The HKMA discussion paper focuses on the benefits to retail consumers of the
introduction of an e-HKD, noting from Section 4.1 that the “e-HKD is designed for settling real-time small-value retail payments”.
It is our view that, thanks to the long history of innovation in payment methods from Hong Kong’s various stored value providers (“SVFs”) and banks, the local retail payments sector is already very advanced, relative to other large financial centres. As can be seen by the recent (and we note, very successful) government distribution of consumption vouchers (covering 6.2m eligible individuals), nearly all Hong Kong residents have access to convenient retail digital payments at no cost to them.
As such, it is our view that there is less of a need for a retail-focused central bank digital currency (“CDBC”) in contrast to some other markets, for example countries that have a large landmass or populated islands creating monetary distribution challenges and/or significant populations without access to a bank account, mobile money account or digital wallet.
To access the full report, please contact the FTAHK executive team at firstname.lastname@example.org