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13 February 2017

CityU SHARP Forum: Fintech – Benefits, Challenges & Prospects in Hong Kong

Over 120 professionals and senior executives from banking and financial sectors in a majority came together for the 5th CityU MBA SHARP Forum: "Fintech – Benefits, Challenges & Prospects in Hong Kong" held on February 13, 2017. Mr. Alex Kong, Founder and Group CEO of TNG (The Next Generation) Wallet, Prof. Frank Tong, CEO of Astri and the moderator, Prof. Ir. Daniel Cheng, Chairman of Federation of Hong Kong Industries were invited as the honorable guest speakers to share their views and first-hand experiences in FinTech.

The speakers participated in the panel discussion sharing their views in the developments, opportunities and the challenges of Hong Kong FinTech, which then led to an active and open discussion with the audiences during the Q&A session.

Quotes of the speakers and moderator
"Financial Technology – FinTech, definitely is one of the leading industries for the financial future. The federation of Hong Kong industry, we work with all the manufacturers while the financial sector is certainly a critical partner to all of us. So, Fintech will be one of the ways that we have to learn and live with in order to expand our business domestically and to overseas, especially under the Belt and Road Initiative." --- Prof. Daniel Cheng

"The future prospect of Fintech is right in Hong Kong. As an International financial center in China, Hong Kong is benefited by the Belt and Road Initiative. Because of having a good and steady financial system monitored by some sophisticated and mature financial regulatory bodies, our entry barrier to Fintech is lowered. Still, we have lots of challenges to overcome, for example like the fragmented protocols used by different parties in the financial industry. To facilitate the development of Fintech, Astri focuses in 3 areas: Cybersecurity, Blockchain technologies and Big Data Analytics and we believe the collaboration within the whole eco-system (including banks, financial institutes, government, and universities for talents development) is one of the most effective and essential approaches." --- Prof. Frank Tong

"When we look at some successful cases of digital wallet, like Alipay in China, it has been launched for 14 years and took a long way to come to this stage with now 50% population penetration. When you look at Kenya, most people are still using the basic model of mobile phones, not smart phones. However, the M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer and financing services, more than 90% population in Kenya is using this e-payment platform. To me, the real robust demands come from the unbanked and the underbanked, not the general public. It is interesting to see the ones who are earlier to adopt Fintech solutions are not the ones who are better educated. People in the developing countries have less concerns on the data security and privacy issues and they are more willing to accept new things especially when they have real needs that they do not have bank accounts. Finding the right target is one of the big lessons we have learnt and we are very happy to share this opportunity to the students. We hope our experience can act as a guidance to future entrepreneurs who are interested in Fintech industry." --- Mr. Alex Kong

SHARP Forum – an ideal platform for exchanging ideas
While we gained much insights from the speakers, here were their thoughts on the forum…

“The SHARP forum provides an excellent opportunity for the students to meet with the industry experts, to feel their passions and to learn their experience in FinTech.” --- Prof. Daniel Cheng

“SHARP Forum is a place for open discussions. Unlike usual conferences, it provides a nice platform for audiences to participate and engage with the speakers. We have so much to share with the audience. Many intelligent questions were asked and answered. It’s an interesting experience for me.” --- Mr. Alex Kong

“The Forum is really a convenient and powerful media for us to exchange ideas with students.” --- Prof. Frank Tong