Regulatory Regime for Stored Value Facilities

Licensing of Stored Value Facilities (SVFs)

The issue of the SVFs is subject to a licensing regime administered by the Monetary Authority (MA). The MA may grant an SVF licence to the applicant only if the MA is satisfied that all the minimum criteria applicable to the applicant are fulfilled, and if the SVF licence is granted, the minimum criteria will continue to be fulfilled in relation to the applicant as a licensee.

Explanatory Notes on Licensing for SVFs

The Explanatory Notes on Licensing for Stored Value Facilities intends to provide guidance about the licensing regime established by the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance (PSSVFO), and the policies and approach of the MA in implementing it. Parties applying for an SVF licence are therefore advised to familiarise themselves not only with this note but also with the PSSVFO and the relevant guidelines issued by the MA.

If you have any enquiry regarding application procedure, please write to the HKMA at SVFComplaintEnquiry@hkma.gov.hk or contact the HKMA at 2878 1188.

Supervision of SVF Licensees

Supervisory requirements

The Guideline on Supervision of Stored Value Facility Licensees (Guideline) is issued by the HKMA pursuant to section 54(1A)(b) of the PSSVFO. It aims to set out the high level supervisory principles that the HKMA adopts in assessing whether certain requirements imposed on SVF licensees are complied with. In order to fulfil the relevant statutory obligations or other relevant provisions of the PSSVFO, SVF licensees should strive to adhere to those supervisory principles as set out in the Guideline.

To help licensees in better understanding the standards by which the principles set out in the Guideline should be applied, the HKMA issues the Practice Note on Supervision of Stored Value Facility Licensees to provide additional guidance in respect of specific sections or paragraphs of the Guideline as and when necessary.

SVF licensees are also required to have in place adequate and appropriate systems of controls for anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in order to ensure compliance with relevant statutory requirements. A guideline is also issued by the HKMA pursuant to section 54(1A)(b) of the PSSVFO to provide practical guidance in this regard.

Major regulatory tools

The major tools that the HKMA intends to use in regulating licensees, in general, include:

  • on-site examinations
  • off-site reviews
  • independent assessments
  • review of auditors’ reports
  • meetings with the management of the licensee

Regulatory Action

The MA is empowered to impose sanctions under section 33Q of the PSSVFO. The Guideline on Exercising Power to Order a Pecuniary Penalty is issued under section 54(1E) of the PSSVFO to set out the manner in which the power to order a pecuniary penalty under section 33Q(2)(a) of the PSSVFO is to be exercised.

A Guidance Note provides an overview of how the HKMA considers and recognises cooperation in investigations and enforcement proceedings under the PSSVFO and other ordinances.

Register of SVF licensees

The Register of SVF licensees (the Register) is established and kept by the MA pursuant to the PSSVFO. It contains, in respect of each licensee, the name of the licensee; the address of the principal place of business in Hong Kong of the licensee; the licence number of the licence held by the licensee; and any other particulars of the licensee that the MA considers appropriate.

Enquiries about SVF regulation

If you have any enquiry regarding the regulation of SVF, please write to the HKMA, contact the HKMA at SVFComplaintEnquiry@hkma.gov.hk or 2878 1188.

Complaints about SVF licensees

Click here if you have any enquiry in relation to complaints about SVF Licensees.

Please note that all telephone conversations about enquiries and complaints between you and the HKMA may be recorded.

Other Topics about Stored Value Facilities and Retail Payment Systems
Last revision date : 26 August 2019