Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Taiwan, which is known for its ever-developing innovation, has another technology that makes almost all daily activities more practical and efficient, which is called Easy Card.
First launched in 2002, Easy Card was created to store funds to pay for rides on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
Passengers only need to scan the card at the MRT gate, then the machine will automatically take the funds available on the Easy Card to pay the ticket. This saves time for buying one-way tickets every time one takes the MRT, which is the most needed transportation means in Taipei.
Currently, there are more than 130 MRT stations in the Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei, and the number was expected to increase. Thus, the number of Easy Card holders is also expected to grow.
In order to attract more people to use Easy Card, the company is actively promoting more benefits of this card with a number of payment coverages throughout Taiwan.
Easy Card can also be used to pay for taxis, buses, trains, high-speed trains, ferries, and to rent bicycles and electric scooters.
Transactions at convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets, cinemas, entries to zoos, museums, concert halls, as well as medical treatment and parking fees on the streets and buildings can also be conducted with Easy Card.
In fact, Easy Card can also be used to borrow and return books at public libraries in Taiwan.
In addition to the convenience of making transactions, Easy Card also offers discount promos when shopping or making other payments.
Many cities on the Formosa Island apply Easy Card to rent bicycles, with the first hour of use being free.
All the benefits of Easy Card are very likely to be obtained because it uses RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology.
With RFID, Easy Card function can be connected to a cellphone that uses a SIM card that has NFC (Near-Field Communication). Therefore, many people in Taiwan use cellphones to make all kinds of payments.
NFC is a wireless data transfer method that allows smartphones, laptops, tablets and other devices to share data when they are in close proximity.
Many companies or schools have staff cards or student cards built-in with Easy Card’s function.
A number of companies have even reduced their technology products to key chain-sized and Easy Card built-in, luring people to buy them as collectibles.
In Taiwan miniature bottles of soy sauce or instant noodles are used to make payments.
Since Easy Card is basically a fund storage card, the holders need to deposit a certain amount of money before making a transaction.
Topping up funds is very simple, and can be done at convenience stores throughout Taiwan.
Easy Card can also be linked to a bank account, or through a credit card that has Easy Card function to anticipate if the cardholder forgets to top up credit.
However, if the funds on the Easy Card are insufficient when making a payment, this card will automatically add money and complete the transaction, as long as the holders activate the top up function.
When making payments with Easy Card, the detection machine will emit a beep sound. Hence, some people call shopping by Easy Card a kind of ‘economy beep’.
Interestingly, Easy Card can also be owned by foreign travelers who are on vacation to Taiwan.
Source: Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO)
Reporting by Indonesia Window