MTR’s Octopus Had 780,000 Pay Errors Since 2009, Ming Pao Says

Hong Kong’s Octopus Holdings Ltd., provider of electronic-payment services, said yesterday that its card users were affected by 780,000 transaction errors over the past four years, the Ming Pao newspaper reported, citing Chief Executive Officer Cheung Yiu-tong.

The errors led to its users overpaying around HK$7.7 million ($992,000), the paper said, citing Cheung. The faulty transactions were caused by users of the cards stepping away from the reader too quickly, according to the paper.

The company will set up 30 service stations around the city to refund money to those affected, Ming Pao said. Money not collected from users will be donated to charity, according to the report.

Octopus cards are used like electronic cash by millions of Hong Kong people making purchases including train fares, fast-food meals and convenience-store products.

Cheung said transaction errors resulted in overpayments of HK$5.6 million from 1997 to 2009, according to the paper.

MTR Corp., operator of the city’s rail network, is Octopus’s majority shareholder.

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