AlipayHK published the latest data showing it has more than 2 million users and 50 thousand merchants registered in Hong Kong area, reported by CnBeta. That means on average 1 in 3 individuals is its users while 1 in 3 merchants is connected.
As EqualOcean previously covered that AlipayHK is a joint venture invested by Alibaba and CK Hutchison owned by Li Ka-shing (李嘉诚), the richest man in Hong Kong.
CK Hutchison, a multinational conglomerate has more than 600 stores in Hong Kong and spans over 50 countries covering ports, retail, infrastructure, energy, and telecommunications fields. It can be seen that CK Hutchison is able to help AlipayHK expand rapidly via its network of shops.
AlipayHK's fast-growing customer base is largely due to the strong offline presence of CK Hutchision and subsidies to customers and merchants.
According to Cimigo, a market research company, AlipayHK is now the most popular e-wallet in Hong Kong.
However, a fast-growing customer base may not convert to a considerable number of loyal customers, especially those customers who are acquired or maintained through subsidies.
That's to say, by only judging the number of registered users may not directly reflect how well AlipayHK is really doing and its future potentials. The frequency of AlipayHK is used per customer or comparing the number of uses when subsidies are one and off could help outsiders have more ideas about AlipayHK's performance in Hong Kong.
The concerns over developing loyal customers are from Hong Kong's well-established banking sector and the high popularity of cash payments. According to Xinhua Net, on average one Hong Kong resident hold 2.5 bank cards, around 60% of the whole transactions are conducted through bank cards, and 40% of the residents they interviewed were satisfied with cash payments.
Despite difficulties in acquiring new users and converting them to loyal ones. Hong Kong is Ant Financial/Alibaba's key targeted area.
Eric Jing (井贤栋), the executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial recognized the strategical importance of Hong Kong and saw it as a critical market for Alipay to go global. "Hong Kong is important for Alipay's globalization plan. Ant Financial will support its growth and try to bring the best product and technology to Hong Kong, and provide unique values to the local users In the future, Alipay will bring more e-wallets to bring and generate more businesses for local merchants. ," JING said.