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Would the usage of the Octopus Card be extended?

  • Yes

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  • No

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2,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, please read this Gov't Press Release:
LCQ15: Extending the usage of Octopus Cards

Following is a question by the Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma, in the Legislative Council today (May 23):


Given the growing popularity in payments by Octopus cards, and the number of cases of patients defaulting on drug charges has dropped by 80% after the introduction of Octopus payment machines by the Hospital Authority, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of public service organisations which accept payments by Octopus Cards;

(b) whether the Government has discussed with Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) extending the usage of Octopus Cards so that the public may pay tunnel tolls and various public utility bills at post offices, as well as hire charges for venues under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department by Octopus cards; if it has, of the progress of the discussion; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) given that OCL's representatives had joined the delegation led by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology to attend the Pan-Pearl River Delta Trade Fair in Guangzhou in July 2004 to promote Octopus services, and that civilian exchanges between the Mainland and Hong Kong have become increasingly active in recent years, whether the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau and the Innovation and Technology Commission have assisted OCL in promoting Octopus services in the Mainland over the recent years, with a view to facilitating Hong Kong people who go north for spending; if they have, of the details?


Madam President,

(a) According to information from the Octopus Cards Limited (OCL), payments by Octopus cards are available at over 400 different service providers including transport services, carparks, convenience stores, supermarkets, fast food chains, bakeries, leisure facilities, cinemas, personal care stores, vending machines, etc. Public service organisations which accept payments by Octopus cards include the major public transport operators such as the railway, bus and ferry companies. Payments by Octopus cards are also accepted for certain charged services provided by the Hospital Authority and Government departments such as the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Companies Registry and the Hong Kong Police Force.

(b) The Government has discussed with OCL on the feasibility of using Octopus cards for payment of Government tunnel tolls. Under this payment mode, a motorist is required to stop the vehicle at a toll booth and place the Octopus card at the card reader to effect payment. The toll booths have to be manned for ascertaining toll payment by motorists. For tunnels with differential tolls on different classes of vehicles, toll collectors also need to input the proper toll amount to the card readers to activate the payment process first. Thus, the time required would not be shorter than using the Exact Toll lanes. Also, if there are incidents of negative balance in Octopus cards, vehicles not stopping close enough to card readers or Octopus cards accidentally dropped, etc., the time required will be lengthened and hence affect the flow of tunnel traffic. After careful examination, the Government is of the view that the Octopus system would unlikely bring about additional advantages from both the traffic management and cost effectiveness perspectives.

For the counter collection of payment for Government bills provided by Hongkong Post, Hongkong Post has previously explored the provision of Octopus as a payment option for collection of Government bills and utility bills. However, as the majority of Government bills (such as tax and rates) are not of a low value, in view of the considerable recurrent commission fees charged by OCL based on the transaction value, i.e. the amount of payment per bill and the substantial one-off set up cost, Hongkong Post has not pursued this option further. It should however be noted that various payment methods are already available for settling Government bills. Payment of Government bills at post office counters can be made in cash, by cheques or through EPS. Alternatively, instead of paying in person at the counters of post offices, members of the public may settle the bills by electronic means including autopay, PPS, automated teller machines and internet banking services.

As regards premises managed by LCSD, at present, members of the public can use Octopus cards to pay for admission fees or hiring charges at swimming pools open to the public and 26 leisure venues. LCSD has planned to install Leisure Link self-service kiosks at 50 leisure and cultural venues within this year where members of the public can use Octopus cards to pay for hiring of leisure venues and enrolment in leisure programmes. Apart from leisure venues, Octopus cards are accepted at LCSD's public libraries for payment of photocopying charges. LCSD is also planning to extend the Octopus card service to payment of overdue fines, reservation fees for library materials and replacement charges for library cards.

(c) As advised by the relevant bureau, OCL gave a presentation on its services at the Pan-Pearl River Delta Trade Fair held in 2004, at the invitation of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Where appropriate, the Government would provide assistance to OCL in promoting the application of reliable and convenient payment services for the public locally and across the border. For instance, to facilitate cross-border activities of residents in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the Shenzhen branch of the Peoples' Bank of China and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority have been actively promoting the use of Octopus cards in Shenzhen. In 2006, the relevant parties decided to introduce Octopus cards to Shenzhen's retail sector. A fast food chain then became the first Octopus-enabled retailers in Shenzhen in August 2006.

Ends/Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:36

--You may visit the Website to see the current usage of the Octopus Card. :)

142,798 Posts
There should be a statement mechanism, such as allowing users to view their usage online. With recent problems regarding value-adding at train stations, there should be a better way for consumers to check that additions and subtractions are being properly done.
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