EasyTransfer scheme allowing for speedier ‘no-fee’ real-time transfers within different bank accounts initiated

The trial phase for a new real-time inter-bank faster transfer system ‘EasyTransfer’ advanced by the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) and involving 31 local banks in the SAR will be initiated today (Monday).

The new system will allow for 24/7 real-time bank transfers in pataca (MOP) up to a daily maximum limit of MOP15,000 (US$1,867) per day, in as fast as 30 seconds and with no bank transfer fees, for accounts in 11 initially registered banks.

In a press conference to announce the new system, the head of the AMCM Financial and Technology Infrastructure Department, Simon Tam, indicated that “many times residents face limits when doing transfers”, as it sometimes may take time more than a day for funds to be transferred or fees may be charged for transfers within different banks.

Therefore in order to improve the efficiency of daily small-value local transfers of individuals and companies and reduce transfer fees, the AMCM advanced with this new integrated system.

Individuals and businesses will need to register their account in the bank solely by presenting a mobile phone number binding to the local bank’s MOP account or applying for a fast payment system (FPS) ID code from the bank.

Registration channels include online banking, mobile banking and bank counters, and after completing the payer only needs to enter the registered mobile phone number or FPS ID code of the receiver to transfer money.

The system allows for real-time and non-real-time transfers for individuals, plus ‘en-masse’ transfers for companies.

People registered in the EasyTransfer system can opt for a non-real-time transfer if they do not need an immediate transfer, while the ‘en-mass transfer system was designed to allow for companies to have a more efficient way to proceed with transfers to accounts held by employees in different bank accounts.

Real-time and non-real-time transfers under the system will have a MOP5,000 limit per transaction and a MOP10,000 maximum per day, with ‘en-masse’ company transfers limited to MOP50,000 per day and per receiving account.

“Transfer security procedures will depend on each bank and different channel, normally there’s two-step security with the need to introduce a pin number and then a confirmation SMS,” Tam noted.

Procedures to retrieve money transferred erroneously to a different account will also be up to each banking entity registered in the system.

Transfer records will be held by the respective banking entities involved, and will not be held by a centralised system.

Although the system currently only allows transfers between pataca (MOP) accounts the Director of the AMCM Financial and Technology Infrastructure Department, Johnny Lau, indicated the monetary authority is studying when to introduce a clearance system for RMB/MOP and HKD/MOP transfers, and if to expand the service to third-party payment provider platforms such as MPay.