The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has conducted a consultancy study to aid in the development of a Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payment infrastructure.
According to a release on HKMA’s website, the objective of the study is to identify a proper means for establishing a safe and effective NFC mobile payment infrastructure with the ultimate goal being full interoperability with all NFC mobile payment services.
The study has four main developmental objectives:
- Enable the download of multiple payment services from disparate banks and payment service providers onto a single NFC-enabled phone.
- Continuity in payment service despite switching from one mobile network operator to another.
- Continuity in payment service despite replacing or switching user’s NFC-enabled phone.
- High level of security aligned with international standards and regulatory requirements.
The consultancy study reaffirms Hong Kong’s readiness for NFC mobile payments as the country boasts favorable market conditions for rapid implementation of the services with its widespread consumer acceptance of contactless payments, high smartphone penetration and increasing availability of NFC-enabled phones.
The study also reveals that Hong Kong’s mobile environment is adopting a more market-driven approach wherein industry players are expected to implement shared NFC mobile service infrastructures to help ensure interoperable NFC mobile payment services.
There are also plans to establish an industry-working group by late 2013, under the Hong Kong Association of Banks, that will facilitate discussion and finalization of the guidelines and standards.
HKMA and its consultant agency have drafted a set of standards and guidelines covering the following:
- Interoperability requirements between devices and systems.
- Operation guidelines for NFC mobile payment services.
- Security measures for mobile wallet protection and payment transaction processing.
HKMA first hired a consultant to conduct the Hong Kong study in July of 2012. The study drew interviews and feedback from 19 stakeholders, a list that included banks, non-bank payment service providers, mobile network operators, merchants, as well as card and handset manufacturers.