Cash is the most common way to pay in Taiwan. According to the Department of Statistics, online sales is only 10.5% of overall retail, although 66% online transactions paid by credit card. Physical stores take beverage store as an example, only 15.6% of sales on credit card payment. Most of smaller shops, restaurants and convenient stores accept cash only, so it’s necessary to exchange New Taiwan Dollar. There are three ways to exchange. First, use the domestic ATM card to withdraw cash in Taiwan. Be sure to set up foreign withdrawal function and passwords at the bank in the card-issuing country. To withdraw money at an ATM, check the logo on the back of the ATM card such as Visa, MasterCard, Plus, Mastro or Cirrus drawn from either credit or saving account. Second, use the currency exchange machine in the airport to exchange cash directly. Currently, 5 currency are available：USD, JPY, HKD, EUR and RMB. Third, go to the bank counters. The business hour of the bank at the airport is from 7:00~21:00, which is longer than other places in Taiwan.
The quantity of ATM machines is up to 31,802 in Taiwan, having the highest density in the world, and ATM is even a common device in every convenient store. Therefore, withdrawal cash by ATM or debit card is the most easy way. The daily limit of every person at the currency exchange machine in the airport is a hundred thousand NTD and only 5 currency available. Although there are 19 currency available at the Bank of Taiwan, it takes more time and fee to exchange at the counter.
Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, supermarkets and restaurant chains. Although locals prefer cash transactions, credit card deal with no changes is relatively handy for foreign tourists. However the most common stores only accept cash, the convenient stores. There are over 12,000 convenient stores in Taiwan, with 2nd place density in the world, next to South Korea. You can buy cigarettes, alcohol, phone cards and cooked food 24 hours a day all year round.
- Reference：Foreign Exchange Rate, Bank of Taiwan (bot.com.tw)
- Reference：Department of Statistics (moea.gov.tw)
- Reference：台灣便利商店列表 – 維基百科，自由的百科全書 (wikipedia.org)