Hong Kong’s Card Payments Poised for 12.2% Growth in 2024

Hong Kong
Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash.

Hong Kong’s card payments market is poised for significant growth, with projections to expand by 12.2% and reach HKD1.3 trillion ($168.1 billion) in 2024, driven by a steady consumer shift towards non-cash payments, according to data and analytics firm GlobalData.

After experiencing slower growth in 2022 at 3.2% amidst challenges like soaring inflation and rising unemployment, the market saw a robust rebound in 2023 with a 15.7% increase, totaling HK$1.2 trillion ($149.9 billion).

This recovery aligns with Hong Kong‘s positive real GDP growth of 3.3% in 2023, a stark contrast to the 3.5% decline seen in 2022.

“Despite the traditional preference for cash, there’s a clear trend towards electronic payment methods in Hong Kong,” stated Shivani Gupta, Senior Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData.

“This shift is bolstered by a strong banked population and expanding payment acceptance infrastructure.”

Hong Kong also stands out in its payment infrastructure development, with a POS terminal penetration rate per million individuals at 26,579 in 2023, surpassing figures in Malaysia, China, Japan, and Thailand.

The growth in card payments has been significantly supported by the high adoption and usage of contactless cards, which have gained traction among both consumers and merchants due to increased awareness and extensive acceptance infrastructure.

More than 66% of Hong Kong respondents in GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey reported having access to and using contactless cards, including for public transport payments on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system starting from December 2023.

Credit and charge cards dominate the market with a 75.4% share of the total card payment value in 2023, largely due to the benefits like flexible payment options and rewards programs. Debit cards, which hold a 24.6% share, are increasingly used for direct payments, particularly for low-to-medium value transactions.

Gupta forecasts, “With its strong infrastructure and growing ease of contactless technology, Hong Kong’s payment card market is expected to see continued growth, reaching an estimated HKD1.8 trillion ($234.3 billion) by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2024 to 2028.”