MasterCard brings mobile payment to Taiwan

Payment provider partners local mobile operator Chunghwa Telecom and four banks to offer NFC-based virtual credit cards to consumers in the market, but service will only start end 2013.

MasterCard has brought its nearfield communications (NFC)-basedmobile payment service to Taiwan, in collaboration with mobile operator Chunghwa Telecom and four local banks, and is expected to be operational later this year.

Focus Taiwan reported the service allows Chunghwa Telecom mobile subscribers to download virtual credit cards to a special SIM card on NFC-enabled phones . They can then use these cards to pay bills and make purchases at select local stores as well as nearly 700,000 others in 51 countries, said Julie Yang, general manager of MasterCard Taiwan.

"With over-the-air downloads, consumers can use their phones as a payment tool and no longer need to bring heavy wallets," Yang added.

Cathay United Bank has been approved by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FCC), Taiwan's banking regulator, to launch a trial plan for the service. The other three banks, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank and E.Sun Commercial Bank, are still waiting for approval, the report noted.

Commercial operations of the NFC-based mobile credit card service is expected to begin by the end of the year once approvals are given, said Lin Kuo-feng, president of Chunghwa's mobile business group.

To support the deployment of the service, the mobile operator is planning to sell more mid- to high-end NFC smartphone models, Lin stated, adding entry-level phones with the capability is still a year or two away.