"The Taps Are Gushing" Hong Kong ATM Withdrawals Surge As Facial Recognition Fears Spread

Tyler Durden's picture

Amid a crackdown on unauthorized mainland currency outflows by forcing ATM users to undertake facial recognition before cash is dispensed in Macau, Hong Kong ATMs are reportedly being hit by a massive surge in withdrawals from China's UnionPay bank cards.

As The South China Morning Post notes, the mainland has been strengthening regulations since last year when a decline in the ­value of the yuan led to widespread capital outflows.

Mainland people are allowed to withdraw up to 100,000 yuan (HK$117,000) in cash overseas and remit up to US$50,000 worth of foreign currency offshore ­annually, according to 2016 ­foreign ­exchange regulations.


Users of UnionPay cards can withdraw up to 10,000 yuan per day for each card they hold.


To skirt around the foreign ­exchange controls, some individuals have been using separate ATM cards to make cash withdrawals, prompting the regulators to crack down on the practice.

The most invasive of those crackdowns was the imposition of facial recognition technology in Macau ATMs.

Regulators in the world’s most lucrative gaming hub are deploying machines with “Minority Report”-style technology to keep tabs on capital outflows from China and watch for potential money laundering schemes. China UnionPay Co.’s network is the first to use the software, which will be installed in all the city’s 1,200 cash dispensers.




“This is aimed at illicit outflows of capital from China,” said Sean Norris, Asia Pacific managing director at Accuity in Singapore. “It’s aimed at people drawing out money in Macau, going to the casino, betting very little, getting forex from there and moving it.”

But now, as SCMP reports, one source explains...

"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."

Monetary chiefs in Hong Kong have declined to deny or confirm information obtained by the South China Morning Post that ATMs have seen a "staggering'' rise in withdrawals since the ­casino hub introduced the facial recognition technology in May as part of a bid to stem illegal capital flight from the mainland.

"The rise in ATM withdrawals in terms of volume and number has been staggering. The taps are gushing," a source with knowledge of the situation said.

The development follows a move by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to instruct local banks to submit data on cash withdrawals by UnionPay cards throughout the ATM network as the regulator cracks down on ­unauthorised mainland outflows.

The Monetary Authority spokeswoman added:

"The HKMA endeavours to enhance the security level of banking ­systems.


"We have been studying the applications of different technologies, including the feasibility, soundness and cost efficiency of facial recognition and other types of biometric authentication technologies, having regard to the technologies used in other ­jurisdictions.


"However, we have no plans to require ATMs to install facial ­recognition technology."

Which leads to one simple question... If everything is so awesome over there, why are Chinese authorities cracking down so hard on what seems like utter panic to get cash out of the onshore market?

And do not be fooled by the "strengthening Yuan" narrative... once again China is continuing to devalue its currency against the world... while maintaining the "Shanghai Accord"-like illusion that it is strengthening again the USD...

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ET's picture

Anti-burka technology.

Son of Thor's picture

I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jobproplan.com%3A68UoF1LgzM-Yo3S...

myfro2000's picture

He makes 7k a month sucking dick on the street

Jim in MN's picture

Just end it now.  Scum have zero self-restraint. 

nmewn's picture

I'm long latex masks & contact lens ;-)

HRClinton's picture

Smash these Spirit Catchers!

ReasonForLife's picture

Bitcoin would come in quite handy in situations like these. ;)

giovanni_f's picture

Bitcoin/Litecoin to diversify your deposits, Monero to hold some crypto cash. Avoid Ripple-off like the plague.

Deep_Out-of-the-Money's picture

Hilarious! I was in the Emirates lounge in Istanbul airport a few months ago. Saw a woman in a burka making a Facetime call. Funniest shit ever!

SilverRhino's picture

What's the fucking point?  lol 


No Escape's picture

does it work on nuns too?

tmosley's picture

Commie peanutz will be moving to crypto bigly with this move.

PrezTrump's picture

Seems like they already have been.  This weekend in crpyto can be summed up as: BUY ALL THE THINGS!

Rhetorical's picture

Not all of them just  NEO OMG BNB BTC  BCC STX ETH LTC GAS QTUM HCC MONACO HSR and all others that arent DGB


Its kinda nice cause Im up 25% in 2 days have made more money gambling crypto than my day job good times.

ExplodingEntropy's picture

Dont listen.




