Comparing Asia’s Leading FinTech Hubs - Hong Kong vs. Singapore

start-ups singapore Hong-kong fintech-digital
Consul, Innovation
Sari Arho Havrén
+852 6895 5221
sari.arhohavren@businessfinland.fi
Comparing Asia’s Leading FinTech Hubs - Hong Kong vs. Singapore

Comparing Asia’s Leading FinTech Hubs - Hong Kong vs. Singapore

Hong Kong and Singapore have established themselves as large financial centers with a natural interest in FinTech. To this day, Singapore has lead the race of becoming the main fintech hub for new start-ups. This competition is won by legislation, funding, networks, knowledge & talent and demand for the solutions. The above attributes have helped Singapore in branding itself better among FinTech companies than any other region in Asia Pacific. Hong Kong has lacked a welcoming atmosphere towards new FinTech start-ups since Hong Kong banks traditionally have not been open for disruptive ideas and newcomers. The political situation in Hong Kong has also affected the reputation of the finance hub. Some also fear that in the future, China could expand its (banking and FinTech) legislation to Hong Kong. At the moment, political, social, economical and technological variables point towards Singapore having better conditions in keeping its leading position as a FinTech hub in Asia in the future. On the other hand, Hong Kong has awakened to the competition and issued several investment initiatives towards improving the ecosystems and attracting new start-ups.

Future Considerations

When considering future business opportunities within FinTech in Singapore or Hong Kong, companies should take into consideration the following:

  1. Working environment with existing banks
  2. Prepare for local, long term presence
  3. The flexibility of the legislation – follow the regulatory changes having impact on the future opportunities
  4. Sandbox environment and future plans
  5. Hong Kong's future – giving the recent events and current political situation and how these factors are influencing the business confidence and trust in the future
  6. Network and funding possibilities
  7. Which region has been producing more successful companies in your area of FinTech business?
  8. Which area can attract and offer more talented workers?
  9. The visa policy, easiness of establishing company and doing business