Hang Seng Bank joins leap into phone payments
Hang Seng Bank yesterday launched a platform that will let buyers pay for their purchases using smartphones at outlets equipped with contactless readers.
Customers would be able to make credit-card payments by simply waving their suitably equipped phones at any MasterCard PayPass terminal, Hang Seng said.
The scheme, using near-field communication (NFC) technology, is expected to be rolled out in the first half of next year.
Hang Seng is developing the platform in partnership with PCCW mobile, MasterCard Worldwide, digital security company Gemalto and Samsung Electronics.
"Our mobile contactless NFC payment service will expand the range of payment channels in Hong Kong and place us among the leading cities as regards the use of advanced payment systems," said Rose Lee Wai-mun, vice-chairman and chief executive of Hang Seng.
Monetary Authority deputy chief executive Peter Pang Sing-tong said Hong Kong had a mobile-phone penetration of 217 per cent and a smartphone penetration of 35 per cent.
There are more than 10 brands of smartphones in the market that are equipped with NFC technology.
Hang Seng also said the technology used an open architecture common standard, allowing other service providers and interested parties to participate without investing significant resources in building their own platforms.
HSBC announced similar plans on Wednesday, saying that customers could make credit-card transactions of up to HK$500 just by waving their smartphones at any suitably equipped checkout counters.
The technology would be made available for free to the first batch of eligible customers who registered with the bank, it said.