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Former premier urges fast-track development of micropayment trend

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Presidential advisor Sean Chen (陳沖) yesterday listed micropayments among the fastest growing trends in the financial sector, during a summit meeting hosted by the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF, 金融研訓院).

In his keynote speech, Chen explored challenges past and present faced by Taiwan's financial sector, stating that amid technological advancement, financial services can be updated to meet the requirements of rapidly growing trends including the proliferation of digital mobile platforms. In addition, chief officers of information of banks may no longer oversee the duties of their post from a solely technological perspective, as their guidance and decisions will greatly impact the future prospects for the bank.

Chen yesterday stated that micropayments, or financial transactions involving a relatively small sum of money that occurs electronically, will become among the fastest growing field of financial services, and will become a pivotal aspect of banks' operations.

Most notably, Chen illustrated the importance of a company's ability to transition to the new market landscape with the example of a U.S.-based company's decision to change its name from Apple Computers, Inc., to simply Apple Inc. Chen said that the decision reflected the company's resolve in transitioning towards a software and services-oriented company, as opposed to a player in the declining manufacturing sector. Chen made sure to emphasize, however, that he is a loyal consumer of products made in Taiwan and has never purchased an Apple product.

As social demography changes, so will consumer behavior and payment methods, said Chen, urging Taiwan's financial sector to act accordingly and offer services that suit these growing trends. Chen also stated that the related regulatory terms must also be amended.

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