Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Convenience stores boost government’s Taiwan Pay system

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Two convenience store chains yesterday launched support for Taiwan Pay, lending solid support to the acceptance and prevalence of the government-initiated mobile payment service based on quick response (QR) code technology.

Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店) and OK Mart (OK超商) joined the ranks of firms that support Taiwan Pay, which has been spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance to help boost mobile payments in a bid to build the nation into a regional financial technology hub.

“With the support from FamilyMart and OK Mart, Taiwan Pay has made significant headway in increasing its penetration and popularity,” Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) told a news conference in Taipei.

The number of stores and organizations that accept Taiwan Pay are to soar from 41,000 to 45,000, he said.

The Executive Yuan has set a goal of achieving a 90 percent penetration rate for Taiwan Pay by 2025.

Taiwan Pay aims to tap into the fast-growing fintech industry and outcompete Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Line Pay.

Mobile payments are divided into two major camps: one powered by near-field communication technology and the other by QR code technology, Su said.

QR code technology could gain the upper hand as mobile wallets evolve, given that it is both safe and easy to use, he said.

Taiwan Pay aims to include President Chain Store Corp’s (統一超商) 7-Eleven chain in the first quarter of next year, which would add another 60,000 stores that support the indigenously developed digital wallet, he added.

Hi-Life International Co (萊爾富) is already a partner.

Convenience stores are critical battlegrounds, as a survey early this year found that they account for the majority of mobile transactions in Taiwan, with respondents saying that they mostly used mobile payments at convenience stores (62.3 percent), followed by hypermarkets (37.7 percent); supermarkets (32.3 percent); department stores and shopping malls (30.2 percent); and restaurants (29.7 percent).

INCENTIVES

Fourteen local financial institutions — including all the state-run lenders, Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行) and Jih Sun International Bank (日盛銀行) — offer Taiwan Pay users discounts of up to 20 percent per transaction at OK Mart and FamilyMart, officials said.

Popular acceptance and monetary incentives play a crucial role in promoting mobile payment tools, OK Mart president Wey Gow-jhy (魏國志) said.

Unlike foreign mobile payment platforms that function like credit cards, Taiwan Pay can issue invoices and allows users to pay taxes, utility bills and school fees, Su said, adding that people who pay land taxes this year with Taiwan Pay could enjoy a discount of NT$50.

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