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Telecom's five big firms to promote NFC platform for mobile payments

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's “big five” telecoms carriers are poised to collaborate in developing a platform to ensure the security of near field communication (NFC) technology, and usher in a new era of mobile payment and transaction processing.

The telecoms big five, comprised of Chunghwa Telecom (中華電), Taiwan Mobile (台灣大), Far EasTone (遠傳), Asia Pacific Telecom (亞太) and Taiwan Star Cellular (台灣之星), are poised to collaborate with the EasyCard Co. (悠遊卡公司) to establish a trusted service management (TSM) platform that will ensure the security of NFC-enabled mobile transactions and payments. A subsidiary company has been formed to undertake the endeavor with capital of NT$300 million. Taiwan's big five telecoms carrier and the EasyCard Co. will each hold a 10-percent stake on the subsidiary, with the rest to be held by banks and other financial institutions.

According to the subsidiary company, at 25 percent Taiwan is lagging markedly in mobile payment adoption relative to neighboring Singapore's 53-percent, China's 55-percent, and Hong Kong's 65-percent utilization rate. The company hopes to elevate Taiwan's adoption rate to about 50 percent within five year's time following the establishment of the TSM-secured NFC mobile payment platform.

In Taiwan handsets equipped with NFC capability this year rose to 4.2 million units, with the figure expected to grow to 9.5 million units by 2019.

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