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Massive e-commerce growth predicted for HK in 2019

According to a recent report, a major payments technology company has recently predicted that e-commerce across Asia-Pacific will continue to grow significantly in 2019 and beyond.

Asia-Pacific is e-commerce’s leading region globally and stands at the forefront of payment innovation, particularly in terms of mobile commerce and the rise of frictionless, invisible payments.

According to the payment tech firm predictions, Asia-Pacific will lead the way in the global transition to mobile commerce, which is set to become the most popular online channel over the next four years in a number of Asia-Pacific markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and India. Mobile commerce is already the most popular transaction method in both South Korea and China.

The firm also sees Asian consumers’ increasing demand for frictionless payments and payment experiences, particularly as the popularity of e-wallets continues to soar.

There will be a dramatic shift from cash to e-wallets at Point of Sale (POS) over the next four years, with e-wallets set to grow from 27% of POS market share in 2018 to 42% by 2022.

On the e-commerce side, Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in the adoption of e-wallets, which will account for two-thirds of regional payment volume by 2022.

The general manager for the Asia Pacific branch of the payment technology firm noted that with some of the highest rates of smartphone penetration in the world and a preference for digital payment methods like e-wallets, it’s no surprise that consumers in Asia-Pacific are eager for more opportunities to enjoy the shopping experiences they love via innovative new channels.

The GM added that in 2019, it is more important than ever for merchants to tailor their mix of payment methods to match the preferences of local shoppers. The most important advice for retailers is providing a consistent overall retail experience that matches brand attributes, so that consumers can enjoy seamless and secure shopping and payments from desktops, to mobile phones, to bricks-and-mortar stores.

Across specific markets in Asia-Pacific, the payment technology firm expects the following trends to emerge in Hong Kong:

  • Hong Kong’s e-commerce market is poised to increase by 11% in 2019 to reach USD$17.9 million. Mobile commerce is set to become Hong Kong’s most popular online shopping channel in the next 12 months, at which point mobile is projected to account for over 50% of all online sales.
  • Hong Kong will continue to stay ahead of the pack in adopting alternative, cashless payments such as e-wallets. Rising at a rate of 17% year-on-year, e-wallets are forecasted to make up 27% of Hong Kong’s e-commerce market in 2019.

Another report from October 2018 highlighted the fact that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s(HKMA), the de facto central bank, had unveiled the Faster Payment System (FPS).

The system allows instant money transfers and bill payments via the mobile phone, regardless of the bank or e-wallet that is being used.

The platform started accepting registrations from in mid-September 2018, 21 banks and 10 digital wallet operators have signed up for the system, including several big banks and industry players and the city’s ubiquitous payment card Octopus.

Moreover, the Hong Kong Smart City manifesto notes that the aims of the Smart City initiatives include enabling citizens to enjoy convenient mobile payments anytime and anywhere, access e-services and conduct e-transactions more conveniently and extensively with a single eID for e-government services and commercial services, adopt more technology applications to support the elderly, and enjoy healthcare services supported by new technology applications.

Thus, the report on the rise in e-payment popularity predicted for the coming years is encouraging news for the region.


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