Hong Kong RTGS adds real-time features to SwiftNet platform

Source: Swift

Swift, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) announced today that they have completed the migration of Clearing House Automated Transfer System (Chats) payments to Swift with the addition of InterAct and Browse to the RTGS platform.

These new services are live since 12 July 2010, and provide interactive real-time query and response messaging to RTGS participants. Apart from other channels to access Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) services, with InterAct and Browse, the real time CHATS and CMU functions can now been done by the 151 RTGS participants and 163 CMU participants in a more interactive and user-friendly manner.

"Our decision to move from a proprietary platform to SWIFT has been a success for our participating banks because they are able to use one uniform standard to process domestic and international payment messages since phase 1 migration. The complete migration further facilitates the interoperability between domestic and international messages, which are conducive to the further development of the multi-currency and multi-dimensional platform in Hong Kong, thus helping consolidate Hong Kong as an international financial centre," said Eddie Yue, Deputy Chief Executive, HKMA.

"SWIFT is a key partner of market infrastructures such as the HKMA; we believe that contributing international standards, security, reliability and geographical reach to the financial infrastructure of Asia is an important way to ensure the sustained growth of the Asian financial industry and the economies it supports," said Ian Johnston, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific, SWIFT. "Hong Kong is an important global financial centre and standardisation over SWIFT is leading to major improvements in cost reduction, interoperability and efficiency for participants in this vibrant market."

Ms. Diana Au Yeung, Sub-Manager and Head of International Payments Department of Wing Lung Bank, said that "Wing Lung Bank is very pleased with the implementation to SWIFTNet, a common and open platform to operate RTGS. Since the migration of CHATS last year, we have witnessed the significantly enhanced operational efficiency. Now with the added function of real-time enquiry and response, SWIFTNet wiet will further facilitate our processing of all transactions, including both RTGS and non-RTGS. Our bank, as well as Hong Kong as a whole, will all benefit from this complete migration, with increased compatibility of our payment and settlement systems with those overseas."

"HSBC welcomes this next phase in the migration of the Hong Kong RTGS system to a SWIFTNet standard. This new development will enable all banks to streamline their back office systems and will reduce annual maintenance costs. As access to the local clearing system is now based on SWIFT messaging, our overseas customers will benefit by leveraging their existing SWIFT infrastructure to effect payments and payment enquiries in Hong Kong," said Michael Velez, Senior Vice President, Global Payments and Cash Management, HSBC Hong Kong.

In addition to Hong Kong, SWIFT supports payment infrastructures in seven other Asia-Pacific markets, including Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and is working with Indonesia to build its second-generation RTGS infrastructure.

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