Visa drives payment innovation in Hong Kong


Contactless payments now account for one in every three face-to-face Visa transactions in Hong Kong1


Visa is committed to enhancing contactless payment experience and security, and to the advancement of mobile payment ecosystem in Hong Kong.  Backed by a tech-savvy society with a high percentage of electronic payment in term of the total personal consumption expenditures in Hong Kong (65.5 percent)2, Visa’s contactless in face-to-face transactions ratio has tripled in the past 18 months, meaning that one in three face-to-face Visa transactions is now made through either mobile or Visa payWave3.  Visa payWave is a contactless payment service that was first introduced in 2008.  Today, with an issuance of over 4 million Visa payWave cards4 and over a million Visa digital accounts on mobile payments enabled5, Hong Kong is one of the top markets in Asia Pacific for contactless payments.

As a global brand with top-ranking consumer confidence and business confidence, Visa is uniquely positioned to leverage its world-leading operating scale and digital development to meet growing demands for new ways of payments.

Ensuring security on connected devices

With more than 21 billion devices estimated to be deployed in the global economy by 20206, Internet of Things (IoT) will change the way we live, shop and pay.  Using connected devices such as smartphones, appliances or wearables will bring value to our everyday payments.  Visa’s mission is to ensure that every connected device can enable secure IoT commerce.

This is where tokenisation comes into play as it brings an added layer of security to mobile and digital payments.  Visa Token Service replaces sensitive account information, such as a 16-digit Primary Account Number (PAN), with a unique series of numbers (a “token”) that can be used for payment without exposing a cardholder’s account information. With a high mobile penetration rate of 235.5 percent, and there are now more than 17 million mobile subscriptions in Hong Kong7, tokenisation ensures that consumers can transact in digital environment in a safe and secure way.  As more and more connected devices become payment-enabled over time, the new technology will also provide the essential security platform for any kind of online transactions.

Importance of QR Code Payment Standard

Technologies such as digital token have made contactless payments more popular and secure than ever before. This in turn encourages the market to bring forth new and efficient payment methods for the sake of having a frictionless shopping experience.  QR code payment is the prime example of such latest innovations. It opens electronic payments to micro merchants and sole traders without compromising on security and convenience.  Using QR code for payment is cost-effective as it does not require expensive hardware or infrastructure for the transactions. 

Visa is in support of the new global QR Payment Specifications from EMVCo, the global technical body that manages the EMV® specifications. A standardized, global QR Payment Specifications would enable consumers to transact in a simple, fast, and secure manner.  Visa believes that a global specification is an important step that promotes interoperability and ensures security and efficiency in every Visa transaction.

“Hong Kong people are receptive to contactless payments and it helps transform how consumers pay in the city.   Our goal is to drive Hong Kong towards a cashless society by leading payment innovation.  Whatever mobile device, payment account or QR code consumers choose to use, Visa aims to ensure interoperability and provide a safe and secure payment experience as consumers continue to explore new forms of digital payments,” said Caroline Ada, General Manager of Visa Hong Kong and Macau.

The full potential of digital payments has yet been realised, with ample opportunity of growth still available in public transport services, bill and rent payments, as well as small merchants. To this end, Visa has taken the lead in providing technology enablement and total solution services in partnership with numerous multinational corporations through its Visa Developer Platform. Innovation Centers have also been set up around the globe to provide an immersive experience for clients and partners to explore new products and technologies.

Be it wave-and-go or scan-and-go, contactless payments are rapidly growing in popularity. The creative disruption brought about by digitalization of point-of-sales, tokenisation of transaction gateways and diversification of IoT-enabled payments will revolutionize the everyday buying and selling. Visa will continue to expand contactless acceptance in Hong Kong and facilitate new ways to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.


1 As of June 2017. Quarterly Operating Certificate, Visa Inc. This data is reported quarterly by Visa’s clients on their operating certificates and is subject to verification by Visa. On occasion, client banks may update previously submitted information.

2 Merchant Segment Study of Euromonitor International 2015.

3 As of June 2017. Quarterly Operating Certificate, Visa Inc. This data is reported quarterly by Visa’s clients on their operating certificates and is subject to verification by Visa. On occasion, client banks may update previously submitted information.

4 ditto

5 ditto

6 Gartner: Forecast: Internet of Things — Endpoints and Associated Services, Worldwide, 2016

7 Office of the Communications Authority (Jan 2017)


About Visa Inc.

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.