Payments Innovation

Faster Payments Go Live In Hong Kong

Hong Kong has launched the Faster Payments System (FSP), which allows users to send money almost instantly using a mobile number or email address as an account proxy.

In March, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced plans to introduce a faster payments system that 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 FPS operates 24/7 to connect banks and stored-value facility (SVF) operators on the same platform. Users can transfer money across different banks or SVFs, with funds available almost immediately. People can start using their bank and SVF mobile apps to register their phone numbers or email addresses for the service, and will be able to make and receive payments on Sept. 30.

“The FPS is a unique platform, as it supports instant payments in the HKD and the RMB with the use of mobile phone numbers, email addresses or QR codes, and achieves full connectivity among banks and SVF accounts,” said Norman Chan, chief executive of HKMA, according to Finextra. “It makes retail fund transfers and payments much quicker and easier. 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.”

Businesses linked to the service include HSBCCitibankStandard CharteredBank of China Hong Kong and 16 other financial institutions. 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.

“The Faster Payment System is a significant financial infrastructure that builds 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.”

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