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Within two weeks of its launch last month, TPay, a new hands-free payment system in South Korea, attracted 100,000 subscribers.

The launch marks South Korea’s latest step towards all but eliminating paper cash, something it wants to do by the end of the decade. The culture of “pali-pali!”, which means “faster!”, is widespread in the country, where people are quick to embrace new technologies.

South Korea may be leading the way, but it is not alone in its efforts to do away with paper cash. The rise of new and more convenient payment methods in the last few years is driving countries across Asia to seriously consider going cashless.


Overall, emerging markets in Asia Pacific are ahead of developed markets when it comes to the adoption of innovative payment methods, according to research by yStats.com. Making payments with the wave of a credit card over a reader or a digital wallet such as PayPal is common.

In Singapore, 45 percent of shoppers use contactless payments that bypass paper cash. In Taiwan, the figure is 41 percent and in Hong Kong, 32 percent — all of which are above the 26 percent average globally.

In Indonesia, about two-thirds of shoppers rely on direct bank transfers to avoid using paper cash. The central bank in the Philippines plans to issue its own digital currency. India and Israel have considered the same idea.

Asia is leapfrogging the West in the push to eliminate cash.


Read more here: http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asiaweekly/2016-04/15/content_15417198.html

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