Mobile Payments Users in For Accountless, Hassle-Free Time with Bank of China

December 14, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

One of the big problems with mobile payments is that they often require a connection to a store of value in order to be used. Whether it’s a credit card, debit card, or account information, it needs something behind it to function. This can often lead to a lot of hassle for mobile payments users, but Bank of China Hong Kong is taking one big step to help make mobile payments a lot simpler.

As of only recently, BOC Pay users no longer need a Bank of China account in order to add cash to their BOC Pay account. Now, any Hong Kong banking account will do the job. Formerly, those who wanted to use e-wallets not only had to have a mainland Chinese bank account, but also a mainland Chinese e-wallet like Alipay or WeChat Pay. With the new rules, though, BOC Pay users can put the more local alternatives to use.

The whole thing is possible, reports note, thanks to the Faster Payment System recently put in place by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. It allows for more mobile payments use in general, including the use of quick response (QR) codes in bill payments, money transfers, and more.

Bank of China Hong Kong deputy chief executive Ann Kung noted “The average age of users is 37 years old, and 80 percent of payment are below HK$10,000. This shows that the younger generation of bank customers likes to use digital payment. The BOC Pay app will make cross-border payments much easier for Hongkongers traveling to the mainland.”

The conversion of Hong Kong into a fully Chinese city has had some issues along the way, especially since Hong Kong spent so long as being a freewheeling, largely capitalist operation that suddenly had to work into becoming at least nominally communist. Seeing the two have some issues isn’t unexpected, but isn’t particularly welcome either. Efforts like these should help smooth the process, particularly as China increasingly realizes the value of free enterprise.

Hard to believe that mobile payments could advance cultural unity, but that might be what we’re looking at here. If nothing else, those traveling from Hong Kong to the mainland should have an easier time of it, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.