Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) launched a new digital payments solution this week. The new offering, called HSBC Merchant Box, is designed to make it easier for SMEs to make international payments across regional and global e-commerce platforms using real-time exchange rates.
HSBC Merchant Box will be available to selected HSBC commercial customers initially. The technology is subscription-based and is fully integrated into HSBC Business Internet Banking. A range of fee options helps make the offering more affordable for businesses of different sizes and payment requirements. The company noted that it will extend the service to all customers in Hong Kong “in the coming months.”
Cross-border ecommerce is a significant factor in China’s external trade operations, HSBC Head of Commercial Banking Frank Fang explained. As a major regional trade hub, Hong Kong is seen as especially well-located to take advantage of the opportunity for greater and easier trade between companies in the area. HSBC Merchant Box also arrives at a time when there is greater travel between Hong Kong and mainland China due to the easing of COVID restrictions regionally.
“Simple and cost-efficient payment management solutions are key to the success of small- and medium-sized ecommerce merchants,” HSBC Managing Director and Regional Co-Head of Global Payments, Asia Pacific Yvonne Yiu said. “HSBC Merchant Box reduces the complexity of cash flow management for SMEs by giving them speed, control, and visibility on their international receivables and payments.”
Speaking of Hong Kong and payments, HK-based digital payment platform developer Yedpay announced a new partnership this week. Yedpay is teaming up with Venture Cap, the Thailand-based subsidiary of ASL Securities, as well as the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Easylink to help drive fintech innovation in the ASEAN region. “ASEAN” refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and includes Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Brunei.
The announcement was made as part of the 16th Asian Financial Forum (AFF). YedPay offers an open payment platform that helps merchants process credit card transactions and e-wallet payments in brick-and-mortar locations as well as online. The firm has played a major role in developing Hong Kong’s cashless market, and in helping Hong Kong’s taxi industry go digital. At the forum, Yedpay COO Beatrice Tai said that the company planned to expand its business across borders, with an initial stop in Thailand. Yedpay also expects to launch new diversified financial products and build an “ASEAN Payment Hub” that would connect markets in ASEAN, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China.
Co-founded in 2014 by Chief Operating Officer Beatrice Tai, Yedpay offers an all-in-one payment platform for merchants. The company’s solution supports multiple payment methods on a single device, giving customers greater flexibility when making payments and making the collection process easier for merchants. Yedpay is also known as The Payments Cards Group Ltd.
Hong Kong-based digital bank ZA Bank introduced new CEO and Executive Director Ronald Iu. He was appointed to his new position after serving as Chief Strategy Officer for Za Bank parent company ZA International in February 2022, and was subsequently promoted to Chief Risk Officer at ZA Bank. The banking and finance executive has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, having been chief executive at Airstar Bank, a General Manager and Executive General Manager at China CITIC Bank International Ltd, and CEO of HKCB Finance Ltd.
Iu takes the top spot from outgoing Rockson Hsu who was ZA Bank CEO for nearly four years. ZA Bank has not yet announced a new Chief Risk Officer.
One of the first virtual banks to be established in Hong Kong, ZA Bank received its license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in 2019, publicly launched in 2020, and introduced its business banking services for local SMEs in 2021. The firm currently has more than 600,000 users.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
- Is Nigeria ready for a “cashless economy”? Techpoint Africa looks at the country’s attempt to redesign its currency as a cautionary tale.
- Tempo France and Nairagram teamed up to enable remittances from the EU to 20 countries in Africa.
- TechCabal reviewed the “State of Buy Now, Pay Later” in South Africa.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Germany’s DekaBank will apply for a crypto custody license.
- Lithuania-based iDenfy partnered with real estate auction platform Residenture to bring greater security to the Swiss firm’s onboarding process.
- Germany-based B2B payments company launched its new B2B service MonduSell.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Sales and automation specialist InvestGlass teamed up with Arab Bank.
- In partnership with Plug and Play Abu Dhabi, Emirates Islamic bank launched a new fintech accelerator program.
- A partnership between Uber and HSBC will bring on-demand cashouts to unbanked drivers in Egypt.