Digital payments in Hong Kong – it’s all about making life simpler

Hong Kong digital payments Hongkongers
Image by Sorbis | Bigstockphoto

People usually link the concept of digital payments with being paperless, contactless and online, but recent sentiment about Hong Kong’s electronic vouchers shows it takes more than that for digital payments to work. In essence, the value doesn’t lie in being electronic, but in making life simpler.

The need for a simpler means of payments is echoed by the recent Adyen Agility Report, which reveals that people in Hong Kong have a growing appetite for online shopping and greater expectations of easier payment options.

Key findings for Hong Kong include:

Online shopping

  • 42% of Hongkongers are shopping more online during the pandemic, compared to 33% globally.
  • 47% said they will continue to shop online more than they did before the pandemic. This is especially true among the younger generation aged between 18-34, with 67% saying they are going to shop online more than they did pre-pandemic.
  • 50% used shopping apps more during the pandemic than they did previously, and 32% said they frequently make purchases via social media channels.


  • Hongkongers like an integrated online-to-offline shopping experience with 76% saying they prefer to pay with an in-store app.
  • 38% of Hongkongers reported leaving a store without buying items because the retailer wouldn’t let them pay how they prefer to.

Ease of use is critical

  • 73% of Hongkongers said they would not shop with a retailer whose website or app are difficult to navigate.
  • 88% said when shopping online, the ease of use is as important as the quality of the product, compared to 72% globally.
  • 73% said they are more likely to shop with retailers that use technology to improve the shopping experience. This is more evident for people between 18 and 34 (78%) than the older generations.

Hongkongers’ growing preference for doing transactions digitally is echoed in the growth of virtual banks in the city. After launching services early last year, Hong Kong’s eight virtual banks have already attracted 420,000 customers, accumulating HK$15 billion worth of deposits, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Since consumer expectations have changed irreversibly amid the pandemic, it is very important for retailers to keep up with payment trends and use the right technology to help customers easily navigate their offerings if they are to remain competitive.

Conducted by Opinium Research and commissioned by Adyen, the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, the research includes insights from over 25,000 consumers across 16 markets, including 1,000 in Hong Kong. Data collection was completed in July 2020.

For more information from the Adyen Agility Report, please visit this following this download link.

Related article from three years ago: Digital payments firms struggle to crack Hong Kong market

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