banking, personal cheques

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    15

    Smile banking, personal cheques

    Is it common to use personal checks (cheques) in Hong Kong?

    I will be studying at the University of Hong Kong, and I have a bunch of little fees to pay, and in the US I hate giving cash for fear someone will loose it or not record it was me who paid. Especially at HKU with thousands of students.

    I have a US bank account (Citibank) which is USD based (and of course I can use in HKG by withdrawing in HKD, at the USD-HKD ATM/banl exchange rate given), but I assume I cannot simply write a personal checkbook check that I have now, which I assume is a USD check? I have done some reasearch iont his and ther ie ssome system that was implement at the end of Deceber 2000 where USD checks were somehoiw accepted in HKG and go though a special faster clearnign system than before. Does anyone know about this? Also I know bank drafts are popular as are other types of things where you go the bank and get a check, but I would pay cash over having to go the bank first to get a bank draft (which I seem to find a unusually popular in HKG).

    I know there are many other banking issues, but I do not have any questions on that, but other cans ask if they wish.

    I also do not want to go trough the hassel of opening a seprate Hong Kong with HKD checking account either at Citibank, with whom I have a long relationship, thus HSBC is out of the picture. Could I open a HKD account in the US and write checks from it to give to people in HKG. I would probably write less than 10 total over 4 months.

    Thanks.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    20

    Arrow

    Common? No. I've been in Hong Kong for ... well, years, and I think I've written a cheque every five years or so. If that.

    Sorry, can't comment on anything else.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    4,653

    Writing cheques is common in HK. You can use it to pay bills - Phone/Gas/Electricity/ Rent. A lot of small expat stores also accept personal cheques. However that's HK$ cheques from a local bank.

    US$ cheques can take up to 6 months to clear and there is a charge of US$20.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12,385

    Checks are common enough but are completely avoidable thanks to various electronic payment systems in place, including payment by phone and web based payments. (The US is far behind on this....).

    1) Whats the deal with Citibank? They're expensive to deal with. A banking relationship in Hong Kong is irrelevant unless you have over $100K(US) with them. If you do, continue with them or consider using one of the better integrated banks like HSBC (you'll be able to make payments to HKU and most utilities directly from their internet banking system).

    Citi's internet banking system is pathetic .. borderline crap.

    >> Deceber 2000 where USD checks were somehoiw accepted in HKG

    Would love to hear where you read about that. You're probably thinking about commercial banks / or acceptance by banks.. no one in Hong Kong will accept a US$ check because well... its not the local currency.

    Seriously, most people in Hong Kong that I know, would pay through the following, in order of popularity.. for transactions under say HK$5-10K

    1) Cash for personal
    2) Credit Card for business
    3) Electronic payments -- PPS (over 2000 merchants accept it), Internet Banking etc
    4) Checks


  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Veggie, HK
    Posts
    1,003

    1) Octopus Card or Pay Cash
    2) Credit Card
    3) Checks or Bank Direct Transfer/Deposit
    4) Electronic payments -- PPS


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by rani
    Writing cheques is common in HK. You can use it to pay bills - Phone/Gas/Electricity/ Rent. A lot of small expat stores also accept personal cheques. However that's HK$ cheques from a local bank.

    US$ cheques can take up to 6 months to clear and there is a charge of US$20.

    It depends on the bank.
    I wrote a USD Cheque to my mom drawn from my HSBC Bank Canada's account.
    Her bank (Hang Seng Bank) charges her 70 bucks HKD for depositing a USD cheque, which is a lot less than $20 USD (155 bucks hkd ? )

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Kowloon-side, between work and pleasure
    Posts
    185

    I have written only one cheque, I think, in two years. That was for the rental deposit. Since that time, every thing is autopay, or credit card, or online, or cash. Hong Kong seems to be a veru reliable place re transactions...everything is in triplicate!