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09 Oct 2017

IDC Financial Insights Unveils 10 Fast Growing FinTechs for Hong Kong in 2017

HONG KONG, October 10th, 2017 – IDC Financial Insights today unveiled a list of 10 fast growing fintechs in Hong Kong as part of the broader FinTech 101 list for Asia/Pacific. “IDC’s FinTech Fast 101” refers to the fast-growing fintech players in Asia/Pacific based on extensive on-ground analysis of the dominant fintech players within the region.

IDC’s fintech list makes a reference to the Financial Insights’ Triple U framework — ubiquity, utility, and usability. This is a framework that evaluates fintech data across key metrics such as addressable market, customer adoption, investments, chance of survival, innovation, and marketing. IDC Financial Insights believes that newer categories of fintechs are gaining traction, including those focused on digital identity and authentication, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, robo-advisory, credit analytics and scoring, and usage-based insurance.

Michael Araneta, Associate Vice President for IDC Financial Insights remarked, "Hong Kong has long reaped the benefits of its proximity to China – a characteristic which has also been leveraged aptly by local fintechs seeking to enter the country. Recent launches and announcements by Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute's Fintech Innovation Lab and Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme, as well as HK$2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund has really showcased the optimistic stance of the Government and regulators towards innovation. The introduction of Fintech Supervisory Sandbox has also been very reassuring for the FinTech community, as well as financial services institutions looking to test solutions and collaborate." The HKMA is also undertaking a research and proof-of-concept (PoC) project on central bank digital currency in collaboration with Hong Kong’s three note-issuing banks, Hong Kong Interbank Clearing and R3, the blockchain consortium.

IDC also pointed to a positive change in outlook for majority of financial services institutions that now view fintech as possible collaborators or acquisition targets. This is quite an improvement from how traditional industry players initially viewed fintech as pure disruptors. The industry players in Hong Kong have really come together to create a supportive ecosystem – we recently saw financial services institutions, fintech start-ups, accelerators, incubators, investment groups, educational institutions, and regulatory bodies coming together to form FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK).

Sneha Kapoor, senior research manager for IDC Financial Insights adds, "Banks and insurance companies in Hong Kong are showing greater acceptance and collaboration with fintechs, both locally and regionally, either through partnerships or VC funding to build their own innovation competencies. The fintech disruption is mostly visible in wealth management, lending, and payments including remittance, money transfers, and peer-to-peer payments. A new class of fintechs – robo-advisory is also transforming traditional wealth management and financial advisory business by leveraging latest technologies in cognitive and advanced analytics to make low cost "on demand" investment advice accessible to untapped digital savvy investors."

"To be successful and achieve scale and ubiquity in true sense, fintechs in Hong Kong need to step up the game by moving expeditiously into China, as well as the region. IDC Financial Insights expects that 2018 will be a banner year for Asia/Pacific fintechs to regionalize – similar to the journey of Alipay and Grab,” Araneta said. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)'s recent bilateral agreements with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and UK’s Financial Authority Conduct (FCA) are truly aligned to this view and will provide landing pads for international expansion.

This FinTech 101 list is published as part of IDC Financial Insights’ 2017 fintech report series, which helps investment groups, financial services institutions, and technology players in understanding the fintech landscape and identify potential fintech players for investment and collaboration. For this research, IDC's definition intentionally excludes licensed banks and other licensed financial institutions that are using new technologies to radically change financial services, even to the point of launching their own fintech companies and brands. The idea is to look at the fintech players outside of traditional services.

For inquiries on this report, please contact Sneha Kapoor snehakapoor _ext@idc.com or Michael Araneta maraneta@idc.com. For media inquiries, please contact Tessa Rago trago@idc.com or Alvin Afuang aafuang@idc.com.

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About IDC Financial Insights

IDC Financial Insights assists financial service businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the banking, insurance, and securities and investments industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-fi.com, email info@idc-fi.com, or call 508-620-5533. Visit the IDC Financial Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/financial

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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