Date
19 December 2018
The entry of Chinese operators is spurring growth of the mobile payment market in Hong Kong. Photos: Bloomberg, UnionPay, Citibank, HSBC, Samsung
The entry of Chinese operators is spurring growth of the mobile payment market in Hong Kong. Photos: Bloomberg, UnionPay, Citibank, HSBC, Samsung

Mobile payment war heats up in Hong Kong

Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s big two mobile payment giants, both entered the Hong Kong market last year, triggering a mobile payment war among major operators.

To fend off the competition, local e-payment leader Octopus Cards joined hands with Samsung Electronics to launch Smart Octopus. Backed by an attractive promotional offer and the vast user base of the mobile phone brand, the venture is said to have been quite successful.

HSBC, meanwhile, launched a mobile payment app PayMe, which enable users to send money instantly to anyone for free.

Union Pay has also joined the game. To vie for customers, it set up a booth at the Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park to promote its Quick Pass service.

Other players have also made use of the festival to boost public awareness about their payment platforms.

It’s a Chinese tradition to give out red packets as lucky money during the Lunar New Year. Alipay and WeChat Pay introduced electronic red envelopes several years ago and have been adding new features.

HSBC followed this year with its own version of electronic red packets, including the function to send greetings along with the red packet. Octopus added a similar e-Lai See function, with an option to send lucky money to World Wide Fund for Nature.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 20

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman

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