Hong Kong Kicks Off ‘Faster Payment System’ with Over 400,000 Public Registrations
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) – the country’s DeFacto central bank, has announced that the country has launched a round-the-clock instant payment system, dubbed the Faster Payment System (FPS) as a fintech upgrade for retail payments in the country.
HKMA had said that the new platform will always be online and connect to banks and stored-valued facility (SVF) operators. 21 banks including the majority of retail banks and 10 SVFs were present to participate in the initiative to render the service to customers.
With the FPS Hong Kong residents are able to transfer funds in real-time across banks and SFVs participating in the system by simply using the email address or number of the recipient instead of a bank account number. Two currencies are currently supported on the platform: the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and China’s fiat currency Renminbi (RMB) for settlements in the mainland.
The HKMA said it will operate the book of settlement for HKD payments while the Bank of China (Hong Kong) limited performs the same role for RMB payments. The Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited will take up the mantle as the entire system’s operator.
As part of the FPS, the HKMA also announced the launch of free mobile app named Hong Kong Common QR Code (HKQR) as a Common QR Code Standard for retail payments. The app converts multiple QR codes from various payment providers to a single, combined QR code to better facilitate payments among merchants, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the public to accept payments in a single code.
The FPS has since its launch recorded over 400, 000 registrations from the public as payees, the central bank revealed on Sunday while announcing the full launch of the service.
HKMA chief executive, Norman Chan said during the ‘Activation Ceremony’ of the service that after the full launch of the FPS on 30 September, Hong Kong entered a new era of electronic payment as the FPS is a unique retail payment system in the world.
The central bank executive also revealed the service would be free for small-value transfers, adding that they can enjoy an instant payment service which is round-the-clock, simple and convenient to use, robust and secure, with full connectivity while supporting both the Hong Kong dollar and the renminbi. It is also free of charge for small-value fund transfer.