"Rainbow" design Octopus Card is the standard On-loan Adult Octopus Card
The internationally acclaimed, pioneering Octopus Card has been an integral part of Hong Kong life since 1997. The contactless smart card was developed to allow commuters to travel on multiple forms of public transport using a single card and without the inconvenience of finding exact cash for single journeys. It makes using Hong Kong’s impressive public transport system simple and convenient and is a “must” for most visitors to Hong Kong. Octopus services have since been expanded and the card can be used at over 31,000 service providers including fast food outlets, bakeries and cake shops, convenience stores, supermarkets, household and personal care stores, boutiques, photo finishing services, telecommunications shops, vending machines, self service kiosks, photocopiers, photo booths, cinemas, telephone kiosks, parking machines, educational campuses and recreational facilities as well as for access control in residential and commercial buildings. Octopus Card transaction records have also been used as evidence in obtaining convictions for crime. It is the world’s most used smart card system with over 11.6 million transactions a day worth over HK$193.7 million in 2020. At the end of 2020 there were 34.1 million Octopus Cards or products with Octopus functions in circulation.
Originally conceived an electronic fare collection system for the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) it can now be used on virtually all forms of public transport, including MTR trains, Airport Express, buses, green minibus, outlying island ferries, Star Ferry and other ferries, Peak Tram and Hong Kong Island trams.
Following a trial between December 2010 and May 2011, where 30 urban taxis were fitted with Octopus Card readers, a further 300 urban taxis belonging to one operator were equipped with Octopus Card readers and as at early 2013, a total of about 500 taxis were Octopus-enabled. Octopus Cards is to increase the rebate it offers taxi operators from three cents to five cents per fare to encourage more operators to offer Octopus payment. It is not yet known whether taxi other operators will follow suit. A smart phone app "TaxiGo" by Motion Power is available for iPhone and Android mobile devices, which, using GPS lists Octopus-enabled taxis by distance and allows users to order by either calling the driver direct or contacting the call centre. A previous trial in 2006 involving 20 New Territories taxis failed, one reason being that taxi drivers had to return to their office at the end of each shift to enable accounting formalities to be completed). On the vast majority of journeys Octopus Card users benefit from lower MTR fares than single-journey ticket fares. However following MTR fare increases between 2010 and 2014 there are a number of journeys, where the Octopus fare is slightly higher than the single-journey ticket fare. This situation has arisen as Octopus fares are rounded to the nearest ten cents whereas as single-journey fares are rounded to fifty cents which would have resulted in a disproportionate fare increase for some low-value fares (mainly child and elder concessionary fares) and some single-journey fares are unchanged. A list of those fares where the Octopus fare is higher than the single-journey ticket fare is here;
In January 2010 Hong Kong Monetary Authority confirmed a new smart card incorporating chips for both Hong Kong's Octopus Cards and neighbouring Shenzhen's Shenzhen Tong Card would be introduced. It was initially expected to be launched in December 2010 but a limited edition commemorative version of the card, known as "HU TONG XING", was not launched until 3rd September 2012. The standard version was launched on 11th September 2012. Octopus Card company had formed a working party with Shenzhen Tong in 2008 to establish reciprocal arrangements to allow the Octopus Card to be used on the Shenzhen Metro and the Shenzhen Tong (Shenzhen's equivalent of the Octopus Card) to be used on public transport in Hong Kong. The new card, which can be used for both payment of public transport fares and for small-value purchases is targeted at the many frequent cross-border travellers. The card has two "e-purses" in Hong Kong dollars and yuan in a single chip and will be territory-based so that transactions made in Hong Kong will be charged in Hong Kong dollars and transactions made in Shenzhen will be charged in yuan. Similarly adding value to the Octopus account will only be possible in Hong Kong and adding value to the Shenzhen Tong will only be possible in Shenzhen. The Hong Kong version of the Sold Adult "HU TONG XING", costs HK$98 in Hong Kong or RMB80 in Shenzhen. The purchase price of the card includes no useable value and is not refundable. Owing to technical issues, it was not possible to combine the card with the Octopus Card and Lingnan Pass (see below)
Also in January 2010 it was announced that the company had teamed up with mainland company Digital China Holdings to run a joint venture to develop and operate "Citizen Cards" in mainland China. Digital China Octopus Information Technology Systems will bid for provincial and municipal government contracts to supply and operate cards for services such as social security, medical and healthcare, cultural, educational and birth planning, as well as residential property management and utility bill payments.
