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Mobile payments trial launched by Far EasTone

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The new pilot program is being launched by the third largest telecom operator in Taiwan.

Far EasTone Telecommunications, Co., the third biggest telecom operator in Taiwan, has just announced that it is launching a trial mobile payments project in the country that will use NFC technology.

The announcement included the fact that they intend to have the trial up and going by the second half of 2013.

The first phase of the mobile payments pilot project will begin in this year’s third quarter. It will function in conjunction with the efforts of MasterCard Inc. and Far Eastern International Bank, the second largest debit card and credit card network, said Yvonne Li, the president of Far EasTone.

Mobile Payments - NFC technologyThe second phase of the mobile payments project will also begin before the year is through, in the fourth quarter.

The project’s second phase, which is slated to start in the last quarter of the year, will include the participation of local banks and will include the additional credit card partnership within the network of Visa Inc., said Li. This mobile payments news was announced as a part of a general meeting of the shareholders of Far EasTone.

Throughout the pilot of the mobile payments project, only smaller transactions, under $100.50 (NT$3,000) will be targeted. This will be because of the requirements of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), the leading financial watchdog in Taiwan. Li explained that “We will begin with our group’s banks and department stores, while seeking external partners such as fast food chain stores.” She also added that a press conference will be held before the end of June, and more details will be released at that point.

Far Eastern International Bank is a unit of the Far Easter Group, and has received FSC approval as of June 11 for the implementation of its mobile payments business via downloads over the air, which give users the opportunity to enter their credit card data into their smartphones enabled with NFC technology so that they can be used to complete purchase transactions.

Once this mobile payments project is up and running, it will make Far EasTone the second carrier in the country to enter into the NFC smartphone transactions space, second only to Chunghwa Telecom, which is the largest provider in the Taiwan.

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