Mobile payments in Taiwan last year more than doubled to NT$240.7 billion (US$8.54 billion) from NT$118.2 billion a year earlier as a trend toward ditching wallets and paying with mobile devices continued, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) data showed yesterday.
Growth of mobile payments has at least doubled each year since 2016, when it totaled NT$1.49 billion, rising to NT$14.8 billion in 2017 and NT$47.8 billion in 2018, the data showed.
The commission defines mobile payments as those conducted on a personal mobile device via electronic payment platforms such as Line Pay and Jkos Pay, as well as credit card, debit card or stored value card spending through mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay.
Photo courtesy of MOS Burger
Payments made last year through e-payment platforms surged 135 percent from NT$36.2 billion a year earlier to NT$85.4 billion.
The method ranked top among all mobile payment tools, which could be attributed to e-payment services offering more incentives than other providers, the commission said.
It was the first time that e-payment services outperformed platform-based credit card or debit card spending, the data showed.
“We have noticed that most mobile payments are for retail spending in the real world, instead of online shopping,” Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi (林志吉) said by telephone.
People still prefer credit cards to shop online, but when they buy snacks, beverages or consumer goods at physical stores, they prefer using e-payment services to avoid using a wallet and earn reward points, Lin said.
Teenagers, who are not allowed credit cards, but can use mobile e-payment services by linking a bank account to an e-payment platform, helped boost mobile payments, the FSC said.
Platform-based debit card spending was the second-most popular method last year, accounting for NT$72.5 billion and up 158 percent year-on-year, while platform-based credit card spending was third, up 54 percent annually to NT$68.9 billion, the data showed.
Payments via mobile point-of-sale devices totaled NT$5.1 billion, up 13 percent from a year earlier, while payments via electronic stored value cards rose 63 percent to NT$1.8 billion, the data showed.
Mobile payments remain a comparatively small percentage of non-cash payments, which totaled NT$4.95 trillion last year, but the proportion is expected to keep growing, the commission said.
Cumulative mobile payments since 2016 totaled NT$423 billion as of the end of last year, up 132 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
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