The government’s proposed NT$11 billion (US$365.8 million) economic stimulus plan might favor some third-party online payment companies, setting a poor precedent for contactless payment systems, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said yesterday.
The Executive Yuan’s proposed stimulus plan, in the form of electronic-payment coupons, is expected to collaborate with the nation’s four main contactless payment companies — Jkopay, Taiwan Pay, Line Pay and Pi Pay.
TPP Legislator Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如) told a news conference in Taipei that Line Pay, Jkopay and Taiwan Pay have about 2.16 million, 1.98 million and 4.5 million users respectively, with most users of the services aged 20 to 35.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Only 300,000 stores accept payments using Jkopay and Line Pay, Tsai said, adding that the stimulus plan would only benefit 10 to 20 percent of stores, not the greater economic environment.
Few people use electronic payment methods outside the six special municipalities and there is an entire demographic of middle-aged to elderly people who do not use such services, said contactless payment expert Lin Kun-cheng (林坤正), who was invited to attend the news conference.
Moreover, 800,000 to 900,000 stores do not collaborate with the services, Lin said.
Jkopay leads the other services with monthly profit of NT$1.45 billion, or 70 percent of third-party payments, Lin said, adding that it would be expected to process NT$7.7 billion of the stimulus fund as it is spent.
In essence, it would benefit from an unconditional free government-funded capital injection, he said.
As the stimulus has a three-month limit, Jkopay could leave peers in the industry far behind, Lin said, adding that payment information could be hoarded by one or two companies.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ decision to exclude service providers that use near-field communication, such as iCash, Apple Pay and Gomaji — as well as Visa and Mastercard, is bothersome to the public, TPP Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said.
Non-store Retailer Association secretary-general Hsu Chung-sheng (許忠生) said that the government should not place too many limitations on how the funds are used.
A report compiled by the legislature’s Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau said that the public would benefit if there were more payment methods available to spend stimulus funds.
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