The Proposed Regulatory Regime for Stored Value Facilities and Retail Payment Systems in Hong Kong
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) appreciates the opportunity to submit our views and comments to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on the Proposed Regulatory Regime for Stored Value Facilities and Retail Payment Systems in Hong Kong (Consultation Paper).
The AIC is an industry association comprising eBay, Facebook, Google, Salesforce and Yahoo! as its members. We support the stated policy objectives in the Consultation Paper that are driving the intent to develop a new regime for regulating Stored Value Facilities (SVF) and Retail Payment Systems (RPS). In particular we welcome the specific acknowledgement of Hong Hong’s existing status as an International Finance Centre (IFC) and its position as the global market leader in retail payment products and services.
A report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)1 found that the internet has contributed HK$96 billion in 2009, representing 5.9 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP. This share is likely to grow by 7 percent annually – contributing 7.2 percent of GDP in 2015 – faster than then forecast GDP growth of 4 percent, reaching HK$146 billion by 2015.
The Internet has allowed millions of trade and financial service enterprises of all shapes and sizes to revolutionize the way in which they interact with and ultimately grow their customer base.
The report further notes that the Internet will continue to be a significant driver of Hong Kong’s future economic growth; driving sales and lowering costs for online businesses as more consumers turn to the Internet to research and transact.
It is important to note that Hong Kong has achieved the status as an IFC and the impressive numbers cited above by acting as an Internet pioneer. Hong Kong’s light touch approach to Internet regulation has facilitated the emergence of innovative and evolving business models.
The AIC urges the HKMA to continue a restrained approach when finalizing the regulatory regime for SVF and RPS so as not to stifle Hong Kong’s thriving digital economy.