Though its population of 7.5 million is equal to that of a mid-size mainland Chinese city like Hangzhou, Hong Kong makes up for lack of people with strength in its financial markets. And news today that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has issued stored value facilities licences is big news.

HKMA has granted stored value facilities licenses to five companies under the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance: Alipay, Octopus, TNG, Money Data, and HKT Payment. Octopus' license is effective November 13, 2016, but the other firms have effective licenses from today, August 25.

"The grant of the first batch of licenses for SVF issuers is turning a new page in the retail payment development in Hong Kong," Norman Chan, CEO of HKMA.

The Ordinance commenced operation on November 13, 2015. Under the Ordinance, the HKMA is empowered to implement a mandatory licensing system for multi-purpose stored value facilities and perform relevant supervision and enforcement functions.

A one-year period is allowed for existing issuers of stored value facilities or new market operators to apply for stored value facilities licenses from the HKMA.


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