Hong Kong’s Electronic Money Card

WSJ writes about the spreading tentacles and increasing success of Octopus:

the payment method, known as the Octopus card, has done more than just replace pocket change on the bus. It has become a widely accepted electronic currency, used to buy a newspaper at 7-Eleven, a meal at a fast-food restaurant, even coffee at Starbucks.

In all, more than 12,000 locations across Hong Kong accept the card, including parking meters, municipal swimming pools and the popular horse-racing tracks.

About 1% to 2% of all cash transactions in the city are made with the card, says Octopus Card Ltd.

Octopus is a stored-value card and behaves like a debit card. Money is subtracted when the card is held over a reading device, which is a low-range radio transmitter that can be incorporated into doors, turnstiles and countertops. Because reading devices can detect a card through leather and plastic, many people never remove their card but rather wave their purse or wallet over the reader.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.