FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong launches Faster Payment System in Smart Banking push

Consumers will soon be able to transfer funds instantly and without cost.

Consumers will soon be able to transfer funds instantly and free of charge across different banks and stored-value facility (SVF) operators as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority officially launches the Faster Payment System (FPS). 

Residents need only supply their mobile number or email address as account proxy for the payee to be able to enjoy immediate and free fund transfers in Hong Kong Dollar and Renminbi.

Transfers amongst different banks usually takes two or three days and can incur charges of as much as $200.

Also read: Central bank paves way for fintech application in lending

“The launch of the FPS signifies the payment system, which forms the core part of the Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure, will enter into a new era. Whilst it will bring new opportunities to the retail payment industry, it will also promote innovation in financial technology, providing greater convenience and new experience to the public,” Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said in a statement.

Also read: Hong Kong shakes up lending in long-overdue virtual banking push

The public can start registering their mobile phone number or email address as an account proxy for the 21 participating banks and 10 participating SVFs and start using the service which will go online by September 30.

Hang Seng Bank and Bank of East Asia are amongst the lenders that have started enabling customers to register to the FPS using its mobile and online banking platforms. HSBC and Bank of China (Hong Kong) have also been quoted to support the FPS service by Monday, added SCMP. 

The launch of the FPS is one of the seven initiatives outlined by the HKMA last September to ease Hong Kong’s transition into a new era of Smart Banking. This includes the authorisation of virtual banks, enhancing the fintech supervisory sandbox and formulating a policy framework on open API.

“The upgrading of our banking system to a new and higher level of Smart Banking is not just something nice-to-have but a must. To meet the rising aspirations and demands of customers, banking and technology must converge sooner rather than later,” Chan said in a previous statement.

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