Tue, Jan 22, 2013 - Page 13 News List

JCB eyes credit card boost

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

JCB International Co, the only global payment brand of Japanese origin, aims to increase its presence in Taiwan and it aims to secure 10 percent of the market in the near future, senior executives said yesterday in Taipei.

“JCB has embarked on aggressive expansions in Asia in recent years,” JCB deputy president Kimihisa Imada told a media briefing.

Taiwan is important in the region and the Japanese company aims to boost its market share to 10 percent even though it is a highly competitive market with individuals owning an average of 3.1 credit cards, Imada said, citing government data.

To that end, the company will seek to increase JCB credit card usage rather than issue more cards, Imada said.

Its goal is achievable because credit card charges account for only 20 percent of overall consumer payments in Taiwan, Imada said.

“The figure suggests ample room for growth,” he said.

Today, there are 1.3 million JCB cards in Taiwan issued by 24 licensee partners, Imada said.

The Japanese company entered the local payments market in 1981, partnering with local financial institutions for JCB card acceptance, company data said, adding that the first JCB card was offered locally in 1994.

Yuichiro Komuro, director and president of JCB International Taiwan, said the company plans to launch a series of campaigns to strengthen its brand recognition, since local consumers are already familiar with credit cards as a payment method.

Payment of public transport fares with contactless credit cards is common in urban areas, while more and more Taiwanese own premium platinum cards, Komuro said.

As many card designs in Taiwan feature popular Japanese anime and manga characters, JCB Taiwan has seized on the trend and is using Doraemon, the popular cartoon cat robot, as its latest promotional character, Komuro said.

Doraemon is widely recognized and well loved by Taiwanese, he said.

Starting this month, stickers featuring Doraemon and the JCB emblem will show that JCB cards are welcome at many shops, restaurants and other merchants, Komouro said.

Items featuring a popular character as well as a brand logo are rare in Taiwan, making JCB more recognizable, he said, adding that the company would sponsor further Doraemon promotions aimed at attracting the attention of cardholders across the nation.

“These efforts are intended to demonstrate JCB’s commitment to the local market,” he said.

JCB dominates the Japanese payment market with card members buying US$62.7 billion of goods and services a year in 192 countries worldwide, the company said.

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