The resurgence of COVID-19 infections demonstrates how contactless payment in Hong Kong and sanitization technology can be crucial in protecting residents

In Hong Kong, clinics and healthcare centers that often only accept cash have caused concern because patients may increase their risk of COVID-19 exposure in public areas on their way to automatic teller machines that are currently considered a possible channel of virus transmission.

The handling of cash also poses a health risk for nurses and administrative personnel, who often transact with patients. To alleviate these concerns, credit services firm Mastercard is working with corporate partners to encourage several clinics and healthcare centers—Hang Lung’s Medical Hubs in Hang Lung Centre in Causeway Bay, Grand Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, and Grand Plaza in Mongkok—to accept contactless card payments via mobile phones.

To maintain virus-free public amenities, one of the partners, Germ Tech, is offering free sanitizing services in these medical hubs, thereby offering greater peace of mind to Hang Lung’s healthcare tenants.

According to Prof King Lun Yeung, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Division of Environment & Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: “Items often touched by hands, including elevator buttons, door handles and those found in lobbies and corridors, have the highest risk of spreading viruses such as COVID-19. Thus, these are the primary areas and things to be sanitized by Germ Tech under our partnership with Mastercard and Hang Lung Properties. We look forward to further promoting cleanliness while facing the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prof Yeung is the leader of the team that developed a smart coating that can deactivate up to 99.9% of highly-infectious viruses. This disinfection coating is effective for 90 days.

Contactless payment is crucial

image photo of Bella Chhoa, Director, Leasing & Management

According to said Bella Chhoa, Director, Leasing & Management, Hang Lung Properties: “This continued partnership with Mastercard is part of our year-long ‘ONLife’ campaign, covering wellness, dining, learning and transportation in an attempt to address various challenges encountered by Hong Kong people in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the rising awareness on health and safety… digital payment methods would be highly beneficial for both patients and our healthcare tenants residing at our Medical Hubs, not only by providing convenient, cashless options but also by avoiding the further spread of the virus. We highly encourage our tenants to adopt (such) payment solutions in their clinics.”

Chhoa noted that it is important to sanitize the Grand Plaza shopping mall, which is a popular gourmet dining venue in town. 

Said Helena Chen, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Macau, Mastercard: “Mastercard gladly takes the opportunity to take care of the needs of patients and those in the medical industry (by enabling) clinics and healthcare centers to accept contactless card payment via mobile phones.

Mastercard cardholders not only can enjoy a hassle-free, safe and convenient payment experience, but can also minimize the risk of virus exposure from cash transactions.”

A demonstration of how Germ Tech’s spray coating is used to sanitize the public areas in Hang Lung Medical Hubs.