The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced that Hong Kong and Shenzhen locals could be using smart cards to travel and shop by next year, according to The Standard.
The two cities are looking into a two-in one smart card that combines the Octopus card (Hong Kong’s contactless payment card) and its sister card, the Shenzhen Tong. The HKMA is also working on a reader that can handle both cards to aid cross-border business in the Pearl River Delta.
The HKMA hopes the move will encourage more banks to adopt contactless technology. So far only Citibank and DBS issue cards with Octopus functions – yet the technology has proven popular. The region boasts 20 million contactless cards in use, accounting for HK$12 billion in yearly transactions.
Additionally, the proportion of non-transport Octopus card transactions has increased from 6 percent in 2002 to 36 percent in 2009, while the value of non-transport transactions rose from HK$1.1 billion to HK$12.8 billion.
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