Payment Systems in Hong Kong

Payments Systems in the U.S.


Here is just to review what I have learnt from the book and compare the payment systems from Hong Kong with those from US.

One thing quite common in the two territories is that no matter how it evovles, the payment systems can always categorized as pull-basd systems and push-based systems. As to pull-based systems, the payment is initiated by the fund payee, and the fund will be authorized by the payer and then pulled from the payer's fund account; on the other side in push-based systems, the payment is initiated by the payer to send the money to the payee's account.

Worth to mention that in Hong Kong, the authority to governance the monetary markets is HKMA and the clearing house is run by HKICL


It's ubiquitos all around world, nothing special in Hong Kong.


There is nothing special either here in HK.



Automated Clearing House, in Hong Kong it's run by HKICL. It provides

  • Real Time Gross Settlement System
  • Bulk Clearing Services
  • HK - Mainland China Cross Border Service
  • CCASE Real Time DvP PvP
  • eTradeConnect


Credit Cards Payment is the same with the rest of the world and it's pull-based.

credit cards

As to the Debit Cards, normally underneath it's based on ACH payment system.


Normally it's used in cross-border transactions with the characteristics like large in volumn, requirement in security and irrevokability, like SWIFT.



There are a lot eWallet provider in HK now,

  • PayMe (FPS and HSBC's clearing and settlement system)
  • Alipay (FPS based)
  • WeChatPay (FPS based)

All of them will need to manage a ledger internally. Normally the implementation of them will based on other payment systems, eg., the FPS, ACH, etc.

Compared with the payment system of e-commerce system, which includes

  • Order Placement
  • Checkout
  • Transaction
    • From
    • To
    • Amount
    • Currency
    • Product
    • Quantity
  • Ledger
    • Credit Entry
    • Debit Entry

the eWallet's transactions only contain

  • From
  • To
  • Amount
  • Currency

And if foreign exchange is involved, an exchange wallet will be involved, for example,

From To From Amount From Curency To Amount To Curency EXCHANGE

and then the transaction record will be split into ledger entries,

Type Account Amount Currency
Debit A 100 HKD
Credit HSBC 100 HKD
Debit HSBC 83 RMB
Credit B 83 RMB

Now the if there is 1000 HKD in A's account previously, now it will be 900; and if there is 0 RMB in B's account, now it will be 83.

And normally there will be a temporary transaction table to record the daily transations, by the EOD, the eWallet will reconcile with the counterparty (normally the banks), and move those matching transactions into history table.


Another Real Time payment system initiated by HKICL which included both push-based and pull-based payment methods.

Updated on 2022/02/08

Cash Flow Modeling in SQL

We all know there is a history table and a current table for cash flow, while how will the account balance be calculated? the article above demystifies the process in calculating it in a ledger DB. Excellent!

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