EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡) yesterday unveiled its first cobranded automatic teller machine (ATM) card with Taipei Star Bank (瑞興銀行), part of its plans to expand its business scope in the face of stiff competition in the cobranded credit-card market.
EasyCard Corp has 19 cobranded credit cards.
“We will no longer focus on this [cobranded credit card] business, as the market is saturated,” Lin said.
With annual private consumption in Taiwan staying at about NT$9 trillion (US$292.28 billion) over the past few years, there seems to be no point in issuing more credit cards, Lin said.
“We always encourage people to make both ends meet, but that is not how credit cards work,” Lin said, adding that it is also a concern of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
Against this backdrop, the company aims to focus on non-credit card businesses, such as ATM cards and account-linked services for Easycards, with potential collaborations with local credit cooperatives, farmers’ associations, fishermen’s associations and Chunghwa Post (中華郵政), he said.
Asked if the company is interested in Internet banks in Taiwan, Lin said EasyCard might consider taking a 3 to 5 percent stake in a consortium led by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) to develop the nation’s first state-owned Internet-only bank.
Chunghwa Telecom has said that four companies with a combined stake of 79 percent in the consortium are interested in bidding for a Web-only bank license in Taiwan.
Chunghwa Telecom holds a 30 percent stake in the consortium, followed by Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行) with 25.1 percent, Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) with 14 percent and Pxmart Co (全聯實業) with 9.9 percent.
EasyCard is the largest electronic stored value card in the nation.
As of the end of August, the number of EasyCards in circulation totaled 67.04 million, accounting for 64 percent of the 103.33 million electronic stored value cards in the nation, Financial Supervisory Commission data showed.
With its new cobranded ATM card, which serves as an electronic ticket and for making small payments, EasyCard said it expects students and young people to adapt it easily to diversify their payment choices.
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