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HKMA looks to build m-commerce system

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is taking its first step to make Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payments a reality.

Talks about a widespread retail payment infrastructures initially started last year.

In July 2012, the HKMA appointed a consultant to study the development of NFC mobile payments and since then, 19 stakeholders including banks and non-banking payment services have been selected for interviews and feedback.

Despite the buzz surrounding NFC, is not a new term to Hong Kongers. Since the debut of the Octopus Card, what had once been a MTR fare payment system has spread to retail, food and other transport systems.

More than 23 million cards have been issued in Hong Kong with HK$130 million in transactions made each day via Octopus cards.

“With the growing acceptance of electronic and mobile payment services, Hong Kong is well positioned to grasp the next wave of opportunities offered by the NFC technology,” Peter Pang, deputy chief executive of HKMA, said.

“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.”

Currently, the study focuses primarily on mobile payment solutions. It will also look into non-payment services in the future.

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