Taiwan's Top Three Telecom Carriers to Partner on Mobile Payment Operation

Sep 29, 2011 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Furniture Ι By Ken Liu, CENS
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Taipei, Sept. 29, 2011 (CENS)--Top executives of Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd., Far EasTone Telecom Co., Ltd. and Taiwan Mobile Corp. have recently conferred behind closed doors on a plan to co-organize a trust service management (TSM) company as a verification platform of payment cards incorporating credit, commuter, and SIM cards.

Taiwan Mobile Co-President Cliff Lai confirmed that the three carriers have reached an agreement in the meeting on promoting mobile e-commerce and e-wallet services on NFC-enabled (near filed communication-enabled) smartphones. NFC is a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches.

The three carriers will invite EasyCard Corp. to join the management company, given the 26 million EasyCards that it has issued to commuters islandwide as payment tool on many transportation services. In addition, they will invite mobile service providers VIBO Telecom Co., Ltd. and Asia Pacific Telecom Co., Ltd. to join the team.

The planned management company will initially serve as a credit verification platform as the non-profit Joint Credit Information Center, according to the three carriers. Afterward, they will introduce banks issuing credit cards into the organization.

The carriers have approached handset makers HTC and Samsung over deals of supplying NFC-enabled smartphones, which they will begin to buy in 2012.

Industry executives estimate Taiwan's market for mobile payment service at about NT$10-20 billion (US$333-666 million at US$1: NT$30) for the next two years and mainland China's market for the new service at RMB23.5 billion (US$3.6 billion at US$1:RMB6.4) in 2013.
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