HKT to support Apple Pay in Hong Kong

Apple Pay HKHKT, the largest fixed-line and mobile network operator in Hong Kong, is joining a growing network of service providers that support Apple Pay. HKT’s “Tap & Go” prepaid service on Tuesday started its support of Apple Pay, roughly a week after HKT group managing director Alexander Arena confirmed the company’s deal with Apple.

“The whole mobile payments market is still in its very early days. Not every smartphone has near-field communications (NFC) built into it,” said Alexander Arena, HKT group managing director, during a press conference last week.

Apple Pay was launched last month in Hong Kong, the third major market in Asia to roll out the service this year after mainland China and Singapore, to eligible cardholders of American Express, Visa and MasterCard. “You’ll see NFC being progressively extended to all smartphones, and consumers will be encouraged to use their phone as a wallet,” Arena said.

Tap & Go, initially introduced by HKT in July last year to subscribers using Android smartphones, is expected to receive a boost as its large base of subscribers with iPhones now have Apple Pay support. “I don’t think anybody has the market share numbers for Tap & Go yet, but these are very exciting times,” Arena said.

HKT had a total of 4.445 million mobile subscribers by the end of June under its premium “1010”, mainstream “CSL” and low-cost “Sun Mobile” brands. Its subscribers open the Wallet app on their iPhones, tap the plus sign and follow the onscreen instructions to add Tap & Go and activate Apple Pay.

There are an estimated 10,000 merchant locations in Hong Kong that accept Apple Pay, and more than 10 million in all nine major markets where the service has launched so far and until the end of August, HKT is offering a HK$50 rebate promotion to use Tap & Go for Apple Pay transactions.

The initial batch of Apple Pay participating banks in Hong Kong — American Express, Standard Chartered, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC and BOC Credit Card, a subsidiary of Bank of China (Hong Kong) — cover an estimated 70 per cent of cardholders in the city, according to Apple. According to Apple, the Bank of East Asia also started supporting Apple Pay from Tuesday.

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Categories: Apple Pay

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