Speaking of settling the share of bills and transferring money to friends in Hong Kong, cash payment is the first thing to come up in mind. In case of having not enough cash bank transfer or cheque issuance are alternative.
Inter-bank transfer (including online inter-bank transfer) is costly in case of small amount transfers because banks usually charge service fee on both sending and receiving of fund; Using cheque payment is free of charge but is time consuming in handling. By either ways, a payer’s must know full name of payee’s account as well as account number to do so.
In 2017, the era of mobile electronic payment has come, making small amount transfer is such a fast and simple experience since the major Hong Kong banks has launched various mobile apps to realize quick and secure inter-bank transfer for free.
We have hand picked 2 person-to-person (“P2P”) electronic payment services in Hong Kong which are driven by Hong Kong banks and offer free-of-charge inter-bank transfer locally. In addition, these services has shared common features and characters as follows:
- Mobile apps: Services are delivered to users via providers’ mobile apps, so users must have these mobile apps installed in their smartphones which are running either Android or Apple iOS.
- Internet connection: Stable internet connection is required to use the services.
- User registration: Users must successfully register and activate their accounts of these services prior to fund sending. Users’ mobile phone numbers in Hong Kong are linked to their account as safeguard of fault.
- Local bank accounts only: Fund received via these services can be transferred to a payee’ local bank account.
- Currency: Hong Kong Dollar only
- Service fee: Neither fund senders nor collectors are charged by these providers nor banks
- Backed by banks: These services are distinguished from other e-wallet services, e.g. TNG which also support P2P payment feature, by their high integration and support of banks. Due to strict regulation of banking industry in Hong Kong, the banks prioritize security, safeguard to fault transfer, and anti-money laundry measures.
- Cut-off time: Although these services are available 7×24, interbank transfers to banks other than the sender’s bank take 2 to 3 working days when the payment is made before the cut-off time.
- Amount Limit: Unlike bank transfer and cheque transfer, various payment ceiling are set, namely maximum fund out amount daily, monthly and annually.
The 2 P2P payment services will compare with others based on their convenience in the view of regular people living in Hong Kong.
PayMe from HSBC
Backed by HSBC, PayMe app hit the P2P e-payment market on February 2017. Users are not required to be HSBC Hong Kong bank account holders, but the app can run in Hong Kong only.
To complete the account setup, users must provide an e-mail address, an eligible Hong Kong MasterCard or Visa credit card from any bank, local mobile phone number, Hong Kong ID for HSBC to approve user registration. All these work can be done within the app. HSBC takes up to 3 working days to process.
Users must add top-up money to their PayMe account from their linked credit card, the top-up transaction is done instantly but is subjected to limit as follows:
PayMe account top-up amount limit:
- Maximum PayMe account balance: HK$ 100,000
- Maximum daily top up amount: HK$ 5,000
- Maximum monthly top up amount: HK$ 10,000
- Maximum annual top up amount: HK$ 100,000
To send payment, senders do not need to know bank account of collectors. Instead, PayMe runs as a social platform. The users send a message with a payment link in it to a person via any messaging tools. Again, funding-out is subjected to certain limit:
PayMe fund-out amount limit:
- Maximum daily fund out amount: HK$ 5,000
- Maximum monthly fund out amount: HK$ 30,000
- Maximum annual fund out amount: HK$ 100,000
Any person who receive the PayMe payment message is able to transfer the fund to a designated bank account of any local bank.
To collect the very first PayMe fund, simply follow instructions after clicking payment link in the message and input a bank account number, no PayMe account registration is needed, PayMe will transfer the money into your bank account.
However, PayMe fund recipients must complete their PayMe account registration when they want to receive their subsequent PayMe payment.
In other words: How long does PayMe need to transfer the payment into an bank account?
It depends on the bank of recipient account. Accounts in HSBC and Hang Seng Bank get the fund immediately alike intra-bank transfer. For other banks, it takes 2 to 3 working days as if inter-bank transfer.
Beware that cut-off time of PayMe is 12 o’clock noon, PayMe processes bank transfers to other banks in next working day if it is order after 12 noon local time.
