Seeking to introduce a series of advanced mobile payment services targeting the offline market this year, tech companies are upping heated competition over the smartphone-based payment market here.
South Korea’s dominant internet portal Naver said last month that it would soon launch a mobile payment system available at local stores and restaurants. Combined with its current Naver Pay mobile payment platform, offline service Table Order is expected to launch in the third quarter of this year.
Messenger app company Kakao is seeking to incorporate Kakao Pay into an automated chatting service where consumers can both order food and make payments. The advanced chatbot service is expected to become available commercially by the end of this year.
“In order to expand the service into every corner of daily life, we are going to work with various partners to diversify user experience,” Kim Yoo-mi, who leads the chatbot business at Kakao, said at a press conference in Seoul last month.
According to the latest survey by the Korea Consumer Agency, Kakao Pay outran rival mobile payment services such as Naver Pay and Samsung Pay in terms of consumer satisfaction and likeability.
The mobile payment service providers’ expansive moves came in response to the constantly growing expansion of the mobile payment market in Korea.
According to data from the Financial Supervisory Service, about 80 trillion won ($66.4 billion) was transacted via mobile payment systems last year, up 60 percent from a year prior.
But of this total, only 19 trillion won was spent offline, showing that mobile payments still tend to be often affiliated with online shopping than brick-and-mortar stores, the data showed.
By Yeo Jun-suk/The Korea Herald