Mon, Nov 05, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Line Pay ranks top for mobile transfers

LEAPS AND BOUNDS:Transfers between all electronic payment accounts in Taiwan jumped to NT$644.82 million in September, an increase of 673 percent from August

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Line Pay’s electronic payment services (EPS) reported NT$556.5 million (US$18.1 million) in transfers between accounts in September, ranking first and accounting for 86.3 percent of total transfers made via mobile payment tools in Taiwan, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) data showed.

In the month, total transfers between electronic payment accounts held by different entities registered at the 26 active electronic payment providers jumped 673 percent to NT$644.82 million from NT$83.4 million in August, data released on Thursday last week showed.

Third-party payment providers are still not allowed to offer transfer services, nor are they allowed to transfer funds using electronic stored-value cards, as the government regulates such activity, because of money-laundering concerns, the commission said.

Fund transfers were largely neglected by major players until Line Pay in September promoted its services by awarding users with digital red envelopes.

“The transfer function is becoming really popular,” an FSC official surnamed Chen (陳) said on Thursday.

Although not the core business of electronic payment service providers, transfer functions can spare people from having to travel to the bank or using card readers to transfer money online, Chen said, adding that they are convenient when, for instance, splitting the bill at a restaurant.

Some local companies have even used the function to pay bonuses to their employees, Chen said.

Line launched combined electronic payment and stored-value card services on Sept. 3, and by the end of the month registered Line Pay/iPass accounts reached 517,593 users, ranking it fourth in electronic payment services after E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行), with 795,414 users, AllPay Financial Information Service Co Ltd (歐付寶), with 760,308 users and Jkos Pay (街口), with 539,897 users, FSC data showed.

Line Pay is popular because it makes it easy for users younger than 20 to register for electronic payments and charges no fees for peer-to-peer transfers, Wanning Liao (廖婉寧), a communications officer at LINE Biz+ Taiwan Ltd, the operator of Line Pay, said on Friday.

However, use of Line Pay as an in-store payment tool remained low in September, totaling NT$8 million in transactions and accounting for just 0.3 percent of the NT$2.53 billion in electronic payments in the month, FSC data showed.

Line Pay is expanding partnerships with stores nationwide and expects to see the number rise, Liao said.

Line Pay had more than 3.7 million registered users in Taiwan at the end of September, of which 13.99 percent had a Line Pay/iPass electronic payment account, the company said, adding that there is ample room for further growth.

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