In August 2011 Octopus Cards Limited signed an agreement with another smart card company Guandong Lingnan Pass Company to introduce a "two in one" smart card, the "OCTOPUS LINGNAN PASS" which enables travel and purchases in Hong Kong and sixteen Guangdong cities including Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, Shanwei, Huizhou, Maoming, Zhuhai, Jieyang, Heyuan, Yunfu, Shaoguan, Yangjiang, Zhanjiang, Zhongshan and Qingyuan. The card has separate "electronic purses" enabling yuan payments in Guangdong and Hong Kong dollar payments in Hong Kong and was launched on 3rd July 2012. By early September 2012, about 10,000 Octopus Lingnan Passes had been sold in Hong Kong.
In August 2012, Octopus Cards introduced an "OctoCheck" app for Android mobile devices which allows smartphone users to check their Octopus transaction records by holding their Octopus Cards close to the back of their mobile phone after registering the last five digits of the Octopus Card number. The app is available only for NFC-enabled smartphones and can be dowloaded from the Google Play Store, free of charge, for smartphones such as Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy, HTC One and Sony Ericsson Xperia.
In March 2013 announced that later in the year it plans to introduce a SIM card for near-field technology smartphones such as Sony Xperia and Samsung's S3 and S4, which would enable a phone to act as an Octopus Card and also enable settlement for online purchases by Octopus Card.
In October 2013 Octopus Cards Ltd announced it was launching an Octopus mobile SIM pilot scheme in conjunction with Sony and PCCW. New customers of PCCW purchasing Sony handsets with Near Field Communication (NFC) will be able to use the Octopus Mobile Payment Service by simply holding the phone over an Octopus reader to make purchases. Only 5,000 handsets are available during the pilot and functions of the standard Adult Octopus Card will be available but concessions such as those provided by the Child or Elder Octopus are not be available. Full market launch will take place when satisfactory has been achieved.
Since February 2014, Octopus Card holders can use the card to pay for goods on Alibaba’s online shopping website, Taobao by downloading an Android app and registering their Octopus Cards. There is a daily maximum limit of HK$1000 and a 1.5% service fee. Initially, the app can only be used on Android smartphones with near-field communication function.
Octopus Cards has announced that it is to introduce a cash-transfer app in the second quarter of 2014 which will allow registered users to transfer up to HK$1000 per day to friends or relatives.
The HK$1000 maximum value which can be held on Octopus Card is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's current daily limit for stored-value and retail-payment systems but the limit is to be increased to HK$3000 with effect from November 2016, subject to technical problems and consumer protection issued being resolved.
In April 2016 Octopus Holdings announced that it is to launch an app enabling peer-to-peer payment through Octopus Cards for customers holding a deposit account with Standard Chartered Bank. The O! ePay App, available for Android and iOS users will allow instant transfer of funds between users of Standard Chartered debit or credit cards who have opened an O! ePay account. The maximum stored value limit for O! ePay is HK$3,000 and all payment transactions and fund transfers to and from Octopus Cards are subject to a transaction limit of HK$3,000 over 2 consecutive days as a consumer protection measure.
In August 2016 Octopus Cards launched an app for Apple devices after Apple Pay went live in Hong Kong. Users need to download the Octopus app and purchase an Octopus card reader for HK$228 to pair the card reader via Bluetooth to an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
In October 2017 Octopus Cards Limited announced that all First Generation On-Loan Octopus Cards will become invalid by 2019. A replacement programme for replacement of 2 million cards, first issued in 1997, was initiated on a voluntary basis in August 2015 but some 1.2 million cards had not been replaced by the time the final call for replacement was made. Replacement will be phased in batches and cards in each batch will receive a three beep sound when using the card as a prompt to replace the card. The prompt is in effect for three months, with the first batch of cards receiving prompts from 18th October 2017 and needing to be replaced by 20th January 2018. Replacement is free and cards can be replaced at self-service Octopus Service Points, MTR Customer Service Centres and designated Kowloon Motor Bus Customer Service Centres. To encourage card holders to use self-service Octopus Service Points a new design On-Loan Octopus Card featuring the new corporate logo is available exclusively from these service points.
