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Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 22:16

HSBC joins rush to launch peer payment app

By Lin wenjie

Leading bank’s service lets users pay their friends without inputting bank account number – and decide whether to let all their peers know, or not.

Competition in Hong Kong’s online payment sector escalated on Wednesdayas HSBC launched a person-to-person payment app which lets users transfer money to their friends regardless of which Hong Kong bank they use, and without ever asking for an account number.

The app,PayMe, is similar in concept to the mainland Chinese solutionsWechat Pay or Alipay. Users simply need to use an eligible Hong Kong MasterCard or Visa credit card, and a Hong Kong dollar bank account to top up a PayMe account.They can then transfer money to friends’ bank accounts without handling fees, by typing in a friend’s phone number. A message is sent instantly to the friend who receives the payment.

According to the app's webpage, HSBC credit card holders can enjoy a maximum account balance of HK$3,000 at PayMe, with a daily maximum top-up of HK$3,000 and a monthly cap of HK$10,000 and annual limit of HK$25,000.

If they verify with their Hong Kong identity cards, then HSBC credit-card holders can have a maximum account balance of HK$100,000 at PayMe.Top-ups are capped at HK$5,000 a day, HK$10,000 a month and HK$100,000 a year.

Users without HSBC credit cards will need to upload a copy of their HKID when adding their credit cards in order to enjoy the same services as the HKID-verified HSBC credit-card holding clients.

The app also has a social element, letting users decide if a transaction is to be kept private between two parties or can be shown to all "PayMe friends".

Head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Greg Hingstonsaid:“Mobile payments via social media are growing rapidly as social networks have become an integral part of many people’s lives. We foresee customers will gradually turn to mobile payments as a quick, effective and trusted way of transferring and receiving money, as well as making purchases.

"We are pleased to launch PayMe, which brings secure mobile payments and social networking together."

Electronic payment operators such as Alipay, Octopus, TNG (Asia), Wechat Pay and Apple pay have already brought their products to Hong Kongin a bid to seize a share of the city’s online payment market and reshape people’s payment habits.
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