Bank of East Asia will launch a mobile payment service for its credit card customers in Hong Kong early next year.

BEA's i-Pay system will utilize Near Field Communication technology for contactless payments at the point of sale, the bank announced this week.

The service will operate on any Android or iOS smartphone and on any communications network in Hong Kong.

After connecting the i-Pay NFC device to their phone and opening the BEA application, customers will be able to make low-value payments by tapping their phones at a reader on terminals that accept MasterCard PayPass payments, the bank says.

"BEA is the first bank in Hong Kong to provide a mobile payment service that does not restrict customers to a particular type of smartphone or network," Vincent Hui, general manager and head of BEA's personal banking division, states in a press release.

Consumers lock the i-Pay with a PIN. The app allows users to review their spending, providing details of the latest 10 transactions, the bank says.

The bank says its Facebook fans and selected cardholders will be able to test the system prior to the official launch, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.

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