The clock is now ticking on Hong Kong's new Stored Value Facility regime: Do you need a licence?

On 13 November 2015, the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed the Clearing and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill 2015, introducing a new regulatory framework for stored value facilities ("SVF") and retail payment systems ("RPS"). 

Both types of payment service will be administered under the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance (the "Ordinance").

The Ordinance represents a significant step forward for Hong Kong's regulation of mobile payments, eliminating a regulatory gap that previously existed in relation to non-card based SVF.  Subject to limited exemptions, all multi-purpose SVFs, whether card-based or not, must now be licensed in Hong Kong. 

A one year transition period for existing issuers of SVF obtaining a licence will expire 12 November, 2016.

The Ordinance will separately bring mandatory regulation to card schemes (which until now have been operating under a voluntary code of practice) as designated RPS.  Other significant RPS will also be regulated under the new regime.

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