HKMA receives 29 applications for virtual licences
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) says it has received 29 applications for a virtual licence from telecommunications operators, fintech firms and global banks.
According to the South China Morning Post, all these applications will be included in the first batch of applications – which had its deadline on Friday 31 August.
We have reported on Standard Chartered Bank, applying for the licence. Other applicants are online lender WeLab, a consortium led by CASH Financial Services Group, and Zhong An Bank in collaboration with China Citic Bank.
HKT, a joint venture by Bank of East Asia, Airwallex and Sequoia Capital China, is also understood to have submitted an application.
Smartphone maker Xiaomi and Ping An Insurance are rumoured to have applied too, but remain unconfirmed.
Payment operator Yedpay! and the ITF have both said they will be looking into applying in the next round of applications.
The HKMA originally expected around 50 companies to apply. However, it is understood that it’s unlikely that any more than ten will be granted such licence.
In other developments, Hong Kong’s fintech scene remains as lively as ever.
Several banks in Hong Kong are launching a trade finance blockchain platform as they target production use in the region, with the HKMA heavily involved in the development.
Earlier this summer, the HKMA published its Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework as it prepares the region for open banking.