On 6th September 2018 two MTR Ticket and Octopus Selling Machines were introduced at Airport Station enabling customers to pay for Airport Express tickets and Octopus Cards with credit cards and mobile payment devices. The initial stored value for Octopus Cards obtained from these machines differs from Octopus Cards obtained "over the counter" at MTR Customer Service Centres. Four Octopus Selling Machines have also been installed at the arrivals level of Hong Kong West Kowloon Station which opened on 23rd September 2018. These`machines accept payment by Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay, JCB, Alipay and WeChat Pay.
New design On-loan Adult, Child and Elder Octopus Cards available exclusively to holders of First Generation On-loan cards who replace those cards at self-service Octopus Service Points from October 2017
First Generation On-Loan Octopus Cards were designed and manufactured before the establishment of Near Field Communication (NFC) standards and do not have the same functions such as compatibility with smartphone apps or level of security as later editions.
For further details see;
From 14th December 2017 Octopus Cards, together with Samsung, began offering tap and pay smartphone functions on some Samsung phones with "Smart Octopus" through the Samsung Pay wallet app allowing locals to use their phones in place of Octopus Card to pay for public transport, small purchases at retail outlets and for entry and exit to residential estates controlled by Octopus function. Users need to link the card with the phone through the Samsung Pay app using the phone's NFC function after which the card will be deactivated and no longer usable, with the stored value and reward points being held in the wallet. However, there is a minimum add-value of HK$300 and 2.5% service charge when using "Smart Octopus". The service is initially available with Samsung Note 8, S8 and S8+ models.
Apple iPhone users with iOS 13 software have able to add Octopus to the Apple Pay Wallet to pay for local travel and small purchases since early June 2020. .
From 1st December 2019, the stored value limit of all newly issued Octopus products including On-Loan Octopus, Sold Octopus, Bank Co-Brand Octopus, Smart Octopus and Octopus Mobile SIM etc., is HK$3,000. Any user who possesses a Smart Octopus issued before 1st October 2019 or an Octopus product issued before 1st December 2019 can upgrade the stored value limit from HK$1,000 to HK$3,000 via Octopus App or at any Octopus Service Point. Once the stored value limit has been upgraded, users can also make payment of up to HK$3,000 for each transaction starting from 1st December at over 3,200 retail outlets† operated by more than 30 merchants, including SOGO, PARKnSHOP, Wellcome Supermarket, Watsons, 7-Eleven and Mannings. More merchants are expected to support the maximum Octopus payment amount of HK$3,000.
TYPES OF OCTOPUS CARD;
ON-LOAN STANDARD OCTOPUS CARD
On- Loan Octopus Card is usually the type of Octopus Card most suitable for visitors and tourists. No form of registration or any personal information is required to purchase an On-Loan Octopus Card (except Personalised Octopus Cards which are not suitable for most visitors - see "Personalised Octopus Card" below). Octopus Cards can be bought "over the counter" at any of the locations detailed below under "Where to Purchase the Card". Payment must be made by cash (credit/debit cards not accepted).
The price of an on-loan Octopus Card includes a refundable deposit**;
ADULT - Price HK$200 representing a deposit* of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$150 except for Octopus Card purchased from Octopus Selling Machines at the Citybus Customer Service at the public transport interchange of the passenger terminal of Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge where the price is HK$200 representing a deposit of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$150.
On-Loan Adult Octopus Card
CHILD (ELIGIBILITY FOR CONCESSIONS AGE 3-11, see note* below) - Price HK$100 representing a deposit* of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$50 except for Octopus Card purchased from Octopus Selling Machines at the Citybus Customer Service at the public transport interchange of the passenger terminal of Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge where the price is HK$120 representing a deposit of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$70.
On-Loan Child Octopus Card
ELDER (AGE FOR CONCESSION ELIGIBILITY VARIES BETWEEN TRANSPORT OPERATORS, see note* below) - Price HK$100 representing a deposit* of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$50 except for Octopus Card purchased from Octopus Selling Machines at the Citybus Customer Service at the public transport interchange of the passenger terminal of Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge where the price is HK$200 representing a deposit of HK$50 and an initial stored value of HK$150. * see note below regarding alterations to benefits of Elder Octopus Card which will no longer provide access to the ""Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities $2 fare concession" for visitors to Hong Kong from a future date to be announced.
