Two-in-one smart card for SZ, HK
2010-August-20 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Shenzhen and Hong Kong will issue 100,000 two-in-one smart cards embedded with a chip to function as an Octopus Card and a TransCard (Shenzhen Tong) for travelers frequently crossing the border.

The new card will be released at the end of October.

In a response to Yu Xiping, a member of the city's top advisory body, the city's finance office said technology had helped combining the functions of Octopus Cards and Shenzhen Tong in one chip and it had passed tests.

The increasing number of people crossing the border to shop had led to a call for the integration of the Octopus Card and Shenzhen Tong card.

At this year's annual sessions of the city's advisory body and the legislature, Yu submitted a proposal to strengthen financial cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and for a smart card that could be used in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The Shenzhen Tong card company signed a protocol with Octopus Cards Ltd. in January for a single card. The new card holders will have to open accounts with Octopus and Shenzhen Tong.

The smart card is not a personal smart card, which means no personal data will be stored and, with two separate accounts, there is no infringement of privacy or exchange rates problem.

Octopus Card holders can use the card in 11 Hong Kong-owned fast-food restaurants and four designated duty-free stores in Shenzhen.

Shenzhen Tong is similar to the Octopus Card system used on the MTR rail lines in Hong Kong. It was introduced in 2004 after the opening of Shenzhen Metro Line 1. Beginning March 1, 2008, passengers who pay a bus fare with Shenzhen Tong and then a subway fare within 90 minutes receive an additional 40 percent discount on the subway fare. Unlike Hong Kong Octopus Cards, Shenzhen Tong cards cannot be sold back at Metro stations.

The customer must instead go to the offices of Shenzhen Tong company. The city has so far issued more than 7 million Shenzhen Tong cards.

(By Han Ximin)

Editor: Miranda
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