HTC calls on Taiwan to build national mobile payments platform

Taiwanese financial institutions should jointly develop a unified NFC-based mobile payment platform says the Taiwan-based handset maker, following the announcement of its first NFC phone and a deal with China’s CUP payments network.

HTC: Wants a mobile payments platform for Taiwan

HTC, the world’s fifth-largest smartphone maker, has urged Taiwanese financial institutions to jointly develop an NFC-based mobile payment platform, the island’s Central News Agency (CNA) reports.

The call for action from Taiwan’s banks follows the signing of a deal between HTC and China UnionPay (CUP) that will see the handset maker supplying its first NFC phone, the HTC Stunning, to the Chinese payments network.

“Our cooperation with China UnionPay is just the beginning, and we believe the mobile payment app will also become a critical application in Taiwan,” Steve Wang, associate vice president of HTC’s mobile application and software design, told CNA:

Unlike China UnionPay, which has 2.6 billion credit and debit cards in circulation in different countries worldwide, Taiwan’s financial service companies and banks have not yet jointly established a mechanism that allows users to make mobile payments in different regions around the country, Wang said.

In 2007, some local telecom operators launched contactless payment-enabled smartphones using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

But they have since toned down their enthusiasm for such products due to the high costs of NFC chips and the lack of a unified mobile payment system that makes it difficult for retail outlets to offer the service to customers.

“It’s not a problem of hardware manufacturing or technology, but one of who should set the technical standard for making such payments in Taiwan,” Wang said.

The HTC executive says he hopes the government can kickstart the process by launching mobile banking services in some state-owned banks, which will set an example for the private sector, CNA adds.

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