Local banks yesterday launched joint mobile payment services based on QR code technology in a bid to tap the fast-growing financial technology (fintech) business and outcompete foreign payment tools.
“Taiwan Pay aims to provide more convenient, quicker payment services using QR code technology via smartphones, which have become a necessity in daily life,” Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) told a news conference.
Mobile payments are divided into two camps: one powered by near field communication (NFC) technology and the other using QR code technology, the ministry said.
The ministry spearheaded the development of Taiwan Pay to help the nation become a regional technology hub and to compete with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Unlike foreign mobile payment tools that function like credit cards, Taiwan Pay can issue invoices and will allow users to pay taxes, utility bills and school fees in the near future, Su said.
The incompatibility of different foreign payment services has limited their growth and prevalence, although they have attracted more than 1 million customers since their entry into the local market in the second quarter of the year, he said.
Taiwan Pay hopes to attract 6 million users in its first year, given that it can be used on all smartphone models and brands, the deputy minister said.
Twelve Taiwanese financial institutions — including all eight state-run banks and Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank (上海商業儲蓄銀行), Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行), Jih Sun International Commercial Bank (日盛銀行) and O-Bank (王道商業銀行) — are offering clients Taiwan Pay and another 13 are expected to join, Su said.
Community-level lenders, post offices and semi-official financial institutes are also expected to come on board.
“We expect all domestic banks to rally behind Taiwan Pay and aim to expand its reach overseas,” Su said.
Taiwan Pay is limited to debit card use, but is to add credit cards soon, he said.
“Taiwan Pay will gain rapid popularity as it requires low installation costs and guarantees safe transactions,” Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控) chairman Wu Tang-chieh (吳當傑) said.
Several retailers, bakeries, department stores and foundations have offered Taiwan Pay users discounts and gifts.
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