When you set up a company in Hong Kong, it’s essential to know what payment methods should be available for your customers. Here are some of the most common payment methods for most companies in Hong Kong.
For B2C (Business to Consumer)
Cash is the most common form of payment anywhere in the world, and Hong Kong is no exception. Any business in Hong Kong needs to accept cash as an absolute minimum. The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$) which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of HK$7.80 = US$1.
• Octopus Card
An Octopus Card is a contactless card with a set amount of money stored on it. Customers can use their Octopus cards to make both offline and online payments in Hong Kong. Practically everyone in Hong Kong has an Octopus card so having a way for your customers to use their cards with you makes things far more convenient for them. The more convenient you make things for your customer, the more likely they are to do business with you. Additionally, the standard transaction time of Octopus cards is only 1 second, which is unmatched compared to that of credit cards.
• Credit Card
Like most countries, Hong Kong has a lot of credit card companies. Many businesses also accept the most popular worldwide options for credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and UnionPay. Many customers also have credit cards, so it helps out both your customers and your business to enable them to use them with you.
There are also new payment methods that continue to be introduced and evolve. Hong Kong is in the middle of adapting brand new payment methods including Apple Pay, Google Pay, MasterCard contactless (formerly known as MasterCard
Hong Kong also has its fair share of exclusive e-wallet apps and options. People in Hong Kong sometimes make electronic payments using PayMe from HSBC, Alipay, WeChat Pay, TNG Wallet and Tap & Go. Much like any e-wallet, a customer will often have to deposit money into their e-wallets or link their credit cards to their e-wallets before they can use them to make purchases.
EPS began in 1985 and had become the most extensive electronic payment system available in Hong Kong. Customers can easily make payments to businesses by using their ATM cards that are linked with their bank accounts. It’s essentially the Hong Kong variation of a debit card. Companies need to install the EPS POS terminals over the counter, and customers enter the passwords of their ATM cards over the terminals to settle the payment. It is getting less popular in Hong Kong now.
For B2B (Business to Business)
• Bank Transfer
Bank transfers are still the most common B2B payment method in Hong Kong. It’s easy to arrange a bank transfer using online banking or by taking a trip to a physical bank and arranging one there. All you need to make a bank transfer is the banking details of the recipient.
Using a cheque or sending someone an e-Cheque are also common ways to transfer money in Hong Kong. An e-Cheque is basically an electronic cheque used to make your cheque payment more convenient. It was launched in Hong Kong in December 2015.
PayPal is one of the most common methods of transferring money online in the world. PayPal is accepted in most countries including Hong Kong and many businesses accept PayPal and use their PayPal accounts for money transfers. Some of them even use PayPal as their bank. It helps to have a PayPal account for your business set up whether it’s to send or receive money.