Tap & Go Hong Kong: Everything you need to know

Aubrey Yung

Tap & Go is a mobile wallet that allows you to manage your money and make payments using just your smartphone¹. Download the Tap & Go app to get your physical and virtual card which can be used to make payments anywhere Mastercard or UnionPay is accepted. Then use Tap and Go Apple Pay, or Tap and Go Android Pay to pay merchants on and offline, send payments to friends and family and make international transfers.

Ready to get started with Tap & Go? Read our complete guide for all you need to know.

What is Tap & Go?

Tap & Go mobile wallets are available to anyone aged 11 or over, with a Hong Kong, Macau or Mainland China mobile number². The only exception to this is that Tap & Go accounts can’t be used by US citizens, residents or Green Card holders.³

Tap & Go wallets are prepaid, which gives you control over your spending, and also makes them useful for teaching children about financial management. You’ll only be able to spend up to the amount you’ve topped up your account, making budgeting a breeze. There are, however, fees for some services you’ll want to know about. More on that later.

With your Tap and Go wallet you’ll be able to:

  • Access a virtual and physical card which can be used on Mastercard and UnionPay networks
  • Use your Tap & Go card with Apple Pay or Google Pay to shop in apps, online and in selected offline stores
  • Scan and pay, by using eligible merchant QR codes to process your payment
  • Make FPS peer to peer transfers to friends using their mobile numbers or QR codes
  • Convert your funds between Hong Kong dollars and renminbi within the app for easy payments in both Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Send money internationally through Tap & Go’s partnership with Western Union

Can I use Tap and Go overseas?

There are a few different ways you can use Tap and Go when you travel or need to send money in foreign currencies:

  • Switch your Tap and Go balance between Hong Kong dollars and renminbi within the app for spending in Mainland China
  • Use your Tap and Go card when you travel - it’s accepted anywhere Mastercard or Union Pay is available
  • Send payments overseas to friends and family through Tap and Go’s partnership with Western Union

It’s important to note the costs involved in sending and spending in foreign currencies with Tap and Go.

If you’re switching between CNY and HKD within the app, you’ll want to take a look at the exchange rates being offered, compared to the mid-market exchange rate. Use a reputable online currency converter to check you’re getting a good deal as additional costs may be rolled up into the rates used.

For spending with your card in any other currency, there is a fee of 1% of the total transaction cost for UnionPay, or 2% for Mastercard.⁴

And if you’re sending a payment to a friend using Western Union, check out the fees and exchange rates available for your specific transfer. Western Union offers quick overseas payments, including cash collection - but the costs can be fairly high. As well as a transfer fee, you’ll pay a currency conversion charge which is rolled up into the exchange rate provided. Read the terms and conditions carefully before you proceed.⁵

If you want to send an online payment in a foreign currency, you could be better off with Wise. Wise international transfers use the real mid-market exchange rate with no markups or hidden costs. You just pay a low, transparent fee per transaction - which can work out much cheaper than using a provider like Western Union or your regular bank.

Learn how to save money with Wise

How to use Tap & Go

Download the Tap & Go app, and register your personal ID documents to get started.⁶ You’ll get instant access to a virtual Tap & Go card, and can also choose to buy a physical card for those times when mobile payments aren’t possible.

How to top up Tap & Go

You can top up your Tap & Go account in the following ways:⁷

  • Using FPS to transfer funds from your bank account
  • Apply for a loan through HKT Flexi, and use this to top up your account
  • Add cash at eligible merchants including Tap and Go CSL top ups and 7-Eleven stores
  • Add cash using the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Coin Card
  • Top up at a financial institution including Bank of China, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank

Tap & Go Mastercard

Once your account is up and running you’ll have instant access to a virtual Tap and Go debit card. There’s a Tap n Go Mastercard, as well as a virtual card which will work where UnionPay is accepted. That makes this a flexible option for mobile payments locally, and when you travel.

As well as the virtual card, you can get a physical Tap & Go debit card to add to your digital wallet.

Where to buy Tap and Go card?

