MasterCard Inc, the second-largest credit and debit card network in the world, yesterday launched mobile services in Taiwan, in cooperation with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), to offer an easier payment system.
The service allows Chunghwa Telecom mobile subscribers to download virtual credit cards, issued by four banks, to a special SIM card on smartphones equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology, MasterCard said.
Consumers will be able to use the NFC-enabled virtual credit cards to pay bills and make purchases at select stores in Taiwan and nearly 700,000 stores in 51 countries, Julie Yang (楊雅婷), general manager of MasterCard in Taiwan said.
“With over-the-air downloads, consumers can use their phones as a payment tool and no longer need to carry heavy wallets,” Yang said at the launch of the service.
Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) has been approved by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to launch a trial plan for the service, while Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀), Taishin International Bank (台新銀行) and E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) have applied for approval.
Lin Kuo-feng (林國豐), president of Chunghwa’s mobile business group, said commercial operation of the NFC-enabled credit card service is expected to begin by the end of this year, once it obtains regulatory approval.
Chunghwa Telecom plans to sell more NFC-ready smartphones, including mid to high-end models, Lin said.
Some entry-level phones are likely to feature the NFC technology in the next year or two, he said..