E-wallet is a tool allowing the user to store monetary value and acts as a medium for payment for goods and services or money transfer.
It is simple to apply for E-wallet. It only requires the applicant to provide basic personal information such as phone number and email address. The E-wallet launched by banks do not require the user to have a bank account with such bank.
Currently there are five popular E-wallets in Hong Kong. Each of them has its own unique characteristics and function. For example, some E-wallets support cross-border remittances, while others allow users to pay for daily transportation expenses.
Octopus Wallet, also known as Octopus O!ePay, is a network-based stored value service operated by managed by Octopus Cards Limited, that supports peer-to-peer payments, online payments and top-ups to Octopus cards.
Users can top-up their Octopus Wallet through their Octopus cards, or by cash at any 7-11 store. They can also transfer money from Octopus Wallet to their bank accounts anytime.
Payme is an electronic payment tool developed by HSBC. However, its usage is not limited to HSBC bank account holders. It allows users to share bills with friends or make payments to shops and restaurants. It is easy to make payment through Payme - all that is needed is a mobile number.
Alipay is highly popular in Mainland while its popularity in Hong Kong is also increasing. Alipay supports cross-border payment services and payment for transportation and other daily expenses. Users can top-up their Alipay account through cash, credit card and bank transfer.
WeChatPay is the payment function of the mobile application WeChat. By selecting “Pay” in WeChat, users can easily transfer money to any friends in their address book. In addition to payment between friends, WeChatPay is widely accepted among merchants. When making purchases in Mainland, WeChatPay will automatically convert RMB into HKD at a designated exchange rate.
Tap&Go, operated by Hong Kong Telecom, incorporates both Mastercard and UnionPay card schemes. It is a prepaid payment tool that can be used in shops which accept Mastercard or UnionPay. Users need to download the “Tap&Go” to their smartphones and activate the account through phone number and identification documents. If needed, users can also apply for a physical card on top of the virtual card.