者了解到,升級為粵澳深度合作區的橫琴,正在努力打造移動支付示範鎮。人民銀行珠海市中心支行支付結算科相關負責人介紹,截至20219月底,橫琴鎮共有移動支付特約商戶500餘家,其中支持「一碼通用」的商戶達九成。

記者了解到,橫琴銀行機構已經落實支付手續費減免政策,支持合作區企業「輕裝上陣」。目前,已有3.4萬餘家企業享受到了優惠政策,優惠金額達320餘萬元(人民幣,下同)

同時,指導橫琴片區銀行機構精準降費,惠及深度合作區內5萬餘家市場主體,其中港澳資企業近7千家。人民銀行珠海市中心支行相關負責人介紹,未來還將持續推動橫琴支付手續費減費讓利政策「落地」。

目前,橫琴已構建長隆移動支付智慧園區,並成功推廣上線跨境移動支付繳稅、繳交社保、澳門中行和澳門通電子錢包境內使用等便民項目,極大地方便了境內外遊客和粵澳居民的小額高頻支付,為建設橫琴粵澳深度合作區高質量生活區提供優質支付支持。

 

功能完備 跨境出行 一碼搞掂

「吃穿住用行」,與每一個人的生活息息相關,而交通是連接城市的重要紐帶。多個移動支付平台正在積極拓寬港澳版移動支付工具在內地的使用渠道。記者從銀聯國際了解到,港珠澳大橋、廣深港高鐵、深港跨境巴士、跨境輪渡等多種跨境交通場景,香港龍運巴士、新城巴全線,及澳門輕軌、的士等本地交通工具,均支持銀聯卡或「雲閃付」。

港澳居民還可通過銀聯手機閃付充值羊城通、深圳通、香港八達通等電子交通卡,無障礙便捷搭乘各類公共交通工具。

除了「雲閃付」外,港版支付寶AlipayHK也同樣支持港澳人士跨境坐車,一碼通行。來自香港的黎小姐告訴記者,她平時打開手機上AlipayHK應用,在首頁點擊進入「跨境服務」,然後選擇乘車碼,再點擊啟用「廣州羊城通」,即可用自己的港版「支付寶」掃碼乘坐公交。「方便好多」黎小姐說。

 

新冠疫情給大灣區建設帶來挑戰。記者了解到,港澳版「雲閃付」先後上線內地社保和稅費繳納、本地繳費、家居清潔、的士預約等便民服務,滿足港澳居民「無接觸」支付需求。隨着澳門對內地開放自由行、香港推出「來港易」,「雲閃付」還先後接入核酸檢測預約、防疫健康碼國際版、澳門健康碼、大數據通行卡等增值服務,為大灣區人員往來提供便利。

 

資料來源: 大公文匯

2021-12-01
2021-12-01

Industry News
業界資訊
76% of SMBs Say Pandemic Caused Them to Enhance Their Digital Payments Capabilities
[English version only] | 76% of SMBs Say Pandemic Caused Them to Enhance Their Digital Payments Capabilities

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

During the pandemic-driven digital transition, much of the business world has stopped using paper in B2B transactions. In response to new cash flow crunches, shifting employee work habits and digital growing pains, they have moved to making and receiving digital payments.

In fact, 76% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say the pandemic has prompted them to enhance their digital payments capabilities, according to Enabling B2B Payments For The Virtual Workforce, a PYMNTS and ConfermaPay collaboration.

These businesses are now using digital spend management tools ranging from cloud-based spend management platforms to virtual cards to reshape their payments operations to meet the needs of their decentralized workforces.

 

Adopting Touchless and Mobile Payment Solutions

Virtual cards have gained traction in B2B markets as firms seek out touchless and mobile payment options. In addition to providing those benefits, virtual cards enable payments automation and operational cost reductions. They automate the entire B2B transaction process, eliminating the need for manual intervention when finalizing payments to suppliers, for example.

