Taiwan operators roll out NFC-based mobile payments

Taiwan’s mobile operators have jumped on board to support the country’s largest mobile commerce platform, which has the backing of 32 banks, three payment processing institutions and EasyCard.It also has had the support of Visa and Mastercard since early December.Chunghwa Telecom this week was the first operator to launch mobile payments using the NFC-based system. Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and Asia Pacific Telecom are expected to roll out the service soon.To use the service, customers are issued digital credit cards through over-the-air downloads to their 3G or 4G smartphones. Payments are processed over Taiwan Mobile Payment's trusted service manager (TSM) platform, a system to help service providers securely distribute and manage contactless services over mobile networks, the China Post reported.Taiwan Mobile Payments, which developed the platform, has also released the 'tw wallet' smartphone interface, which users can download as an app.About 20 smartphones are compatible with the platform. When fitted with NFC-enabled SIMs, the devices work as debit and credit cards and public transit tickets.More than 30,000 local retail stores now accept the payments. Payment via EasyCard will be available in the first half of the year, the company said.