Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021: OneConnect Underscores Importance of FinTech to Greater Bay Area Development

Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021: OneConnect Underscores Importance of FinTech to Greater Bay Area Development

HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, Nov. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- An integrated, seamlessly connected financial platform and FinTech talent are vital to the development of the Greater Bay Area ("GBA"), says Jessica Tan, co-CEO of Ping An Group.  The GBA is a huge and exciting area. Ping An, together with its associate company OneConnect is always willing to use technology as an enabler for the GBA's digital economy, she said. OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. (short for "OneConnect ", NYSE: OCFT) is a leading technology-as-a-service platform provider.

Ms. Tan underscored the importance of cultivating Hong Kong's FinTech capabilities in a keynote delivered at Hong Kong FinTech Week. Held from November 1-5, this year's event gathered world-renowned speakers, regulators, and industry players to "scale the FinTech future together."

"Building a seamless digital economy is the greatest opportunity in the region. But practically, we must address three key issues in order to capture and maximize that opportunity. This is not something that an individual entity or organization can solve — it requires a collective effort across the entire GBA. This is where Hong Kong, the region's international finance hub, can take the lead and harness technology to make FinTech platforms more interoperable," said Ms. Tan.

Building a shared digital economy across the GBA

With Hong Kong's financial expertise, Guangzhou's manufacturing prowess and Shenzhen's technological capabilities, the GBA is the perfect region to develop a world-leading digital economy. However, the region will need to address key challenges surrounding governance and regulation, Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) support, and local talent if it wants to transform these opportunities into a reality, said Ms. Tan.

The GBA involves three different jurisdictions, each with its own government authorities, standards, and procedures. All these need to be considered when developing a connected financial platform, said Ms. Tan. At the same time, regulators and organizations need to be clear on how financial services can empower SMEs with the access and capabilities to operate seamlessly across regions, particularly given half of all trade in the GBA is conducted by small businesses. Lastly, Hong Kong needs to find and nurture the right talents to fuel innovation and development.

Technology as an enabler for the GBA's digital economy

According to Ms. Tan, technology is essential to resolving these issues and making platforms truly interoperable across the GBA. Notably, Hong Kong should seek to consolidate its various government data and services, similar to the one-stop sandbox platform proposed by regulatory authorities to enable GBA start-ups to develop cross-border fintech tools. At the same time, data should be available across regions to ensure that various jurisdictions and government entities adhere to the same standards — all while delivering a seamless experience to clients and companies.

OneConnect has already established such a platform to empower all enterprises, including SMEs, to participate in, and prosper from, the digital economy. Earlier this year, the company celebrated the first anniversary of Ping An OneConnect Bank ("PAOB"), the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to use alternative data models for risk assessment. PAOB uses trade data and other information to assess and predict risk in order to provide non-collateralized loans for SMEs. To date, PAOB has served HK local SMEs with total assets reaching HK$1 billion.

OneConnect has also established the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Port Logistics and Trade Facilitation Blockchain Platform to facilitate cross-border trade between merchants, and the Guangdong SME financing platform to improve lending efficiency for SMEs.

In addition to building the right platforms, OneConnect is nurturing the talents of tomorrow and bridging skillset gaps across the region. Its new internship program connects aspiring professionals with established financial services and technology experts to encourage knowledge transfer.

Furthermore, its parent company, Ping An Group has launched an incubator accelerator program for the GBA. The program plugs up-and-coming companies into an open Fintech platform that serves existing financial services, companies and corporations — in turn encouraging and growing entrepreneurs within the region.

"The GBA is a huge and exciting area with plenty of opportunities. But we can only take advantage of these opportunities with a collective effort that gives full play to Hong Kong's position as an international financial center. By using technology to bring financial institutions, FinTech companies and people together, we can promote greater cross-border collaboration and turn this vision into a reality," said Ms. Tan.

About OneConnect Financial Technology

OneConnect Financial Technology Co. Ltd. is a technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions. It is a Chinese national high-tech enterprise and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019 (NYSE: OCFT). The Company integrates extensive financial services industry expertise with market-leading technology to provide technology applications and technology-enabled business services to financial institutions. These solutions enable our customers' digital transformations, which help them improve efficiency, enhance service quality, reduce costs and risks. 

OneConnect is an associate of Ping An Group. By leveraging Ping An Group's over 30 years of extensive experience in financial services, OneConnect has established long-term cooperation with financial institutions to accurately addresses their needs of digital transformation. The Company provides four integrated solutions across the full scope of the businesses - from digital retail banking, digital commercial banking, digital insurance to Gamma Platform (the financial technology infrastructure provider). Besides showing strength and deepening capacity as a financial institution, OneConnect also actively promotes the digital transformation of financial service ecology and provides trade, credit, supply chain, data security, risk management and other related scientific and technological services for the government, regulatory and enterprise users. The company has also successfully exported "Made in China" technology solutions to overseas financial institutions. As of June 30, 2021, it has served 100+ customers in 20 countries and regions mainly in Southeast Asia.

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