Hi-Life Convenience Stores Optimistic Mobile Payments Will Improve Business

hi-life convenience store
Photo courtesy Hi-Life International Co., Ltd.

Taipei-based convenience store chain Hi-Life (萊爾富) is banking on Taiwan Pay (台灣Pay) mobile payments to compete with 7-Eleven and FamilyMart. Hi-Life became the first of the three major convenience stores to accept the domestic mobile payment.

Hi-Life expects that the proportion of customers who utilize non-cash payments will increase to 15-25% by the end of the year, Apple Daily reported. The company believes that those transactions will drive overall sales to grow by 10%.

While credit cards and mobile payment options have gained traction in other countries, Taiwan is still growing to accept it. Hi-Life said that since the introduction of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay last year, the number of transactions via mobile payment apps has increased an average of 25% each month.

According to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) alternative payments include credit cards as well as mobile payment apps such as Alipay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. As of the end of April, the total amount non-cash payments in Taiwan reached NT$28.1 billion (US$919 million), up 601% from the first four months of 2017.

As of the beginning of the year, payment apps from Apple, Samsung, and Google were only used by 13% of the population in Taiwan, while the smartphone penetration rate reached 93%. According to MasterCard, 80% of Taiwanese residents are willing to use mobile payment apps. The government targets mobile payments to reach 90% of smartphone users by 2025.

In March, the FSC gave the green light for seven domestic banks to offer digital wallets and mobile payment services to customers. The banks include Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Cathay United Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, CTBC Bank, First Commercial Bank, and Union Bank of Taiwan.

The Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute said in February that the most popular mobile payment app was LINE Pay, followed by Apple Pay. The same survey found that the majority of mobile payment transactions are at convenience stores, followed by hypermarkets and supermarkets respectively.

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