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Thursday, August 11, 2016, 22:31

Finance chief sees progress in HK's digital payment sector

By Shadow Li

HONG KONG - Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah on Thursday said application is the key in using technology to boost the economy.

Speaking at a conference to discuss the future of digital payment in Hong Kong, Tsang said that Hong Kong has made some progress in paving the way toward a cashless society, including the e-cheque that debuted last year. In just six months, a total of HK$4 billion was settled through e-cheque, Tsang said.

The city's payment portal giant Octopus and international counterparts Visa also attended the conference, organized by the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing.

Francis Fong, chairman of the organizer, admitted that Hong Kong has fallen behind the Chinese mainland in digital payment, especially mobile payments. However, tighter control of financial activities also allows Hong Kong to withstand more severe cyber attacks, making it safer, Fong added.

In recognizing the inevitable trend, sales and marketing director of Octopus Rita Li said the company is moving toward that direction as well, as it intends to launch an e-wallet which can be used on smartphones and tablets for P2P (person-to-person) payment and e-tickets.

Director of Emerging Products and Innovation of Visa Hong Kong and Macao Gavin Ho believed that consumer experience is the drive behind the growing digital payment sector, adding that the company, a relatively self-secluded one, will also open up and work with other payment systems to develop a more convenient payment experience.

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