Octopus Cards (OCL), a Hong Kong-based e-payment operator, has launched QR code payment service aimed at SMEs and start-ups.

Known as Octopus App for Business, the new payment method only requires a smartphone to carry out the transaction and eliminates the need for merchants to install Octopus card readers.

After downloading the payment app, the merchants have to apply for a Business O! ePay account. Once approved, they will receive a service kit comprising the QR code tent cards which can be shown to customers to scan and pay instantly.

Further, the merchants can display the QR code on their own mobile devices for customers to scan for payment. The merchant will receive a notification message for successful payment and can see instant update of the balance on their Business O! ePay account.

Customers who own Personal O! ePay accounts can use their Octopus App to scan the merchant’s QR code for any purchase.

Octopus Cards Limited CEO Sunny Cheung said: “The Octopus App for Business offering QR code payment service will provide merchants and Personal O! ePay customers another payment option, which is simple to use on mobile.

“We aim at giving a choice to our customers and merchants, in particular those small merchants who want to accept digital payments, with a solution that does not require any hardware investment. The payment solution represents another effort by us in striving to offer more customer-centric mobile payment services to cater for different market needs.”

In order to encourage merchants to try out this new service, the company will waive off their first year service fee if they sign up before 31 March 2018, after which it will charge a fee of 1.5% on all transactions.