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eMoney News Taiwanese president welcomes smart card expansion 1 Apr 2010 Ma Ying-jeou, the president of Taiwan, has welcomed the expansion of a contactless smart card payment system. According to Focus Taiwan, the number of EasyCards in circulation could well exceed 20 million by 2011. Speaking at a news conference marking EasyCard's tenth anniversary, Ma said: "I hope both the number and functions of EasyCards will continue to increase for the convenience of our people." EasyCards, it has been announced, will be able to be used for low value retail payments from April 1st. Up to NT$10,000 (£210) credit can be added to the card, which can also be used on the country's transit network. According to Ma, the decision to expand the card’s [curly] functionality came after a visit to Hong Kong and first hand observation of the country's Octopus smart card. There are currently more than 18 million EasyCards in circulation. "A new era of convenient consumption will dawn with the e xpansion of EasyCard's use," Ma said. "The smart card will go from being a 'transport card' to a 'life card'." Globally, the use of contactless smart card payment solutions is increasing. In the UK organisations such as sQuidcard operate smart card schemes for transit payment, low value retail payment and use in cashless catering in schools or universities. This new expansion of smart card use in Taiwan would appear to confirm that across the world there are quickening moves towards a cashless society.
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