Digital payments/Cashless payment methods in Taiwan

I recently moved here and managed to open a bank account at Standard Chartered. I’m now getting a bit confused about what cashless payment methods are most popular and accepted in Taiwan?

Back in Australia, I used Apple pay or Google pay whereby I could link the visa/mastercard debit card of any bank (as far as I’m aware) to my apple/google wallet and then scan it without opening my phone. I believe it uses NFC? I have been using my watch everywhere and been 99% cashless since Covid started.

I know Apple pay is here but it doesn’t seem that simple. 7-11, Family Mart, PX Mart, etc all have their own lists of certain banks that they will accept cards from which seems to mean that despite Apple pay being enabled from my bank’s end, I’m out of luck at the actual store. I would imagine that this patchwork approach is consistent across all the other big retailers?

Then we get to LINE Pay, JKO, Easypay which use QR codes. Being linked to the bank card wouldn’t these also have the same issue of the end point retailer only accepting certain bank’s cards.

Anyway, I’m just a bit overwhelmed about the options and want a simple approach that doesn’t involve using cash as my main payment method. Is the cashless payment landscape here really so fractured?


It’s not as wide spread as some western countries where even a small vendor has some ipad you can swipe a card on.

Out of all the options, your best bet is LINE pay.

You’ll never be able to avoid cash though.

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If you only visit chain stores / restaurants and malls, you can use credit cards and Apple Pay in probably 95% of all cases - regardless of which bank has issued the card. The other 5% being some weird exceptions (like some Mo‘s Burger only accepting credit cards by a specific bank or even some McDonald‘s branches not accepting credit cards at all).

Many smaller restaurants and shops are cash only, though. Some of them might still accept LinePay (sometimes in addition to others) - but being truly cashless doesn’t work in Taiwan in my experience.


That’s a good thing, who wants one or two compwnies controlling everything anyway.


Here’s what I’ve found using Apple Pay (with a USA credit card) here in taiwan. Works fine in 7-11, Hi-life, Carrefour, Mcdonalds, Subway and any department store and restaurant that has NFC/apple pay option. At 7-11 my gf can use Apple pay with E.Sun credit card attached.

The only place I had a problem was Burger King over a year ago. Haven’t been back since so not sure if still an issue. I haven’t tried at a Family Mart or PX Mart before.

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I use Google Pay at Carrefour, RT Mart, Ikea, Breeze and major department stores.

Unable to use at 711 or PX Mart.

For 711and Family Mart I use JKO.
For PX Mart I use Taiwan Pay.
For small food vendors some will take JKO or Line Pay.

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Same for me with European credit card. Convenience stores I have to pay cash, same for small restaurants/Street food… malls, big stores or expensive restaurants/hotels usually credit card.

You will find that some places only accept cards from specific local banks, so it would be a good idea to get another account open at a local bank like Cathay United, other a different one if they have an exclusive arrangement at somewhere you want to shop (Pxmart and Costco are two examples).

You might be able to sort of get around this at some places by using Easycard for contactless payment, but then again, I think only local bank cards can have the Easycard auto-load/auto-top-up function, so without opening an account at a local bank, you could only use a regular Easycard and have to manually top-up the balance with cash.

International banks like Standard Chartered and HSBC don’t seem to be fully integrated into the local banking system, so you will find some places where their cards aren’t accepted (either as physical cards or in Apple Pay), and they don’t have Easycard functions available.

Oddly, some smaller shops and restaurants won’t take Apple or Google Pay at all, even though you can use the physical cards.

When doing sports (eg. Running) i mostly don’t bring my wallet. My current solution consists of:

  • picture of Id, nhi, drivers license etc. on my phone.
  • Google play with foreign, zero fee, best exchange rate credit card.
  • Into the phone cover i put my easy card (topped up to a couple thousand ntd once in a while)
  • And also inside the phone cover one 1000 nt bill for market purchases
  • Additionally i also have line pay, which sometimes worked when foreign card is not accepted. But I seldom use that one.

For the last few years this solution always worked.


Note “no fees” is a bit of a scam. They all have fees. Usually 2 to 5 percent. The business is charged them thus your product becomes more expensive and thus the customer still pays fees :slight_smile: this is why many places in taiwan dont accept it. And i agree its, bad unless in a pinch.

Many small shops and mateials will charge you the credit fee on top. Which is fair. Sometimes shops will charge you an extra 5% for sales tax if you require a receipt. Illegal, but fair as well.


That’s not what I call “fair”
A more appropriate term would be “fraud”


I’ve never understood why tax avoidance is so accepted in Taiwan, yet institutions like NHI are celebrated. I always make a big deal out of ensuring my landlord pays their share of taxes, and standing firm that this isn’t a reason for eviction under the Land Act. If I can’t opt out of taxes, why can they?


Sure, but for most places (I guess excluding some small shops like you say, in the case of Taiwan), the price you pay as an individual customer is the same whether you pay by cash or card. The business obviously needs to increase its prices across the board to cover the payment processing costs, but unless a large majority of people elect to stop wanting to use cards etc., for the individual transaction from a consumer’s perspective it really is “no fee” IMO. (I assume these payment methods also have at least some advantages for the business, such as reducing employee time spent getting small change, security, reducing mistakes, simplifying accounting and cash reconciliation…).

I mean, it’s really the tenant paying the taxes through increased rent. I don’t think it’s actually coming out of the landlord’s pocket directly, with the exception of a situation where you tell them you won’t require rent receipts for your taxes and then claiming the rent on your tax return anyway. I wouldn’t personally want my rent to be increased by NT$1000 (or whatever it works out as) so that my landlady can pay taxes on the rental income - it seems to me here that she’s taking the risk of tax avoidance and I’m getting (some of) the benefits. :man_shrugging:

That’s why I always do the two year lease. Two years is usually long enough at a place anyways. You can also amend tax returns up to 5 years later.

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I would doubt landlords could actually get 20-40% more in rent if they would need to start paying taxes. Otherwise, rents would already be higher now.

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Never understood why Visa/Mastercard are ok with this. The whole value proposition of credit cards is that they will work universally.


How much are the taxes? From what I’ve heard/read of other landlords offering different rates for declared vs. undeclared, they didn’t seem as high as 20–40%.

AFAIK rental income should be taxed with normal income tax rates. Marginal tax rates in Taiwan go up to 45% for income over $10 million - though in practice I would assume most individual landlords (not incorporated) should have a marginal rate between the 20% ( > 1.2 million) and 40% (> 4.5 million) bracket (if they also have other rentals and/or work a salaried position).

My landlord quoted me 30% if I remember correctly. This either means his yearly income would already be between 2.5 million and 4.5 million per year. Or he just chose a higher bracket.


That sounds about right.
That would be a high income in Taiwan though.
Many of these landlords have multiple properties and many only report income on a few or none at all.
It’s a crazy and very unfair abuse of the system meanwhile workers have to pay their taxes.

I’ve never reported my tax because I tended to sign annual deals. Good advice to sign a two year lease and report tax as you will as long as you realise you may be booted out at end…Otherwise agree at start.


I would assume high income highly correlates with the ability of buying property and becoming a landlord :wink:

Not limited to Taiwan, though…

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