Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - Page 12 News List

HTC to focus on mobile banking

Staff writer, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) will announce a partnership in mobile payments with a local bank and two card companies this week as it seeks to play a larger role in the promising mobile banking industry.

The world’s No. 5 smartphone vendor will hold a joint news conference tomorrow with Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡) and MasterCard International to launch a co-branded card, according to a statement.

The PayPass card will be Taiwan’s first attempt to integrate the functions of a credit card and an EasyCard into a micro-sized memory card, enabling mobile -payments nationwide when it is inserted into the “HTC Incredible E” smartphone.

The Incredible E is a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled phone that supports contact-free payments. The market demand for these models in Taiwan is expected to reach 100,000 units this year because local carriers plan to promote the technology by building a standardized Internet environment.

Handset makers such as HTC, Samsung Electronics Co, Nokia Corp and Research In Motion have launched NFC-enabled phones, but only a few products have been introduced in Taiwan.

In August last year, HTC signed an agreement with China UnionPay Co (中國銀聯) to launch its first NFC phone in China offering mobile banking services such as remote bill payment and contact-less payments through the country’s only credit card network.

However, unlike China UnionPay, financial services companies and banks in Taiwan have not yet established a mechanism that allows users to make mobile payments.

As a result, HTC has urged the government to develop a mobile payment platform by launching mobile banking services through state-owned banks, which will set an example for the private sector.

According to research firm Gartner Inc, the value of worldwide mobile payment transactions will surpass US$171.5 billion this year, a 61.9 percent increase from US$105.9 billion last year.

In addition, the number of mobile payment users is forecast to reach 212.2 million this year, up 32.2 percent from 160.5 million last year, with the Asia-Pacific region No. 1 in terms of users, followed by Africa, Gartner said.

This also enables a high transaction volume, because the two regions would account for more than 60 percent of global mobile payments in 2016, the US-based research firm said.

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