Wed, Jul 10, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Visa unveils QR payment tool for small businesses

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Visa Inc yesterday introduced a new mobile payment service targeting local small businesses and wet market stalls that do not accept credit cards, saying that it would be an easier alternative to cash transactions.

The US-based financial services provider has partnered with nine local banks and Taiwan Pay, a government-initiated mobile payment service, for the new service, Visa deputy country manager Eric Wang (王正平) told a news conference in Taipei.

Holders of Visa cards issued by any of the nine banks can scan the merchants’ QR codes placed on stickers or labels by using the lenders’ digital wallets, Wang said.

The new service would apply to 15 million consumers, he said.

The number of merchants accepting Visa’s QR code payment methods had grown to more than 9,000 as of the end of last month, Wang said.

Many merchants do not accept credit cards, as some of them are wet market stalls, such as fishmongers or flower vendors, and they are accustomed to taking cash, he said.

Some others are small shops that do not want to pay handling fees to banks, Wang said.

However, they are willing to use QR code payments as consumers embrace the contactless payment method, he said.

An online survey conducted by Visa in May showed that 49 percent of Taiwanese used QR payment methods, higher than 28 percent in Hong Kong and 10 percent in Macau, as they view it as a more convenient, safer and cleaner payment method.

A QR code is more convenient for merchants, as they do not need to install a near-field communication device or a credit-card reader, instead, they only need to place a sticker for customers to scan with their smartphones, Wang said.

Merchants still have to pay handling fees, but many of them have said that it is worth adopting the new payment method, as they would not need to manage cash, he said.

The nine banks are Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行), Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行) and Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀).

Visa is in talks with other banks, but it might need more time to reach an agreement, as some lenders still value their digital wallets and are more conservative about cooperation with others, Wang said.

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