Bank of China

BOCHK set to offer transactions via mobile

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 5:33am

Bank of China (Hong Kong), one of the biggest credit card issuers in the city, says it will launch a near-field communication (NFC) mobile payment system in the second half of this year.

Dickson So Shing-shun, general manager at the bank's credit cards and personal unsecured loans business arm, BOC Credit Card (International), said it is in the final stage of testing the system's security and collecting feedback from merchants. He expects the payment system will extend to public transport.

NFC mobile payment systems allow users to make purchases by holding their mobile phones near a card reader.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is promoting the development of NFC mobile payment infrastructure. HSBC has launched a service and Hang Seng Bank says it will start one later this year.

So said BOCHK will provide secure digital memory cards, SIM cards and external devices to the system's users, partnering with Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay payment cards.

For users of the service based on the memory card, storage of credit card information will be limited to cards issued by BOCHK.

Customers using the SIM card option will be able to include credit cards from other banks and choose which credit card to use for payment.

As not all the smartphones have NFC functions, BOCHK says an external device can be used with those phones.

So expects it will take up to three years before use of the bank's new payment system becomes widespread. He said the cost of the new payment system is not significant at this early stage but that the bank may charge for value-added features and functions later.