The government is working on easing regulations that would allow users of electronic payment services to transfer money to a different service provider in a bid to boost the industry, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.
For example, users of JKo Pay (街口支付) would be able to transfer money to a Line Pay account, instead of being limited to fund transfers to a user of the same service provider, Koo said.
“We want to remove the obstacle [to fund transfers] to make it more convenient for consumers and help the industry’s development,” a Banking Bureau official surnamed Chen (陳) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
If consumers can transfer funds freely among different services, they would be able to use e-payment at a wider range of stores, Chen said, adding that it would make the industry more advance and efficient.
Consumers in Hong Kong can already transfer money between different e-payment service providers after the government launched the Faster Payment System (轉數快, FPS) in September, Chen said.
The commission is considering merging the Rules Governing the Business of Electronic Stored Value Card Issuers (電子票證發行機構業務管理規則) into the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions (電子支付機構管理條例), Koo said, adding that it plans to send the proposal to the legislature next session.
Companies that issue electronic stored-value cards, such as EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡), which is applying for an electronic payment license, would automatically receive a license, but the commission would monitor them for information security, it said.
One of the proposed changes would be an amendment to Article 47-3 of the Banking Act (銀行法), in which the word “banks” would be changed to “financial institutions” to expand the type of institutions that can accept fund transfers, the commission said.
The proposed changes could give rise to heated competition among the six institutions that provide e-payment services, as consumers can freely transfer stored money from one account to another at a different service provider, National Chengchi University professor Chu Hau-min (朱浩民) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
“The powerful will always be powerful, as they can absorb new funds and even new users,” Chu said, adding that free competition is good, but the government should monitor the market to ensure fairness.
According to commission data, AllPay Financial Information Service Co (歐付寶) had 770,879 users as of October, the highest among the six e-payment service providers.
In cooperation with Line Pay, iPass Corp (一卡通票證) ranked first for fund transfers, tallying at NT$105.44 million (US$3.42 million) for October.
Jko Pay ranked second with NT$73.73 million, the data showed.
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