HSBC's PayMe app adds tools but reduces credit card top-up limit

HSBC has announced that with the launch of the new version of its peer-to-peer payment service PayMe, it will be lowering the app's maximum monthly top-up value for credit cards.

Currently, top-ups can be made using a range of credit cards, with a limit of HK$5,000 per month, down from the original monthly limit of HK$10,000 at launch. However, with the latest edition of PayMe, that monthly limit will now be reduced to HK2,000. It's believed that this cut is aimed at restricting users from exploiting the system to gain excessive mileage or other credit card rewards through strategic top-ups and repayments. However, the bank says it has no plans to remove credit cards as a top-up method entirely.

The new version of PayMe will include several added functions. For example, the app will accept top-up via personal bank accounts from up to 10 banks, including Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Nanyang Commercial Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), to name a few.

PayMe users will also be able to make instant transfers from PayMe to their friends and family via the Faster Payment System (FPS), regardless of which local banks or digital wallets they use. Transfers are free of charge and will only require an FPS registered mobile number or email address from the recipient.

“PayMe has become the leading digital wallet in Hong Kong. To support the growing needs for everyday digital payment and to provide our users with a more streamlined payment experience, we decided to make PayMe easier to use and more flexible. Not only do they have more options to top up their accounts, but they can also now pay friends via PayMe even they do not have the app," said Greg Hingston, head of retail banking and wealth management, Hong Kong of HSBC.

Beta testing of the new app version is presently underway. Users can join the beta trial via an in-app banner link that will provide instructions on how to register and download it. HSBC hasn't set an official time frame to officially launch the app, but has said that the beta test will run for about three weeks.