Daum Kakao launched a task force (TF) and will begin reviewing the feasibility of ‘Internet bank’ business. Once it starts Internet bank business following payment services, such as ‘Kakao Pay’ and ‘Bank Wallet Kakao,’ Daum Kakao is forecast to rise to the top as a ‘FinTech’ leader.

A Daum Kakao (CEO: Lee Seok-wu) source announced on the 9th that the company would start TF operation to investigate Internet bank business establishment type and the related business details in order to prospectively examine the company’s Internet bank business launch. This company had been passive about Internet bank business. However, it changed the stance and made a step towards entering this business area.

“We are still in a stage to review the business feasibility internally. A full-on review will be possible only when the detailed follow-up policies are announced by the financial authorities,” said the source. He added, however, “Once we establish a bank, we will be able to provide services in areas ranging from simple loan and fund remittance to installment financing and investment.” The source continued, “Even if we do go ahead with the bank establishment, it will be in the form of joint investment or collaboration with other companies as finance is a specialized field.”

Daum Kakao will also restructure payment service it is providing at the moment. The goal is to launch additional services to ‘Kakao Pay’ and ‘Bank Wallet Kakao’ during the first half of the year. As for ‘Kakao Pay,’ which is a credit card service based on the company’s messenger service ‘Kakao Talk,’ the company has set out a policy to expand the service range to offline channels. So far, Kakao Pay has been used as a payment means only in mobile and PC areas, such as online shopping malls, online travel agencies and delivery applications. Daum Kakao’s plan is to expand the scope of this service to offline areas.

“Kakao Pay is a type of credit card. So, there is no technical problem in expanding the scope of this service to offline channels. We only need to consult with payment gateway (PG) service providers or credit card companies,” said Daum Kakao Manager Jeong Seong-yeol. “We will be able to complete the business restructuring as early as during the first half of the year.”

Bank Wallet Kakao, which is used as a cash card, is applied only to near field communication (NFC) at the moment. However, the company decided to use barcode as an additional payment means and to increase the current credit limit. At the same time, it is examining a plan to give membership or discount benefits to the service users. Manager Jeong said, “Following a technical review and an internal test, we will launch the service by an earlier part of the third quarter at the latest.”

Daum Kakao is actively setting out to enter Internet finance market because Internet service providers, such as NCSOFT and Naver, are accelerating market entry as of late. Recently, Naver declared the introduction of ‘Naver Pay’ as a payment means together with improvement of its product search service. NCSOFT, together with KG INICIS, is also soon to enter FinTech market.