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September 5, 2023

On the wires

July 31, 2023

On the web

South Korea to Pilot CBDC in One of These Three Cities, Not Seoul


"The Bank of Korea has narrowed down three regions for the piloting of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), which does not include the country’s capital, Seoul, according to a report from a local South Korean media outlet.  On July 31, it was confirmed that the Bank of Korea has chosen Jeju, Busan and Incheon as its candidates for the “private target CBDC test bed.”"

June 30, 2023

On the web

South Korean Bank Rolls Out ATM Withdrawals with Alchera Facial Recognition

Biometric Update

"South Korean startup Alchera will help the country’s longest-operating bank introduce access to banking services through facial recognition at a total of 900 ATMs. Shinhan Bank customers will be able to withdraw funds even without identifying themselves with a bank card or passbook thanks to the country’s first biometric facial recognition payment service Shinhan Face Pay."

October 26, 2021

On the wires

Coupang and Payoneer Partner to Empower Millions of Sellers to Tap Into One of the World’s Largest ECommerce Markets

“Payoneer (NASDAQ: PAYO), the commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, and Coupang, one of the largest e-Commerce companies in Asia, today announced a new partnership that will provide hundreds of thousands of sellers from across the globe with the opportunity to more easily expand and sell into South Korea. By leveraging Payoneer’s technology and expertise to enhance Coupang’s payments capabilities, sellers on Coupang can now enjoy more seamless payments for their cross-border businesses.”

September 1, 2021

On the web

South Korea Passes Bill Limiting Apple and Google Control Over App Store Payments


“South Korea’s parliament has approved a bill that will make it the first country to impose curbs on Google and Apple’s payment policies that force developers to only use the tech giants’ proprietary billing systems. The legislation will become law once signed by President Moon Jae-in, whose party has been a vocal supporter of the bill.   Apple and Google’s policies usually require developers to pay the tech giants a commission as high as 30% of every transaction.”

August 31, 2021

On the wires

Kakao Pay Files an Updated Prospectus for IPO in October

“Kakao Pay is Korea’s biggest financial service platform that covers essential daily finance from digital payments, money transfer, insurance, loan, and asset management. We are pursuing innovative challenges through cooperating with about 130 financial service providers”, Kakao Pay CEO Alex Ryu said. The CEO added that the company will continue to bring about positive changes in the financial activities of more than 36.5 million users and enhance shareholder value based on its extensive usability, connectivity, and expandability.”

June 30, 2021

On the wires

Russian National Payment System “Mir” Becomes Available in South Korea

“BC Card, the biggest payment processing company in South Korea, firstly affiliates with NSPK, a Russian national payment company, to process card payment of “Mir” system in South Korea. As a Russian national payment system, Mir has 158 Issuers and 265 acquirers. Also its acceptances are spread over 11 countries. According to NSPK, 98.7 million cards have been issued in Russia as of May 1st, 2021. Thanks to the cooperation, Russians who visits South Korea will become able to use their own.”

March 2, 2021

On the web

South Korea’s Coupang Seeks Up to $3.6 Billion in New York IPO


“South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. is seeking to raise as much as $3.6 billion from an initial public offering in New York, which will rank as one of the largest-ever Asian listings in the U.S. Seoul-based Coupang and some existing shareholders are offering 120 million shares at $27 to $30 each, according to a filing Monday. At the top end of the range, Coupang will be valued at as much as $51 billion based on the number of shares outstanding.”

December 10, 2020

On the web

Seoul-based payment tech startup CHAI gets $60 million from Hanhwa, SoftBank Ventures Asia


“Demand for contactless payments and e-commerce has grown in South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is good news for payment service operators, but the market is very fragmented, so adding payment options is a time-consuming process for many merchants. CHAI wants to fix this with an API that enables companies to accept over 20 payment systems. The Seoul-based startup announced today it has raised a $60 million Series B.”

January 27, 2020

On the web

Mobile Payment Accelerates Demise of Coins, Banking Branches


“Last year, the number of newly minted coins hit the lowest value on record and the number of banking branches continued to drop, according to data on Monday.The Bank of Korea, the nation’s central bank, said newly issued coins last year amounted to some 36.4 billion won ($30.9 million) in value, the lowest since comparable data started being compiled in 1992 and down 14.3 percent from a year earlier. The figure is even lower than the 39.6 billion won worth of newly made coins in 1998, when the nation’s economy collapsed amid the Asian financial crisis.”

December 4, 2018

On the web

November 20, 2018

On the web

SoftBank doubles down on Korean online retailer Coupang with $2 bln investment


“The latest investment follows the $1 billion that SoftBank invested in Coupang in 2015 and values the eight-year-old startup at around $9 billion, a source close to Coupang said. Coupang has since grown rapidly to become a major player in the country’s e-commerce market. It clocked 2.7 trillion won ($2.4 billion) in revenue last year, with its online sales almost as much as the next three largest e-commerce sites in the country combined, according to research firm Statista.”

On the wires

Mobile Payments at Convenience Stores Spike This Year

Korea Bizwire

“The percentage of mobile payments out of total settlements at convenience stores expanded to 3.5 percent this year, compared with 1.9 percent last year and 1 percent in 2015. “The number remains in the single-digit range, but the easy mobile settlement system has been growing at an exponential pace,” a CU official said. Currently, CU allows customers to use Samsung Electronics Co.’s Samsung Pay and 19 other payment tools at its stores.”

September 20, 2018

On the web

Electronic payments in S. Korea surge in Q2

Yonhap News

“The amount of payments made electronically in South Korea continued to rally in the second quarter as a growing number of people use mobile shopping and remittance services, central bank data showed Thursday. The daily average amount of electronic financial transactions came to a record 117.4 billion won (US$104.87 million) in the April-June period, up 17.4 percent from a quarter earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).”

August 20, 2018

On the wires

Alipay Launches World’s First Paperless Tax Refund Service in South Korea

“The newly introduced tax refund service in South Korea further simplifies the process by enabling Chinese tourists to apply for and claim tax rebates on their mobile phone app, skipping in-city and airport tax refund counters altogether. After scanning their passports at self-service kiosks prior to leaving South Korea, Chinese tourists can process tax rebates and immediately receive RMB refunds by using the Alipay mobile app to scan tax refund receipts within 90 days of purchasing.”

July 13, 2018

On the web

​Seoul To Launch To Its Own Mobile Payment Platform: Report

ZD Net

“The municipal government has formed a task force that will work to launch the service, tentatively called S-Pay, which aims to improve payment convenience for citizens and small businesses. The task force will aim to build the system for the platform and cooperate with banks as well as find partnered small businesses. The platform will use a mobile app or QR codes. The aim is to lessen commissions paid by businesses when they use credit cards. S-Pay’s system won’t go through credit card companies’ systems.”

April 6, 2018

On the wires

Starbucks Korea Debuts Voice Ordering through Samsung’s Bixby

“Bixby allows My Starbucks Rewards™ customers in South Korea to place an order and pay through voice recognition “on command.” The feature allows customers to speak just as if they were talking to a barista in-store, including modifying their beverage to meet their personal preference. Bixby users who are not registered on the My Starbucks Rewards™ program will be prompted to first enroll and then continue to place their order.”

March 27, 2018

On the web

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