How to Choose a Digital Wallet in Hong Kong 2021

What is a Digital Wallet?

Digital wallets are an easy and secure way to transfer money, make payments to merchants, and manage your personal finances. Digital wallets safely store payment information and passwords and allow you to quickly complete purchases, store funds, and track payment histories. There are nine prominent digital wallets in Hong Kong and each has its own unique benefits and functions.

More and more merchants are accepting mobile payment methods, with over 50,000 stores in Hong Kong accepting AlipayHK alone. This guide explains the features and benefits of different digital wallets and lists several credit cards that earn boosted rewards when you use them through mobile pay.

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What are the Best Digital Wallets in Hong Kong?

Finding the best digital wallet for you depends on your spending habits and preferences. Each digital wallet offers its own unique feature — some wallets can make cross-border payments, others allow P2P payments and link to credit cards. Our analysts have reviewed the top digital wallets for different kinds of consumers.

PayMe: Seamlessly transfer money and pay at thousands of merchants

PayMe allows consumers to seamlessly share bills with friends, pay businesses and keep track of expenses with a user-friendly app. PayMe is operated by HSBC, but you don’t need a banking relationship to use it. You can easily top up your PayMe account with a credit card or bank account. PayMe has a network of over 2 million users in Hong Kong and thousands of merchants accept payments through the service, making it a great choice for splitting costs with friends and conveniently transacting with vendors in Hong Kong.

AlipayHK: Over 50,000 merchants and cross-border bill pay

AlipayHK is a good choice for consumers looking for bill pay, cross-border transactions and a massive network of merchants. With over 50,000 participating merchants including fast food chains, convenience stores, and department stores, AlipayHK lets you make secure payments in both Hong Kong and mainland China across your entire budget.

TaoBao and TMall shoppers can enjoy a handling fee waiver by spending with the AlipayHK wallet. Finally, users can settle a wide range of bills on their phones via the AlipayHK app. You can top up your AlipayHK account with your bank account or with cash at 7-11, McDonalds, ParkNShop stores and other merchants.

WeChat Pay HK: Settle mainland China bills with HKD

WeChat Pay HK’s standout feature is that users can settle bills in mainland China with the Hong Kong dollar. You can make P2P, online and merchant payments with WeChat Pay HK. Eligible mainland China vendors include Didi Chuxing, Meituan-Dianping and more, and transactions are converted from RMB to HKD automatically.

BoC Pay: Make P2P transfers and enjoy merchant discounts and promotions

BoC Pay users can pay bills, make P2P transfers and pay merchants who accept UnionPay QR code, all without a mainland China bank account. BoC Pay offers a number of discounts and promotions with popular Hong Kong merchants, and several BOC credit cards offer boosted rewards for spending with mobile pay.

Tap & Go: The first digital wallet with Mastercard and UnionPay functionalities

Tap & Go is the first mobile wallet to incorporate both UnionPay and Mastercard payment methods in one simple app. You can use Tap & Go with thousands of merchants accepting Apple Pay, UnionPay and Google Pay in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas. Anyone over 11 years old with a Hong Kong, Macau or mainland China phone number can register. Top up your Tap & Go account with FWD, Bank of China, HSBC and Hang Seng bank accounts as well as with cash at numerous merchants.

Apple Pay: Link up to 8 credit cards and protect your information

Apple Pay users can link up to 8 credit and debit cards to their wallet and pay at more than 10,000 grocery stores, restaurants and retailers in Hong Kong. You can also check your Octopus AAVS balance and top up with your preferred credit or debit card with no fee. Apple is renowned for its measures to protect your privacy. When you make a purchase, Apple Pay generates a device-specific number and a unique transaction code so your card number is never stored on your device and your information isn’t shared with merchants.

TNG: Transfer money, pay local merchants and easily exchange foreign currency

TNG is a popular digital wallet for P2P transfers and is accepted by thousands of local retailers. It also allows you to easily exchange foreign currencies and transfer money to the UK and Singapore. TNG is also accepted by a number of taxi companies in Hong Kong, making it convenient for local commuters.

UnionPay: Enjoy mobile pay with over 29 million merchants in mainland China

UnionPay users can enjoy mobile pay with over 29 million merchants in the mainland and is accepted with retailers in 33 countries and regions outside of China. This digital wallet is a one-stop app for P2P transfer, online and brick-and-mortar merchants, bill pay and more.

O! ePay: Convenient Octopus top up and P2P payments

O! ePay allows you to easily top up your Octopus for yourself, friends and family and more in an instant. Users can shop online, make P2P payments and scan accepting merchants’ QR code to easily handle their personal finances.

Compare Digital Wallet Features

Digital WalletTop upLink credit cardGlobal money transferBill pay
PayMe-
AlipayHK
WeChat Pay HK
BoC Pay-
Tap & Go---
Apple Pay---
TNG
UnionPay--
O! ePay-

Credit Cards and Digital Wallets

Binding Your Credit Card to a Digital Wallet

Binding your credit card to a digital wallet can be a convenient way to reduce clutter, avoid losing a credit card and expedite your transactions. What’s more, several digital wallets offer an extra layer of security by not sharing your card information with merchants and with fraud prevention systems.

Several credit cards offer boosted rewards when you use them for mobile pay. Hang Seng MPOWER Card offers consumers a 5% Cash Dollars rebate on mobile payments for local dining, entertainment, and fashion expenses. The BOC i-card’s 0.067 miles per HK$1 general spend is boosted to 0.667 for mobile transactions. Similarly, CCB eye Platinum Card offers am impressive 0.333 miles per HK$1 spend with mobile pay, boosted to 0.469 overseas.

To learn more about the rewards and promotions of different credit cards, read our overview of the most competitive credit cards in Hong Kong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Digital wallets offer various security measures including two-factor authentication methods and personalized security settings. When you lose a regular wallet, your cash and credit cards are immediately at risk of being stolen. However, biometric locks and passwords on phones make it more difficult to access your personal information, and you can lock your digital wallet remotely. These measures can make a digital wallet even safer than traditional payment methods.

Several mobile wallets can be used across the border, including WeChat Pay HK and Alipay HK. A UnionPay mobile wallet can be used to transact with millions of mainland China merchants.

You can enjoy a number of discounts and rebates with select merchants with a digital wallet. Using your digital wallet to spend with these vendors will typically result in a rebate directly to your app. Some wallets offer time-limited welcome offers such as BoC Pay, AlipayHK and O! ePay.

Applying for a digital wallet is relatively simple and does not have many requirements. Most wallets only require some basic personal information, a Hong Kong phone number, and an email address. Digital wallets affiliated with a bank do not require you to have an account with that bank. After determining which digital wallet best meets your needs, you can find more information on the company website and apply for an account online or on your phone.

Kevin Schwartz

Kevin is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion specialising in credit cards in Hong Kong. He previously worked for the U.S. Congress as a Legislative Fellow as well as in international education in Beijing. He holds a B.A. in International Studies and Chinese from the College of the Holy Cross and received multiple scholarships for Chinese language studies, including the State Department Critical Language Scholarship.