Convenience stores for remitting wages likely in April: FSC head

Taipei, A new channel through which migrant workers can remit their wages directly back to their homes via Taiwanese convenience stores is likely to be launched in April, according to Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo

Koo confirmed that the FSC has given the green light to two applications -- one proposed by Hong Kong-based fintech startup EMQ and the other by Welldone Co., a local company engaged in the marketing of telecommunication and network products -- to offer the services for migrant workers.

The two proposals marked the first case of non-financial institutions serving as channels for cash remittances since the regulatory "sandbox" mechanism, which allows companies to experiment with new financial techniques, was created in Taiwan early this year to attract talent and capital in the fintech industry.

After the two firms make all the necessary preparations upon receiving the FSC's letter of approval, expected in about three months, they can experiment with their business models, Koo said when approached for comment Thursday.

The two firms will be experimenting with remittances made through convenience stores, while one of them will be setting up a scheme whereby payments can be sent via a virtual account, according to the NSC.

Under FSC rules, remittances will be capped at NT$30,000 (US$968) per transfer, and the two agencies will have to agree on a limit to be imposed on the total amount an individual can transfer each day and each month before they launch the services, according to the NSC.

Remittance providers are expected to save at least NT$100 in processing fees per transfer by using the alternative remittance channels, compared with an average of NT$400 charged per transaction made through banks, an NSC official said.

The alternative remittance service is expected to create more convenience for migrant workers, many of whom cannot remit money home through banks by themselves because they work during normal business hours and have to send their wages to their brokers so they can make the remittances for them, the official said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel