Patrick Ngan is connecting the world through mobile payment, one country a time with his business QF Pay.
What’s your story?
From being an investment banker to CFO of a HK-listed conglomerate and now a startup. Patrick Ngan is President and Co-Founder of QF Pay, responsible for overseas business expansion, connecting the world through mobile payment from China. Headquartered in Beijing, QF Pay is a mobile payment company backed by well-known investors including Sequoia, Matrix Partners, HTC and Vectr Ventures. Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and has completed 23 full distanced marathons across 19 countries in less than 5 years. He has also become the 63rd runner in the world and 2nd person from HK and China, to have entered the Grand Slam Marathon Club by running a marathon in each of the 7 continents including North Pole and South Pole. Go big or go home! Ironman is next on the agenda.
What excites you most about your industry?
The evolution of the payment methods has shifted dramatically over the years – from bartering goods with each other to more sophisticated payment methods like metal, paper money, credit cards and now, making payment over mobile and smart phones. While many countries have obediently followed the payment methods evolution, countries like China and Africa have skipped a few cycles from paper money to mobile payment directly. Nowadays in China, one can purchase a cup of coffee for USD5 to say a new suitcase for USD500 over a mobile phone. The ecosystem of mobile payment is so complete in China that you don’t need to carry paper money anymore so long as your phone still has power in it! The excitement of mobile payment is that it can really connect the world.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and studied in the UK at the age of 11 before moving back to HK in pursuit of an investment banking career. Asia is such a dynamic region mixed with diversified cultures, languages, landscapes and vibes. It is an amazing region to be in right now.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong is where all things happening, a gateway between the east and west. The dynamics of HK is so diverse and the city exudes energy. The world recognised financial and legal systems in HK provide comfort for any entrepreneurs and corporates wanting to do business here and this alone, weathers stress for any first time entrepreneurs, allowing them to feel confident to establish their businesses.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s actually from the Bible “for everything there is a season and a time for every activity under the heavens.” There is so much one can control and plan for, beyond that, just let it go. Each season brings a different task, a different mission and vision. You just have to do your best and give it all when a new season comes.
Who inspires you?
Anyone who has the stomach to step out of their comfort zone to start their own business. It really is a test of strength, faith and confidence in who you really are.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Chinese tourists have spent a staggering USD110bn+ in overseas destinations in 2016, that’s more than the GDP of many developing countries combined! And only 10% of China’s population has a passport to travel overseas.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would just continue to live life to the fullest, as if I was counting down the years left in me as nobody knows what that magic number is. You just get on with life and live to the max. Go big or go home.
How do you unwind?
Unwinding usually includes pain enduring activities. Running was (and still is) my way of leaving stresses behind and I have now added swimming and biking to my routine. After running the North and South Pole, I have decided to take up a new challenge – Triathlon. I was inspired by a good friend of mine who did a Haka dance as he was crossing the finishing line of an Ironman race. That was pretty cool.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, Bali, Bali, I just cannot get enough of the tranquillity of the island and as you stare into the sunset on the cliff tops at Uluwatu, you see it is simply breathtaking. Words just cannot describe it.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Book of Proverbs in the Bible. Study it closely and you will find that the world’s great business wisdom is all derived from it.
Shameless plug for your business:
Payment methods have evolved dramatically over the years. However, there are many countries, particularly developed countries which refuse to move beyond the credit card stage, it could be because of the expensive marketing campaign or that the infrastructure may not be ready. One should take heart on how far China has come with build-out of the mobile payment ecosystem. We take pride in ourselves that, QF Pay is a frontier in the mobile payment industry. We want to connect the world through mobile payment, one country a time.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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