Wed, Dec 05, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Handling fees at state-run institutions nixed

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Credit card holders would not be charged handling fees at state-run hospitals or other institutions starting on Jan. 1, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday.

The move aims to promote electronic payment and 13 banks have agreed to absorb the costs, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said.

Some cardholders were charged NT$10 to NT$20 (US$0.33 to US$0.65) per payment until the announcement, as 22 banks used to charge the fees, but most state-run institutions did not.

When people use a credit card to pay bills at state-run institutions, their payments are handled by the National Credit Card Center’s common operating platform in cooperation with 33 credit card issuers.

However, while 13 banks announced that they would continue absorbing the costs next year, the remaining 20 said that cardholders should pay the fee, the commission said.

“State-owned institutions should pay the handling fee, as credit card payment spares them the trouble of cash management,” Banking Bureau Deputy Director Wang Li-chun (王立群) told a news conference in New Taipei City.

Given that cumulative fees last year reached NT$20 million, the budget would not be heavy for single institutions, and the fee is a tiny portion of hospitals’ revenues, Wang said.

Cardholders would not have to pay the fees next year, which regulations do not allow, and state-run hospitals would budget for them or the banks would absorb them, Wang added.

The 13 credit card issuers that would not charge fees are: Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦), Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗銀行), Hwatai Bank (華泰銀行), Sunny Bank (陽信銀行), COTA Commercial Bank (三信銀行), Far Eastern International Bank (遠東商銀), Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), DBS Bank (星展銀行), and Chunghwa Post Co (中華郵政).

A total of 1,415 state-owned institutions and hospitals have joined the common operating platform, including the Taiwan High Court, the Traffic Adjudication Office, Tri-Service General Hospital, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水) and Taiwan Power Co (台電), the credit card center said.

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