SWIFTNet Goes Live in Hong Kong for High-value Payments

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) switched from its proprietary network to SWIFT for clearing house automated transfer system (Chats) payments as Hong Kong’s financial messaging platform went live with SWIFTNet on 25 May.

The HKMA and Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) decided in 2006 that they would implement the new open platform and replace their proprietary platform.

“This is a classic example of why a market infrastructure moves from a proprietary platform to SWIFT,” said Esmond Lee, executive director of the HKMA’s financial infrastructure department. “The benefits of moving to a platform already used by most of the banks were clear.” Most of the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) participating banks have been using SWIFT for international payments for many years.

The HKMA added that interoperability is another key benefit of SWIFTNet. For example, incoming domestic messages received by the banks in Hong Kong can now be automatically converted into the RTGS message, just as these firms were already doing for international transactions.

John Laurens, head of global payments and cash management, HSBC Asia Pacific, said: “HSBC sees strong value in having the Hong Kong RTGS infrastructure adopt SWIFT as its connectivity platform. Not only does it allow banks to streamline their back office environment, but it also provides Hong Kong with a future-proof infrastructure. It also allows for the seamless end-to-end transmission of information, thereby strengthening the value proposition for our customers.”


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