On-Loan Elder Octopus Card
* NOTE RE CONCESSIONARY FARE ELIGIBILITY - Eligibility criteria in respect of concessionary On-loan Octopus Card (Child and Elder) relates to USE of card, not loan of card. There is no age restriction for loan of the card and no personal identification is required to obtain the card. Child and Elder Octopus Cards are transferable and any concessionary Octopus Card can be used to obtain a concessionary fare for which the user is eligible (ie the card does not have to be the one loaned to the user). Age of eligibility for concessions can vary between transport operators eg the main franchised bus operators allow half-price fare for children up to and including age 11 but children up to age 4 to travel free when accompanied by an adult and not occupying a seat. MTR allows children up to and including age 2 to travel free and half-price fare for children 3-11. Uniformed staff of transport operators have the right to require passengers using concessionary cards to produce ID with proof of age if requested.
Foreign elderly visitors are able to obtain the Elder Octopus Card which allows the same generous concessions as local senior citizens enjoy under the government's "Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities", which was introduced in three phases between June 2012 and March 2013. Under this scheme, elder fares for most MTR journeys, bus routes and domestic ferry services are a maximum of HK$2 journey when paid with Elder Octopus Card. Where the original fare is less than HK$2, the original fare applies. Payment must be made with Elder Octopus Card to benefit from the HK$2 government-sponsored concessionary fare, by which the government subsidises the difference between the transport operators own concessionary fare for elders and the HK$2 fare. The concessionary HK$2 fare does not apply to Airport Express journeys, MTR journeys which terminate at, or start from the border stations of Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau and travel in first-class compartments on MTR East Rail Line, "A"-prefix airport bus routes and de-luxe cabin on New World First Ferry services between Central/Cheung Chau and Central/Mui Wo. As at February 2017 the scheme includes 515 green minibus routes served by 158 operators. Details can be found at the following link;
With effect from 27th February 2022 the HK$2 Public Transport Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Disabled is to be extended to include trams, 45 red minibus routes and 11 kaito routes;
Foreign disabled persons, under 65 are not able to enjoy the concessions of the "Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities". Without Elder Octopus Card, foreign elderly visitors can still obtain concessionary fares either by purchasing single-journey tickets for MTR journeys or paying in cash, or where applicable, buying tickets for bus and ferry journeys. However, the transport operators own concessionary fare is usually limited to 50% of normal adult fare.
For more further regarding concessionary fares for elderly foreign visitors, and details of concessionary fares, by operator, see SENIOR VISITOR CONCESSIONS.
*NOTE - Following a review of the Government Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities the Government has confirmed that with effect from 27th February 2022 the age of eligibility for Hong Kong residents to benefit from the maximum HK$2 fare will be lowered from 65 to 60. The scheme will also be extended to include red minibuses, kaitos and tramways. The scheme, which was introduced June 2012 and since extended in phases, currently extends to MTR journeys, franchised bus routes, green minibus and domestic ferry services. It is expected that over 600,000 Hong Kong residents will benefit from the enhanced scheme. In order to prevent abuse the scheme will in future be implemented by means of an Octopus JoyYou Card with photo ID and will be restricted to locals. Applications from Hong Kong residents for the new JoyYou card are being accepted in phases from August but the card will only serve as a standard Adult Octopus until 27th February 2022. People holding an existing Personalised Octopus with “Persons with Disabilities” Status can continue to use that card and don’t need to apply for the JoyYou Card.
People age 65 and over who currently benefit from the scheme can continue to use existing anonymous Elder Octopus or Personalised Octopus for the time being and an announcement is to be made in mid-2022 about the application process for JoyYou cards for those existing card holders. The existing anonymous Elder Octopus Card will no longer provide benefit of the HK$2 fare scheme from a future date to be announced.
SOLD TOURIST OCTOPUS
Sold Tourist Octopus features a special card face design
The Sold Tourist Octopus features the same functions as the Standard On-Loan Adult Octopus but carries no deposit and has no initial stored value when purchased*. In addition to public transport it can be used at numerous retail outlets and dining establishments and for admission to certain venues and tourist attractions. The card can be purchased at 7- Eleven, Circle K and VanGo convenience stores in Hong Kong, China Travel Service (HK) Ltd (CTS) and online at Ctrip. Value can be added to the card and the card reloaded from Authorised Add Value Service Providers, which include MTR / Airport Express Customer Service Centres, convenience stores and other retail outlets, up to a maximum of HK$1000 (increased to HK$3000 from 1st December 2019).
The card can be returned for cancellation and any outstanding stored value is refunded. Once cancelled the card is permanently disabled and cannot be reused.
