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Line Characters on HK Octopus Card with Key Holder

Line Characters on HK Octopus Card with Key Holder

Limited LINE version of the Octopus card set ©Octopus Holdings Limited

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The Octopus card, a commuter pass for Hong Kong rail, buses and ferries that also serves as a pre-paid card for purchases at convenience stores and supermarkets, added a key holder and case set featuring characters from the Line instant messenger to its product lineup on October 3.

The Octopus card debuted in 1997 and influenced similar smart cards introduced later, such as the Suica card in Japan. Numerous characters and limited-time designs have appeared on the Octopus cards over the years. The latest look, officially called "HELLO, FRIENDS! LINE 'Swap the Look' Mini Octopus," gives Octopus card holders a mini key holder and four exchangeable card cases featuring familiar Line characters: Cony, Brown, Moon and James.

Regular Octopus cards start at HK$150. This basic price charges the card with HK$100 for purchases and a HK$50 deposit. The Line card, however, is made for adults and does away with the refundable deposit. Buyers do have to charge the card with money after purchasing one, but Hong Kong residents who have set up automatic Octopus payments through the Automatic Add Value Service (AAVS) can continue to do so after switching cards.

In Hong Kong, Line plays second fiddle to the more popular WhatsApp service for free phone calls and email, but Line has been gradually garnering fans through free gift campaigns in convenience store tie-ups and a number of sponsored stamps from major local companies.

The Line Octopus card set costs HK$168 and is sold at all Circle K convenience stores as well as at MTR Customer Service Centers (except on some lines such as the Airport Express and Disney Resort lines).

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