A South Korean fintech startup accelerator set up by Woori Bank will grant firms access to an open-banking sandbox powered by cloud infrastructure, the company said on April 3.
Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku (third from left, front row), Woori Financial Group Chairman Sohn Tae-seung (fourth from left, front row) and fintech startup representatives join the opening ceremony of DinnoLab in Yeouido, Seoul on Apr. 3.
More investment to the startups: Woori group chairman
Parts of some 130 billion won ($114.56 million), which Woori Financial Group pledged for startup investment this year, will go to facelifted fintech innovation lab called DinnoLab, according to the group's spokesperson.
Woori Financial is the parent company of Woori Bank, Korea’s fourth-largest commercial bank by capital.
The launch of DinnoLab will add a test bed called Developer Lab to WiBee Fintech Lab, which has been operating since 2016, accelerating 22 early-stage startups.
Ten startups will join Developer Lab this year in its first batch. In a bid to test, modify and advance their technology, participants can take advantage of open APIs made up of a secured set of Woori’s customer banking data and cloud computing system of Amazon Web Service, as well as coaching and mentorships.
“I hope Woori Bank’s DinnoLab will secure a foothold as a fintech hub that puts together technology, finance and investments,” said Choi Jong-ku, head of Financial Services Commission, at the opening ceremony in Seoul.
The news comes amid the race by domestic financial groups to upgrade their in-house fintech labs. A credit cooperative group’s banking unit NongHyup Bank and Shinhan Financial Group will unveil their plans on April 8 and April 11, respectively.
Korea is home to seven fintech innovation labs -- operated by KB Financial Group, Shinhan Financial Group, KEB Hana Bank, NongHyup Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Woori Bank and Hanwha Life Insurance. Provincial bank-led DGB Financial Group also plans to launch a fintech hub.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)