Korean e-wallet KakaoPay Launches Local Version of Yu’ebao

  • At present, the average annual interest rate of deposits by Korean commercial banks is 0.1% to 0.3%, and the new service can provide users with higher returns.
  • Kakaopay can provide users with a return on investment and security measures like financial institutions.
  • The number of users currently exceeds 30 million, which is equivalent to 6 out of 10 Koreans in use.

Koreans will soon have their own Yuebao, according to the latest reports from South Korean media. South Korean mobile payment application KakaoPay has partnered with Baro Investment Securities this week to launch its own mobile-end currency fund. With reference to the Chinese national “money bag,” and Yu’ebao on Alipay, this Korean version of Yu’ebao on Kakaopay will help Koreans to “make money” in mobile coin purses, thereby digitalizing investments and managing their own idle funds.

KakaoPay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Kakao based in South Korea that allows users make mobile payments and online transactions. KakaoPay is incorporated into KakaoTalk, the mobile instant messenger from Kakao.

KakaoPay Chief Operating Officer Li Zhen made it clear: “We will work with Baro Investment Securities to upgrade ‘KakaoPay funds and optimize our financial services. We will provide a Yuebao-like wealth management platform in Korea.” KakaoPay plans to open a pilot service soon. At present, the average annual interest rate of deposits by Korean commercial banks is 0.1% to 0.3%, and the new service can provide users with higher returns. KakaoPay said that the expected return will vary depending on the type of investment, but as long as there are funds in the account, an annualized return of 1% can be guaranteed.

With this new service, KakaoPay can provide users with a return on investment and security measures like financial institutions. It is understood that since Yu’ebao launched in 2013, it has exceeded 600 million users.

As early as February 2017, Ant Financial reached strategic cooperation with South Korean instant messaging company Kakao, invested in Kakao’s mobile financial subsidiary KakaoPay, and jointly developed the online and mobile payment market in South Korea. Today, KakaoPay is more than just for paying, and has become Korea’s largest integrated digital financial services provider. KakaoPay has a variety of people-friendly financial services, such as tax payment, insurance, credit scores, and loans.

Alipay is a third-party mobile and online payment platform, established in Hangzhou, China in February 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. In 2013 Alipay launched a financial product platform called Yu’ebao.

In South Korea, China and South Korea’s two “Alipay” often appear in the same offline consumption scene in the same box: one for Chinese tourists and one for Korean local users. At the end of last year, through cooperation with Alipay, KakaoPay took the lead in launching an offline code-scanning trip to Macau for Korean users. Korean tourists in Macau ’s restaurants, shopping, supermarkets, and other scenes can open themselves like mainland Chinese tourists. Sweep your mobile phone with your own “Alipay,” which facilitates the digital consumption experience of Korean tourists’ outbound travel.

Public information shows that KakaoPay is the largest e-wallet in South Korea. It was developed by Kakao, the largest social platform in South Korea, and Alipay in 2017. The number of users currently exceeds 30 million, which is equivalent to 6 out of 10 Koreans in use.

It is understood that through technology export and empowerment, Alipay has now cultivated nine overseas versions of Alipay, which are located in India, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Market analysts pointed out that last year KakaoPay’s annual transaction value estimated to have exceeded 50 trillion won (about $42.6 billion), more than double the 20 trillion won in the same period last year. The company’s goal is to attract millions of users and become Korea’s number one mobile payment service.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.


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