Gemalto’s TSH Digitizes Hong Kong’s Octopus Cards for Samsung Pay

Gemalto's TSH Digitizes Hong Kong's Octopus Cards for Samsung PayGemalto is playing a key role in Samsung Pay’s big push into the Hong Kong market, the company has revealed. Its Trusted Services Hub is being used to digitize the Octopus Card for Samsung’s payments platform, turning it into a ‘Smart Octopus’ within Samsung Pay.

The Samsung-Octopus partnership was first announced toward the end of last year. The Octopus Card is a reloadable electronic payments card whose presence is ubiquitous in Hong Kong: It’s used not only for regular retail payments but also for things like public transportation and toll payments. So naturally Samsung sought a partnership that would bring a digital version of the Octopus Card to its mobile payments platform.

Gemalto’s role is to use its TSH platform “to securely digitize Octopus cards into Samsung Pay, including the transfer of the balance and any associated loyalty programs,” the company explained in a statement. Commenting on the project, Octopus CEO Sunny Cheung said it “has enabled us to be among the first contactless smart card payment system operator in the world to bring great convenience to consumers by allowing them to pay via their smartphones.”

For Gemalto, the effort could come to serve as a case study that will inspire other payment card operators to follow suit, with Gemalto Banking and Payment in Asia SVP Michael Au acknowledging, “We hope that the success of Smart Octopus in Samsung Pay will spur other global operators to roll out mobile payment offerings that are easy to use and do not compromise on security.”