PayMe app comes to e-commerce platform HKTVmall in HSBC’s first foray into online payments

Users of PayMe, HSBC’s mobile payments app, will be able to use it on e-commerce platform HKTVmall this week, Hong Kong’s biggest bank announced on Monday.

The partnership with HKTVmall, which features more than 3,000 retailers selling everything from instant noodles to durians to restaurant and holiday coupons, marks HSBC’s first foray into online payments. But while the deal will benefit both parties, analysts said it might not lead to profits immediately.

It is a good first step for HSBC in the mobile payments market

Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director, VC Wealth Management

“It is a good first step for HSBC in the mobile payments market. It might also help HKTVmall to further narrow down its losses,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director at Hong Kong-based VC Wealth Management.

“Both companies, however, might need to invest in mobile payments infrastructure and promote [their services]. HSBC’s PayMe app will also need to compete with other mobile payment operators, such as Alipay. This is going to be a long-term battle and it will take time to see who will be the ultimate winner,” said Tse.

Launched last year, PayMe is used mainly to transfer small amounts of money for settling restaurant bills among friends, or for laisee.

HSBC geared up the app for its e-commerce debut on Friday by increasing the amount users could transfer to its e-wallet from their HSBC bank accounts – up to HK$30,000 (US$3,823.24) a month, or HK$50,000 if they provide a Hong Kong residential address. The limit for credit cards will remain at HK$5,000.

HKTVmall said it reached 7,600 average daily orders in December 2017, with an average value of HK$537 per order, up four times from 1,300 in January 2016.

“The partnership with HKTVmall marks a new milestone, and will allow us to accelerate the adoption of PayMe payments among consumers and merchants,” said Greg Hingston, head of retail banking and wealth management in Hong Kong at HSBC.

Ricky Wong Wai-kay, the chairman of Hong Kong Television Network, said the deal would make it easier for shoppers to pay, and to promote mobile payments in Hong Kong.

“The establishment of HKTVmall bears an important mission – to create new ways of retailing, and to maintain Hong Kong’s position as the ‘shoppers’ paradise of Asia’. And this cannot be achieved without the support of innovation and technologies,” said Wong.

Hong Kong lags behind mainland China in mobile payments, which have surged to US$5 trillion on the mainland. Third-party payment services by internet giants Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the South China Morning Post, and Tencent Holdings, which offers its Tenpay service through its instant messaging app, WeChat, are used widely in restaurants, taxis and supermarkets.

In Hong Kong, Alipay and WeChat Pay are accepted at shops, cinemas and markets, as well as 3,000 taxis.

HSBC was down by 0.13 per cent at HK$74.3 on Monday afternoon, while Hong Kong Television Network was down by 0.7 per cent to HK$2.92 before the announcement of the partnership.

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