Sat, Feb 19, 2005 - Page 10 News List

`Contactless' new PayPass credit cards on their way

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan will soon become the second nation in the world to introduce the "contactless" PayPass credit-card technology, although it will take at least three to five years for the application to be widely accepted here, industry veterans said yesterday.

In addition, the groundbreaking payment solution has been designed for smaller transactions, which limits its usefulness, they said.

At a press conference yesterday, Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and E.Sun Bank (玉山銀行) announced that they will cooperate with MasterCard International to launch the new-generation credit cards, which use the PayPass system. The move makes Taiwan the second nation after the US to adopt PayPass, according to MasterCard's vice president and business manager Tina Chiang (江威娜).

Next month, Visa International will start work on issuing contactless Visa Wave credit cards in association with local banks. Malaysia formally launched this card payment system on Wednesday, following a 10-month pilot project there. Taiwan will be the next market to embrace the technology, said Christopher Clark, Visa's country manager in Taiwan.

Traditional credit cards must be swiped through card readers to enable payments. With contactless cards, no signature is required and users only have to wave the cards in front of a special sensor to complete the transaction.

"It's a very exciting new service, but we'll have to closely follow consumers' response for future improvement," Christopher Wang (王仁宏), executive vice president of Cathay United Bank's credit card division, told a press conference.

Based on the original base of 10,000 co-branded cards it has issued with the IS Coffee chain, Cathay United will offer free-of-charge services for these clients to upgrade to the new cards, while installing contactless card readers in the coffee outlets.

As each reader costs between NT$3,000 and NT$4,000, Wang said the bank is actively brokering deals with other channels, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations, where reducing queuing time is tantamount to boosting sales.

E.Sun Bank is cooperating with the 45 Shan Lung (山隆) gas stations nationwide to launch contactless cards that can be attached to key chains. Without the need to reach for their wallets, motorists will be able to complete transactions more quickly.

This story has been viewed 3653 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top