Following efforts by WeChat Pay and Alipay to introduce their mobile payment platforms to Hong Kong’s taxis, Octopus is reportedly set to make another push to get taxi drivers in Hong Kong to accept its contactless card as payment for fares.
According to the South China Morning Post, the company now plans to launch an app especially for the city’s taxi drivers in April that will feature a card reader that will be able to accept payments, eliminating the need to set up specialised Octopus card readers in vehicles.
“Octopus has an edge. It is so widely used in Hong Kong,” Ng Kwan-shing, chairman of the Taxi Dealers and Owners Association told the Post. “But whether drivers or passengers will choose to use Octopus or others depends on what incentives it offers.”
Most of the city’s taxi drivers only accept cash payments, despite the widespread use of Octopus cards for payments in areas such as rail transportation, F&B and retail.
The company has previously tried to court the city’s taxi drivers into accepting Octopus cards as a means of payment, but administrative fees to use the service have so far caused most drivers to not adopt the technology.
However in December last year, mainland Chinese mobile payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay made headway, when more than 2,500 drivers signed up to begin accepting payments made using the platform.
Both WeChat Pay and Alipay are popular in mainland China but have yet to gain the same widespread use in Hong Kong.
The city’s underground train operator MTR has also recently begun accepting payments made through WeChat Pay at select stations.