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APAC Embraces QR code payments: Hong Kong leads the charge in 2024

By Puja Sharma

March 19, 2024

  • APAC Fintech
  • Cross Border Payments
  • Fintech news
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QR code, digital payment, APAC, Hong Kong

Payment Asia, APAC leading payment solutions provider, recently released Hong Kong’s annual payment trends and made predictions for the next year’s payment trends. With the increasing update of mobile payment methods and the gradual popularity of QR code payments, Hong Kong users will experience a smoother payment process in 2024.

The history of mobile phone payments can be traced back to 1994. With the popularity of smartphones, QR code payment has begun to develop rapidly around the world. Among all Payment Asia payment channels, mobile phone payment transaction volume has exceeded 60% of the total, and QR code payment accounts for more than 85% of the total.

In terms of QR code payment market share, Alipay and WeChat Pay are the market pioneers. Mainly because users are accustomed to using Taobao and other places and often use Alipay e-wallets, making QR code payment popular through e-wallets. Another reason is that after the epidemic, the number of mainland tourists has rebounded, and they will use QR codes to pay more, making more merchants accept this payment method. WeChat Pay benefits from its advantages as a communication software. Users open it more times per day, and it is easier to access the QR code payment built into the mobile application, which facilitates users to summon taxis, order takeaways and other functions.

Alongside Alipay and WeChat Pay, other payment channels have introduced QR code services to align with user preferences. UnionPay launched the UnionPay QuickPass App in Mainland China and Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, numerous banks’ credit and ATM cards support the UnionPay QuickPass App, fueling QR code transaction growth. UnionPay plans to extend QR code payment capabilities to more local apps, enabling broader usage scenarios for QuickPass in Hong Kong and Macau.

After the full functionate between Hong Kong and the Mainland border in 2023, residents of the two places will have closer exchanges, and UnionPay transactions, especially QR code transactions, will grow rapidly. Data shows that UnionPay cardholders’ shopping consumption in Hong Kong has recovered rapidly since customs clearance, and the overall number of offline transactions has nearly doubled year-on-year. Among them, UnionPay QR code transactions have increased nearly four times, and the growth rate is much faster than other QR codes. Payment channels.

PayMe, another major QR code payment provider, also showed rapid growth in 2023. PayMe has evolved from personal P2P transfers to today’s merchant collection and payment functions, and is more widely used in markets and other small consumption scenarios. According to analysis by Payment Asia’s artificial intelligence assistant PACO, the Hong Kong public’s increasing acceptance of local QR code wallets indicates their growing popularity.

FPS, the other local QR code payment method in Hong Kong, recently announced that it will be interconnected with PromptPay, the Central Bank of Thailand, for cross-border QR code payment. A total of 7 banks and 2 stored value payment instruments are participating in Hong Kong and Thailand’s “FPS x PromptPay” “Payment method shows that QR code payment has greater room for growth in the future.

QR code payment will be the mainstream in Hong Kong in 2024

By 2024, mobile phone payments in Hong Kong are expected to continue to grow, driven by the increasing popularity of digital transactions. Among various forms of mobile phone payments, QR code payments will be a major contributor to this growth. The surge in QR code payments can be attributed to several factors, including the introduction of e-voucher schemes and the widespread use of mobile phone scanning capabilities and the simplicity and seamless user experience achieved through this method.

With growing demand for contactless transactions, QR code payments offer convenience and safety, gaining popularity. Cross-border payments will also rise, facilitated by QR code transactions. Expect integration with other payment methods to create comprehensive payment ecosystems, enhancing convenience and choice. Ultimately, QR code payments will solidify as a mainstream, secure payment method, enriching our lives.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority is advancing QR code payment with SGQR+, allowing merchants to accept various payment methods through a single financial institution. SGQR, launched in 2018, combines different QR codes into one, boosting merchant adoption. With SGQR+, merchants need only one contract to offer local and overseas payment solutions, enhancing convenience for consumers and travelers. Hong Kong is expected to follow suit.

Given the rapid transformation of the payments landscape, it is critical for Hong Kong merchants to adapt and adapt to the changing payments environment. As more and more customers adopt QR code payment methods, merchants must offer this convenient option to suit their preferences. Payment Asia will continue to provide customers with diverse, secure and user-friendly mobile payment solutions to effectively meet the changing needs and preferences of today’s consumers.

Looking forward to 2024, Payment Asia will cooperate with governments, banks, international credit card organizations, and various electronic wallets to provide merchants with a more convenient and faster user experience. As a third-party payment company, Payment Asia believes that the entire payment industry has two main focuses. First, to stay at the forefront of rapidly evolving payment solutions, it is critical for businesses to invest in and embrace the latest advancements in fintech. Through the development of technology, enterprises can maintain a competitive advantage and ensure that they can meet the needs of the modern digital economy.

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