This means they can ease the stress placed on accounts payable (AP) departments by reducing employees’ manual tasks and lowering the costs of the entire payments process. In fact, research suggests that AP teams that implement straight-through B2B processing can expect their processing costs to decrease by as much as 70%, making them especially beneficial in an economy in which 72% of SMBs do not have access to enough funds to stay open for more than a month if their revenue streams are disrupted.

Increased virtual card usage for B2B payments goes hand in hand with consumers’ rising interest in using smartphones and mobile wallets for B2C transactions. As consumers are growing accustomed to using their smartphones for everyday purchases, they are naturally beginning to desire and even expect digital payments experiences in their professional lives too.

 

Digitizing Procurement Operations

Businesses have also found that digitizing their procurement operations not only meets immediate needs during the pandemic, but also allows them to streamline their operations in ways that are not possible with paper-based processes.

Legacy procurement operations can severely limit businesses’ abilities to make real-time assessments with the most accurate data, especially when information is logged manually. In fact, procurement decisions based on false, inaccurate or outdated details cost U.S. companies a collective $600 billion annually.

 

Newer alternatives, including digital procurement systems, such as cloud-based platform solutions, can allow businesses to efficiently collect, store and analyze data to optimize their operations. Advanced data analytics and automation can help firms determine optimum workflows, reduce errors and eliminate redundancies.

 

Companies would therefore benefit from considering procurement innovations to be long-term investments in payments optimization rather than quick fixes to a temporary problem.

 

During the pandemic, companies across the nation have been faced with unprecedented financial and logistical challenges, leading them to seek cost-effective, decentralized digital processes and payments. With the adoption of such innovations as virtual cards and digital procurement solutions, they have found solutions that are both immediate and long lasting.

 

Source: PYMNTS

Please refer to English version. 

2021-10-28
2021-10-28

Industry News
業界資訊
It's Time for Merchants to Rethink Their Payment Acceptance Strategy
[English version only] | It's Time for Merchants to Rethink Their Payment Acceptance Strategy

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

Digital engagement and flexible delivery models have long been appealing to many businesses but have historically been seen more as nice-to-haves than must-haves.

That perception changed when the pandemic emerged, forcing businesses to embrace digital transformation as a matter of survival. Now, increased consumer demand for contactless and digital wallet payment acceptance and a decline in cash usage have forced merchants to re-evaluate the types of payments they accept.

To offer additional insight into the state of payments, FIS recently released its Global Payments Report 2021. To learn more about the report’s findings and further explore the implication of cash’s decline for U.S. merchants, PaymentsJournal sat down with Christina Wagner, Head of Global Payments Products for FIS, and Don Apgar,

 

Consumer demand for digital payments is booming

According to Wagner, COVID-19 ushered in an era of increased demand for digital payment acceptance. “By that, I mean [it ushered in] things such as contactless and digital wallets, which have forced many merchants to re-evaluate and shift their payment acceptance mix and strategy. Digital wallets and mobile wallets are a more modern payment method that allow consumers to securely store payment credentials and payment purchases,” she explained.

The proliferation of digital wallets—which includes an array of options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Amazon Pay—has led consumers to use them more often at the point-of-sale. This rings true both globally and within the United States, where mobile payment adoption has lagged compared to other countries.

“Even in the U.S., we’ve seen that checkout at point-of-sale using mobile wallets has grown a staggering 60%. And mobile wallets in particular have gained … [as a result of] the decline of cash at the point-of-sale. We’ve seen mobile wallets rise nearly 20% over 2019,” said Wagner.

Globally, mobile wallet’s share increased five percentage points in 2020, which equates to three years’ worth of growth in a single year. This increase, which is highlighted in the graphic below, came at the expense of physical cards and cash:

Looking ahead, it’s fair to expect that this shift to mobile wallets will continue. “No doubt, the pandemic has put a lot of emphasis and raised awareness of the need to be contactless in our face-to-face transactions, and it’s actually given NFC, or near-field communication, a big boost both from card usage and also… from wallet usage,” explained Apgar.

 

The free fall of cash

The rise of mobile wallets came hand-in-hand with an ongoing decline in cash. While the payments industry has long flirted with the prospect of digital transformation, the pandemic was the catalyst the industry needed to aggressively embrace such digitization. 

