Cyberport recently confirmed that the application stage for Phase 2 of the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme, commissioned by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB), had been closed at the end of June 2021. As mentioned in a release, dated August 26, 2021: “Together with Phase 1, a total of over 160 valid applications were received. Of these, 93 were approved on the advice of a multi-disciplinary advisory panel, involving a total grant of HK$10 million.” Approved initiatives range across categories such as Wealthtech , Regtech , Insurtech and payment systems, the announcement noted. Notably, fourteen approved projects involve cross-sector and cross-boundary applications between Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the financial services sector. Hui added that Fintech has become “a sought-after tool for enhancing operational efficiency, and provides a key impetus for the growth of the sector.” He also mentioned that they’re “pleased to note that the PoC Scheme is succeeding in helping different types of financial institutions – including banks, Stored Value Facility licensees, securities firms, wealth management companies, and insurance companies.” These financial service providers are being able to “work together with Fintech companies, particularly start-ups, to test and implement various innovative and viable FinTech applications,” Hui noted. He added that they believe these new ideas and products will “present new opportunities for the financial services sector, provide more convenient, expeditious, secured and reliable services for the general public, as well as promote FinTech in Hong Kong.” Peter Yan, CEO at Cyberport, stated that Hong Kong’s Fintech hub, Cyberport “deeply appreciates the FSTB for commissioning Cyberport in the launch of the ‘PoC Scheme’.” Yan added that the Scheme “not only promotes adoption of new technology within the financial industry, but also encourages financial institutions to partner with FinTech companies and startups to apply innovative ideas to real financial services scenarios.” Yan further noted: “I look forward to seeing the long-term collaborations between financial institutions and start-ups continue to cooperate upon completion of the proof-of-concept projects, to create more innovative financial services and products and further strengthening Hong Kong’s leading position as a FinTech hub. Cyberport will continue to provide a variety of initiatives to help FinTech start-ups identify potential partners and expand into the Greater Bay Area and overseas markets.” The Scheme aims to “encourage” financial institutions to work with Fintechs, including startups, to conduct proof-of-concept projects with innovative financial services products.” As stated in the release, each approved project is “given a grant of HK$100,000, while projects with greater complexity and broader usage, such as those involving cross-sector or cross boundary/border applications, receive a grant of HK$150,000.” As previously reported, Cyberport is an innovative digital community with more than 1,650 start-ups and technology firms. It’s being managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, which is wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government. With a vision to be “the hub for digital technology thereby creating a new economic driver for Hong Kong, Cyberport is committed to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem by cultivating talent, promoting entrepreneurship among youth, supporting start-ups on their growth journey, fostering industry development by promoting strategic collaboration with local and international partners, and integrating new and traditional economies by accelerating digital transformation in the public and private sectors.”