Hong Kong

Last Updated September 2023

Introduction to funding

Nium works on a prepaid model. This means before you can start creating virtual cards and making payments with Nium, you need to add money to your Nium account. The process of adding money to your account is also called funding your account.

You can fund your account by sending a bank transfer to one of our banking providers' bank accounts. These are safeguarded accounts where we securely hold our clients' funds.

Once our banking providers receive your money, it is automatically routed to one of your Nium funding accounts.

What are funding accounts?

After you send a bank transfer to fund your account, that money is added to a funding account in Nium. You can then use this money to top-up your virtual cards.

We will set up funding accounts for you when we onboard you to Nium. You will have a funding account for every available currency that you plan to make card purchases with. (By default, you will get one funding account per currency. However, you can also request secondary funding accounts if necessary.)

You can create and top-up virtual cards if you have a funding account in a particular currency. For example, if you have a GBP funding account, you will use the money in this account to top up all the GBP virtual cards you create.

How do virtual cards work?

Once the money is available in your funding accounts, you can create and use virtual cards. Nium supports two types of virtual cards:

  1. Single-use cards can be used for purchases one time only. This type of card is automatically deleted on settlement. If you don't spend the entire balance of a single-use card, any money remaining on the card after its one-time use is transferred back to the card's corresponding funding account.

  2. Multi-use cards can be used for as many purchases as you wish. This card type needs to be manually deleted when no longer in use.

Is my money safe with Ixaris?

We hold clients' money in safeguarded bank accounts. Additionally, Ixaris is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the 2017 Payment Service Regulations to provide payment services (Registration number 721549). Any money you add to Ixaris is set aside and safely stored.

Bank account approval

To recap, you will add money to your Nium account by sending a bank transfer from your bank account (also called a funding source) to one of our banking providers' bank accounts. Your money will be transferred from our banking providers' bank account to one of your funding accounts in Nium.

As part of our regulatory requirements, we need to verify all the bank accounts (funding sources) you use to transfer money to our platform before we can accept them as approved funding sources. To do this, during your onboarding process, we will ask you to provide some information related to your bank accounts in a KYB questionnaire.

If you change banks or need to add an alternative bank account, you must request us to approve this new funding source.

To have your bank account approved as a funding source, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a bank statement from your bank
    1. The statement must meet the following criteria:
    • It must be recent (up to 3 months old)
    • It must have your account holder's name
    • It must have your IBAN/Account number
    • It must have the bank logo
  2. Send the bank statement to [email protected]

Banking definitions


The Clearing House Automated Transfer System, or CHATS, is a real-time gross settlement system for the transfer of funds in Hong Kong. It is operated by Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited, a private company jointly owned by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Association of Banks.

Faster Payment System (FPS)

To address the increasing market needs for more efficient retail payment services, the HKMA has launched the Faster Payment System (FPS) on 17 September 2018. All banks and e-wallet operators in Hong Kong can participate in the FPS. The FPS enables their customers to make cross-bank/e-wallet payments easily, by entering the mobile phone number or the email address of the recipient, with funds available to the recipient almost immediately. The FPS operates on 24x7 basis and supports payments in the Hong Kong dollar


SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a network that allows banks to communicate financial information securely. Most banks and building societies offer SWIFT payments for international fund transfers. SWIFT payments involve a series of banks that work together to ensure your funds are in the right place. You can think of it like making a journey yourself - if there isn't a direct flight to your destination, you might take a series of connecting flights to get there. In the same way, your SWIFT payment can end up being moved between one and three correspondent (or intermediary) banks before reaching your recipient. SWIFT payments are the most common choice for high-street banks making international payments, but they're not necessarily the cheapest or fastest option.