Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is rolling out a system which enables its online banking customers to initiate payments direct from their bank accounts when shopping online.
The service, branded, iPAY@hsbc, is an extension of the online@hsbc banking service that currently serves more than 200,000 registered users in Hong Kong.
Online@hsbc users can shop at merchants participating in the venture by selecting the iPAY@hsbc icon on the shopping site to activate a separate banking related pop-up window. Customers can then settle payments for their purchases by entering their existing online banking login name and password, and then selecting their preferred bank account from which to debit.
The solution uses direct debit technology from e-payments outfit iPIN to create a link between HSBC's existing application system and its customers, using Internet browsers and online@hsbc management software. Customers' bank account numbers and information are not passed between HSBC and the merchant, thereby protecting consumers from unauthorised access.
Ian Rubin, director of Online Financial Services research at IDC, believes the initiative establishes a frontrunner position for iPIN and HSBC in defining a global payments network. "What they are creating is an e-payment model for banking, as well as an evolutionary opportunity for merchants and financial institutions worldwide," he says.