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Security and counterfeit concerns holding back e-commerce in HK

Security and reputation concerns may be the main reason Hong Kong has been so slow to embrace e-commerce compared to comparable international markets, research from Worldpay indicates.

While Hong Kong has some of the highest rates of internet use in the world at nearly 90% penetration for people aged 10 and over, a survey by the payment products and services provider found that many shoppers still prefer physical stores.

Hong Kong's online shoppers specifically tend to be suspicious of counterfeit goods and have continuing concerns about payments security, according to Worldpay general manager for APAC Phil Pomford.

“Hong Kong is a leading digital city with some of the highest internet and mobile penetration rates in the world,” he said.

“Shoppers here want to explore the world of e-commerce, but with counterfeit goods and security concerns holding them back, online merchants must develop a trustworthy reputation. Creating the right online payment journey is key to driving consumer confidence.”

While 55% of Hong Kong's online shoppers feel most secure using a credit card, digital wallets are predicted to become the preferred payment method for more than one in four shoppers by 2021. Bank transfers are expected to remain the third most popular method, shifting from 8.1% market share in 2017 to 8.4% by 2021.

“By offering shoppers a variety of payment options, online merchants can build trust and loyalty amongst consumers who may feel more secure using their payment method of choice,” Pomford said.

“Providing a range of options, from credit cards to e-wallets and beyond, is also an effective way to win share-of-wallet from cross-border shoppers who may be more likely to buy from Hong Kong merchants if they can pay with their preferred method and local currency.”