HKMA raises limit for small-value online money transfers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 9:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 11:15pm

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, has raised the maximum transaction limit for small-value money transfers through internet banking to satisfy growing market demand.

Each customer can now transfer up to HK$5,000 per day to third-party payees through internet banking without using two-factor authentication, compared with a quota of HK$3,000 for every two days before, HKMA said in a circular to local banks on Friday.

The decision reflects a suggestion from the industry made during a recent consultation and it enables banks to satisfy customers’ growing demand for more frequent and larger aggregate amounts of small-value payments, while keeping the associated risks manageable, the circular said.

In September last year, HKMA gave the go-ahead for small-value money transfers to third parties through internet banking channels without the need for two-factor authentication. The two-day quota was set at HK$3,000.

The limit was raised as banks have gained experience in managing the associated risks in the past year, HKMA said.

“The relaxation will make it more convenient for our clients when using internet transfer services. It will also help develop the market for small-value money transfer through the internet,” said Anne Lee, executive general manager of China Citic Bank International customer strategy and e-business.

The bank has started adjusting and testing its system to allow clients to make use of the new quota as soon as possible, Lee said.

Octopus mobile payment app O! ePay raises transaction limit amid intensifying competition in Hong Kong

Banks need to be prepared to step up their security control and customer education efforts when necessary, HKMA said. They should also stay vigilant to emerging cyber fraud risks, it added.

The adoption of online transactions is gradually gathering pace in the city where people are more used to visiting ATM machines and bank branches.

On Thursday, Octopus Cards has lifted the quota on its smartphone app O! ePay, an online transaction platform, from HK$3,000 for every two days to HK$3,000 a day.