B2B Payments

Hong Kong Next In Line For Faster Payments

The world is quickly embracing faster payments technologies as more jurisdictions implement the technology required to accelerate transactions. Next in line is Hong Kong, which plans to roll out its own faster payments scheme later this year.

Reports in The Standard on Wednesday (March 7) said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced plans to introduce a faster payments system in September. The infrastructure will link into 20 banks and eight electronic payment operators, with payers able to use mobile phone numbers or email addresses to make payments in the Hong Kong dollar or renminbi.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said it’s continuing with internal and cross-bank testing of the scheme as the government presses forward with seven FinTech initiatives aimed to advance Hong Kong’s financial services market. According to the publication, the HKMA is in the midst of testing various products as part of its FinTech Supervisory Sandbox.

Of the 29 projects, 19 completed pilot phases and have launched at market. The initiatives are aimed at facilitating data collection on user feedback for banks and FinTechs in order to refine and improve their solutions, making it easier for financial service providers to quickly roll out new products.

Reports said the HKMA is also seeking public feedback on its draft guidelines for the authorization of virtual banks; among those guidelines is a bar on virtual banks imposing minimum account balance requirements or low balance fees.

The HKMA is also engaging in a collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to deploy a blockchain solution that would link the two jurisdictions for facilitated cross-border trade. When the deal was announced last October, HKMA Head Norman Chan said the solution “is likely to be the first of its kind in the world in the application of DLT [distributed ledger technology] in solving the century-old problem arising from the inefficiency of the paper-based trade finance system.”

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