* the price of cards purchased at China Travel Service (HK) Ltd or the TripAdvisor store at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is HK$49 which includes an initial stored value of HK$10 or HK$89 which includes an initial stored value of HK$50.
*price of cards purchased at Relay store, Arrivals restricted area L5, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport is HK$139 including HK$100 initial stored value.
Price for Sold Tourist Octopus purchased from MTR Ticket and Octopus Selling Machines (Credit card, AliPay, WeChat Pay, Octopus only) at Hong Kong International Airport (Arrival Hall adjacent to Hall A and Hall B exits to Airport Station) - HK$150 which comprises card purchase fee HK$39 and HK$111 initial stored value.
For full details see;
OTHER SOLD OCTOPUS;
Sold Octopus are mainly souvenir products and various different Sold Octopus products are issued from time to time. Unlike the On-Loan Octopus they usually have no stored value included in the purchase price. By adding value (topping up the card) these products function as a normal On-Loan Octopus Card except that, unlike the normal On-Loan Octopus Card, a Sold Octopus will not function if the balance goes below zero (as no deposit has been paid) and the card or product remains the property of the purchaser. The remaining value on the card is refundable and there is no administration fee for processing the refund. In addition to Sold Octopus Cards, Sold Octopus souvenir products such as include keyrings, neck straps and ornaments are available. For details of current Sold Octopus products see;
PERSONALISED OCTOPUS CARD;
Personalised Octopus Cards which can, if desired, incorporate the users photograph are also available but are mainly intended for locals or frequent visitors to Hong Kong. In addition to incorporating the functions of the standard On-Loan Octopus Card, Personalised Octopus Card is often used for access control at residential buildings. Application form has to be completed and the card collected after ten days on production of ID, such as Hong Kong ID Card or passport, be produced at after ten days. Personalised Octopus Card allows holders to use the automatic add-value service whereby the card is automatically topped up when the balance reaches a certain level and the holders bank account is charged accordingly. Personalised cards also offer some protection against loss or theft as the card can invalidated to prevent unauthorised use. Application form for Personalised Octopus can be found here;
**REFUND OF DEPOSIT FOR ON-LOAN OCTOPUS CARD- the deposit (less any use of NEGATIVE VALUE**) plus any remaining unused value is refundable at any time by handing in the card at the Customer Service Centre at any MTR Station or ticket office. Visitors leaving Hong Kong by air can hand the card in and obtain a refund at the Airport Express Customer Service Counters in the Arrival Hall at Terminal 1 and on the Airport Express Arrival Platform at Terminal 2 of Hong Kong International Airport. There is a small administration charge of HK$9 which is deducted from the balance in respect of cards issued prior to 1st April 2019 which are returned within three months of date of issue or HK$11 in respect of cards issued from 1st April 2019.
CONVENIENCE LIMIT (NEGATIVE VALUE) – In respect of On-Loan Octopus Cards issued before 30th September 2017, if the balance on the card is positive (HK$1 or above) but insufficient to cover the cost of the next transaction the card can incur a negative value of up to HK$35 which is recovered the next time the card is reloaded. The card cannot be used for any further transaction once a negative balance has accumulated until the card has been reloaded. In respect of all new On-Loan Octopus Cards issued on or after 1st October 2017 the convenience limit is increased to HK$50.
WHERE TO PURCHASE THE CARD
The card can be purchased on arrival at Hong Kong International Airport at several MTR Airport Express Customer Service Counters in the buffer halls (between customs and the arrival hall), in the arrival hall and on the airport station departure platform. Note - visitors intending to use Octopus Card to travel on the Airport Express from the airport to Tsing Yi, Kowloon or Hong Kong Station can board the Airport Express train without Octopus Card or ticket (there are no platform barriers at the airport station) and purchase Octopus Card or ticket at the Airport Express Customer Service Centre on the arrival platform, before the platform exit barriers, at the destination station. Since 6th September 2018 Octopus Cards can also be purchased at MTR Ticket and Octopus Selling Machines at Hong Kong International Airport at the arrival hall exits to Airport Station where payment can be made by credit card and mobile payment devices. Four further Octopus Selling Machines have been installed at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station which opened on 23rd September 2018. These`machines accept payment by Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay, JCB, Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Octopus Cards can also be purchased at Customer Service Centres at;
All MTR stations, including Airport Express stations, but not Racecourse Station. At Hong Kong International Airport Octopus Cards can be obtained at the MTR/Airport Express Customer Service Centres in the Terminal 1 buffer halls and arrival hall in addition to Airport Station.
