The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced during the fourth anniversary of its Faster Payment System (FPS) that the service has received 10.9 million registrations as of the end of August 2022.
According to them, FPS usage has also been growing steadily with the average daily turnover reaching 928,000 real-time transactions, representing a 17-time surge since its launch in October 2018.
In addition to small-value transfers such as person-to-person payments for sharing the bill when eating out, many people have been using the FPS for account top-ups and merchant payments.
The FPS can also be used to pay utility bills and management fees, as well as fees and charges of the 80% of government departments that now offer the FPS as a payment option.
Many government departments and public bodies have adopted the FPS QR code so that the public simply scan the QR code to make payments.
Payment solutions to support merchants
The HKMA has been encouraging banks and stored value facilities operators to develop low-cost, efficient and user-friendly FPS solutions for small retailers to collect payments and reduce operating costs.
Moreover, in view of the increasing demand for making online purchases with mobile phones, the FPS has launched new payment functions, namely App-to-App (ATA) and Web-to-App (WTA).
With the new function, all customers need to do is verify the payment details and confirm the transaction, thus avoiding the inconvenience of inputting payment details.
Ever since the implementation of the new functions under the Phase IV Open API framework by most retail banks in December 2021, usage has been growing steadily with the number of transactions reaching nearly 450,000 in August this year.
Expansion to cross-border payments
Given the round-the-clock and instant settlement nature of the FPS, it has the potential of delivering even more benefits in the cross-border payment context.
One of the key opportunities lies in HKMA’s cooperation with the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China in the technical testing of the cross-boundary use of the e-CNY.
The use of the e-CNY would promote the interconnectivity of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and improve the efficiency and user experience of cross-boundary payments.
The technical testing has now entered the second phase, centering on the use of the FPS to top up the e-CNY wallet. Both the scope and the scale of testing have been expanded in this phase, with the number of participating banks increased from one to four.
The HKMA is also exploring a bilateral arrangement with the Bank of Thailand to allow Hong Kong people to use the FPS in Thailand and Thai tourists to use their local faster payment system PromptPay in Hong Kong.
“After almost four years, it is very encouraging to see that the FPS has been widely adopted in Hong Kong.
We will continue to work closely with the industry and other stakeholders to further explore new use cases and enhance the functions of the FPS, especially in promoting the FPS to retail merchants and exploring more cross-border retail payment opportunities,”
said Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).
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