The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) organised the “FPS x SME” Seminar today (26 September). The seminar brought together over 130 representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business chambers, banks, and Stored Value Facility (SVF) operators. Themed as “Exploring innovation, raising productivity and creating opportunities”, the seminar aimed to facilitate the exchange between the banking and SVF industries as well as SMEs. It aimed to explore the significance and growth opportunities of the Faster Payment System (FPS) in the SME payments.
In his welcome remarks, Mr Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, “September 2023 marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the FPS. We have witnessed the rapid growth of the FPS as a popular means of person-to-person payments. We look forward to the FPS achieving another major milestone by becoming even more widely adopted by corporates for payments. SMEs constitute a significant part of Hong Kong’s economy and play an essential role in establishing our position as an international financial centre. We aim to assist SMEs in leveraging the FPS to strengthen their competitiveness and support them in embracing the era of electronic payment (e-payment). This aligns with the HKMA's goal of promoting financial inclusion."
The panel discussion at the seminar discussed the challenges faced by SMEs when using FPS, and various FPS payment solutions provided by banks to facilitate the adoption of e-payment by SMEs. The seminar also featured an experience-sharing session where two SMEs explained how they had benefited from using the FPS in terms of increased operational efficiency, reduced administrative burden, and improved liquidity flow due to the instantaneous nature of FPS payments.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of the FPS, the HKMA has joined hands with 21 banks and SVF operators (Annex 1) to introduce various promotional offers to corporate and individual customers. Nine of these banks and SVF operators have set up exhibition booths at the seminar today, explaining various FPS payment solutions and offering discounts on the spot to SME customers. Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited, the operator of the FPS, will exempt banks and SVF operators from settlement fees when processing real-time payments from corporates and merchants through the FPS in October. This aims to encourage banks and SVF operators to pass on the benefit to SMEs and merchants, further expanding the use of FPS among them, thereby achieving the goal of exploring innovation, raising productivity and creating opportunities.
During the seminar, Mr Howard Lee also mentioned that the collaborative effort between the HKMA and the Bank of Thailand has come to fruition. The bilateral linkage between FPS and PromptPay of Thailand is expected to be launched by this year. Hong Kong residents will then be able to make retail payments with the FPS in Thailand, while visitors from Thailand can use their equivalent faster payment system, PromptPay, to pay at merchants in Hong Kong. This arrangement aims to enhance the payment experience and provide an additional safe and fast payment option to customers in both places.
As of August 2023, the FPS recorded 12.81 million registrations, with an average annual growth of 36%. The use of the FPS has also continued to increase, registering an average annual rise of 71% and 41% respectively in its daily Hong Kong dollar real-time transaction volume and value in the past five years. In August, it processed an average of 1.25 million Hong Kong dollar real-time transactions per day, worth HK$ 9.9 billion.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
26 September 2023
Mr Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, delivers welcome remarks at the “FPS x SME” Seminar.
Mr Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) (third from left, front row); Mr Colin Pou, Executive Director (Financial Infrastructure) of the HKMA (second from left, front row); and Ms Haster Tang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (second from right, front row), together with representatives from banks and Stored Value Facility operators attend the seminar.
(From left) Mr Colin Pou, Executive Director (Financial Infrastructure) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority moderates the panel discussion of the seminar. Mr Jaff Lau, Managing Director, Head of Strategy and Innovation, Business Banking of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited; Mr Neo Lau, Assistant General Manager, Commercial Banking Department of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited; and Dr Thomas Su, Vice-Chairman, Small & Medium Enterprises Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, participate in the discussion.
Representatives of two small and medium-sized enterprises, Ms Eva Fung, Co-founder of Cookieism (second from right), and Ms Ivy Tse, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder of FreightAmigo (first from right) share their experience of using Faster Payment System at the seminar. This session is hosted by Ms Haster Tang (first from left), the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited.
Mr Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) (second from left); Mr Colin Pou, Executive Director (Financial Infrastructure) of the HKMA (first from left); and Ms Haster Tang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (first from right), visit the exhibition booths set up by banks and Stored Value Facility operators at the seminar venue.
The seminar is attended by over 130 representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises, business chambers, banks and Stored Value Facility operators.