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May 23, 2017

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Taipei Bank to launch cash card, e-betting for lotto and other services

Taipei Bank, issuer of lotto currently causing a sensation throughout the island, is planning on launching cash card and online betting services that promise more convenience for people playing the computer-assisted game, said bank executives.

Meanwhile, the bank is urging people to buy the "Matching Fun" lottery game before its first drawing on Feb. 8 and promises an average of one winning ticket out of every 9.9.

In a luncheon Taipei Bank held for the media yesterday, president Jesse Ding said the bank is working with Mondex International, a global provider of e-payment solutions, in developing stored-value cards — and system hardware accommodating them — that people can use when buying lotto tickets.

The proposal is still being reviewed by the Ministry of Finance, Ding said, adding the bank could launch the card in as early as the end of March.

With stored value cards, users can swipe them instead of paying cash. Taipei Bank will be the only retailer for the cards in the initial phase, with other major banks following suit afterwards, Ding said.

According to Ding, the need for developing cash cards stems from burdens associated with cash transactions, especially at a time when counterfeit bills are circulating in the market.

"This way retailers can avoid getting counterfeit bills, and they don't have to worry about carrying too much cash," Ding said. "This would also speed up the betting process, as retailers no longer have to examine the bills."

Under the cash card system, people can recharge their cards at a retailer. The money will be deducted from their bank account, Ding added.

The card will have another function — to assist people make e-payments once the bank introduces the Internet betting service, which Ding said is a project for the bank in the next six months to a year.

Under the system, which Ding said was an idea bank officials took from Norway, people can pick the six numbers online. The payment will be taken off their stored-value cards.

"Sometimes you need to stand in line for an hour to make your bets, and it's too long for white-collar workers," Ding stated.

He adding retailers need not worry about online betting taking away their business.

"The Internet is just like a Taipei Bank branch where you can make your bet. Our numbers show that 96 percent of people buy lotto tickets at retailers and only four percent do so at our branch offices."

At the luncheon, Ding urged people to buy "Matching Fun" tickets — one of the three lottery games issued by Taipei Bank — before the first drawing on Feb. 8.

Priced at NT$100 per ticket, "Matching Fun" resembles the "Patriot" game popular in Taiwan decades ago. Each ticket has a six-digit number. The top-prize, won having the ticket number matching exactly the number to be drawn, will be NT$10 million.

"Unlike lotto, winners of the top-prize do not have to share the NT$10 million with others," Ding said.

Prizes vary according to the number of matches. The NT$500,000 second-prize, for example, is won by having the last five digits of the ticket number matching those of the number drawn.

"The chance of winning something is high ... about one ticket out of every 9.9 is a winning ticket of some sort," Ding said.

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