EasyTransfer rolls out with 11 participating banks

Following the rollout of the inter-bank money transfer platform yesterday, just 11 of the city’s 31 banks are participating in the first phase of the scheme, a phase which features real-time transfer for free, Simon Tam, senior director of Financial Infrastructure and Information Department of the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM), revealed at a press conference.

On the question of the limited participation, the AMCM official noted that each bank may decide whether to participate and in what manner. For example, certain banks are participating in the first phase but will only provide prompt transfers, which may take up to a day for the transfers to complete.

The EasyTransfer platform is a function led by the AMCM to facilitate immediate or prompt fund transfers between accounts hosted by different banks without any service charge.

Explaining the need for the service, Tam pointed out that conducting multiple money transfers to and from different banks is not rare. Even in the unusual case where the payer has accounts in all banks concerned, the practice is still inconvenient, especially when each transfer requires the input of a long account number.

Here, the new service shows its strength. In the same situation, “stakeholders” will only need to key in the meal payer’s phone number or a dedicated eight-digit code issued by the recipient’s bank to facilitate the transfer.

The eight-digit code, officially known as the Faster Payment System (FPS) code, is issued by participating banks to their clients regardless of whether they are immediate or prompt transfer, so that they do not need to give their cellphone numbers to facilitate the transfer. This method is useful for transfers from an unknown payer, for example, online barter or shopping.

During his introduction, Tam stressed that no registration is required for the payer or transfer initiator. On their cellphone app, participating banks have a dedicated page for EasyTransfer service.

When a payer wants to conduct an inter-bank transfer, they need only to input the recipient’s cellphone number or FPS code, and the amount to be transferred, and then the transfer will be processed.

In contrast, in order to receive funds using a cellphone number or the FPS code, the recipient will need to register for the service. Without doing so, they will still be able to receive funds but the sender will need to key in more information.

Clients of non-participating banks will not be able to conduct inter-bank transfers but will be able to receive funds through the mechanism.

The caps for personal transfers are MOP5,000 per transfer and MOP10,000 per day. For corporate-to-individual transfers, the caps are MOP50,000 per transfer and can be conducted multiple times a day to multiple individuals.

The AMCM said that the corporate-to-individual transfer will be useful for salary payments, meaning that employees need not use the same banks as their employer. This service may incur a service charge, Tam added.

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