Visa Study: Nine in ten Hong Kong commuters want innovation when it comes to public transportation, but keeping their eyes on safety, security and privacy


• Safety is seen as “very important” by 55% of commuters, trumping convenience (44%) and price (43%) for key factors in choosing modes of transportation
• Majority of Hong Kong commuters are open to innovations in public transport; But safety and data privacy concerns are among the hindrances to adoption


Hong Kong commuters are open to innovation that will improve the quality of their journeys, yet prize safety and digital security above convenience and price, Visa study finds.

As consumer behavior continues to change, appetite for different kinds of transportation such as car sharing services and Mobility as a Service (MAAS)1 are becoming increasingly popular in many of the cities worldwide as studied in Visa’s The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity reports2.

In Hong Kong, 88% would “probably” or “definitely” try innovation in transit, such as sharing their location data if it could improve their transport experience – higher than the 51% global average3. Seven in ten (69%) are open to try a system that can guarantee commuters will pay the minimum price for the journey; while six in ten (59%) will try contactless payments by credit or debit cards at gates.

Maaike Steinebach, Visa General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau said: “As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong needs to continuously improve the efficiency and efficacy of its transit infrastructure. With nine in ten commuters relying on public transport for work and school, any innovation must take the public’s behavioral preferences and concerns into consideration.”

In Hong Kong, contactless payments now account for more than half of the total face-to-face Visa transactions4, with one in ten of total transactions carried out via contactless mobile devices.5 The city ranks fifth in Asia Pacific in contactless payment penetration. Of the top four, three have implemented large-scale open-loop payments in transit.

Innovation, though, should come with safety – physical and digital. Nine in ten Hong Kong respondents in the study (87%) find safety “very important” and “important”,6 when it comes to taking transportation, more than the global average of 78%. Safety concerns extend to autonomous vehicles: 59% will not try driverless taxi, with 73% worrying about safety.

Convenience (44%) and reliability (43%) are also “very important” to commuters when selecting transit mode, compared to safety (55%). Forty-five percent of respondents spend more time commuting than they did five years ago, an average of 52 minutes a day.

Key barriers to adoption are security and data privacy: Half of respondents said they would be deterred from using new ways to pay for public transport due to concerns over payment security, while 46% had concerns over data privacy.

“The future of transportation for Hong Kong lies in connectivity, real-time data exchanges that will bring insights and efficiency, but this will require cooperation from a range of stakeholders, including think tanks and public authorities in strategic partnerships with private corporations. Issues such as payment security and data protection cannot be tackled alone,” said Ms. Steinebach.

In 2017, Visa launched Visa Global Transit Solutions, designed to accelerate the use of debit, credit and pre-paid accounts at thse fare gate, speeding up and creating a more convenient experience for mass transit commuters worldwide.  Globally Visa is engaged in more than 250 transit projects. By end of May, riders can tap to pay with Visa contactless at major subway lines and on buses in New York City, eventually expanding to all subway lines. Singapore, one of the world’s largest transit projects to date to accept Visa, is scheduled to go live early June. Visa is supported by over 50 industry partners, many based in Asia to help accelerate open-loop payments and seamless customer experiences, offering consumers better choices.

The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity (Hong Kong) study examined the challenges, concerns and pain points consumers have in their daily commute, with the goal to illuminate industry stakeholders when it comes to development of future Smart City blueprint and urban mobility infrastructure. For more information of the global edition, visit:


1 Mobility as a Service or MaaS integrates different forms of transport services into a unified solution accessible on-demand.
2 The study’s Hong Kong edition is conducted by Intuit Research on behalf of Visa. This quantitative study surveyed 1,000 respondents in Hong Kong in March 2019, which runs in conjunction with a global study by Stanford University also commissioned by Visa. It is one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth, covering 19 countries and more than 19,000 respondents.
3 The Hong Kong version of The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity Global study was conducted independently from the global version.
4,5 VisaNet: Quarter March 2019
6 Safety is “very important” and “important” to 55% and 32% of respondents, respectively.


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.