An interesting article this morning in The Korea Joongang Ilbo, headlined "Mobile pay market is on the move." But is it really? As noted by the article, "With more customers using mobile finance services, a battle has begun in the banking and telecommunications world. KakaoTalk, the nation’s largest messenger app, plans to begin handling mobile transactions and payments as early as next month. China’s largest online payment company, Alipay, also is working to become an electronic prepayment issuer under Korean law. Financial companies are scrambling to secure customers by partnering with KakaoTalk, while at the same time continuing to develop their own electronic purses." The article was accompanied by a graphic, included with this post (click to see a full size version) that shows the recent increase in number of registered mobile banking users, which now surpasses 40 million. I recommend reading of the article for a quick update on current trends.
However, there is another side to this story, which is the larger picture of how financial transactions are currently being handled on South Korean web sites. Unfortunately, there are still many institutions that cling to old, outdated and risky Microsoft software solutions, even after the government, from the President on down, have urged them to modernize and improve security for financial transactions.