Hong Kong and Thailand have announced the imminent launch of their respective digital payment systems, making it easier for travelers to make transactions without the need for currency exchange. Starting from December 4, Hong Kong residents can use their Faster Payment System (FPS) for purchases in Thailand, while Thais visiting Hong Kong will be able to utilize their local payment system, PromptPay, for transactions. These digital payment systems are set to streamline cross-border transactions, eliminating the hassle of exchanging currencies before making purchases.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand have collaboratively worked on connecting their digital payment systems, with the goal of improving the cross-border payment landscape. According to HKMA CEO Eddie Yue Wai-man, "In the coming Christmas and New Year holiday [Hong Kong residents] can use FPS wallets to scan and pay at over 8 million Thailand merchants without the hassle of exchanging Hong Kong dollars to Thai baht beforehand."
This initiative is part of a broader push toward enhancing digital payment capabilities, not only for retail transactions but also at the wholesale level. Yue highlighted that payments will become faster and more convenient, with central banks establishing bilateral connections between their instant payment systems.
The collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand extends beyond digital payments, as they are also working on the "mBridge" Central Bank Digital Currency project. This project involves the central banks of China and the United Arab Emirates and focuses on the use of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in settling international payments.
The announcement was made during the city's annual FinTech Week event, which has seen significant growth, accommodating 540 exhibitors and attracting over 30,000 visitors, including government officials, regulators, and major bank executives. Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu highlighted the city's commitment to integrating fintech and green finance, aiming to become a hub for both areas, leveraging its unique advantage under the "one country, two systems" principle.
In a separate development, the CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission, Julia Leung, revealed that the regulator will issue guidelines related to risk management of asset tokenization and additional protection requirements for publicly offered funds, underlining Hong Kong's efforts to advance and regulate its fintech ecosystem.
By fLEXI tEAM