Mobile payments

Hong Kong must push for more e-payment and an end to Octopus monopoly

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 10:48am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 10:48am

I refer to the article by Cannix Yau (“Hong Kong smart city blueprint rolled out amid scepticism over pace and scope”, December 15) on Hong Kong’s smart city blueprint. 

The government is acting so slowly that we cannot realise our ambition as a world-class smart city. 

E-payment, which is pervasive in mainland China, is a case in point. 

Almost anyone with a smartphone can and will use it because it is straightforward and cheap. E-payment is so convenient and easy to use that in China even roadside food stall operators have adopted it. The money in the transaction can be small, often less than 100 yuan (US$16). 

For vendors, the large volume of transactions and the low costs involved make sense. The consumers do not need to be tech-savvy to use it and do not need to carry cash.

I think Hong Kong should examine its tardiness in promoting e-payment, especially when smartphones have a very high penetration rate in Hong Kong. 

The Octopus payment system has dominated the e-payment market for public transport. However, we lag behind cities like London, which allow tap-and-pay credit cards for buses, trains and other modes of transport. The Octopus monopoly in Hong Kong should end.

Tony Leung, Kwai Chung