[THE INVESTOR] The Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced on Jan. 21 that more payment gateway and value-added network firms, including Kakao Pay and KT, are likely to participate in the government’s mobile payment system Zero Pay.
The ministry, which sought applications from additional service providers from Jan. 7 to 18, said Kakao Pay, KT, eBay Korea, online shopping mall 11st and 11 other companies have stated their intention to join. Some 16 value-added network companies such as NICE Information & Telecommunication, which is the biggest VAN company in Korea, and Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute too have registered for the Zero Pay system.
Kakao Pay did not participate during the pilot period, earlier in December, due to concerns about its own offline payment business. The government has now said it won’t get involved in the service policies of companies which agree to join the new system.
Zero Pay is a mobile transaction system that allows consumers to pay at participating offline stores by scanning the vendor’s QR code with their smartphones. This helps small shopkeepers save on transaction fees paid to credit card companies and banks to lessen the burden of small merchants.
A committee regarding the simple payment system will judge the qualifications of service providers and sign an agreement in February. Starting in March, it will tie up with franchises’ POS and develop a payment system to launch the service in early May.
By Yoon Yeun-jung(firstname.lastname@example.org)