Will smoke his picks

Advoc8tr's picture

VERI is a dog ... no way that token is worth $120 ... Reggie just created the whole issue and sat on the bulk of them limiting supply.  

I can agree that Populous and TenX are legit good picks.   SALT is another to watch and is still in ICO.  FIAT loans against crypto assets has long legs I think.

Zero_Ledge's picture

Oh, no, none of this sounds at all like a bubble...


BarkingCat's picture

Of course it is. All of them have an intrinsic value of zero. 

However, as the saying goes - markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. 

.......so this insanity can last for another few years and those people like fonestar can be multimillionaires riding the wave.

Juggernaut x2's picture

so that no man might buy or sell unless he had the Mark of the Beast

HRClinton's picture

The Mark of the (((Redshield Beast))).

Blue Steel 309's picture

Mark of the Beast is arguably the Star of David.

Historical symbolism should never have been canonized. The problem with pure symbolism is anyone can see whatever they want in it.

Lore's picture

+1. Symbols exist to be manipulated. Ask any Brother.

Five Star's picture

The majority of Chinese millionaires now say they are thinking about leaving China. Something is coming



Lost in translation's picture

All headed to Los Angeles and Orange Counties, no doubt.

Billy the Poet's picture

Could end up turning California red or even red.

hoist the bs flag's picture

time to collect on all that American property they own.

JRobby's picture

Oh good, I would hate to see high end real estate completely collapse............

HRClinton's picture

Financial warfare against China... get its rich people to leave, to weaken and then crash the system.

When there're busy playing Defense, they won't have the bandwidth to play Offense with their OBOR. Is the theory in NY and DC.

robertocarlos's picture

If they have a daughter I can help them.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

We wouldn't let the Chinese billionaires in when Hong Kong reverted. I was so hoping to marry a billionaire's daughter and get green cards for the whole family.

max_leering's picture

sumting weawwy weawwy wong... i no wan yu see my face... yu numba 10

Yen Cross's picture

 The whole emerging market farce is a joke! I'd guess the parabolic rises in cryptos have lessened [conventional] capital outflows temporarily.

  Same as it ever was bitchez~

whoisjohngalt11's picture


williambanzai7's picture

Utopia/social harmony is a bitch

Ben A Drill's picture

Stupid people. Every ATM on the planet has video cameras and so does every store have video of you coming and going at the minimum.

I actually think it's a good thing if it keeps the crooks away. I could care less, I'm not a criminal. Don't plan on being one anytime soon either.

kamikun's picture

>>I could care less, I'm not a criminal. Don't plan on being one anytime soon either.

Ben, not to be a jerk - but you are simply not thinking this through. Whose definition of "criminal" are you using?

That's the way this game is played. Actions that were perfectly legal and common may be ruled illicit with no warning and no recourse. Suddenly, sending money to your brother in Argentina (for example) may be considered an inappropriate transfer of soverign funds and you could be branded a federal criminal.

Ben A Drill's picture

I don't talk to my relatives so......

A ATM can spit out what $300.00 a day. Go inside the bank and withdraw just like the good old days before ATM's.

Still don't see the big deal. If it a big deal and I don't see the big picture then call me stupid to have money stashed in my gun safe not collecting interest. LOL!

Anonymous_Beneficiary's picture

Silly you...have you not heard of civil asset forfeiture? You're guilty until you've proven your innocence...see how that works?

And apparently you've never heard of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 which was amended under Roosevelt to include all US citizens as enemies of the US government.

So enjoy that blue pill, walking through life with your hands over your eyes.

Ben A Drill's picture

Yes I've heard about it and I do my best not to drink and drive as well.

JRobby's picture


Masks. In fact, a mask that parody's you would be ideal.

HRClinton's picture

Too f***king complicated. Just slip on a sock of same type as pantyhose.

Slip on, slip off.

Got The Wrong No's picture

Masked ANTIFA slime run free, so why can't we

Moving and Grooving's picture

Makes me wonder - if you showed up at an ATM wearing all black clothes, a helmet, and a mask, would the cops 'find' you shortly thereafter? Pretend you're an armed and violent felon? Kill you? Disappear you first, then kill you? Would you commit suicide while in custory? Turn up in a park two weeks later?


And I mean if YOU OR I did that, not known, paid, in-place thugs, agitators, or crisis actors. There's a difference, you know. Wonder how big the difference is? They never get challenged by the cops, despite mumblings about '33 arrests' out of 40,000 protesters. But you and I would be dead, quickly.