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UnionPay card withdrawals surge in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s ATMs have been reportedly hit with a surge of withdrawals from customers using China UnionPay bank cards, according to a report from South China Morning Post.

The surge in ATM use is being linked to new KYC measures that were introduced into Macau earlier this year, requiring users of China UnionPay bank cards to have their IDs scanned by machines prior to withdrawal.

However, the monetary authorities in Hong Kong have declined to deny nor confirm the report from SCMP.

“The rise in ATM withdrawals in terms of volume and number has been staggering. The taps are gushing,” said an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter to SCMP.

“It seems quite clear that as the introduction of ATM facial recognition technology in Macau has put the squeeze on cash dispensing withdrawals in Macau, the pattern of withdrawals has followed the path of least resistance – and that is to Hong Kong,” the source added.

A spokesman for the Monetary Authority did not confirm the information, but did however note that it has “no plans to require ATMs to install facial recognition technology.”

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