Saturday, June 28, 2008

The application of pre-paid cash card for consumers

Pre-paid cash card is a rechargeable stored value smart card used to transfer electronic payment in online or offline. It is a very convenient smart card which is widely and commonly used by everyone to settle payment in ease. The concept of ‘touch and go’ with the pre-paid cash card has made our lifestyle easier especially for those with busy and hectic lifestyle.

In Hong Kong, there is the application of a pre-paid cash card called the Octopus card. This Octopus card can be used in virtually all kinds of public transports in Hong Kong since 90% of the daily journeys of Hong Kong citizens are on public transport, making it the highest in the world! Commonly used public transport includes trains, buses, trams, ferries and minibuses. Besides it also used for the payment at convenient stores, supermarkets, fast food restaurant, on street parking meters, car parks and other point-of-sale applications such as service station and vending machines. The examples of shops that accept the card are PARKnSHOP, Wellcome, Watsons, 7-Eleven, Starbucks, McDonald and CIrcle K.

According to Octopus Card Limited, operator of the Octopus card, there are over 17 million of Octopus cards now in circulating, which the numbers are more than twice the population of Hong Kong. This cards are used by 95 percent of the population of Hong Kong aged 16 to 65, generating over 10 million daily transactions worth a total of about HK$29 billion (US$3.7 billion) a year. Mainly there are 2 types of Octopus cards, the on-loan card and the payment for airport transport. In specific, there are 6 categories of on-loan card offered by the company:

Type: Child (for children between the age of 3 to 11)

Type: Students (For students attending secondary schools and universities, discontinued in 2005 and replaced by Personalised Octopus Card)

Type: Adult (The standard version of the Octopus card)

Type: Elder (eligible varies between different public transport companies)

Type: Personalised (The rainbow-coloured Personalised card is eligible for students to apply with pictures and names)

Besides, in MTR stations, enquiry machines can be found where cardholders may place their Octopus cards on the machines and the machines will display the balances along with a history of last 10 usages. Monetary value can be added to the card through a number of ways. There are Add Value Machines, located at MTR stations, can be used to add more value to the cards. The machines accept cash, and selected machines are also able to accept Electronic Funds Transfer. Alternatively, value may be added with cash at authorised service providers such as PARKnSHOP, Wellcome, Watsons, 7-Eleven, Circle K, and Café de Coral, and also at customer service centres and ticketing offices at other transport stations.

The Octopus card has been internationally recognised, winning the Chairman's Award of the
World Information Technology and Services Alliance's 2006 Global IT Excellence Award for being the world's leading complex automatic fare collection and contactless smartcard payment system, and for its innovative use of technologies. Therefore it is very efficient and convenient for customers who purchase this Octopus card, with one card, everyone can settle their payments without the traditional ways of coins and notes.

>>Octopus card reader at a McDonald's restaurant in Central

>> Octopus reader at MTR ticket

<<Octopus card reader in bus
the official website for Octopus, 八达通 :


  1. Cash card said...

    This is nice platform for Cash card, here you can apply for cash cards

  2. public key infrastructure said...

    Good statistical analysis on cash card of Hong Kong Octopus card really changed the way transactions were done for boarding a public transport its really very helpful and saves daily cash and change problems