In view of the increasing popularity of Internet banking, the HKMA and the banking sector initiated the development of e-Cheques to provide a more convenient way for bank customers to issue and deposit cheques online. The e-Cheque service was launched on 7 December 2015.
In addition, to expand the scope of e-Cheque to cover cross-boundary payments, the HKMA cooperated with the Guangzhou Branch and Shenzhen Central Sub-branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to implement joint e-Cheque clearing between Guangdong province (including Shenzhen) and Hong Kong on 20 July 2016. Under the arrangement, e-Cheques issued by banks in Hong Kong and deposited with banks in Guangdong province (including Shenzhen) will be settled on the next business day.
The HKMA and the banking industry jointly launched the EBPP platform in December 2013. The system provides a one-stop platform for users to receive, manage and schedule payments for electronic bills through their Internet banking accounts. It is a multi-currency and multi-functional platform which supports bill presentments and bill payments in Hong Kong dollars, renminbi and US dollars.
In addition, the HKMA in collaboration with the Guangzhou Branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) jointly launched the cross-boundary EBPP between Hong Kong and Guangdong province on 15 June 2017. The service aims to provide an efficient channel for customers in Hong Kong to make bill payments in RMB to merchants in Guangdong province over internet or mobile banking platform.
The Common QR Code Specification for Retail Payments (merchant-presented mode) was issued by an industry working group set up by the HKMA in December 2017. The specification aims at enabling merchants, especially small and medium enterprises, to convert multiple merchant-presented QR codes into a single one for accepting different payment schemes, instead of displaying multiple QR codes to their customers. It provides greater convenience to customers and merchants, and facilitates the adoption of QR code payment in Hong Kong. Payment service providers interested to adopt the specification should adhere to the implementation guideline, which sets out the high level principles and expected operational and technical support to be provided.