PayMe is a totally free service now, all actions that PayMe can do are free of charge:
To fund a PayMe account:
- Top-up from the holder’s credit card payment
- Receiving PayMe payment from other PayMe users
To withdraw money from a PayMe account:
- Transferring to the holder’s local bank account
- Sending PeyMe payment to other PayMe users
Hong Kong people see that PayMe is a risk-free and free-of-charge platform to credit card holders to earn some airline mileage and gift points (since there is amount limit). Simply grab your favor credit to top up your PayMe account, transfer the money back to your bank account and repay your credit card. Ta-da! All done.
Invite your friend to register a PayMe account now.
Initiated by JETCO, one of the largest cross-bank ATM network in Hong Kong and Macau, JETCO Pay P2P is a local inter-bank money transfer platform to enable person-to-person money transfer between local bank accounts via user’s’ smartphone app on the move.
Unlike any e-Wallet payment solution, JETCO Pay does not offer a stored-value digital wallet to a user. All money transfer is the same as direct local bank transfer via JETCO network, transactions will be directly debited from user’s selected account. JETCO Pay allows users to send money by recipient mobile number which must be same as the one registered with their accounts in the bank’s record.
Up to March 2017, only the account holders of participating banks as below can send money via JETCO Pay:
- CHINA CITIC BANK INTERNATIONAL
- CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK (ASIA)
- DAH SING BANK
- FUBON BANK
- SHANGHAI COMMERCIAL BANK
- WING LUNG BANK
More banks will support this services, check out the updated list of participating bank of JETCO Pay.
To complete the JETCO Pay account registration, firstly an applicant must have have enabled his internet banking and mobile banking services of the bank and enable online interbank money transfer function, then download the bank-specific JETCO Pay app to user’s smartphone and run, then link the user’s bank account number of the same bank, his mobile phone number matching the bank record, and an email address to the JETCO Pay account. After the bank approval of this submission, users can add phone contacts of other people to their Pay list to start sending money.
The default fund-out limitation varies in different banks, usually the daily limit is HK$5,000.
Before you send the money, stable internet connection of user’s smartphone must be available, and fund receiver’s mobile phone number which match the one registered with his bank account must be known.
Fund receiver will be notified through SMS if he has never used JETCO Pay service before. Then, if the receiving bank account is from the the participating banks, register a JETCO Pay account in the bank-specific JETCO Pay app.
If the receiving bank account from non-participating banks, the new users must download JETCO Pay P2P Collect app and register a JETCO Pay account, which supports bank accounts of virtually all retail banks in Hong Kong.
The same as using ATM to do bank transfer in JETCO network, details as follows:
- Immediate more transfer for intra-bank transfer
- 2 to 3 working days delay for inter-bank transfer
JETCO Pay P2P works well to achieve a quick and secure money transfer for personal customers of the participating bank, by eliminating the need to know the payee’s bank account number and account holder name.
However, payee is mandated to to have either JETCO Pay P2P collect app or bank-specific JETCO Pay app ready to designate one bank account to collect the payment, it is less convenient for new user to get started comparing to PayMe.
Honorable Mentions: Intra-bank P2P transfer by Hong Kong banks
Some banks have launched their intra-bank P2P electronic payment services for their existing customers. Although these service can support fund transfer between customers of the same bank, they allow users to make quick and small value local payment. Users do not need to know the payee’s account numbers and account name to send money, just need the payee’s mobile phone number, and zero bank charge is involved.
To send money and receive money via these P2P services of banks below, the sender must have a personal bank account of the bank, with mobile banking and internet interbank transfer function enabled, successfully register these services and link one bank account with the service, and have the bank’s mobile banking app installed.
BOC(HK) “Small Value Transfer”
Bank of China (Hong Kong) is popular among personal banking market, know more detail.
Hang Seng Easy Pay / HSBC Easy Pay
Bank of East Asia has uploaded some introductory videos here.
Remark: The service lets Bank of East Asia customers to make small amount inter-bank payment as well.