MTR Light Rail Stations at Ferry Pier Terminus, Leung King, Town Centre, Yuen Long Terminus and Tin Yat
KMB Lok Ma Chau Ticketing Office
New World First Ferry Piers Octopus Service Centres for Cheung Chau (Central Pier 5) and Mui Wo (Central Pier 6)
Payment for Octopus Cards must be made in cash except when purchased at MTR Ticket and Octopus Selling Machines at Airport Station (operational from 6th September 2018) which accept credit cards and other mobile payment devices (Credit card payment is accepted for purchase of Airport Express tickets and Airport Express Travel Pass).
On-Loan and Sold Octopus Card can be purchased by anybody, since sale is unrestricted. No identification is required for purchase, records of purchasers are not kept and cards can be transferred from person to person. However, whilst there is no restriction on purchase, in respect of Child and Elder Octopus Cards which offer concessionary fares, transport operators rely on their own conditions of use which make it an offence to use Octopus Card to obtain a concessionary fare to which the user is not entitled. Child and Elder Octopus Cards have features built-in which enable transport operators to identify when a concessionary Octopus Card is being used and can request ID and proof of age if it is suspected a person is using an Octopus Card to illegally obtain a concessionary fare. In the event of misuse, offenders face a financial penalty and confiscation of the card.
Octopus Cards cannot be shared by more than one person travelling together on public transport. For example a card cannot be used to open entry barriers and then immediately be passed back for another person to open the barriers with the same card since a time delay programmed into the card prevents the card being used at the same entry barriers within a period of time which varies between transport operator. At MTR station entry barriers the same Octopus Card cannot be used at the same entry barriers within a period of ten minutes. This is a precautionary measure to prevent accidental multiple charging for the same transaction as Octopus is a contactless card which only needs to be "waved" over the card reader. A separate card should therefore be purchased for each person wishing to use Octopus Card method of payment.
USING THE CARD;
The plastic card is credit card size and has a Sony FeliCa Radio Frequency Identification Chip (RFID) embedded into it. The technology is “contactless” so the card simply needs to be “waved” over the card reading machine. The card can be read by the machine from a distance of between 3cm and 10cm and it is common for users to leave the card in their bag and pass the bag over the reader. At rail stations and ferry piers the card reader is located at the entrance/exit barriers and on buses just inside the entrance next to the driver. At retail outlets such as convenience stores the machine will be on the counter or at the checkout. Each time the card is used the remaining balance is shown on the card reading machine.
MTR station platform entry barriers
To operate the turnstile "wave" or touch the Octopus Card on the Octopus pad on the right (the red slot is for single-journey tickets). On exit from the destination station there are exit barriers and the Octopus Card is "waved" or touched on the pad at the barriers in a similar way and appropriate fare deducted.
On buses the Octopus Card reader is situated next to the drivers cab opposite the entry doors on buses. Passengers "wave" or touch the Octopus Card on the Octopus pad at the bottom of the machine. The machine displays the full fare and concessionary fare and Octopus Card automatically deducts the appropriate fare on entry (fares are based on point of boarding the bus, not point of disembarking from the bus)
In the event of a malfunctioning card it can be returned to any MTR Customer Service Centre or ticket office for investigation. A refund of the deposit and outstanding credit balance can be obtained from between 5 to 60 working days from the date the malfunctioning card is returned.
PERIOD OF VALIDITY / INACTIVE OCTOPUS ADMINISTRATIVE FEE;
The Octopus Card is deactivated if it has not had value added to it (ie "top-up") for a period of 1000 days or more. In respect of all On-Loan Octopus Cards issued before 1st October 2017 the card can be reactivated at any MTR station Customer Service Centre free of charge. In respect of On-Loan Adult Octopus Cards (but not Child or Elder Octopus) issued on or after 1st October 2017 a fee of HK$15 will be deducted from any card which has not had any add-value or payment transaction for three years and annually thereafter if it remains inactive.
