After months of anticipation, Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) has finally launched the integration of the Octopus card for the iPhone and Apple watch. Made available to Hong Kong users from 2 June onwards, the Apple software update also includes real-time transit directions for Apple Maps.
The new payment solution is compatible with the iPhone 8 and later (with iOS 13.5), and the Apple Watch Series 3 and later (with watchOS 6.2.5). Once installed, users can register their Octopus account to Apple’s mobile payment system and begin making contactless payments.
First announced by OCL in July 2019, the update is long overdue for Apple users. Smart Octopus, the Android equivalent, was launched by Samsung Pay in December 2017, while real-time transit directions have been available through Google Maps for years.
Currently, the feature is only available for Adult and Elder Octopus cards. Another important thing to note is that the Octopus account will become digital once registered, rendering the physical copy unusable. Users who want to continue using their physical cards may choose to purchase a new Octopus card directly from the Apple Wallet app instead.
Similar to a physical card, transactions can be made through the virtual Octopus card by tapping or swiping the registered device to a card reader. Users with a need for speed may choose to activate Express Transit, which allows transactions to be made without having to unlock the device.
Top-up options remain the same: users can add up to HKD 3000 to their card with cash at a convenience store or MTR customer service centre, or skip the queue by transferring funds from a Hong Kong bank-issued credit, debit or ATM card through the Octopus or Wallet app with no extra service charge. For maximum convenience, users can also register for the Automatic Add Value Service (AAVS) to top up automatically.
“We are excited to announce the much-anticipated Octopus on iPhone and Apple Watch,” Chief Executive Officer of OCL Sunny Cheung said. “Given the popularity of Apple devices and Octopus’s penetration in Hong Kong, OCL is keen to expand our service offering to an even wider audience through this new platform, and to help fast-track the adoption of mobile payments in this city. As Hong Kong’s pioneer electronic-payment service provider, bringing Octopus to iPhone and Apple Watch allows us to further our mission of making people’s everyday life easier through innovative mobile payment solutions leveraging contactless technology.”