"The HKMA will work with the industry to promote a fully interoperable and versatile platform to enable Hong Kong to enter into a new era of diversified retail payments," says Peter Pang, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced plans to form a working group, under the auspices of the Hong Kong Association of Banks, to create a set of standards for the introduction of NFC payments in Hong Kong.
The working group will base its work on a set of draft standards and guidelines produced through a newly completed consultancy study that was commissioned by the HKMA in July 2012. The standards are expected to be finalized by the second half of 2013.
The objective of the consultancy study was "to identify the appropriate approach for establishing a safe and effective NFC mobile payment infrastructure that will achieve interoperability among all NFC mobile payment services along four development objectives," the HKMA explains:
- The ability to download multiple payment services from different banks and payment service providers onto a single NFC phone
- Payment service continuity when a consumer switches from one mobile network operator to another
- Payment service continuity when a consumer changes from one NFC phone to another
- A high level of security "in line with international standards and relevant regulatory requirements"
Nineteen stakeholders were interviewed for the study and provided feedback. These included banks and non-bank payment service providers, mobile network operators, card associations, merchant acquirers and handset manufacturers.
"As part of the study, the HKMA's consultant has produced a draft set of standards and guidelines covering three aspects: (1) interoperability requirements between devices and systems; (2) operation guidelines of NFC mobile payment services; and (3) security measures on mobile wallet protection and payment transaction processing," says the HKMA.
"An industry working group will be formed under the Hong Kong Association of Banks with a view to discussing and finalising the guidelines and standards by the second half of 2013."
"The study reaffirmed Hong Kong's promising market conditions for the rapid take off of NFC mobile payment services with its strong consumer acceptance of contactless payments, high smartphone penetration and increasing availability of NFC-enabled phones," the HKMA says.
"The study confirmed that the market is moving towards a market-driven approach by which certain industry players are expected to implement shared NFC mobile service infrastructures to help participants offer interoperable NFC mobile payment services.
"The HKMA agreed with the analysis and will continue to monitor developments in the market to facilitate relevant infrastructure developments and to ensure that the interoperability principles can be achieved."
Peter Pang, deputy chief executive of the HKMA, said, "With the growing acceptance of electronic and mobile payment services, Hong Kong is well positioned in grasping the next wave of opportunities offered by the NFC technology. The HKMA will work with the industry to promote a fully interoperable and versatile platform to enable Hong Kong to enter into a new era of diversified retail payments."