As China makes headway to becoming the world’s first cashless economy—and other markets follow its footsteps—Taiwan is dragging its heels. For an average person who lives in Taiwan, paper money and plastic bank cards are still an indispensable part of daily routine.

Currently, only 13% of the population in Taiwan uses mobile payment, lagging significantly behind its Asian peers. A recent eMarketer report shows that mainland China is leading in mobile payment adoption, accounting for 61.2% of worldwide user base in 2018. And India, which saw a 75.5% increase in the number of users the past two years, has become the world’s fastest growing mobile payment market.

Taiwan’s slow adoption is a bit surprising considering that its economy took off decades ahead of mainland China and many of its neighbors in Southeast Asia. On top of that,  Taiwan’s smartphone penetration is one of the highest in the world and is expected to reach 93% this year. The National Development Council data show that over 80% of the population have access to mobile internet.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.