Sat, May 25, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Non-cash payments to be allowed for more fee types

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission later this year plans to allow consumers to pay six kinds of fees through electronic means at convenience stores to boost non-cash payments, Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.

Consumers are currently allowed to use only cash, credit cards or mobile payment apps to pay government fees at convenience stores, such as utilities, parking fees and transportation fines.

Due to concern about the risk of money laundering, the commission was previously conservative about non-cash payments at convenience stores, but it now plans to relax restrictions, Koo said.

People will soon be able to pay tuition and miscellaneous fees, such as gas, cable TV, telecom, estate maintenance and brokers’ fees, through mobile payment apps, he said.

“The penetration rate of non-cash payments has been stagnant at about 38 percent over the past few months, which we were not happy to see, as the government has set a goal of increasing the penetration rate to 52 percent next year,” Koo said.

Although adoption of mobile payments has surged, non-cash payments, which last year totaled NT$3 trillion (US$95.2 billion), have not advanced in tandem, he said.

He cited Taiwanese consumers’ tendency to use credit cards for larger purchases, but cash for smaller transactions for the stagnant penetration rate.

“We will try to encourage consumers to use more non-cash payment tools by enabling their use everywhere,” Koo said.

Fortunately, more institutions are willing to accept non-cash payments, while an increasing number of payment channels have also helped boost non-cash payment adoption, he said.

While non-cash payments have surpassed a 90 percent penetration rate in China, in Taiwan many people still favor cash, as they find it more convenient, he added.

Credit card transactions in Taiwan last year totaled NT$2.88 trillion, up 9.9 percent from NT$2.6 trillion in 2017 and setting a record high for the fifth consecutive year, commission data showed.

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