Apple Pay Stimulates Once Moribund Hong Kong Mobile Payments Market
More than a year since rolling out its service in Hong Kong, Apple Pay now finds itself competing in a crowded mobile payments market that had total transactions of HK$17.9 billion in stores and HK$11.6 billion online in the city during the first quarter of this year.
Experts said the state of mobile payment services in the city saw a rapid transformation after Apple Pay entered the market in July last year, as rival smartphone offerings affiliated with major brands like Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Alipay and WeChat Pay soon followed.
Apple Pay currently accounts for nearly 90 per cent of all NFC transactions globally, according to Apple’s spokesman.
There are more than 20 million contactless-ready locations globally where Apple Pay is currently used, including more than 10,000 merchant stores in Hong Kong.
Industry sources said about 30 per cent of smartphone users in Hong Kong own iPhones, a situation that has helped push local Apple Pay usage. Government data show there were 16 million 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network users in the city as of May 31.
Spending volume by Standard Chartered Bank credit card holders in the city has increased 47 times since the first month of Apple Pay’s launch in the city, according to the bank.
Union Pay International, part of Chinese financial services giant China UnionPay, estimated that total debit and credit cards it has issued in Hong Kong is approaching 16 million, in which the growing trend is to use Apple Pay.
Live in 16 markets around the world, Apple Pay is also used to pay for purchases made within apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.
The global mobile payments market is forecast to reach US$780 billion by the end of this year.
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