Hong Kong Monetary Authority Grants Eight SVF Licenses

PayPal Hong Kong and seven more issuers received stored value facility licenses from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

According to a report by Reuters, with the announcement from the HKMA Friday (Nov. 4), the number of stored value facility licenses now totals 13.

“We are pleased to see companies with diverse backgrounds offering a variety of SVF products, which will enhance retail payment convenience in Hong Kong,” said Howard Lee, senior executive director of the HKMA, in the report. Lee went on to say the implementation of a supervisory regime by the HKMA should strengthen public confidence in using stored value products and services. That, he said to Reuters, will encourage innovation in the local retail payment market.

According to the report, the other companies receiving the licenses include 33 Financial Services Limited; Autotoll Limited; ePaylinks Technology Co., Limited; K & R International Limited; Optal Asia Limited; Transforex (Hong Kong) Investment Consulting Co., Limited; and UniCard Solution Limited. The first batch of licenses went to SVF issuers, including Alipay Financial Services (HK) Limited. That happened in August, noted the report.

Hong Kong has been pushing to grow its stored value products and services and is also trying to lure more interest to the region. Last month, reports surfaced that Hong Kong launched a campaign to lure mainland China treasurers to establish headquarters in Hong Kong as they look for global expansion. “We hope to reinforce Hong Kong’s role as a springboard,” said Francis Ho, associate director-general of Invest Hong Kong, after a seminar at the first International Industrial Capacity Cooperation Forum, held in conjunction with the eighth China Overseas Investment Fair. “With our new policies and their related services, we can better exert Hong Kong’s role as China’s financial and capital raising market to help Chinese businesses as they enter overseas markets.”



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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