HSBC adds real-time cross-border payments in the U.S.

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HSBC for the first time is offering customers a way to send funds instantly across borders to other HSBC customers via a mobile device.

Leveraging its international branch network, HSBC on Monday announced the rollout of Global Money Account, enabling users to hold, manage and send currencies to 14 million HSBC customers in 20 countries in real time.

The service is launching first in the U.S., with plans to expand to other markets in the future, said Carolyn Criscitiello, HSBC’s head of digital payments, in an interview.

“The true state of wiring funds is that it seems like a black-box experience where it can take a long time for funds to get there or they could go to the wrong place, but now our customers have a fast and completely secure way to get money where it needs to go,” Criscitiello said.

Carolyn Criscitiello, HSBC’s head of digital payments.

Global Money Account enables users to identify a recipient for a cross-border transaction through HSBC’s mobile app using their bank account number — or, in the near future, a mobile phone number — and confirm their identity, according to Criscitiello.

There’s no ceiling for transactions except where risks are flagged, and there are no extra fees for using the service, she said.

HSBC hopes to eventually expand its real-time cross-border transfer service to customers of other banks through partnerships with other financial institutions, banking consortiums or fintechs as early as 2021, Criscitiello said.

“The goal would be leveraging the expanding network of faster payment systems in local markets to expand this service to other key markets through banks,” she said.

In addition to improving limitations of sending funds via wire services, Global Money Account enables HSBC customers to directly manage foreign currency balances, according to Criscitiello.

“Bank customers said they wanted a way to get the full banking experience for international payments and currency within a mobile app,” she said.

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