E-payments are increasingly becoming the norm across Asia Pacific, with Singapore recently launching the world’s first unified payment QR code (SGQR).
But what advantages do they bring to the IT service sector?
Another regional market where e-payments are taking off is Hong Kong, where its use has been encouraged and actively advocated for by the local government.
Hong Kong-based IT services provider Kinetix Systems sees significant potential for the sector not just in Hong Kong but across the region, especially for technology specialists.
“With the increasing acceptance of e-payment in Hong Kong, the industry is entering a period brimming with increasingly significant business opportunities,” said Larry Yu, CEO of Kinetix Systems, speaking recently at a seminar on innovation and technology in Hong Kong.
While Singapore’s own monetary authority (MAS) announced this month the launch of SGQR as the world’s first unified payment QR code, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also made a significant announcement this month with the launch of a fast-track payment system.
The fast-track payment system launched by HKMA is designed to provide instantaneous interbank payment or transfer services and with other favourable government policies, Yu sees a bright future for e-payments.
"The popularity of computers and their wide use in various industries a few decades ago ultimately led to a sharp increase in the demand for telecommunications technology professionals,” said Yu.
“By the same token, as more and more shops start to adopt e-payment services, we, as an experienced IT service provider in Hong Kong, can also expect to benefit from this through an increase in our order flow."
Furthermore, as rental and labour costs in places like Hong Kong and Singapore continue to rise, Yu sees significant opportunities for e-payments to reduce not just operating costs but provide a more streamlined and convenient approach to acquiring sales data and performing analyse.
He explained that it is the right time to start promoting mobile payment as the technology backing it is now quite mature.
“AI technology is the trend of the future and professionals with the right expertise and skillsets will be in high demand as the area will need ongoing development,” said Yu, referring to the skills needed to develop the sector further.
Yu is looking at expansion for the IT service provider into the surrounding Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area which has seen significant development in recent years with plans for a office in Heyuan, Guangdong Province later in 2018.
Furthermore, such a move would strategically position the IT service provider in the market and play an active role as Guangdong Province and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area follow Hong Kong's lead in adopting e-payment.
“In the early years of Mainland China's reform and opening up, Hong Kong businessmen mainly played the role of importing capital and technology into the Mainland,” said Yu.
“However, as a result of the Mainland's accelerated development in recent years, the role of Hong Kong companies has also evolved.
"We plan to take a close look at some high-tech companies in the Mainland, and then work together to use Hong Kong as a platform to promote advanced technology from the China Mainland to overseas markets."
Hong Kong-based IT service provider Kinetix Systems was founded in 1998 providing IT infrastructure and IT development solutions, as well as IT maintenance and support serving mainly government and non-government public organisations and multinational companies in the retail, distribution, trade, banking, finance and insurance sectors, among others.