Hana Financial Group announced on Feb. 19 that it will partner with Kiwoom Securities and SK Telecom to form a consortium to establish an internet-only bank.
The three firms are seeking to win state approval for a new internet-only bank as the Financial Services Commission plans to issue preliminary approval for a third such bank this year.
Kiwoom Securities, the most used online brokerage firm, will be the largest stakeholder of the consortium.
Agreeing on the needs of the new internet-only bank to efficiently respond to the rapid digitalization of finance and lead in financial innovation, the three companies hope to seek convergence of various fields including information and communication technology, big data and artificial intelligence.
“We will maximize customer service through synergy between diverse industries,” said Kim Jeong-tae, chairman of Hana Financial Group.
Hana was the first Korean banking group to provide smartphone banking. Hana Financial has also created multiple tech-driven finance services, including mobile app Finnq, co-created with SK Telecom, to help users easily identify and control their financial spending patterns.
Meanwhile, Korea’s biggest mobile firm SKT expects its expansion of technologies to build an innovative and user-friendly online banking service.
Competing against the three companies, Shinhan Financial Group has also teamed up with Viva Republica, which runs a mobile money transfer app, to win the state approval to run an internet-only bank.
There are currently two internet-only banks in Korea, KT-led K bank and Kakao’s Kakao Bank.
By Kim Hye-soo (firstname.lastname@example.org)