"It is an all-in-one digital wallet that lets customers choose which way they want to pay," the Taiwanese carrier's Joseph Kuo has told NFC World. "The wallet supports multiple credit and bank cards, loyalty cards, coupons etc, and I think Chunghwa Telecom would like to see a big development in both technologies."
Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest telecommunications company, is to pilot test a digital wallet service that supports both NFC and QR codes, allowing subscribers to pay transport fares and for in-store purchases using the same wallet app — regardless of the type of phone they have.
Chunghwa's Hami digital wallet pilot follows a decision by Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to give the go-ahead to banks to provision credit cards over-the-air to NFC-enabled SIMs and the signing in January 2013 of a partnership agreement between Taiwan's mobile network operators that will lead to the creation of a national TSM platform to deliver NFC services.
"For QR code payment pilots, the FSC has also given permission for banks to join together online payment with offline payment," Joseph Kuo, managing director of the value added services department at Chunghwa Telecom, explained to NFC World. "The payment mechanism used with the QR code technology is the same mechanism used to pay for things online, so it allows online payments to be conducted in-store."
"We also had to come up with a solution for our customers who don't have an NFC but want to pay by mobile. So we added the QR code function to our digital wallet."
"The five biggest mobile operators in Taiwan have a joint venture for a TSM," Kuo added. "Hopefully, this TSM will be up and running next year to manage the NFC transportation card service, EasyCard.
"So, in the meantime, we have developed our own in-house TSM to make NFC payments possible to our customers who use our digital wallet. But, we also had to come up with a solution for our customers who don't have an NFC but want to pay by mobile. So we added the QR code function to our digital wallet.
"Phones that have NFC are not really very popular at the minute, so we asked the question, what about those users who don't have an NFC phone? Basically in the QR code payment, Chunghwa play the role of the front end; we sort of lead the system, because the solution and platform is provided by us.
"Users register a credit or bank card number to Chunghwa's cloud service and then the phone is certified, which activates the phone ready to conduct QR code payments. We are involved with the QR project with banks so users can attach their payment card to our digital wallet and when they make payments their money gets deducted from their bank or credit card account. Payment details are not stored on the phone, they are stored in our cloud-based service.
"It is an all-in-one digital wallet that lets customers choose which way they want to pay. The wallet supports multiple credit and bank cards, loyalty cards, coupons etc and I think Chunghwa Telecom would like to see a big development in both technologies. NFC supports payment, but payment is not the only function to NFC, so I say NFC is proving to be the more popular option at the minute. NFC brings an aspect of real convenience to daily life."