Date
25 May 2017
Holders of first-generation Octopus cards will receive special alerts from May to turn in their cards for free upgrade. Photo: CNSA
Holders of first-generation Octopus cards will receive special alerts from May to turn in their cards for free upgrade. Photo: CNSA

Octopus to step up card upgrade efforts ahead of new cash limits

Octopus Holdings, which operates the widely-used Octopus electronic payments system in Hong Kong, will step up efforts to get the holders of the firm’s first-generation cards to upgrade their plastic.

Starting May, people holding the older cards will receive alerts, in the form of special beep sounds from card readers, every time they use the payment system.

The move is aimed at prompting customers to turn in the cards for free upgrade that will allow higher amount of money to be stored on them after a new law takes effect later in the year.

Under a revision to the ordinance on Octopus payments that will take effect in November, the upper limit on the funds that can be stored on a card will be raised to HK$3,000, the Hong Kong Economic Journal noted.

At present, one can hold a maximum of HK$1,000 in stored value on the Octopus cards.

Octopus Holdings started an exchange program in August last year for holders of two million first-generation cards.

As of now, only about 80,000 cards have been turned in for upgrade, according to the firm’s chief executive Sunny Cheung Yiu-tong.

To speed up the exchange, card readers at thousands of retail sales spots in the city will be used to send special alerts to the cardholders. 

Octopus Holdings will consider raising the stored-vale limit after sorting out some technical and other issues.

[Chinese version中文版]

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