After Android Pay launched in in Singapore in June, Apple Pay picks up its Asia strategy and was rolled out on Wednesday in Hong Kong to eligible cardholders of American Express, Visa and MasterCard.
The city is the third major market in the Asia-Pacific where the contactless mobile payment service, introduced by Apple about 20 months ago, has been launched this year following mainland China and Singapore.
There are an estimated 10,000 merchant locations in Hong Kong that accept Apple Pay, and more than 10 million in all nine major markets where the service has launched so far.
Apple Pay uses so-called near-field communications technology built into iPhones and Apple Watch to allow for contactless payment in stores, which have the contactless point-of-sale terminals to support the service.
Participating banks in the city include Standard Chartered, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, Bank of East Asia and BOC Credit Card, a subsidiary of Bank of China (Hong Kong).
Consumers in Hong Kong are used to more familiar payment options, such as Octopus cards. Plenty of merchants are also wary of making new investments in contactless point-of-sale terminals.
Alipay, the online payments platform run by Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial Services, is betting on that same trend as it plans to partner with one million offline merchants over the next three years, enabling Chinese tourists to make payments abroad using its mobile wallet service.