AlipayHK has won the bid to offer QR code mobile payment solution for Hong Kong MTR riders, while the new payment system will be rolled out to 91 MTR stations across the city by mid-2020.
In addition to the domination of Octopus cards, passengers of MTR will be able to use their AlipayHK accounts to pay the fare by mid-2020. According to South China Morning Post's report, users of Alipay wallet will also be able to link their accounts to the MTR app for payment.
The exclusive right for AlipayHK will last for one year before three additional providers are added in mid-2021.
Jennifer Tan, CEO of AlipayHK said in a statement that "AlipayHK is thrilled to have won the bid in being MTR’s QR Code payment system provider." She further explained the partnership is not only a recognition of AlipayHK’s technological stability, the company also feel confident that QR code transit technology will be successfully expanded into more aspects.
Speaking of the partnership, MTR's commercial director Jeny Yeung said AlipayHK won the bid because of its technology and speed. SCMP's report said MTR demanded the provider must make sure the payment speed is similar to Octopus. Under the new payment system, transactions will be completed in about 0.4 seconds.
AlipayHK is not new to Hong Kong's public transport. In October, AlipayHK has cooperated with two green minibus operators to enable passengers to pay the fare by scanning QR codes. Also, a trial programme was carried out in December 2017 as MTR passengers can use Alipay, Alipay HK, WeChat Pay and WeChat Pay HK for the purchase of single journey tickets from designated ticket issuing machines.