Hong Kong prepaid card provider Octopus has partnered with Chinese online giant Alibaba’s Taobao ecommerce platform and Alipay mobile payments service to let customers make secure online purchases using a combination of contactless cards, QR codes and NFC phones.
To use the new Octopus Online Payment (OOP) service, customers download the latest version of the Octopus app to their NFC phone and complete a one-time registration process to connect their Octopus card to the OOP platform.
When shopping on Taobao.com, they select Octopus as their payment method at checkout and a QR code and payment code is displayed for them to scan or key in to their mobile phone, using the Octopus app. They then touch their Octopus card to the back of their mobile device to complete the payment.
“Every time a online payment is made, the purchase amount will be deducted from the Octopus only when the user taps his/her registered Octopus [card] on the NFC-enabled mobile device,” Octopus explains.
“Shopping on Taobao Marketplace has become a major trend in Hong Kong,” says Daphne Lee, director of international business at Taobao Marketplace. “This cooperation to continuously optimize Hong Kong consumers’ user experience on our platform and enabling them to pay instantly with their Octopus via the Alipay platform reflects the importance that Alibaba Group has placed on the local market.
“With the debut of the OOP, local users can now enjoy another tailor-made and localized online payment option and continue to drive the e-shopping wave.”
“We are very excited to have the opportunity of working with China’s largest and well-loved payment and shopping platforms Alipay and Taobao Marketplace in offering the first NFC-enabled online payment solution using contactless smart card,” adds Octopus CEO Sunny Cheung. “This will also further popularize the development of online payment with NFC mobile technology in Hong Kong.”
Octopus is also testing an NFC payments service for use in brick and mortar stores, in partnership with mobile network operator PCCW-HKT and Sony FeliCa.