Digital & Technology

HSBC China becomes First Foreign Bank to launch Digital Credit Card

HSBC’s China operation has launched a digital credit card for its Mainland Chinese customers, which clients can access through either the WeChat banking service or the HSBC mobile app.

The bank’s China operation, which recently opened its first Jade Centre in China and exceeded the one million credit card issuance mark, will capitalise on existing facial recognition technology to allow users to activate their digital credit cards, and access the card’s details.

The new digital card can be connected to and accessed via digital wallet solutions, namely Alipay, WeChat Pay and UnionPay, and will provide clients with the same benefits and privileges one would receive from a physical card.

The launch of the digital card coincides with the recent reveal of the bank’s involvement in the first successful cross-border, RMB-denominated letter of credit blockchain deal. The transaction saw the issuing of a digitised letter of credit on behalf of Shenzhen MTC, a manufacturing firm, to HSBC Hong Kong.

The issuing of the letter of credit was facilitated by the Voltron blockchain platform, with Shenzhen MTC reviewing and verifying the transaction through the upload of their own trade documents to the Voltron platform.

The exchange of the documents was completed in only 24 hours; the exchange was significantly faster than the existing documentation exchange for paper-based Letters of Credit, which takes between 5-10 days.

The achievement comes as a consequence of efforts to digitise the Greater Bay Area, which encompasses 11 major cities, including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The achievements reflect HSBC’s commitment to digital offerings, with spending on the Blockchain industry by corporate and government entities set to exceed USD12 billion by 2022, according to a report by International Data Corp.