Sat, Dec 13, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Mobile payments surging, IDC says

ON THE GO:A high smartphone penetration rate, better payment platforms and increased security systems have helped boost online transactions, the research firm said

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mobile payments in Taiwan are expected to jump 42 percent to NT$89 billion (US$2.84 billion) next year and to NT$160 billion in 2017, with most transactions coming from mobile commerce, supported primarily by a high smartphone penetration rate and an improving ecosystem, market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) said.

IDC expects most of the transactions to come from remote mobile payments, including person-to-person and mobile commerce payments.

During the three-year period to this year, cumulative shipments of smartphones in Taiwan are expected to expand to 22.58 million units, almost equal to the nation’s population, IDC analyst Wu Peipei (吳乃沛) told a media briefing in Taipei on Thursday.

MOBILE WALLET

The high penetration rate has helped propel wireless data usage over the past few years, accounting for about 32 percent of local telecom operators’ revenue last year, and should give a boost to online shopping and mobile transaction, Wu said.

“With the growing popularity of smart devices and introduction of new mobile payment standards, along with favorable regulations ... we believe Taiwan is ready to grow its mobile wallet business,” Wu said.

Major breakthroughs in the nation’s mobile payment ecosystem — including the launch of a payment platform enabling better transaction security and a proposed third-party payment law — will help facilitate the development of mobile payments, IDC said.

Third-party payment is one of the most popular online payment methods: Examples include Paypal in the US and Alipay (支付寶) in China.

“People have been talking about mobile payment for years. The security issue has been a major hurdle, but the introduction of new platforms such as Trusted Service Manager [TSM] should solve security problems,” Wu said.

Apple Inc uses TSM for its Apple Pay services on its iPhone 6 smartphones and they will also be available for its Apple Watch. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit global markets in September, while the Apple Watch is expected on store shelves next year.

TSM PROVIDER

Alliance Digital Tech Co (群信行動), a TSM mobile payment platform provider, said early this month that it has obtained certification from MasterCard to become the credit group’s approved TSM vendor, allowing the company to launch its mobile wallet service by end of this year. The company employs near-field communication to deliver its mobile payment services.

Alliance Digital is jointly owned by the nation’s major telecoms, including Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), banks such as CTBC Bank (中國信託商銀) and smart card issuer EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡公司).

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