[Featured Article] As Hong Kong smartphone owners become increasingly comfortable with the idea their mobile device could one day replace their wallet, innovations introduced by Visa in the online and smartphone-enabled payment ecosystem is making life simpler and more convenient for consumers and merchants. Hong Kong leads the world when it comes to the number of mobile service subscribers with 16.63 million or about 227.9 per cent penetration rate, according to figures announced last September by the Hong Kong Office of the Communications Authority. On average, according to KPCB Internet Trends 2015, Hong Kong smartphone users check their device 150 times a day and 70 per cent spend more than two hours per days using their smartphone, which increasingly includes making electronic payments. Furthermore, according to a study by Moody’s Analytics, between 2011-2015 in Hong Kong, electronic payments added US$0.92 billion in GDP growth and on average, for each year, supported the equivalent of 3,290 jobs. With the goal of making payments fast, easy and secure, Visa’s online checkout service (Visa Checkout) used by merchants and consumers globally, allows those making a purchase to make payments in just a few clicks. According to a 2016 Visa Mobile Payment Attitudes Study, about 8 in 10 of Hong Kong people are likely to tryout making payments with their smart phones. The ubiquitous mobile device is quickly becoming the favoured choice for entertainment, communication and settling payment needs. Visa Checkout provides a solution to a common challenge faced among online retailers. Consumers often abandon the purchases after putting items in their carts, because paying online, particularly on mobile devices, is too complex. Visa Checkout was designed specifically to solve this conversion issue. It eliminates the traditional checkout requirement to fill in a lot of personal details including credit card information and billing address each time they make a purchase. It works on just about any device that can access the web, including smartphone, tablet or computer. For merchants, consumers are more likely to make purchases as the payment process becomes faster and easier. Capitalising on shifting mobile payment trends, customers who use mobile payments could in turn be more easily offered loyalty points or location-based offers, which could lead to more sales. Visa Checkout was launched in Hong Kong in late November 2015 and currently has more than 12 million consumer accounts, hundreds of thousands of large and small merchant accounts and numerous financial institution partners around the globe. Along with the convenience of paying with a smartphone that’s already in the hand, Visa’s mobile payments systems provides another important benefit - security. As the leading global payment company, Visa has introduced Visa Token Service, a technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on payment cards, such as the 16-digit account number, expiration date and security code, with a unique digital identifier, or “token”, that process payments without exposing actual card account details. Tokens can be limited to specific environments and to specific use cases, such as mobile payments. If anyone attempts to use a token in a different environment, the transaction will be immediately flagged as fraudulent and declined. Visa Token Service can help minimize fraud by adding an additional layer of security to digital payments. Electronic payment is already playing an important role in global economic growth. According to Moody's Analytics, across 70 countries or markets between 2011 and 2015, increased use of electronic payment products added US$296 billion to GDP, while raising household consumption of goods and services by an average of 0.18 percent per year. As the payments industry increasingly shifts from plastic to digital, new technology advances from Visa and its partnerships provide consumers with a simple and more secure purchasing experience. As the exclusive payment provider at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games, a good example of how Visa is continuously innovating to deliver on its goal of universal acceptance, this summer, Team Visa athletes will benefit from using the first payment wearable ring backed by a Visa account –a new innovation for use at the Games. The Visa payment ring is near field communication (NFC)-enabled, allowing Team Visa athletes to make purchases by simply tapping their ring at any NFC-capable payment terminal. The payment wearable ring is just one of a range of innovations that underpins Visa's values that embody acceptance, partnership and innovation.