Taipei (Taiwan) - Yesterday, Taiwan's legislature passed the Act on the Issuance and Management of Electronic Monetary Cards, which will now integrates several of the nation's disparate electronic cash cards into one source. Card holders will be able to use the cards to pay for products, services and government fees just like money.
A Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is authorized by the Act to approve or reject card issuance, which can only be issued to companies with at least $9 million in capital. Punishments of up to 10 years in jail and $6 million in fines are authorized for those found guilty of counterfeiting the new cards.
The cards act like credit or debit cards, deducting money directly from an account - but without interest or additional charges as are associated with credit cards. They are essentially a replacement for cash, something enabled by computer technology and point-of-sale systems used in Taiwan. Rather than carrying around bills, a single card is needed.
China's Nationalist Party legislator Ting Shou-chung believes the Act will "help [Taiwan's] monetary system catch up with global trends." Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party legislator is concerned the nation's financial system will end up being controlled by the small number of companies which issue the cards.
See Taipei Times.