The easiest way to get a Tap and Go card is to pick one up at a designated retailer. Tap & Go Mastercards are available at 7-Eleven, Circle K and Sun Mobile branches. UnionPay cards can be found at 7-Eleven and Circle K.

Tap & Go debit cards cost HKD105, which includes HKD100 of stored value, and a HKD5 administration fee.

How to activate Tap & Go Mastercard

If you’ve bought yourself a physical Tap & Go card, you’ll need to add it to your Tap & Go account to use it for mobile payments.⁸

  • Open the Tap & Go app and select My Cards
  • Select Add and follow the instructions to activate your card
  • Click Next
  • Check your card is now visible in My Cards on the Tap & Go homepage

Tap & Go Charges

As with most financial products, there are some service fees to know about when you’re considering opening a Tap and Go account. Here are the key costs for popular Tap & Go services.

ServiceTap & Go fee
Account opening feeFree
Top up feeFree
Physical card feeBuy a card for HKD105, inclusive of HKD100 stored value
Foreign transaction fee (foreign currency payments)

Payments processed on Mastercard network: 2% of total transaction cost

Payments processed on UnionPay network: 1% of total transaction cost
Foreign transaction fee (HKD payments)1%
International payments through Western Union

Fees vary according to payment and collection method, value and destination country

Costs include transfer fee and additional charges rolled up into the exchange rate provided
Detailed transaction recordHKD30 - 6 month record provided
Dispute handling feeHKD150
Refund handling fee upon terminating accountHKD60 - or HKD300 if the account is closed within 1 year

Tap & Go Limit

The limits which apply to your Tap & Go account may vary according to the level of account you operate - Lite, Plus or Pro. There are also some limits to the amount you’ll be able to top up your account, which are set by the providers themselves.⁹⁺¹⁰ For example, if you want to top up through Bank of China, there is a minimum top up amount of HKD500. Topping up in cash on the other hand can only be done in multiples of HKD50, from HKD100 to HKD3,000 a day.

Here are the main limits you’ll want to know about, by account type.

Minimum age limitNo limit1118
Supporting documents neededNone

Valid Hong Kong/Macau ID or passport

Facial recognition on phone (if applicable)

Valid Hong Kong/Macau ID or passport

Registered residential address

Facial recognition on phone (if applicable)
Aggregated account balance limitHKD3,000


Under 18 limit - HKD3,000

Daily top up limitHKD25,000


Under 18 limit - HKD25,000
Annual top up limitHKD25,000


Under 18 limit - HKD25,000
No limit


Can I use my Tap & Go card on PayPal?

Tap & Go users have reported struggling to make Tap and Go PayPal payments.¹¹

Merchants make their own decisions about which cards and networks they can accept. Tap & Go is working with platforms and merchants to increase the acceptance of the Tap & Go card, so keep watching out for more developments on this.

How to delete a Tap and Go account?

To delete your Tap & Go account you’ll need to download and submit an Account Service Request form. Any balance you have left in the account will be returned to you - but it’ll take 3 months, and comes with a fee of HKD60 - or HKD300 if you terminate within the first year.¹²

Tap & Go can be an easy way to make mobile payments in Hong Kong and overseas, as well as offering options to send money to friends and loved ones. However, you’ll want to check out all the fees and limits before you sign up, as terminating your account and getting your funds back can take some time.

Use this guide as your starting point to learn more - and don’t forget to check out Wise when you need to send low cost international payments all over the world.

Open a Wise account for free✨

Sources used in this article:
1 Tap & Go
2 Tap & Go: Q&A
3 Tap & Go: Terms & Conditions
4 Tap & Go: Charges
5 Western Union: Terms & Conditions
6 Tap & Go: How to apply
7 Tap & Go: How to top up
8 Tap & Go: Q&A
9 Tap & Go: How to top up
10 Tap & Go: How to top up
11 PayPal community: Can you link a 'Tap and Go' Union pay card to PayPal?
12 Tap & Go: Q&A

Sources last checked on 16-Jul-2021

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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