Chunghwa Post yesterday said that it would launch a co-branded Visa debit card with Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) before the end of this year.
People would be able to use the cards to access public transport systems nationwide, including MRT systems and public bus services, once the proposal secures approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission, the postal company said.
The company launched the postal savings Visa debit card in September 2009.
Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times
It has so far issued only about 4 million cards, which shows there is still plenty of room for growth, it said.
Allowing cardholders to use the Visa debit card to access the public transport system could motivate more people to apply for the card, the postal company said.
The company would first submit the proposal to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for review, it said, adding that after the ministry’s approval, the proposal would be turned over to the commission for a final approval.
In other news, the postal company said that it generated a profit of NT$14.2 billion (US$487.1 million) from January to last month, despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing severe delays in mail and package deliveries.
Based on its budget plan approved by the Legislative Yuan, the company was supposed to reach a legal budget of NT$8.9 billion.
Chunghwa Post president Chiang Jui-tang (江瑞堂) said that the company’s mail and package delivery service was disrupted as many countries closed their borders to contain the spread of COVID-19, which caused airlines to cancel most of their flights.
The delay was acute in April, when the government lifted a ban on sending masks to relatives of Taiwanese residing overseas, which increased the number of packages handled by and piled up at post offices nationwide, he said.
China Airlines and EVA Airways have also raised their air transport fees to two to three times pre-pandemic levels, which caused delivery costs to exceed the postage fees charged from customers, he said.
Although the booming electronic commerce business led to a 20 percent year-on-year increase in express package delivery service, the low delivery cost for packages has caused mail and package delivery business to generate a profit of only NT$500 million, down from NT$1.8 billion in the same period last year, he said.
A majority of the company’s profit in the past eight months came from the deposit and foreign-exchange business, as well as the life insurance business, Chiang said.
The company’s postal savings accounts have a total fund of NT$6.5 trillion and its life insurance funds was about NT$700 billion, he added.
“Because of the depreciation of the US dollar against the New Taiwan dollar, our investment overseas — about NT$900 billion — have sustained some minor foreign exchange losses. However, we should still be able to reach the legal budget required of us, so long as the exchange rate of the US dollar versus the NT dollar can be maintained at 1:29,” Chiang said.
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