HKT and its parent company PCCW partnered Standard Chartered Bank and travel-focused fintech Ctrip Finance to set up a joint venture to operate a virtual bank in Hong Kong.

The venture SC Digital was one of three entities issued a virtual bank licence by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority this week. The JV will focus on retail banking, and delivering products and services through a mobile app.

Standard Chartered Bank has a 65.1 per cent stake in SC Digital, while HKT holds a 15 per cent interest, PCCW 10 per cent and Ctrip Finance a 9.9 per cent stake.

In a statement, HKT and PCCW said they see the joint venture as a significant business opportunity, as it will enable them to integrate virtual banking into the service offering for their large base of customers.

Susanna Hui, HKT group MD, said: “The addition of banking services to our digital ecosystem highlights an essential part of our integrated platform for consumers and merchants, and is a natural extension of our product offerings and relationship with our customers. We look forward to working with Standard Chartered and Ctrip Finance to provide a seamless and secure digital platform for customers to manage their financial matters.”