Android Pay, a mobile digital wallet platform developed by Google, was launched nationwide yesterday, with thousands of stores joining the new payment service.
Users of smartphones or tablets equipped with near-field communication and Android Kitkat 4.4 or more advanced operating systems are to have access to the new service, Google Taiwan said.
Android Pay has been rolled out in 13 nations since September 2015, including the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Taiwan is the fourth market in Asia to have the service, Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng (簡立峰) said.
Holders of Visa and MasterCard credit cards issued by CTBC Bank (中國信託銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) can make use of the service, Google Taiwan said.
As long as credit card holders from the two participating banks install the Android Pay app and add their cards, they will be able to make tap-to-pay purchases in participating stores online and offline, it said.
Android Pay also incorporates Google Maps services to remind consumers of coupons, membership cards and discounts when they visit stores, it added.
HappyGo, the largest point-collecting platform in the nation, is also to allow people to add their cards to Android Pay, Google Taiwan said, adding that purchases at certain shops would contribute points that can be used for discounts on future purchases.
Stores in Taiwan that accept Android Pay include Carrefour, A-Mart (愛買), RT-Mart (大潤發), Pxmart (全聯), Taipei 101, Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨), Starbucks and Watsons, the company said.
Taiwan is an important market for Android Pay because it has a fast-growing e-commerce market and great potential for mobile payment growth, Chien said.
According to Google Taiwan, 62 percent of consumers in Taiwan have made purchases over the Internet, posting about US$38 billion in aggregate transaction value to date.
Smartphones account for 82 percent of the nation’s cellphone market and it is the fifth-largest market for Android Play: further evidence of its growth potential, Chien said.
The introduction of Android Pay is expected to be welcomed by Taiwanese who are keen to have alternative payment methods, he said, adding that it would likely accelerate the pace of mobile payment adoption.
Android Pay is the third major foreign mobile payment platform available in Taiwan, following Apple Pay, which started in late March, and Samsung Pay, which began early last month.
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