In the fall of 2007, Taiwan Business TOPICS invited 14 experts to offer their thoughts on “what Taiwan should aim to be like” in their areas of expertise by the year 2020, and how to achieve those goals. Their views were published in the November 2007 edition of TOPICS under the heading “Vision 2020.” With 2020 now upon us, TOPICS sought to re-engage with the…

Proponents see big opportunities for Taiwan in this nascent space. Virtual currency fever swept the globe over the past year, peaking when Bitcoin’s value hit US$19,500 in December. Since that zenith, the preeminent cryptocurrency’s value has plummeted to just $10,000, illustrating its extreme volatility. Bitcoin is the best known cryptocurrency, but over a thousand have…

Banks remain cautious about embracing full-throated digitization. Customers of Taiwan’s domestic banks sometimes feel like they’re in a time warp. Basic savings accounts often are not automatically equipped with online banking – customers have to request that service. And in many cases, the standard means of tracking account activity is a passbook that must be…

Taiwan aims to pursue financial technology innovation, but over-regulation continues to block the needed experimentation and flexibility. Technological advances are increasingly transforming every aspect of financial services, a phenomenon that has given rise to the term “fintech,” short for financial technology. In Taiwan, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) in 2015 established a Fintech Office to…

When is a foreign bank not a foreign bank? Answer: When it establishes a domestic subsidiary. Between 2007 and 2013, five leading international banks – Standard Chartered, Citi, HSBC, DBS, and ANZ – received approval from the financial authorities to expand their presence in Taiwan’s retail banking market by taking over the operations of local…