Sun, Mar 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

EasyCard services may be used at Ciyou Temple

By Chen Yun-chen and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman uses an EasyCard to make a donation at Ciyou Temple in Taipei’s Songshan District on Friday.

Photo: CNA

Ciyou Temple (慈祐宮) in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) on Friday reminded visitors that they can use the EasyCard payment system to make donations at card readers in the temple.

Temple chairman Chen Yu-feng (陳玉峰) said the readers were installed to make donating convenient for younger people, adding that a NT$100 (US$3.28) donation is made with each tap. Chen said visitors have so far donated NT$500,000 through EasyCard payments in the three months since the readers were installed.

Chen said the temple has four readers, two of which are for donations while the remaining two are for purchasing ghost money — paper money that is burned at altars as an offering.

Proceeds from donations, candle sales and offerings for the past three months associated with the annual worship of the goddess Tai Suei (安太歲) amount to about NT$100 million, Chen said, adding that EasyCard contributions make up for only a small percentage of total revenue.

“Most people who come to the temple for worship are older, so cash is still the most-used payment method,” Chen said.

EasyCard Corp said it is in talks with the temple about allowing card payments for candle sales and offerings made during Tai Suei worship services.

The temple said it is still considering the proposal’s feasibility.

The company said it is working with three other temples, including the Jenn Lann Temple (鎮瀾宮) in Taichung’s Dajia District (大甲), the Chaotien Temple (朝天宮) in Yunlin County’s Peikang Township (北港) and Taipei’s Sung Shan Tsu Huei Temple (松山慈惠堂).

The Tsu Huei Temple was the first temple nationwide to use the payment system when it installed the service in 2014, which can be used for purchasing temple charms, candles and making offerings made during worship services for Tai Suei and the Five Directional Fortune Gods (五路財神), the company said.

However, the temple said that EasyCard use remains low, as people tend to prefer using their credit cards for donations to accumulate reward points.

EasyCard Corp said it is continuing to promote use of the payment system at temples and are also in talks with Fuyou Temple (福佑宮) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水).

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