HSBC is set to enter the competitive arena of digital payments with its new app, Zing, aiming to rival the likes of Revolut and Wise. The UK-based bank’s move is driven by the desire to tap into the growing demand for efficient and cost-effective international payment solutions.
Zing, equipped with a multi-currency feature and a debit card, will empower users to transact in 10 different currencies, facilitating cheap spending abroad and international transfers across more than 30 currencies. The app, available on both Google and Apple app stores, aims to attract a global user base.
HSBC’s Zing, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an e-money institution, signifies the bank’s foray into the fintech space, positioning itself to compete with the rising popularity of digital platforms. The move follows the launch of HSBC’s fee-free currency service, Global Money, in 2020, which has seen substantial transaction volumes.
The Zing app, open to non-HSBC customers, represents a strategic shift for the bank, targeting younger demographics and competing with established fintech players. It emphasizes transparent fees, competitive rates, and 24/7 customer support with real humans.
HSBC’s aggressive entry into the fintech market mirrors broader trends in the banking industry. The app’s CEO, James Allan, highlighted the need for a new international payments solution that combines innovation with the backing of a global bank.
Despite the challenging outlook for fintechs, with valuations facing scrutiny, HSBC aims to leverage Zing to attract a younger customer base and convert them into users of other HSBC products. The move follows HSBC’s $35 million investment in Monese, a UK-based startup, in 2022, signaling the bank’s strategic interest in digital wealth and financial tools.
Zing’s global ambition is evident as it plans to expand into at least two more continents by the end of 2024. The app’s launch positions HSBC in direct competition with Wise and Revolut, which have dominated the market, attracting millions of users with their cheap foreign exchange offerings.
HSBC’s Zing reflects the bank’s determination to play a significant role in the retail payments market, targeting a contingent of users who seek convenient and cost-effective international payment solutions. As the app expands into new markets and continents, it aims to establish itself as a global platform for international payments.