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HKAB issues Best Practice on NFC mobile payment in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) welcomes the issuance of the Best Practice for Near Field Communication (NFC) Mobile Payment in Hong Kong (Best Practice) by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) today (Monday).  The Best Practice aims to facilitate the establishment of an interoperable as well as safe and effective NFC mobile payment infrastructure in the market.

The HKMA appointed a consultant to conduct a study on the development of NFC mobile payment in Hong Kong at the end of 2012 and concluded that a market-driven approach is appropriate.  The HKMA also set four developmental objectives at the beginning of the year, which are to enable (i) multiple payment services on a single NFC-enabled mobile phone; (ii) service continuity despite switching mobile network operators; (iii) service continuity despite changing phones; and (iv) a high-level of security.  These objectives will help facilitate the steady development of the NFC mobile payment technology while enabling customers to benefit from the convenience and safety of this new payment service.

To achieve the above objectives, the HKMA advocated a set of best practices, to be developed by the banking sector, for the effective development of the NFC mobile payment service.  Over the past eight months, the HKMA and HKAB have worked closely together to formulate the relevant standards and guidelines for the industry.  The banking industry has put in considerable efforts to bring the Best Practice to fruition today.

The Best Practice contains a set of common standards and guidelines covering three aspects:

  • Security requirements:  to ensure the security of e-wallets and the payment process, thereby ensuring the security of services;
  • Technical standards: to facilitate interoperability among different NFC infrastructures, mobile devices and terminals and the continued development of NFC mobile payment services by establishing standards with reference to widely applied industry and international standards; and
  • Operational process: to enhance user experience by introducing standardised operational process.  

The HKMA will take into account the security requirements set out in the Best Practice in its on-going supervision of NFC mobile payment services offered by authorized institutions.  The Best Practice introduced today establishes common NFC mobile payment standards for the industry which is conducive to the overall development of NFC mobile payment services.

Peter Pang, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, “The HKMA welcomes the introduction and implementation of the Best Practice for NFC mobile payment service by HKAB.  The Best Practice will allow banks and their business partners to further develop and launch new services based on a set of common guidelines and technical standards, thereby moving towards the four long-term objectives laid down by the HKMA at the beginning of this year and achieving interoperability among different services.  Moreover, the HKMA will take into account the security requirements in its on-going supervisory process.  Together with Hong Kong’s favourable market conditions, this will enhance public confidence and build a solid foundation for the wide acceptance of NFC mobile payment services.”

The HKMA also held a seminar today for HKAB and industry representatives to exchange views on the innovations and future development of NFC mobile payment services.

 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
25 November 2013

Last revision date: 25 November 2013
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