ADDING VALUE (TOPPING UP THE CARD);
Value can be added to Octopus Cards by the following methods;
MTR and Airport Express Customer Service Centres - Cards can be topped up with cash in multiples of HK$50 subject to a maximum card value of HK$1000*
Starting from 1st December 2019, the stored value limit of all newly issued Octopus products including On-Loan Octopus, Sold Octopus, Bank Co-Brand Octopus, Smart Octopus and Octopus Mobile SIM etc., will be HK$3,000. Any user who possesses a Smart Octopus issued before 1st October 2019 or an Octopus product issued before 1st December 2019 can upgrade the stored value limit from HK$1,000 to HK$3,000 via Octopus App* or at any Octopus Service Point. Once the stored value limit has been upgraded, users can also make payment of up to HK$3,000 for each transaction starting from 1st December at over 3,200 retail outlets† operated by more than 30 merchants, including SOGO, PARKnSHOP, Wellcome Supermarket, Watsons, 7-Eleven and Mannings. More merchants are expected to support the maximum Octopus payment amount of HK$3,000.
Add-Value machines at MTR stations and Light Rail stations and at Hong Kong International Airport - Cards can be topped with HK$50 or HK$100 unfolded banknotes subject to a maximum card value of HK$1000.*
Citybus Customer Service Centre at Hong Kong International Airport Ground Transportation Centre - - Cards can be topped up with cash in multiples of HK$100 subject to a maximum card value of HK$1000*
Octopus Retailers (including MacDonalds, KFC, 7-Eleven, Circle K convenience stores, Watsons Personal Stores, Wellcome and ParknShop Supermarkets) - Adult Octopus can be topped up in multiples of HK$100 subject to a maximum card value of HK$1000*, Child/Elder Octopus can be topped up with cash in multiples of HK$50 subject to a maximum card value of HK$1000*
* the maximum amount which can be stored on Octopus Card for users with Octopus O! ePay Service account is increased to HK$3000 from 13th November 2016.
Octopus Card Add Value machines are located on the concourse of every MTR station
TOP UP WITH CHANGE SERVICE
With effect from 7th December 2015 a Top Up with Change service has been introduced at all 759 Store retail outlets in Hong Kong. Customers paying for purchases with cash can top up their Octopus Card with the change by placing the card over the Octopus reader and requesting the top up with change. 759 Store had 270 retail outlets in Hong Kong at commencement of the service.
AIRPORT EXPRESS FREE MTR CONNECTION WITH OCTOPUS CARD;
Passengers using Octopus Card to travel on the Airport Express can enjoy free travel to or from an Airport Express station to or from anywhere else on the MTR network (including the border stations Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau) provided all connections are made within one hour of each other.
MTR FARE SAVER;
MTR Fare Saver machines are intended to reward people who choose to walk to certain designated MTR stations rather than take buses or taxis. They are strategically located a few hundred metres from the nearest MTR station and allow Adult Octopus Card holders a discount of HK$2 or HK$1* on their next journey from the designated station provided the journey is made on the same day. Simply "swipe" the Octopus Card over the reader to take advantage of this discount.
* from 1st July 2016, all of the current 32 MTR Fare Saver machines will offer HK$2 discount as part of MTR's 2016 fares promotion programme.
Current list of locations of machines, designated MTR Stations and amount of discount is available here;
MTR Octopus Fare Saver machine at Central-Mid Levels Escalator link above Hollywood Road
AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAVEL PASS;
This is a tourist version of the Octopus Card, only available for visitors spending 14 days or less in Hong Kong, pre-programmmed to provide either one or two Airport Express journeys and three days** of unlimited MTR rides.
It is available in two denominations;
HK$250 AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAVEL PASS
Includes a HK$50 deposit and provides one trip on the Airport Express* and three days** unlimited travel on all MTR lines but not to the border stations Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau. The pass also includes three days unlimited travel on MTR Light Rail and MTR bus.
HK$350 AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAVEL PASS
Provides two trips on the Airport Express*and three days** unlimited travel on MTR all lines but not to the border stations of Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau. The pass also includes three days unlimited travel on MTR Light Rail and MTR Bus.
* The Airport Express journeys can be taken at any time during a period of 180 days from date of purchase of the pass
** The three days of unlimited MTR travel commences at the time of the first MTR (not Airport Express) journey and lasts for a period of 72 hours plus any additional hours to close of service on the final day. Unlimited travel includes all MTR lines but excludes the mainland border stations of Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau. The pass also includes travel on MTR Light Rail and MTR bus.
The initial purchase price of the card provides for travel on Airport Express, MTR, MTR Light Rail and MTR Bus only and not other forms of public transport such as franchised bus, tram, Peak Tram and ferry. However, at any time after purchase the card can be “topped up” in the same way as the standard Octopus Card and will then function as a "normal" Octopus Card. Once "topped -up" the card can be used on all other forms of public transport which accept Octopus Card in addition to MTR and Airport Express.
