February 28, 2024

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HK consumers favour digital channels – drive digital economy

Consumers in Hong Kong prefer to engage with their retail banking and life insurance providers on digital channels over physical ones; while tech giants are becoming the companies that consumers in Hong Kong trust to act in their best financial interests, according to new data released by a market research company.

The firm has released a guide on consumer preferences for financial services. The report found that consumers in Asia Pacific markets are some of the most advanced when it comes to digital engagement with financial services, with 77% of banking customers in the Asia Pacific preferring digital channels, and 73% of consumers believing they should be able to accomplish any financial task on a mobile device.

In Hong Kong, 78% of respondents prefer interacting with their retail banks on digital channels, while only 39% of life insurance consumers prefer digital channels. This is in line with what the firm found in other Asia Pacific countries, including India, China, Thailand and Singapore.

While banks lead in consumers’ trust to act in the best interests of their financial wellbeing, the research found that many customers trust payment firms and technology firms over traditional financial services providers to help them better manage their finances.

Global technology giants, payment providers, eCommerce players, and even ride-sharing leaders, are already threatening established firms by offering simple, convenient and more personalised digital experiences.

The current tech giants are among the companies that consumers in Hong Kong trust to act in their best financial interests.

However, in view of the issuance of virtual banking licences in Hong Kong, it is interesting to note that only a minority of consumers will consider switching to digital-only financial services providers in the next two years – retail bank – 18%, and life insurer – 18%. These figures for Hong Kong are among the lowest in the region.

In the Asia Pacific, consumers in India, Thailand and Indonesia are most willing to consider switching to digital-only providers.

The VP, research director and region manager at the firm noted that consumers are more likely to engage with firms that prioritise helping them improve their financial wellbeing. It is expected that customers will dynamically deconstruct their personal financial services ecosystems and reassemble them with newer and better players.

Traditional institutions have several advantages, but will be left behind if they do not transform faster to meet the challenge.

According to another report, the firm’s Senior Analyst stated that the high levels of empowerment of Asia Pacific consumers affect how they choose to interact with their financial services providers.

Many prefer digital channels over physical ones, especially in mobile-first markets like mainland China, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. For life insurance customers, the situation is more heterogeneous across Asia Pacific markets, with digital channels being preferred in markets such as mainland China, Thailand, India, and Australia.

In Singapore and Malaysia, agents are still the preferred way for customers to interact with their life insurance provider. That’s not to say that financial services firms should ignore non-digital touchpoints.

The report notes that the velocity with the industry is changing is expected to accelerate, and the stakes are rising.

The market research company stated that financial institutions and service providers must understand how consumer behaviour and financial attitudes are evolving, how customers want to interact, and what matters to them when it comes to financial goals.

This will have a profound impact on how they formulate their go-to-market strategy, distribution channel strategy, and their firm’s unique value proposition.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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