Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc has outlined in a note what it says are details of the new real time monitoring system in Macau for payments made via China UnionPay Co Ltd bank cards.
The monitoring system was announced on December 11 by the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM).
The authority’s announcement came shortly after media reports stating that UnionPay had issued a memo ordering a clampdown on illegally modified point of sale (POS) units.
Daiwa said in its Thursday note: “The AMCM has selected a list of 40 merchants considered high risk due to business nature/volume and has delivered this list to all banks. This list is said to be not final and will increase in time.”
The note, by analysts Jamie Soo, Adrian Chan and Jennifer Wu, added that a new POS device would be introduced by UnionPay, according to details on the new rules unveiled by the AMCM in a seminar for representatives from banks in Macau.
“These new POS devices have an ID capturing feature, and a customer will be asked to scan his/her ID [document] to confirm identity before every UnionPay transaction.”
Daiwa said this procedure would only be applicable to “China issued [i.e. mainland] UnionPay cards”.
The brokerage said that other new conditions to be imposed included only two POS “systems” per merchant in total, with a “maximum two different acquiring banks” per merchant. POS devices will also have to be “certified” before they can be operated in Macau – although Daiwa said no details were available of what form that certification would take.
Daiwa said additionally that banks would be required to prepare and sign new agreement terms with their clients before installing new POS systems in Macau.
The brokerage added in its Thursday analysis and referring to the Macau casino industry: “Though we note that there are still issues to be resolved before this new system becomes fully operational, the above measures are nevertheless negative on the use of UnionPay devices as a method to access liquidity.”
Deutsche Bank AG had said in a note on Sunday that the “long-held common practice” in Macau of gamblers using local watch and jewellery shops to access cash via UnionPay bank cards “may be at risk”, under the new regulatory environment.
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