What Is EPS Card in Hong Kong?
6 minute read
There is no doubt that moving abroad can be adventurous. Expat life, by nature, is exciting and fun. However, that also means that this kind of life is full of surprises. First, an individual that has moved to a different country has to get accustomed to the new life there. This means gathering basic understandings of how regulations function in this new place.
If you happen to move to Hong Kong, there is certainly a bit of adjusting that is needed. One significant part of that adjustment is definitely related to finance.
Paying bills is something every individual has to do not only in Hong Kong but also across the globe. Therefore, it would be wise to learn as much as you can about the EPS Hong Kong card and this whole payment system.
So, take a look below and find out all you need to know about this aspect of your new Hong Kong life.
What is the EPS payment system?
The EPS payment system, also known as an e-payment system, is a method of paying for goods and services through an electronic channel.
This means that you don’t have to use cash or checks. This kind of system is called an electronic payment system in various parts of the world but some also refer to it as an online payment system.
Thanks to the technological advances we have witnessed in the previous decade, we have also seen the spread of internet-based banking and even online shopping. Nowadays, online payment systems are secure, reliable, and they are slowly taking over.
E-payment methods can be categorized into two different systems — credit payment systems and cash payment systems.
A credit payment system can include transactions made with the use of:
- Credit card
- Smart card
On the other hand, when it comes to cash payment systems, they usually rely on the following for making transactions:
- Direct debit
- Store-value card
What is EPS in banking and how is it used?
Electronic payments make the lives of customers easier in many ways. However, the most prominent one is the ability to pay for products or services electronically (online).
Electronic payment allows people to buy clothes, food, gadgets and even for bill payment from the comfort of their chair.
The way these systems work is not too difficult to understand. E-payments are orchestrated by an electronic funds transfer (EFT). This is the process of transferring money from one bank account to another without any exchange by hand.
Online payment methods that utilize the EFT method include:
Debit or credit cards
Businesses and operations that accept payments online need to have special software installed to accept these transactions. A customer enters the debit or credit card information in a virtual terminal or online invoice and that is how the purchase is completed.
Contrary to inputting card details, a customer can use an electronic check to pay online by entering the checking account and routing numbers from the bank.
Also, keep in mind that there is no need for any concerns regarding this payment service since there are numerous advanced anti-theft systems designed to protect individuals working around the clock to ensure complete security and safety.
What is the EPS card and how is it used?
In Hong Kong, there are no ‘debit’ cards as they are known in the West. A debit card is quite easy to use. If you want to make a transaction, it simply takes the funds out of your bank account that the card is associated with.
However, when you open an account in a bank in Hong Kong, you will get a different kind of card. It won’t be a Visa, it won’t be a Mastercard. Instead, it will be an EPS card or a Unionpay card.
As it was mentioned, EPS is the electronic payment system used in this region. You will be able to buy things with an EPS card within Hong Kong’s borders.
And using this card is quite easy. You just need to swipe the card and enter your ATM PIN code.
While we’re on the subject, it is worth mentioning that Unionpay is a Chinese version of Visa/Mastercard. Unfortunately, when you open an account and get this card, you can’t really use it as a ‘credit’ card. You have to find an ATM that accepts Unionpay and then withdraw funds.
What is the difference between EPS and PPS?
EPS, as it was mentioned, acts as a debit card but does not actually work like one. With an EPS card, you have to find an ATM and then take out money.
Thanks to EasyCash service, cardholders can withdraw cash at over 1,200 locations in Hong Kong upon a regular purchase by EPS. Do know that the cash withdrawal amount has to be in units of $100 up to $500.
On the other hand, PPS is only a service that allows cardholders to pay bills using the phone or the internet.
To use this service, the user has to swipe the ATM card with ATM capability through a PPS terminal to create an account. Once that is done, the account may be used to pay bills through the PPS hotline, website, or mobile app.
Payments can be made to a lot of companies and organizations from your pre-registered bank account.
If you’re interested in a bit of history, PPS was launched in 1993 and it records millions of transactions on a monthly basis since it is a convenient and simple way to pay bills anytime, anywhere.
How do I make a PPS payment?
First, you need to open a PPS account in one of the PPS Registration Terminals. To do so, you need to produce your ATM card, or credit card with ATM functionality.
Once that is done, you need to register the relevant tax bill via phone (18011), internet, or PPS Mobile. Know that a different Shroff Account Number is provided for each issued bill. That is why you have to go through this procedure.
Finally, make a payment using any of the available channels (phone, online or mobile app). Bear in mind that the daily transaction ceiling for PPS payment of each IRD bill is 3.
So, to sum it up, you need to find a PPS registration terminal to open an account. Once that is completed, it is time to add a new merchant (a business that issues a bill). Finally, pay the bill using one of the available methods — internet, phone, or mobile app.
Hopefully, this guide will be of great use to your newly started life in the beautiful region of Hong Kong.
Thanks to technological advances, there is an easy way to pay for goods, services, and even food. The same applies to your utility bills or any other bills.
If you have more questions regarding EPS or PPS feel free to reach out to Sleek!