Best product when brand new to Hong Kong

  • I have a friend who will be soon arriving in Hong Kong before having secured a job. He'll be Airbnb'ing until he finds something and has the visa etc to secure a long term rental. I guess this might take him 1-3 months.

    Is his best day-to-day spending option (other than a commission free credit card or equivalent from his home country) simply to load up an Octopus card with lots of cash? It strikes me that Neat is more similar in functionality to SVF products but has the KYC requirements of a banking type product. Is Neat an option for him?

  • In this type of situation Neat can actually be very helpful. If the person wants to put a lot of cash on Octopus he'll need to get cash first. Of course it depends a bit on his specific card and bank but usually fees for withdrawal + exchange rate costs are higher than transferring a larger sum from home country to HK in one go (to Neat Card). If using traditional banks the transfer can be expensive but there are many startups and companies out there that can make this easier and much cheaper, happy to advise your friends what is the best option depending on his home country / currency :). In addition of course Octopus won't be accepted everywhere.

  • @iris_neat So he'd be ok with a foreign proof of address and/or utility bill etc and opening an account with you remotely to which he could transfer money? Or you'd be happy with his local Airbnb address? Exchanging EUR to HKD cash before coming to HK is cheap and easy albeit disappointingly analogue. Obtaining an Octopus card is something he could do on his first day here with little KYC. However I fully agree Neat would be significantly better if it's a realistic option!

  • @hybridE4t Actually we've removed the proof of address as this turned out to be an unnecessary step for us. It's already removed from Android and will be soon from iOS (users on iOS at the moment can simply take a photo of anything). We can ship cards globally!

  • @iris_neat Awesome!

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