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Government setting the stage for wider adoption of mobile payments

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Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Thursday that the government has now spent nearly two full years on efforts to promote its mobile payments policy, and thanks to cooperation among responsible agencies and local administrations throughout the country, the penetration rate of mobile payment services rose from 24.4 percent in 2016 to 50.3 percent in 2018. Expectations now in 2019 are for the value of mobile transactions to surpass NT$100 billion (US$3.18 billion).

Commending Taiwan's advances in mobile payment services, the premier noted that it is now possible for people to pay such things as utility bills and taxes using mobile devices in the nation's four leading convenience store chains, with over 10,000 outlets collectively. The greatly added convenience for customers and increase in efficiency of merchants' collection of payments are certainly worthy of praise.

The premier's remarks were prompted by a presentation by the National Development Council on efforts to accelerate the adoption of mobile payment services and successes achieved so far.

In order to introduce the benefits of mobile payments to an even larger section of the public, Premier Su instructed the ministries and agencies responsible to continue the work of optimizing the environmental fundamentals, including:

1. The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) was directed to complete as soon as possible amendments to the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions, with the objective of uniting the functions of electronic payments and electronic stored value cards, liberalizing trans-institutional fund transfers, and expanding the scope of services, all of which would advance the development of mobile payments and related applications in Taiwan.

2. The Ministry of Finance will extend until 2025 the period during which small operations can receive tax benefits as an incentive for adopting mobile payments. The premier instructed the responsible authorities to provide increased guidance to attract additional merchants.

3. To prevent fraud, the FSC and the Ministry of Economic Affairs are to implement strict controls and steer firms toward compliance with data security regulations.

4. Responsible agencies have been charged with formulating concrete measures to speed up adoption among slower-moving sectors such as schools and hospitals.

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