Spending money has never been easier in China’s mobile finance era

Spending money has never been easier in China’s mobile finance era

Staff Reporter 

2014-02-04

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A Yu E Bao advertisement reading, “Use it anytime.” (Internet photo)

The era of internet financial services began in China in 2013, which has since provided the average member of the public easier access to financial tools and products, reports the Chinese-language Securities Times.

In terms of financial products, there are already several options in the market, and more new investments tools are expected to emerge this year that will offer investors more choices.

Besides investment products available through web portals, including Baidu and Netease, there are also independent decentralized sites such as Yu E Bao, introduced in 2013 by Alibaba Group’s Alipay. Products from web portals usually require investors to park their fund for a certain period of time for a stable return, while products such as Yu E Bao allow investors to receive the money on the same day when they apply for redemption.

Several shopping sites have followed in Alibaba’s steps and launched their own products allowing users to invest value in their accounts in financial products, such as currency funds, to provide more flexibility to investors, according to the report. Moreover, with the minimum investment being as low as 1 yuan (US$0.17), these products also help users make a profit from money previously lying idle in their account.

Peer-to-peer products are also available online, mainly through websites that broker loan deals between borrowers and potential lenders. Despite their high returns, these services come with higher risks, the report said.

Traditional financial institutes in China are positioning themselves in the online market, either with products similar to Yu E Bao or with plans to set up e-commerce operations. China UnionPay, for example, is teaming up with web portal Sina for credit card payments. This will give users of Weibo, China’s largest social microblogging site, access to online and mobile payment services, the newspaper said.

Firms are utilizing sales and discounts to incentivize users to use their programs for mobile transactions. WeChat is one of the pioneers, offering heavy discounts daily to its users on a number of goods, while taxi-booking apps subsidize users for their rides, the newspaper said.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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