HSBC has launched a research and development innovation laboratory (RDI Lab) in Hong Kong in collaboration with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to support innovation in the financial technology space.

The new HSBC-ASTRI lab at ASTRI’s facility at Hong Kong Science Park will focus on the development of advanced authentication technologies, cyber security protection, next generation facial/voice recognition, behavioural biometrics with the use of artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

HSBC deputy chairman and CEO Peter Wong Tung-shun said: “Today, the establishment of a Global Innovation Lab in Hong Kong is a testament to the importance of the territory to the bank.

“Combining HSBC’s international network with ASTRI’s core R&D capabilities, HSBC can utilise these in order to offer better, more secure leading edge products and services to our customers.”

The lab will also seek to work on the further development of the Chinese character recognition system that is needed for the back-end system and other labour intensive processes.

ASTRI chairman Wong Ming-yam said: “ASTRI is very proud to be working with HSBC on the RDI Lab. I am confident that the collaboration will not only help strengthen Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure, but also enhance business efficiency and customer experience in the finance sector.”

Several companies have turned their focus to fintech in the recent months. This includes the establishment of a fintech innovation hub and supervisory sandbox by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), in collaboration with ASTRI, in September 2016.