Sunday, July 01, 2018

Octopus card in Hong Kong

The Octopus card (Chinese: 八達通) is a reusable contactless stored value smart card for making electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong. Launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the territory's mass transit system, the Octopus card system is the second contactless smart card system in the world, after the Korean Upass, and has since grown into a widely used payment system for all public transport in Hong Kong, leading to the development of Oyster Card in London and Opal Card in New South Wales.

The Octopus card has also grown to be used for payment in many retail shops in Hong Kong, including most convenience stores, supermarkets, and fast food restaurants. Other common Octopus payment applications include parking meters, car parks, petrol stations, vending machines, fee payment at public libraries and swimming pools, and more. The cards are also commonly used for non-payment purposes, such as school attendance and access control for office buildings and housing estates.

The Octopus card won the Chairman's Award of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance's 2006 Global IT Excellence Award for, among other things, being the world's leading complex automatic fare collection and contactless smartcard payment system. According to Octopus Cards Limited, operator of the Octopus card system, there are more than 33 million cards in circulation, nearly five times the population of Hong Kong. The cards are used by 99 per cent of the population of Hong Kong aged 16 to 65.[1] The system handles more than 14 million transactions, worth over HK$180 million, on a daily basis.[2]

Octopus Card Limited's and the cards' slogan is Making Everyday Life Easier.

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