A refund of the deposit can be obtained by the same method as for the standard “On-loan” Octopus Card (see above).
For full details of the Airport Express Travel Pass see;
TOURIST DAY PASS;
A one day pass is available which may be useful to some visitors. It is valid for one day in a 30 day period from date of purchase and can be used on all lines except Airport Express and cannot be used for travel to the mainland border stations of Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau. Since 1st October 2009 the pass also includes travel on MTR Light Rail. The pass costs HK$65 and is available to tourists staying in Hong Kong for less than one month. A Child Tourist Day Pass is also available for children age 3-11 for HK$30. The Tourist Day Pass (but not the Child Tourist Pass) is available online. Details here;
Other passes available, although less likely to be of interest to visitors are;
TOURIST CROSS-BOUNDARY TRAVEL PASS
Details can be found at;
CROSS BORDER PASS (OCTOPUS LINGNAN PASS);
Octopus Cards Limited and Guangdong Lingnan Pass Company Limited have jointly announced the launch of their first joint cross-border cards.
Since 18th July 2012, the Sold Adult "Octopus ‧Lingnan Pass" cards has been available for sale at all MTR and Light Rail Customer Service Centres (except Airport Express, Racecourse and Disneyland Resort stations) throughout Hong Kong The Sold Adult "Octopus ‧Lingnan Pass" and the "Lingnan Pass ‧Octopus" cost HK$98 and RMB80 each respectively. The "Octopus ‧Lingnan Pass" will run on a dual electronic purse model, being the Octopus Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) e-purse and the other Lingnan Pass Renminbi (RMB) e-purse. Cardholders can use the HKD e-purse in Hong Kong and the RMB e-purse in Guangdong Province. The two-in-one cards are anonymous sold cards, and cardholders can add value to the respective purses at authorised add value service points in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province respectively.
From 3rd July 2012, 3,000 sets of commemorative Limited Edition "Octopus ‧Lingnan Pass" cards were distributed for public sale through the Customer Service Centres at 26 designated MTR stations. Each person can purchase up to two sets of the Limited Edition cards on a first-come, first-served basis and while stocks last. The "Octopus ‧Lingnan Pass" Limited Edition cards will be sold at HK$298 per set in Hong Kong, while the "Lingnan Pass ‧Octopus" Limited Edition cards will be sold at RMB238 at Lingnan Pass sales outlets in Guangdong Province.
The two-in-one cards can be used on public transport and at all retail outlets that accept Octopus or Lingnan Pass. Currently, Lingnan Pass can be used in sixteen cities in Mainland China including Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, Shanwei, Huizhou, Maoming, Zhuhai, Jieyang, Heyuan, Yunfu, Shaoguan, Yangjiang, Zhanjiang, Zhongshan and Qingyuan. The pass is expected to be expanded to include other cities and retail outlets but does not include Shenzhen. The new card excludes the Octopus concessions currently enjoyed by students, children and the elderly in Hong Kong as well as discounts available to Octopus cardholders such as the MTR's 10-rides-for-one-free-ticket scheme.
For details see;
HU TONG XING (HONG KONG & SHENZHEN JOINT PASS);
Octopus Cards Limited and Shenzhentong Limited launched a joint Hong Kong and Shenzhen cross-border card on 11th September 2012. The card facilitates travel on public transport and small value purchases at many retail outlets in both cities. The Hong Kong version Hu Tong Xing is available in Sold Adult version for HK$98 in Hong Kong and RMB80 in Shenzhen. The card combines two "electronic purses" in one chip and must be loaded separately with HKD for use in Hong Kong and with RMB for use in Shenzhen. Similarly, adding value to the card can only be made in HKD in Hong Kong and RMB in Shenzhen. The purchase price of the pass includes no useable value and is non-refundable. In Hong Kong the pass can be purchased at all MTR and Light Rail Customer Service Centres (excluding Airport Express, Racecourse and Disneyland stations) and MTR Travel (excluding Admiralty Station). In Shenzhen the pass can be purchased at Shenzhentong Customer Service Centres and sales outlets.
For details see;
A limited edition of 3,800 sets of a commemorative versions of the pass was made available from 4th September 2012, priced at HK$298 in Hong Kong or RMB238 in Shenzhen but had sold out by 6th September.