Apple Pay to land in Hong Kong this summer

A batch of banks in Hong Kong announced Tuesday that they will soon support the Apple's electronic payment method in the city.

The much-anticipated Apple Pay service will finally roll out in Hong Kong in the coming months as a number of lenders in the city announced on Tuesday their support of the new mobile payment which provides an "easy, secure and private way" to make a payment.

Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will become the credit card platforms for the mobile payment service, with American Express, Bank of East Asia, BOC Credit Card, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered being the supporting banks, according to the Apple Pay page on the Hong Kong Apple website.

Many popular local stores are also amongst the first batch of merchandisers that support the payment, including supermarket Wellcome, beauty shop Sasa, designer shop Lane Crawford, and health retailer Mannings. McDonald's, Starbucks, and 7-Eleven are also in the list, according to the website.

Statements released by these various Hong Kong banks didn't specify the exact time when Apple Pay will arrive there, while DBS Hong Kong said in its statement that it will bring the new electronic payment to the customers this summer.

All these banks in Hong Kong emphasised that "security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay" and "the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers", in their statements.

Hong Kong has been left behind in developing mobile payment services due to the popularity of its Octopus smart card, which has been accepted in most retailers and transportation methods.

Chinese technology giants Alibaba and WeChat have been actively promoting their respective mobile payment methods, Alipay and WeChat Pay, in Hong Kong over the last few years.

Despite a number of local Hong Kong retailers having accepted these two payment methods, they are largely adopted by tourists travelling from the Chinese mainland, as Alipay and WeChat Pay support debit and credit cards issued in Hong Kong, but only those of Chinese mainland banks.

Hong Kong is behind the Chinese mainland in its adoption of Apple Pay, with China launching the service back in February -- the fifth market in the world to do so, behind the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. The service was made available in Singapore in April for Amex, and later for MasterCard users there.