Far EasTone unit launches mobile coupons



TAIPEI — Hiiir Inc., a mobile media subsidiary of local operator Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., launched a mobile coupon service Tuesday that it said enables its retail partners to reach their customers in a faster and easier way.

The Qbon service, which can be integrated into mobile apps offered by retailers, will send electronic coupons automatically to smartphones or tablets of registered Qbon users that can be redeemed in stores near where users are located.

Consumers can currently use the Qbon coupons in about 5,000 stores in Taiwan, and the number is expected to increase to 10,000 by the end of this year, said Frank Yao, associate director of Hiiir’s social-location-mobile business division.

Hiiir will charge retailers about NT$3-NT$5 (US$0.099-US$0.166) for each redeemed coupon, and its retailer partners will receive demographic data about the people who use the coupons, including gender, age and location, Yao said.

“It’s an all-inclusive service that can precisely offer location-based discount information to consumers,” he told a press conference announcing the Qbon.

Taiwan’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth NT$879.6 billion in 2014, up from NT$767.3 billion in 2013, and the figure is expected to exceed NT$1 trillion next year, according to estimates by Taiwan’s state-funded Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC).

Far EasTone, Taiwan’s third largest telecom operator, acquired Hiiir last year for NT$100 million to gain access to the latter’s capabilities in mobile media and business application development.