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Regulatory Regime for Stored Value Facilities (SVF) and Retail Payment Systems (RPS)
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Consumer Education Programme -
Stored Value Facilities

e-Wallets & Prepaid Cards

What are stored value facilities (SVFs)?

  • SVFs refer to facilities which can store monetary value, and can be used as a means of payment for goods and services and/or to another person (i.e. P2P payments).
  • The Monetary Authority is responsible for the licensing and supervision of SVF in Hong Kong under the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance (PSSVFO).

What SVFs are subject to the HKMA’s licensing regime, i.e. need a licence and subject to the HKMA’s supervision?

  • Multi-purpose SVF, i.e. a facility that can store value and be used as a means of paying for goods or services provided by the issuer as well as by third parties who are willing to accept it for payment, and/or make P2P payments, are subject to the licensing regime of the HKMA.
  • Meanwhile, single-purpose SVFs, i.e. facilities that can only be used to pay for goods or services provided by the issuer, are not subject to the licensing regime of the HKMA. It is essentially a contractual agreement for prepayment between the user and the issuing institution.
  • As for non-stored value payment facilities, such as credit cards and Apple Pay, consumers are not required to deposit money in advance. Such facilities are not required to obtain SVF licence from the HKMA.
  • The chart below is a summary of the above.


Types of Payment Facilities


How can multi-purpose SVFs be broadly classified?

  • Multi-purpose SVFs can be broadly classified into network based SVFs (e.g. e-wallets) and devised-based SVF licence (e.g. prepaid cards.)
  • Multi-purpose SVF where the value is stored on network based accounts which can be accessed through internet, a computer network or mobile network, etc. is commonly called “e-wallets”. Some e-wallets allow users to link other channels (e.g. credit / debit cards, bank accounts, etc.) as a funding source.
  • Multi-purpose SVF where the value is stored on a device, usually on a card, is commonly called “prepaid cards”.


HKMA’s supervision aims to ensure

  • Safety and efficiency of the SVF operators.
  • Protection of users’ float
  • Adequate security measures and internal controls to ensure the confidentiality and completeness of payment information
  • Compliance with the requirements on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing
  • Proper handling of users’ complaints and enquiries.


Smart Tips on Using e-Wallets & Prepaid Cards

  • If you use an e-wallet or prepaid cards run by operators not subject to the licensing regime of Hong Kong, your interest may not be protected.
  • Each SVF licensee has a unique licence number - check the Register of SVF Licensees if needed.
  • Read and understand the terms and conditions of the e-wallets & prepaid cards. Pay attention to fee schedule, privacy policy and user rights and obligations. Enquire with the operator if need be.
  • Keep your e-wallets & prepaid cards and passwords safe.
  • Avoid disclosing confidential information.
  • Be mindful of unauthorised transactions – check your transaction record.
  • Manage your float wisely taking into account your planned usage


Feature Articles



Education Video (in Cantonese)

Transcript (PDF File, 76KB)

Transcript (PDF File, 73KB)


Enquiries about SVF regulation

If you have any enquiry regarding the regulation of SVF, please contact the HKMA.

Contact Details

Enquiry Line : (852) 2878 1188
E-mail :
Address : 55th Floor, Two International Finance Centre
8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong

Click to access the Register of SVF Licensees


More about “Regulation of Stored Value Facilities

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Last revision date: 7 March 2019
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