WeChat Pay signs Hong Kong transport deal
Written by Chris Lemmon
Commuters on Hong Kong’s MTR rail network will soon be able to pay through their WeChat Pay or Weixin Pay mobile apps.
This is according to the South China Morning Post, which claims that Alipay will also be rolling out a similar feature in the near future following talks with MTR. WeChat Pay will be the first new payment option for the Hong Kong public transport network, which has been using the Octopus card system since 1997.
The service will initially be trialled at two stations, with MTR confirming that WeChat Pay terminals will be installed at a number of ticket machines by mid-December. The service will be confined to the purchase of single-journey tickets to begin with.
A company statement from WeChat said: “Under the collaboration, mobile payment solutions including WeChat Pay Hong Kong and Weixin Pay will be offered to the customers of MTR, providing Hongkongers and Chinese travellers an expanded payment option that is simple, secure and convenient.
An MTR spokesman added: “The company noticed electronic payments are becoming popular, with a multitude of payment options on the market. Following a study, MTR has decided to roll out the trial scheme.”
In separate news, the City of Boston has voted to award a multi-year contract to the Cubic-John Laing consortium for the design, integration and implementation of a new automated fare collection system on the city’s travel network.
Customers will now be able to pay fares by tapping debit and credit cards at fare gates, as well as their mobile phones through apps such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The system will also include a contactless fare card.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) general manager, Luis Manuel Ramirez, said: “This isn’t just the next generation of fare collection, but an entirely new way that our customers will interact with the MBTA. The new system will be compatible with all modes, will provide more options for paying fares and will have more fare media available for use.
“To be clear, we still have much work ahead of us to involve our customers, stakeholders and members of the community to ensure we all realise the benefits of the new system. But today is a major step forward in our partnership with the Cubic-John Laing team to completely transform and modernise our system of fare collection.”