A new Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) platform has been launched today. Jointly developed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the banking industry, the platform aims to provide convenient one-stop bill payment services for the public.
The EBPP is a consolidated platform for the straight-through processing of electronic bill (‘e-bill’) presentments and payments. Users only need to go to one place – their internet banking accounts – to receive, view, manage and schedule payments for various e-bills issued by merchants. Through this multi-currency platform, e-payments can be made in Hong Kong dollar, renminbi and US dollar. By connecting users to billing merchants in Mainland China and overseas countries, the service offers cross-border e-billing and e-payment services. Furthermore, users who use the platform to make online donations to charities can also collect electronic receipts.
The EBPP enhances the existing internet banking service with its innovative e-billing and hassle-free bill management capabilities. In addition to receiving and paying bills, users can now archive and retrieve e-bills and e-payment history through their internet banking accounts. Individuals can also register for the collection and payment of e-bills on behalf of a third party to efficiently manage bills for family members. Some banks may also provide value-added services, such as bill notifications and payment reminders, which could help avoid overdue payments; or allow the set up and amendment of automated payment schedules as needed, which gives users greater flexibility and control over existing autopay arrangements.
The support from the banking sector is most encouraging: 23 banks, which operate 99% of internet banking accounts, have agreed to take part in the new service, with 18 of them ready to start the service immediately (Annex 1). Some merchants are already on board as well. Upon the launch of the platform, participating banks will continue to promote the service to the public and the merchants. Other merchants and service providers from different sectors will join the service in stages once they have finalised the service arrangements and made the required internal system changes. Major government departments, such as the Water Supplies Department and Rating and Valuation Department, are also targeting to launch the e-bill service by the end of 2014. The HKMA and the banking sector will conduct a series of publicity programmes to promote public awareness and encourage the public to make use of the services offered by EBPP.
Mr Peter Pang, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, “For anyone looking to integrate bill presentment and management capabilities into the existing online banking service, the EBPP platform will fit the bill nicely – it marks a new era of multi-functional and paperless billing processing. I hope the public can soon get the most out of the EBPP platform as more banks bill it as a smart service, and as more merchants see it as such. The HKMA will continue to co-operate with the banking sector in the development of retail payment infrastructure and enhancing its efficiency.”
Internet banking service customers may begin registration for the EBPP service via their internet banking accounts from today onwards. Details of the EBPP are available in the attached leaflet (Annex 2).
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
11 December 2013