While it debuted in France with one bank supporting it and, thus, little fanfare, Apple Pay came out with a bang in Hong Kong today.
It has American Express and five banks on-board with one other and an affiliate payment service to come. They are:
- Bank of China (Hong Kong)
- Hang Seng Bank
- Standard Chartered
- BEA (Coming Soon)
- Tap & Go [A service of Hong Kong Telecom] (Coming Soon)
Visa, MasterCard and AMEX cards can be put in and used at forty retailers and ten apps.
Hong Kong has a fractured atmosphere of mobile payment systems with carriers implementing their own proprietary solutions. In addition to HKT, 3 Hong Kong and SmarTone both have their own NFC-based tap-to-pay apps. Also prevalent in the city is the Octopus RFID card, which has been around since 1997 and enjoys entrenchment within its transit systems, schools and businesses — including almost all of Apple Pay’s current partner retailers and beyond.
It’s a competitive market that Apple has jumped into. We’ll see if it lasts.
Correction: An earlier version of this story claimed that the Octopus Card used NFC technology. Pocketnow regrets the error.