Apple coming to Hong Kong's Octopus transit card with iOS 13

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Hong Kong residents will finally be able to use their Octopus transit cards in Apple Pay "later this year," Octopus Cards Limited has confirmed, likely alongside this fall's iOS 13.

The company provided few other details except to say Apple Pay will be usable in both transit and retail payments. Octopus is based on the FeliCa technology used in Suica transit cards in Japan, where people can likewise use it for more than just trains.

The iOS 13 timing is supported by specific references to Octopus and Hong Kong in recent betas, Ata Distance noted. Apple also regularly rolls transit expansions into major OS updates, though not necessarily.

Hong Kongers will likely be able to take advantage of Express Transit, an Apple technology that turns iPhones and Apple Watches into wireless passes. Users don't have to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID, or even wake their device.

Express Transit is already in action in places like New York City and Portland. London may get the option within the next few months.

Austin's CapMetro network is getting Apple Pay this month, but there's no sign that Express Transit will be included.