SinoPac is first to launch mobile banking services

RED HOT::Global mobile business transactions — already offered in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea — are expected to jump 35 percent annually to 2017

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - Page 14

Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), the banking arm of SinoPac Financial Holding Co (永豐金控), yesterday launched mobile debit and credit card services, making it the first lender in Taiwan to tap the emerging mobile payment market.

The new service, currently limited to 1,000 customers, allows them to pay for goods and services via their smartphones and tablets as mobile devices gain popularity.

“Bank SinoPac is pleased to lead peers in offering the service” that is already in use in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and South Korea, Bank Sinopac’s president Tina Chiang (江威娜) told a media briefing.

The new business may not be a key earnings driver at this point due to regulatory constraints, among other things, but is a trend that no financial institute can afford to ignore, Chiang said.

Global mobile business transactions are expected to jump by a compound rate of 35 percent every year to 2017, suggesting ample payment opportunity for lenders, Chiang said.

At present, the Financial Supervisory Commission caps credit card consumption over mobile devices at NT$50,000 (US$1,665) and payments over mobile debit cards at NT$10,000. The regulator also imposes a quota of 1,000 customers for banks interested in offering mobile payment services.

A survey by Bank SinoPac shows 62 percent of its customers are willing to use the new services on expectations of better speed and convenience.

Yet, 38 percent expressed concerns over transaction safety and 32 percent over complicated procedures, the survey showed.

Other banks including Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託銀行), Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行), EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰銀行) and Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) are expected to unveil their mobile payment services soon.