Survey reveals accelerated adoption of digital financial services

The IFEC’s latest Digital Financial Services Usage Study reveals that, with the accelerating uptake of digital financial services, Hongkongers are becoming more exposed to the looming threats of online scams.

The study shows three in four (75%) of the surveyed used some form of digital financial services in the past year, with the top three being online banking (70%), online payments (57%) and online investing (43%). About half of the respondents indicated they had used digital financial services more often in 2020 than the previous year, particularly for making online payments.

Amidst the digital and social media usage surge, close to half (47%) of the respondents reported having fallen victim to online scams, and one in eleven (9%) have consequently suffered financial losses, with the average amount being over HK$17,000. Common online scams encountered by the respondents include receiving phishing emails or bogus calls to acquire bank account details (26%), online shopping frauds (12%) and fraudulent emails requesting money transfers (10%).

IFEC General Manager Ms Dora Li points out, “Online scams and cyber-security threats have become pressing and serious issues with digital advancement and increasing popularity in social media usage.”

The research study also highlights the growing trend of digital financial services adoption. Among the various types of digital financial services launched in the market in recent years, over half (58%) of the respondents have used e-wallets in the past year, which is particularly popular with adults aged under 30. The strong appetite is expected to continue as 69% expressed interest for the coming year. Virtual banks, licensed since 2019, are still in their infancy in Hong Kong with just 3% of respondents reported having opened accounts while 28% were interested.

Details of the study can be found here.