Take that, Samsung! Apple Pay Octopus may (finally) launch in Hong Kong with iOS 13

An Octopus card reader on a Hong Kong bus. Soon Apple users will be able to pay at Octopus readers with the tap of a phone. Photo via Wikimedia/Ka890.
An Octopus card reader on a Hong Kong bus. Soon Apple users will be able to pay at Octopus readers with the tap of a phone. Photo via Wikimedia/Ka890.

Move it or lose it, Samsung Pay users! After years of watching you ever-so-smoothly tap your phones to card readers to pay via Octopus, Hong Kong’s iPhone users are about to catch up: the city’s ubiquitous touchless payment card looks like it’s finally coming to Apple Pay.

The news was spotted by the Japan-focused Apple blog Ata Distance, which reported today that code in an iOS 13 beta contains specific Apple Pay and Octopus references. The references indicate that Octopus Cards Limited is likely field testing the latest beta.

The news is a long time coming for Apple devotees.

In December 2017, Octopus and Samsung announced the launch of the “Smart Octopus,” which allowed users to register their Octopus cards with their Samsung phones via Samsung Pay. Linking the accounts allows Samsung phones to do everything Octopus can do — from paying for the MTR, to buying groceries — all with a tap of the phone, obviating the need to carry around a physical Octopus card.

Now the service is making its way to Apple Pay, which works in more or less the same fashion: you simply register any credit or bank cards with the service, and when it comes to paying for things, simply tap your phone on the card reader.


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