30 May | Consultation

FTAHK Response to HKMA's eHKD: A Policy and Design Perspective

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released on the 27th April 2022, a discussion paper on retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), titled “e-HKD: A Policy
and Design Perspective”.

As part of HKMA’s “Fintech 2025” strategy announced in June 2021, one strategic direction is in the area of future-proofing Hong Kong in terms of CBDC readiness,
including a study on the prospect of issuing retail CBDC in Hong Kong.

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