The board of Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the nation’s third-largest credit card issuer, yesterday approved plans to sign a cooperation agreement with China’s leading online payment service provider, Alipay (支付寶), and Chinese credit card network UnionPay Co (中國銀聯).
The plans, which still need regulatory approval, would enable the lender to tap cross-strait e-commerce business opportunities as Taiwan and China deepen trade ties, the bank said in a statement.
Taishin Bank, the flagship subsidiary of Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控), will become the second Taiwanese lender to partner with Alipay after E. Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行).
Alipay commands a 49 percent share of China’s online shopping market, with 650 million registered users as of Dec. 31 last year. The third-party payment company processes about 50 percent of online shopping transactions for China’s largest shopping and auction Web site, Taobao Mall (淘寶網), which was founded by Alibaba Group (阿里巴巴集團) in 2003.
Chinese spent NT$3.6 trillion (US$121.6 billion) on online shopping last year, E. Sun Bank said earlier this month when announcing its partnership with Alipay.
Shanghai-based UnionPay is popular with Chinese tourists during their trips to Taiwan, sparing them the trouble of carrying around cash.
Taishin did not supply details of the agreement or an estimate of revenue growth linked to the planned joint venture.
Meanwhile, China Life Insurance Co (中國人) said yesterday its earnings would climb higher this year after net income hit a record high of NT$4.21 billion last year.