Kakao Pay Working to Create a Society without Wallets

Sep 18, 2017

“Kakao Pay’s competitor is not a simple mobile payment service but a wallet. Kakao Pay is going to achieve annual turnover of $88.2 billion (100 trillion KRW).”
President Ryu Young-joon of Kakao Pay suggested ‘society without wallets’ as the direction for Kakao Pay’s development. Need for wallets does not disappear just by making payments and transferring money through mobile devices. ‘Society without wallets’ cannot be achieved if a mobile payment service cannot be a ‘platform’ that contains variety of memberships, coupons, bills, and identifications.
$88.2 billion (100 trillion KRW) of annual turnover is a value that is seen as a measuring stick in order for Kakao Pay to become a platform that is close to one’s living. Kakao Pay’s accumulated amount of wire transfer was over $203 million (230 billion KRW) during last month and showed fast growth as it was 110% more than the amount of previous month. However achieving $88.2 billion of annual turnover is difficult with just wire transfers and payments. Variety of services such as bills and memberships needs to be connected to Kakao Pay’s platform.
“There are variety of things such as ID cards, receipts, and coupons in wallets besides cash.” said President Ryu. “Although Kakao Pay seem as many services from afar, it connects every services into one under the context that it replaces wallets.”

President Ryu Young-joon of Kakao Pay (Picture = Kakao) <President Ryu Young-joon of Kakao Pay (Picture = Kakao)>

After separating from Kakao in April, Kakao Pay has been working very hard to achieve company goals. Number of people who joined ‘Kakao Pay Membership’ that manages breakdown of variety of membership points under single barcode recently surpassed 3 million. About 18.8 million people are currently using Kakao Pay and about one out of six of those people is using Kakao Pay Membership service. Number of affiliated stores surpassed 2,500 while amount of accumulated turnover surpassed $2.21 billion (2.5 trillion KRW).
Partnership with Alipay was also possible because they share same direction towards a society without wallets. Along with separation from Kakao, Kakao Pay received $203 million (230 billion KRW) from Alibaba’s subsidiary called Ant Financial. Kakao Pay and Alibaba are pushing for variety of synergy such as support for online and offline payments and wire transfer between South Korea and China. Fact that Kakao Pay recently started offline payments through QR code wire transfer was done in order to make Kakao Pay compatible with Alipay. This payment is a function that makes wire transfer to a person other than one’s friend more convenient and is already generalized in China.
“When a person who uses both Kakao Pay and Alipay visits either South Korea or China, he or she won’t have to exchange money but can simply make payments through his or her mobile device at an affiliated store.” said President Ryu. “We are going to enhance compatibility with Alipay’s services by introducing services such as QR code and Barcode that Alipay supports.”
Kakao Pay is also going to hire more developers. Platform close to living indicates that every industry and part of living are connected to a platform called Kakao Pay. In order to connect and manage various fields, number of developers also needs to be increased. Number of Kakao Pay’s employees increased from about 100 to 150 after being separated from Kakao. “As we are aggressively pushing for Kakao Pay business, need for developers has increased as well.” said President Ryu. “We are going to hire developers continuously so that we will have about 300 developers eventually.”
Staff Reporter Oh, Daeseok | ods@etnews.com

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