FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's open banking movement lures interest beyond retail clients

SMEs and corporates also acknowledge the merits of the pivot.

Nearly a third (27%) of commercial bank customers in Hong Kong are planning to participate in open banking platforms by 2019 as they build on the positive momentum that has already snowballed in the past years, according to a report from Accenture.

Also read: Singapore still beats Hong Kong over Asia's open banking readiness crown

Open Banking enables financial services commercial customers to share their financial data securely with banks and third parties, making it possible to easily transfer funds, compare products and manage accounts using application program interfaces (APIs).

Half of commercial bank customers in Hong Kong have already participated in open banking platforms as Hong Kongers emerge as the most willing amongst the 11 countries surveyed to access open banking service through a non-bank fintech or third-party provider.

Also read: Hong Kong launches Open API framework for banks

However, the open banking movement in Hong Kong has increasingly nabbed the interest beyond the retail segment and into the corporate business with more than half (63%) of SMEs and large corporates expressing interest to join an open banking ecosystem with their banks.

“There’s been a lot of focus on retail consumers when discussing Open Banking, but some of the solutions will create a fundamental change in the corporate banking world,” Divyesh Vithlani, a managing director at Accenture and ASEAN financial services lead said in a statement. “Value-creation for SMEs and large corporate clients can be just as big an opportunity, if not bigger, than what banks will experience in the retail banking market, so financial firms need to actively pursue those prospects.”

The positive market response is part of a bigger regional trend where 90% of large banks in Asia Pacific said they plan to provide Open Banking services for their commercial clients, with half expecting Open Banking to help them grow their revenues up to 10% and a third expecting it to help them grow their revenues up to 20%. 

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