HK commuters willing to embrace new payment methods

FinTech Innovation editors
21 Sep 2018

The majority of Hong Kong commuters (86%) would be willing to break with current transit payment tradition of using stored value contactless transit cards and switch to new methods that come with incentives, such as cashback and loyalty reward points, according to a recent Visa survey.

The survey, which examines Hong Kong commuters’ perceptions and preferences in public transport, found that commuters will choose to pay with contactless mobile wallets (44%), contactless credit cards (40%), and QR code payments (15%) apart from current payment method if it meant they would be able to receive offers and benefits traditionally associated with retail banking products.

When it comes to paying at gates, Hong Kong commuters are most conscious of price (65%), speed of transaction (64%), security (57%), and the ability to pay as one goes or not having to top up (35%).

According to the survey, the biggest pain points related to their commutes are transit cards running out of values when used (55%), long queues at fare gate during rush hour (50%), and extra time spent to top up stored value cards (40%).

Paul Jung, Visa Head of Products, North Asia: “Given Hong Kong’s mature financial services sector, commuters expect more than just fast, secure and convenient payments at transit gates. The recent Visa study shows that they want to be able to earn reward points, cashback and even mileages when paying for their subway and bus rides.”

Contactless payments are widely used and accepted in Hong Kong, accounting for 43% of total face-to-face Visa transactions; The city ranks fifth in Asia Pacific in term of usage. Hong Kong also has one of the highest penetration levels of Visa contactless payments made via mobile devices in the world.

Jung added: “With high consumer expectations, lingering commuter frustrations, and a market already familiar with contactless payments, it is to Hong Kong’s benefits to implement open payment ecosystem in mass transit, just like other international cities such as London, New York, Sydney and Vancouver. A transit system, where all standardized payment methods are accepted, can help boost the experience of millions of daily commuters and travelers visiting Hong Kong.”

First published in FinTech Innovation

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