Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Client identification in Hong Kong

Fintech Software

There are no laws or regulations in Hong Kong relating to establishing digital identity, although similar arrangements were introduced by the Electronic Transaction Ordinance (Cap 553) (ETO), which allow digital certificates to be created to serve as a guarantee of identity during electronic transactions. Digital certificates can only be issued by recognised certification authorities, which, to date, only includes the Hongkong Post Certification Authority and Digi-Sign Certification Services Limited. Nevertheless, any person may apply to the government chief information officer to become a recognised certification authority pursuant to Section 20 of the ETO. Once issued, digital certificates can be used to identify a person in a process known as electronic authentication to verify transactions. At present, personal digital certificates can only be applied by individuals who possess a Hong Kong identity card (the applications do not accept other forms of identification documents, such as passports). On the other hand, corporations can also apply for digital certificates and there is no restriction on the jurisdiction of the corporations as long as the corporation has obtained a business registration certificate issued by the Hong Kong government.1

The ETO covers the circumstances in which electronic signature or services can be conducted, including transactions between private individuals or with government entities. Digital certificates are more commonly used for applications or transactions with government entities; for example, voter registration and vehicle licence renewal application. The ETO also recognises private transactions conducted by electronic means, provided the parties to the transaction consent to it.1

Digital onboarding in Hong Kong

Fintech in Hong Kong

Fintech in other countries

  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/hong-kong
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