“We’ve been talking about digital engagement and digital payments and digital transformation for a long time in the payments industry. And before the pandemic, I think there was interest in it, there was movement in that direction, but I don’t know that all merchants really saw that [transformation] as an imperative for their business to survive. And I think that has been a pivotal shift for us,” said Wagner.

Consumers around the world had nearly every aspect of their lives uprooted due to the pandemic, and how they shop is no exception. Brick-and-mortar locations shuttered their storefronts due to stay-at-home mandates and widespread health concerns, causing consumers to flock to online shopping channels. Unsurprisingly, this led to an acceleration in the decline of cash. After all, how many consumers use cash in an e-commerce environment?

“The Global Payments Report really showed that our decline of cash exceeded a three-year trajectory. So, our decline in cash in 2020 alone exceeded the projection we had for 2020. And cash in 2020 was used for roughly 20% of global point-of-sale volume, and that was a 32% reduction from 2019,” explained Wagner.

Whether or not COVID-19 fades away, this decline is unlikely to reverse. “Regardless of the ultimate trajectory of COVID-19 and the pandemic, we’re expecting another 38% decline between now and 2024, and so it’s just a dramatic change for us and a cashless future I think is appealing for merchants,” she added.

This decline is good news for merchants looking to reduce costs and streamline operations. Certain types of merchants, including retailers, quick service restaurants (QSRs), and grocery stores, will need fewer resources dedicated to storing, circulating, and securing cash.

The costs associated with the manual labor involved in counting, transporting, and depositing cash can add up quickly. Human error, security risks, and physical risks all compound to make managing cash inefficient. With less cash to manage, these inefficiencies will decrease, which can tip the scales for merchants toward higher profitability and productivity within their businesses.

“The whole pandemic environment has really brought about a reawakening, if you will, of the value that electronic payments bring to businesses of all sizes,” noted Apgar.

 

“The paradox of payments”

While those in the payments industry may struggle to relate, most consumers are not thinking about payment method availability as they shop. For consumers, it’s all about convenience.

Therefore, even as payment methods bring a level of convenience that lets consumers shop on autopilot, payments should continue to be top of mind for merchants. In other words, as payments are becoming more visible and relevant to merchants, they are becoming more invisible and behind-the-scenes for consumers. This contrast is what Apgar refers to as the paradox of payments.

“As payments get more complex technologically and consumers have more options on how to pay and merchants have more options on how to collect payments, the payments themselves are fading into the background and instead of being a separate workflow, the payment is becoming embedded in the workflow,” he explained.

One example of this paradox can be found at certain Whole Foods stores, where consumers can enter the store, shop, and leave with their merchandise without having to stop at a register to checkout. This serves as a strong example of how a retailer can enhance their payment acceptance strategy without introducing unnecessary friction to the customer experience.  

 

Payment strategies should center around the customer experience

It has been said before but is worth repeating: consumer payment preferences are changing. In response to these changes, merchants must offer payment optionality and flexibility through alternative payment methods such as ‘pay by’ links, contactless and digital wallets, and ACH.

How merchants should frame their payment strategy depends on who their customers are and what services or products they offer. For example, a consumer purchasing a service from a law firm is a far cry from a consumer heading into Target for their weekly shopping trip. These two consumers likely have very different payment preferences and needs. Even so, the customer experience should always remain at the forefront of payment acceptance strategies.

“If digital innovation is now the primary focus, I think that merchants and brands are really in a race to create the ideal customer experience amid these new consumer expectations. I think omni-channel experiences are going to be critical to the buying journey,” said Wagner.

Merchants want more from their payment providers than simply processing payments. “I think there’s a real revolution going on in the way that merchants are utilizing payments and recognizing the power of the payment technology to play a real active role in customer acquisition and retention,” noted Apgar.

Now, they are looking for ways to engage with existing customers, drive new customer acquisition, and grow brand loyalty all while streamlining operations and creating an elegant and seamless customer experience.

“To enable a true omni-channel solution, merchants will have to invest in modernizing their tech stack. They may have to look at reducing the number of payment providers they have. They may have to look at their engagement models and whether they’re leveraging data appropriately to drive loyalty in that consumer experience that they’re really after,” Wagner concluded.

 

Source: Payments Journal

Please refer to English version.

2021-10-26
2021-10-26

Industry News
業界資訊
Digital payments increasing globally: report
[English version only] | Digital payments increasing globally: report

[Industry News (Repost)]

 

The use of digital payment methods is on the rise as consumers look for easier and more convenient ways to spend money.

Capgemini's 2021 World Payment Report revealed that by 2025, 25 per cent of the world's cashless transactions will be made up of instant payments and e-money, an increase of about 15 per cent over the previous year.

The report also said methods such as buy now, pay later, and cryptocurrency will help spur the growth of digital payments.

According to Pankaj Kakkar, head of the financial services division of Capgemini Canada, the demand for and acceptance of digital transactions that is currently taking place is a product of the pandemic.

 

The demand for digital payments

Companies are capitalizing on this demand.

For example, Clik2pay, a Toronto-based digital banking payment startup, enables payment processing services for businesses that provide convenient, secure and reliable payments directly from customers' bank accounts. Recently, the company built an experience layer onto Interac's e-Transfer service so that it can be used by e-commerce retailers and billers to collect payments. The company has also implemented a QR Code Payment feature.

These new developments lower costs compared to expensive credit cards and give Canadians without credit cards more access to make purchases. According to Kakkar, digital payments are a great way for Canadians without a bank account to manage their money.

“There's a small percentage of our population that lives in areas where they have no access to banks or the banks are very far. This is not convenient,” he said.

Companies such as Clik2pay or One Feather, a digital banking service for Indigenous peoples, are solutions to this problem.

 

Security risks

Although digital payments seem like a seamless way to make purchases, there are still risks that accompany the process. For example, digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, but adding credit cards and personal payment information to online portals like Apple Wallet can pose security risks.

The Capgemini report reveals that fraud and cybersecurity threats are high. Out of all fraudulent activities, the share of account takeover fraud rose from 34 per cent in 2019 to 54 per cent in 2020.

But while Kakkar said that security issues are a genuine concern when it comes to digital payments, companies are creating security measures to avoid risk. Processes to identify who is making a purchase, what they are purchasing, and how the purchase is being made are all taken into consideration, said Kakkar.

 

Better for the environment

Still, when it comes to digital payments, the pros may outweigh the cons. Besides the more obvious benefits of digital payments, such as faster payments and convenience, cashless payments are also much more sustainable.

“[Prior to non-cash methods] When you spend money, you either had a cheque or cash or some kind of paper,” Kakkar said. Additionally, a 2020 blog post by Pomleo Pay states that coins, too, have a major impact on the environment. Mining of the metal in them and transport of coins have led to the emission of over 48,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. It also shows that the plastic money used in Canada and the U.K. is just as bad, if not worse, for the environment than paper.

According to a 2019 article by Mobile Transaction, the worst part of cashless transactions is the receipt. Receipts are often not recyclable and are coated with a toxic chemical called bisphenol A (BPA).

“It is estimated that globally, 300 billion paper receipts are produced annually, consuming 25 million trees, 18 billion litres of water and 22 million barrels of oil,” the article said. Normalizing digital payment methods is one step in the right direction when it comes to making purchases more eco-friendly.

Still, digital payments are being implemented globally. The Boston Consulting Group report, Global Payments 2021: All in for Growth, said that payment revenues in Europe will increase by an average of 5.3 per cent annually from 2020 to 2025, due to the increased use of cashless transactions and online shopping. European countries are joining forces to form the European Payments Initiative, which aims to develop an independent, single European payments scheme that supports different types of digital payments.

Given the benefits, the demand for non-cash payment methods continues to grow; it is more convenient for consumers, accelerates the payment process and helps combat climate change.

 

Source:  IT World Canada

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