Wed, Nov 20, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Center aims for greater credit card use growth

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s credit card payments are forecast to reach NT$1.3 trillion (US$44.02 billion) next year, accounting for 25 percent of total private consumption, National Credit Card Center (NCCC, 聯合信用卡中心) chairman Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城) said yesterday.

“There is ample room for credit card payments to grow in Taiwan, as they make up only 20 percent of private consumption,” Liu said after being sworn in as the NCCC’s new head.

He filled a vacancy left by Wang Rong-jou (王榮周), who assumed chairmanship at Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控) on Nov. 5.

The center is in partnerships with 87,000 stores nationwide with credit card charges totaling NT$1.17 billion as of the end of last month, said Liu, who also heads the state-run Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控).

Liu said the center will seek to increase its number of partners to 115,000 by the end of next year and together they will strive to push credit card spending to NT$1.3 trillion.

The center also plans to deepen cooperation with technology firms to tap third-party payment services and business opportunities across the Taiwan Strait, Liu said.

NCCC president Felix Ong (翁光輝) said credit card payments could account for 15 percent of e-commerce next year, compared with 7 percent this year, if third-party payment services grow further.

Compared with China and other markets, third-party payment services had a late start in Taiwan because of regulatory constraints, Ong said.

Local technology firms and banking institutions are eyeing the emerging market, which may translate into billions of dollars worth of business because of the prevalence of mobile and computer devices that make shopping online and across borders practical and convenient, he said.

In addition, the center is to beef up cooperation with China UnionPay Co (中國銀聯), China’s only credit card network, but concrete moves may have to wait until the cross-strait services trade agreement clears the legislature, Liu said.

The pact would enable UnionPay to set up a representative office in Taipei, which would give it the legal foundation to issue credit cards in Taiwan, he said.

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