Hong Kong’s virtual challenger Za Bank selects Fiserv for card payments
ZA Bank, one of the first virtual banks to get a licence in Hong Kong, has chosen Fiserv’s payment technology VisionPlus to power its entire card payment life-cycle.
Fiserv’s VisionPlus is an amalgamation of its own domestic platform and the global platform of First Data’s, the company Fiserv eventually bought in January 2019 for $22 billion. The acquisition put Fiserv on the payments map with a much more fortified global position and gave it a diverse set of payments assets, such as the the Clover point of sale (POS) system and the exchange-traded fund (EFT) network Star.
The Hong Kong neobank says its “community-driven” approach means it needs a payments partner which can launch rapidly and move with the changes in its customers’ lifestyles. Za Bank, founded by ZhongAn Technologies International Group (ZA International), secured its licence in March 2019.
The global payments software VisionPlus will support card origination, card issuance, authorisation, settlement and customer service. “Its service-oriented core architecture and open application programme interfaces (APIs) enable quicker application development and integration” says Za Bank.
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“We are pleased to partner with Fiserv as we embark on a journey to shift the lifestyle of future banking users,” says ZA Bank’s CEO Rockson Hsu. “Ultimately, we want to offer superb user experiences via a robust and secure platform.”
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has issued virtual banking licences, which require no physical branches and allow the neobanks to be majority-owned by non-financial institutions, in the hope that they will promote fintech in the local banking industry and support Hong Kong’s entry into the “Smart Banking Era”.
Fiserv’s executive vice president and head of Asia Pacific Ivo Distelbrink calls the deal “an important milestone in the financial services sector in Hong Kong and across Asia Pacific”. “It is a modern banking option aligned to the changing way people want to move and manage money.” The core banking provider says it works with financial institutions in 15 markets across Asia Pacific.