TWQR mobile payment service launches in S Korea

The Taiwanese QR code mobile payment service, TWQR, has been launched in South Korea, the Bankers Association of the ROC (銀行公會) and Financial Information Service Co (FISC, 財金資訊) said in a joint statement yesterday.

The mobile payment service, available at 35,000 merchants in the East Asian country, is a collaboration between the two Taiwanese organizations and the South Korean financial services company BC Card Co, the statement said.

Thirteen Taiwanese financial institutions, led by the Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), have partnered with BC Card for the new service, it said, adding that more banks and electronic payment service providers are expected to join the service.
BC Card Co CEO Choi Won-seok, third left, Bankers Association of the ROC chairman Lei Chung-dar, third right, Financial Information Service Co chairman Lin Kuo-liang, right, and other guests hold a news conference in Seoul yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Bankers Association of the ROC

Taiwanese with electronic wallets linked to any of the 13 financial institutions can pay for purchases or expenses in South Korea by scanning the merchants’ TWQR code without having to download separate apps, the statement said.

The new service would save users 1.5 percent on credit card processing fees, and reward them with 15 percent cash back until the end of April, it said.

Two-way travel between Taiwan and South Korea reached up to 2.5 million visits each year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With mutual visits recovering quickly after the pandemic, South Korea was the third-most popular destination for Taiwanese travelers last year, the Bankers Association and FISC said, citing statistics provided by the Tourism Administration.

Yesterday’s announcement was made at a news conference in Seoul, with Bankers Association chairman Lei Chung-dar (雷仲達), FISC chairman Lin Kuo-liang (林國良) and BC Card CEO Choi Won-seok, as well as several business and industry representatives from the two countries attending.

“Taiwan and South Korea are geographically close to each other and are each other’s fifth-largest trading partner,” Lei said in the statement. “At a time when bilateral exchanges between Taiwan and South Korea are increasing, the launch of the TWQR mobile payment service in South Korea is expected to benefit more Taiwanese visiting South Korea and further promote cashless transactions.”

Following the introduction of TWQR in South Korea, the next step is to allow South Korean tourists to make simple and convenient payments in Taiwan, Lin said in the statement.

Longer term, FISC aims to work with more countries on cross-border payment cooperation and promote more financial exchanges, he added.

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