Visa: Hong Kong ready for open payments in mass transit given high usage of contactless payments


• Visa host partners in its first Transforming Transport Forum in Hong Kong
• Growing volume of contactless payments from credit cards and mobile devices in Hong Kong sets the foundation for open payments in mass transit


Visa (NYSE:V), the leading global payments technology company, host partners from the private and public sectors in its first Transforming Transport Forum in Hong Kong.

The fourth stop after similar Visa transit events held in London, Singapore and recently New York City, the Forum showcased transit solutions from global cities such as London and how they have successfully adapted open contactless payments system for mass transit. Urban mobility is crucial as more than 66 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050, according to the United Nations.1

Caroline Ada, Visa General Manager for Hong Kong and Macau said “As cities grow and become smarter, Visa sees more needs for better transit payment options. We believe contactless payments and an open commerce ecosystem with multiple solutions is the best way forward for an international financial hub like Hong Kong as has been shown in other leading global cities.”

London was among the first international metropolises to roll out city-wide contactless payments for cards and mobile devices. Transport for London (TfL) implemented open, interoperable payments on London buses, and Underground and rail services in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

More than 1.7 billion journeys have been made by contactless cards and mobile devices across the capital, serving on average 17 million journeys a week.2

Hong Kong is already among the top five markets in Asia Pacific for contactless payments. Four in ten (42 percent) face-to-face Visa transactions are contactless.3 Hong Kong also has the highest penetration of Visa contactless payments made via mobile devices in Asia Pacific.4

“Visa believes the extensive adoption and popularity of contactless payments serve as a good foundation for open, interoperable payments in mass transit. With more than 100 ongoing transport projects around the world, we can draw on international best practices to provide better customer experiences for millions of commuters and drive operational and cost efficiency for transport operators in Hong Kong,” said Ms. Ada.

In a recent Visa market research, convenience and ease of use are the top criteria most consumers (87 percent) look for when choosing to use electronic payments.5 The success of any transit payment option is predicated on tapping into existing expectation and familiarity.

“The same fast, safe and reliable payment experiences should be consistent for a traveler from Hong Kong using her Visa account on her smart phone to pay for her Tube ride in London, and for a visitor from London paying for dim sum brunch in Mongkok. Central to the success of contactless payment and widespread usage in transportation systems around the world is interoperability,” added Ms. Ada.

At the global level, Visa launched Visa Ready Transit program, and announced it has signed 29 new technology companies, from across 10 countries, as part of the program. Visa works with companies whose technology solutions are accelerating seamless, friction-free commuting with contactless payments - helping to promote contactless growth in public transportation globally.

Most recently, Visa and transport operators launched contactless payment acceptance across public transportation systems in Vancouver, Canada and New South Wales, Australia.


2 Source: “Half of all Tube and rail pay as you go journeys across London using contactless,” Transport for London:
3 Source: VisaNet April, 2018
4 Ibid. As percentage of total face-to-face transaction
5 Visa market survey conducted over the period of 6-15 April, 2018 with a total of 1,008 qualified respondents


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network—enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.