Typhoon Won’t Delay Hong Kong’s Real-Time Payment Launch: HKMA

Financial service providers in Hong Kong are readying to facilitate real-time payments for both corporate and non-corporate customers as the market’s Faster Payment System (FPS) comes into effect. Reports in Marketing Interactive on Tuesday (Sept. 17) said the Faster Payment System will launch Sept. 30, and financial institutions (FIs) like HSBC are gearing up.

“The Faster Payment System is a significant financial infrastructure that build Hong Kong as a world-class smart city with full connectivity,” said HSBC’s Hong Kong CEO Diana Cesar in a statement. “FPS brings convenience and saves time for consumers by enabling payments to be made anytime, anywhere, and contributes to the efficiency of businesses by making real-time settlement possible. This latest digital offering is set to revolutionize the payment ecosystem in Hong Kong, bringing unprecedented convenience and security to our daily fund transfers among friends and family, as well as the day-to-day operations of businesses.”

Other businesses linked to the service include Citibank, Standard CharteredBank of China Hong Kong and 16 other FIs. Leading consumer payment conglomerates like WeChat Pay and Alipay are bracing for FPS to enhance their peer-to-peer (P2P) payment capabilities, but the faster payments initiative is also expected to affect corporate payments. Transfer amounts can be as high as HK$1 million, reports said.

According to South China Morning Post reports, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) had considered delaying the launch of FPS as a result of Typhoon Mangkhut, which tore through the market this week.

“However, the clearing house and the connectivity of the banks have been in progress,” a spokesperson for the HKMA said. “A delay may create more technical problems. As such, the system will be launched as planned,” though reports noted that a ceremony for the launch has been cancelled.

The debut of FPS follows about a year after the HKMA initially announced its plans to establish real-time payment capabilities for the Hong Kong financial services market.