Jenny Wong of SenseTime (fourth from right) and Stephen Carney of Quintain Analytics (fifth from right) won the Grand Prizes at the DIT Hong Kong FinTech Awards 2017. Photo: British Consulate General Hong Kong

SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based startup, aims to apply its facial and image recognition technology across different sectors such as personal finance and surveillance.

“Our technology can ensure that fintech is safe and comfortable for users and businesses to access,” Jenny Wong, project manager of SenseTime, said in a media briefing in Hong Kong on Wednesday after her company became one of the two Grand Prize winners of the DIT Hong Kong FinTech Awards 2017.

She said the company provided identity verification solutions by using simple tools such as mobile phones to ensure the security of online transactions.

SenseTime, founded in 2014 by Sean Tang Xiaoou, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, uses deep-learning methodologies to empower computer vision.

Quintain Analytics, another Hong Kong-based startup, which provides data analysis to financial investors, was the other Grand Prize winner.

“We want to make technology affordable for financial institutions, particularly the smaller ones,” said Stephen Carney, co-founder and chief executive of Quintain Analytics, adding that most well-established institutions already have a lot of resources to pursue innovative technology.

Co-founded last year by Carney and John Norris, Quintain Analytics serves the buy-side institutional investment community with enrichment products and solutions. The company provides a database and platform for professional investors to interact with brokers and analysts.

The two companies won a five-day bespoke program, which includes complimentary return flights to the United Kingdom, accommodation, and access to a global financial-technology event to take place in London and Edinburgh next March.

The annual DIT Hong Kong FinTech Awards aim to provide local startup businesses opportunities to explore the UK’s fintech industry and to connect with potential investors and talents.

A total of 17 companies joined this year’s competition, 13 of them based in Hong Kong and four from mainland China.

Tony Hung, director of portfolio management at China Construction Bank International and one of the judges of the competition, said this year’s candidates were surprisingly strong and sophisticated. “The winners’ cutting-edge technology can’t be replicated easily,” he said.

Andy Burwell, director of inward investment in the Department of International Trade of the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, said the competition aimed to help Hong Kong startups expand their overseas connections, particularly in the UK, which is one of the world’s leading fintech hubs.

These awards can help enhance collaboration between Britain and Hong Kong, he said.