SWIFT, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) 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 be 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.
One bank that is happy with the implementation of SWIFTNet is Wing Lung Bank. "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 will further facilitate our processing of all transactions, including both RTGS and non-RTGS,” says Diana Au Yeung, Sub-Manager and Head of International Payments Department of Wing Lung Bank.
HSBC also welcomes 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,” 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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