CNA

TAIPEI–Some 82 percent of Taiwanese have used contactless payment, reflecting growing familiarity among local consumers with the technology, according to a survey released Tuesday by Visa Inc., the world’s largest credit and debit card company.

The results of the ��Proximity Payment Consumer Behavior Survey�� found that the top three reasons for using contactless payment are: ��contactless payment is faster and more convenient than swiping a card�� (79 percent); ��it is convenient for small purchases that do not require a signature�� (60 percent); and ��it feels safer without handing the credit card to store staff�� (29 percent).

The survey also found that the top three sectors for using contactless payment are the public transportation system (67 percent), convenience stores (62 percent) and supermarkets and hypermarkets (33 percent).

The key factors leading to more successful mobile payment adoption in Taiwan include the availability of Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones, an increase in the number of merchants equipped with terminals that accept contactless transactions, and building the habit among consumers of using electronic payments instead of cash, according to the survey.

Commissioned by Visa, the survey consisted of a face-to-face interview conducted by research firm IPSOS from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15 last year. It asked 603 respondents, aged 20 to 49, about their perceptions, acceptance, usage experience, satisfaction and expectations toward contactless and mobile payments.

Visa said the number of the company’s ��payWave�� contactless-enabled cards has exceeded 8 million in Taiwan since its launch in 2005.

Last year, the total payment volume of Visa payWave cards in Taiwan increased 42.8 percent year-on-year to NT$63.8 billion (US$2.05 billion), driven by the continuing trend of consumers moving from cash to electronic forms of payment, Visa said.

Visa payWave card readers have grown to over 47,000 in merchant outlets, with 22 financial institutions already issuing payWave-enabled cards in Taiwan.

A total of 219 million Visa payWave cards have been issued in 53 markets around the world, including 36.8 million payWave cards issued in the Asia-Pacific region, said Weber Chen director of emerging products at Visa’s Taiwan branch.

Taiwan is the second market in the Asia-Pacific region that Visa has launched its payWave cards, behind only Malaysia, while Taiwan’s total payWave transaction volume also ranks second in the region behind only Australia, Chen told a press briefing.

However, payWave accounted for only 15.2 percent of Visa’s face-to-face transactions in Taiwan as of June 2014, lagging behind Australia’s 50 percent and Singapore’s 21.5 percent in the Asia Pacific region, he said.

��That means we still have much room for growth in this segment in Taiwan,�� Chen noted.