Hong Kong hosts diverse FinTech communities and associations but there has historically been no formal structure or direction behind them. FTAHK aims to create a unified voice for this community, representing the breadth and diversity of Hong Kong’s FinTech ecosystem where all participants can play a vital role.
The Hong Kong Government is supportive of growing a vibrant FinTech industry in Hong Kong. It has expressed this in a variety of ways including FinTech facilitation offices, a regulatory sandbox and new payment licences. It is also supportive of this Association.
The FinTech Association of Hong Kong’s goal is to elevate Hong Kong’s status as a FinTech hub. The objective is to be inclusive and not just a place for start-ups to engage with one another. It aims to provide direction for FinTech activity in Hong Kong, representing and linking all organisations that have an interest in the area, including startups, FSIs, academia, Government, investors, corporates and accelerators. It also provides members with a single point of access to innovators, investors, regulators, policy makers and commercial partners.
Creating a structure at the heart of the FinTech ecosystem in Hong Kong allows it to be fully represented locally and globally. The Association combines expertise, independence and a not-for-profit status making it unbiased and fully representative in terms of Hong Kong FinTech activity as well as representing Hong Kong FinTech internationally. Its Board members are drawn from across the spectrum to ensure diverse representation.
The Association is an industry-driven initiative, rather than a government-led approach to ensure it fits with Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial character. What separates Hong Kong from most other markets is that it is business-led and government supported. Structuring the Association similarly distinguishes it from other initiatives around the world and gives it the best chance of making a positive impact.
Committees are being formed on key areas of focus for FinTech development in Hong Kong to help provide direction and stimulate development. This is not just another bankers’ club or accelerator; it’s about bringing together interested parties from across HK and beyond to facilitate, mentor and educate – and through this create a bigger, more interconnected ecosystem to benefit the wider Hong Kong community.
The Fintech Ecosystem
Hong Kong is poised to lead fintech development owing to its natural strengths.
It is one of the world’s most influential and active financial centres, located at the intersection of China, Asia and the rest of the world. It already houses a broad and diverse fintech community and exports fintech developments globally. It is one of the most connected and sophisticated cities in the world with a well-educated, increasingly affluent population and a long tradition of entrepreneurship.
Hong Kong’s growing fintech ecosystem is expected to grow significantly in the next five years.
This will be spurred by initiatives such as the regulatory sandbox and fintech innovation hub jointly developed by Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI).
All the ingredients exist in Hong Kong for a world-leading fintech industry.
With the strengths of all the different participants being harnessed by the Association, the industry is creating the catalyst for sustained future development.
Hong Kong-Macau- Guangdong Greater Bay Area.
As the designated Financial Center for the HKMGGBA, there will be further enhancement in the level of connectivity between Hong Kong and Guangdong Markets, in particular with Shenzhen markets with respect to technology and innovation in Financial Services and Insurance.
Although advances are being made, further work is needed to gain the maximum benefit.
A crucial next step will be adjusting the city’s regulatory framework both to give greater clarity to businesses looking to set up in the city and to update rules in order to bring them into line with new business practices while continuing to offer strong investor and consumer protection.