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The third force is the lack of the human touch and face-to-face interaction. The basis of trust and confidence is traditionally built on the physical presence of banks, but with virtual banks consumers can only interact via a screen. If there are problems or issues, how much can a chatbot help? What happens if
the problem is the app itself? Do banks have the expertise to assist given they do not own the hardware or infrastructure? Additionally, in terms of the quality of service, how personalised will the service be? Will rigid pre-determined algorithms actually result in customers being presented with a narrower selection of offerings?
The fourth challenge is the perception of a bank’s commitment. While respondents acknowledge that it is extremely difficult to get a banking licence, it may not be as difficult to give up that license. The perceived lack of physical commitment of virtual banks is associated with an assumption of relatively low exit costs. While banking insolvencies and bank runs are rare in Hong Kong, it has happened before within living memory. If a virtual bank closes, there are no physical branches to close, fewer staff to let go and not even an ATM machine to retrieve. Whilst these perceptions might not be rationally relevant, people holding such perceptions have self-excluded themselves from virtual banking services.
Fifth, and possibly the most difficult and complex factor to analyse is the virtual banking business model itself. Nearly all the virtual banks are operated as joint ventures between a bank and an existing financial services company, technology partner, or are a subsidiary of an existing fintech company. Of particular interest is how virtual banks might be adopting
第四項排拒因素,是要面對客戶對銀行投入程 度的觀感所帶來的挑戰。受訪者知道要取得銀 行牌照十分困難,但認為要放棄牌照則似乎不 太難。客戶認為虛擬銀行實體投入的程度不高, 因而假定銀行的退出成本相對不太高。雖然銀 行破產、銀行擠提的事件在香港十分罕見,但確 曾發生,而且歷歷在目。虛擬銀行要結束營業, 不必關閉實體分行、要遣散的職員不多,甚至不 必拆除自動櫃員機。這些觀感不一定理性,但有 這種觀感的人不會選擇虛擬銀行服務。
第五項排拒因素,也許是最難以分析、最複雜 的因素,就是虛擬銀行本身的經營模式。差不 多所有虛擬銀行都是以銀行及現有金融服務 公司或科技合作夥伴合資的模式經營,又或是 現有金融科技公司的子公司。特別值得關注的 是,虛擬銀行可能會採用科技公司常用的市場 策略,包括進取地擴充市場份額,把客戶鎖定在
ISSUE 119 • 2021
 “Financial inclusion, while originally focused on disadvantages and poverty as the driver of exclusion, must now also encompass the broader issues around access and digital technology capabilities.

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