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Octopus card
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New Octopus card for mainland use is now on sale in Hong Kong

Hongkongers can swipe on public transport across 300 Chinese cities

Catharina Cheung
Written by
Catharina Cheung

The Octopus card, Hong Kong’s ubiquitous contactless smart card used for payment on public transportation, in shops, for healthcare, and even government services, will soon extend its reach to mainland China. Plans are in place for users to swipe a new Octopus card on public transport in over 320 mainland Chinese cities from the second quarter of 2024.

The main selling point of this Octopus version is that users can top up the card using Hong Kong dollars, and fares will automatically be deducted in Chinese RMB. Previous iterations of similar cross-border Octopus cards like the Hu Tong Xing linking Hong Kong and Shenzhen did not receive much enthusiastic response, mainly because it required users to top-up Hong Kong dollars and RMB separately – a problem that this new Octopus card has resolved.

The launch of this card would significantly smoothen the ease of travelling up to mainland China, where payment has long been a bit of hassle since Hongkongers have to sign up for a variety of apps as accepted payment systems across the border are different.

This new Hong Kong–Mainland Octopus card will be on sale from Monday, 25 March, available for purchase at various convenience stores as well as seven MTR stations, namely Hung Hom, Lok Ma Chau, Sheung Shui, Fanling, Tsuen Wan, Kowloon Tong, and Admiralty. The card will cost $88 without deposit or inherent stored value, and has a maximum stored value limit of $3,000, just like the cards currently in circulation. Though tech-savvy users may scoff at a physical card in this age of digital wallets, cardholders can manage and top up this new card via the existing Octopus app.

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