TAIPEI, July 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread, and the number of people visiting public places has decreased. Many businesses have reduced their operating hours due to the absence of customers while others have closed temporarily, with department stores bearing the brunt. To reduce the impact of the epidemic on revenues, Far Eastern Group (FEG) connected its physical retail channels with shopping platforms and integrated the government's triple stimulus voucher plan in its HAPPY GO Pay mobile payment service, which not only boosted the turnover of the group's companies, but also helped HAPPY GO Pay to secure its place as the fifth most popular retailer-specific mobile payment service in Taiwan.
Far Eastern Group has always been known for its diversified portfolio. The group's businesses include Far Eastern Department Store Co., Pacific SOGO Department Store Co., Far Eastern Big City Shopping Malls Co., Ya Tung Department Store Ltd. (The Mall), Far Eastern Ai Mai Co., Far Eastern City Super Ltd., Far EasTone Telecommunication Co. (FET), Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, and FET FriDay. In the past, the group's business entities were responsible for their own customer operations. In 2004, Ding Ding Integrated Marketing Services (DDIM) was established under the directive of headquarters, and in 2005, FEG launched the points-based loyalty program HAPPY GO, the first cross-industry loyalty program in Taiwan to have member services at its core. The issuance of physical cards (the HAPPY GO Card) and the ability to earn points through the group's various retail channels forged consumer and retail channel stickiness while activating loyalty points economy and consumption. The consumption habits of consumers were then collected and analyzed in order to integrate marketing strategies and improve various marketing applications, such as those in regard to consumer experience. At present, there are over 10 million HAPPY GO card members and over 800,000 appointed retail stores around the world. FEG Chairperson Douglas Hsu and his management team have continued to focus on the development of new retail in recent years, presenting their vision of digital transformation every year at the group's annual strategy meeting.
In August 2019, the group announced the integration of HAPPY GO in the launch HAPPY GO Pay, a mobile payment service that integrates money and points. With DDIM responsible for integrating the channels within the group, the service seamlessly connects points and money to allow users to accumulate points, redeem points, and make payments with a few taps of their fingers, connecting online and offline to financial institutions. At the same time, FEG's Far Eastern International Bank used its FE Mobile Payment Integrated Service to develop a money flow open API to provide comprehensive money flow services. HAPPY GO Pay is the only payment platform that originates from the concept of upgrading member card services, as well as the only payment platform that can be connected to various retailer apps. This new digital application created a member economy with an upgraded service experience, ushering in a new economic era of points and cash.
HAPPY GO Pay's use of mobile payments and the group's sizeable number of members propelled HAPPY GO Pay onto the list of the top five retailer-specific mobile payment services. In the second half of 2020, it successfully harnessed the new consumers and spending power brought in by the government's triple stimulus voucher program, generating a powerful multiplier effect that encompassed physical channels, online shopping platforms, and mobile payments all in one go. The impressive results included a record 3.8 million downloads of the app in 2020 and 1.35 million transactions worth NT$2.85 billion. Solely compared to the same period in 2019, the growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 was over 30 percent. HAPPY GO Pay also worked with its partner banks numbering over 10 to set up special areas on their websites for binding credit cards and stimulus vouchers, so that on top of the NT$2,000 in stimulus rewards provided by the government, the original credit card rewards could also be received.
In an effort to make the most out of the business opportunities provided by the triple stimulus vouchers, FEG offered a bonus of 700 HAPPY GO points—equivalent to NT$350 in spending credit at FEG's designated retail channels— to consumers who had an accumulated spending of at least NT$3,000 at Far Eastern Group's retail and department stores and FET and who also used HAPPY GO Pay-bound credit cards to pay. This measure successfully boosted consumption at retailers and activated the loyalty points economy, helping HAPPY GO Pay to secure its spot as one of the top five retailer-specific mobile payment services and perfectly achieving the objective of the triple stimulus voucher plan.
SOURCE HAPPY GO Pay