It has been a busy period for mobile payment operators in Hong Kong.
Starting with HSBC, which announced on June 25 that users of its PayMe mobile payments app will be able to use it for transactions on e-commerce platform HKTVmall.
HSBC has been promoting PayMe as peer-to-peer money transfer service. It is believed that the bank has accumulated several dozen thousand customers after launching the app last year, so it is not surprising that HSBC now wants to expand into the the peer-to-merchant segment.
Leveraging on HKTVmall, the city’s most popular online shopping site, is a sensible approach.
Meanwhile, AlipayHK has teamed up with GCash, an e-wallet service operated by Philippine telecoms company Globe Telecom, to offer cheaper cross-border remittance using blockchain technology.
The technology allows the party that sends the money and the recipients track the entire remittance process, providing greater transparency for transactions every step of the way.
In fact, more than a year ago, TNG launched a cross-border remittance service for domestic helpers working in Hong Kong.
Banks charge high fees for international remittance, prompting the launch of such alternatives. As there is money to be made, the market will continue to attract new players.
That said, not all mobile payment firms are interested in cross-border remittance. As the service might be used for money laundering, service providers must be very careful with every transaction.
Last week also saw Octopus announcing a tie-up with PayPal.
Octopus O! ePay users can top up their PayPal accounts instantly under a new collaboration between the two electronic payment firms. They can now also access 9 million businesses and stores globally, marking a breakthrough in O! ePay’s effort to access the e-commerce market.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 5
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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