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Two years ago, Alipay azure Logo began to appear in the China airport in Hongkong, welcome to rely on this popular payment application for mainland tourists.
In recent months, the Hongkong taxi started using alipay. Now, shops and boutiques have also accepted this payment application.
These are the precursors of a forthcoming payment war in Hongkong, which will test the western financial system - relying on banks, debit cards and credit cards - to withstand the challenges of two hot payment applications in the mainland. In the mainland, people are using Alipay and WeChat to pay for consumption and transfers.
If the ant's Alipay and gold servicetencentWhy can't they expand their business to Europe and the United States by expanding their WeChat payments to Hongkong and winning new users here?
Payment in the war
"this is going to be a battleground," said James Lloyd, a financial technology expert at Ernst & Young in Hong Kong. "in the next 12 to 24 months, we will see a big shake-up in the consumer payment and retail banking markets."
Alipay and WeChat Pay have flourished in the mainland, providing millions of underserved users with an easy way to store and use cash via mobile phones. In the fourth quarter of last year, payment apps spent 37.7 trillion yuan ($5.9 billion) on the mainland, up 28 percent from a month earlier, according to a report by market research firm Analysys International. Of these, Alipay handled 54 and WeChat Pay handled 38.
Hongkong's digital wallet has grown faster than credit cards.
By contrast, Hongkong already has a well-established western style banking system and a popular alternative - Octopus smart card that can be recharged. This colorful smart card has been widely used in public transport and convenience stores. Now, payment applications from the mainland are threatening to subvert this situation.
While Alipay and WeChat Pay are expanding overseas ostensibly to help Chinese tourists, the financial industry is widely expected to aim next to use the infrastructure it has built to attract locals. This pattern has begun to emerge.
In Hongkong, huge pressure has forced merchants to accept mainland payment applications. Data from the Hongkong Tourism Bureau showed that in 2017, mainland tourists accounted for 72% of the consumption of overnight tourists in Hongkong and contributed $16 billion 500 million to cosmetics, luxury goods and other goods. Merchants signed and opened up a way for Hongkong residents to use Alipay and WeChat to pay.
Alipay launched Alipay Hong Kong in May last year and has registered more than 1 million users since then. In March, Mr Ma's Ant Financial Services Group and Li Jiacheng's Cheung Kong Hutchison set up Alipay Hong Kong, a joint venture with Alipay. Alipay and Li Jiacheng are the richest people in the mainland and Hong Kong, respectively.
Take aim at the taxi
For decades, taxis in Hongkong only accepted cash, but some taxis began to accept payments through taxi applications. Alipay and WeChat last year launched a series of incentive policies to attract taxi drivers, including cash rebate, their Logo soon began to appear in more taxi.
"Expanding our services to ensure that our users and businesses provide a better seamless experience is one of our top priorities. This is not only for Hongkong, but also for Southern China, China. We will continue to look for opportunities, "the general manager of Alipay Hongkong Macao Li Yongshi (Venetia Lee) said in February. The Tencent spokesman did not comment.
The octopus also launched a counter attack. The smart card, once used by 99% Hongkong residents, launched a two-dimensional code in taxis last year to enable passengers to make mobile payments. Recently, octopus has introduced an application for drivers, enabling them to scan the smart cards of passengers directly.
The banking industry felt a threat
The Hongkong financial authority is in the processDevelopmentA digital payment system will connect the stored value cards such as banks and Octopus Cards. The project is called fast payment system. It will be launched in September, allowing people to use Hong Kong dollars or RMB for real-time settlement.
There is a precedent for a financial firm's tension. After dominating the mainland, one of the first areas to start the international expansion is Southeast Asia, looking for opportunities among the 450 million people who are difficult to obtain banking services. Ant gold clothing has established cooperative relations in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, providing services such as transfers and loans.
Southeast Asia's largest bank DBS group (DBS Group Holdings) has been trying to resist applications such as Alipay launched the offensive, especially in its home market in singapore. From 2012 to 2016, DBS Group invested about $3 billion 500 million to upgrade its technology, including the development of payment application DBS PayLah. In Singapore, DBS PayLah has about 800 thousand users. The DBS group also has a lot of business in Hongkong.
"We are at the front line of the war," DBS group CEO Gao Bode (Piyush Gupta) said in an interview this month.
Bank of America "prepare for war"
Thousands of miles away, Bank of America is building "fortifications" to welcome the arrival of China's payment applications. Last year, big banks such as JP Morgan chase and Bank of America launched a new P2P payment application Zelle. Credit card companies has also increased the incentive plan, using these benefits to retain users, allowing them to think twice before switching to other applications.
At the same time, Alipay has been with the United States payment processing service provider agreement, to help visitors to the expansion of the United States China name. At the end of last year, Alipay Logo has appeared in the New York taxi.Visit: