The largest telecom operator in Korea, KT, agreed last week to deepen cooperation with China’s UnionPay for mobile payment and technology exchange. The deal covers six major fields as Near Field Communication (NFC), mobile payment, online payment, cross-border remittance, electronic marketing based on smart mobile terminal, financial-technology business, and promote the comprehensive upgrading of innovative payment service via UnionPay cards in Korea.
BC Card, a subsidiary of KT as well as a significant partner of UnionPay International in Korea, owns about 40% of the mobile payment cards issued locally. Currently, UnionPay has become the payment brand favored by Korean citizens, and endeavors to accelerate the landing of innovative payment products and services locally. UnionPay International has joined hands with BC Card Co., Ltd. to realize the UnionPay “QuickPass” in Doota shopping centers and all the GS25 convenience stores, opened the cross-border mobile payment via UnionPay cards in Shilla Duty Free Store and other online merchants, and issued UnionPay “QuickPass” cards in KRW initially in June of 2015.
The two sides will deepen business cooperation in multiple fields this time: firstly, the convenience stores, coffee shops, bakeries and etc. in Myeong-dong and other primary trading areas will be enabled to accept UnionPay “QuickPass” by the end of this year. Secondly, the UnionPay mobile “QuickPass” cards will be issued jointly by the end of July, for which the users of smart phones produced by KT may apply for UnionPay cards via phones directly and complete payment by “slapping” phones on over 5 million “QuickPass” terminals worldwide. Thirdly, it is available for Chinese consumers to shop on more and more Korean websites via phones, iPad and other mobile terminals. Fourthly, the more convenient and favorable UnionPay cross-border remittance services between China and Korea will be discussed and then opened. In addition, the cooperation will be extended to such aspects as collaborating marketing and technical exchange.
In Korea, almost all the signature-based merchants may accept UnionPay credit cards. It is available to apply UnionPay cards for password payment in 1.35 million merchants, and use UnionPay credit cards to pay cab fares fundamentally. According to the reports by Korean media, the bankcard-related purchase by foreigners in the first quarter of this year weighs 61.1% in the total transaction via UnionPay cards, which hit all-time highs. At present, UnionPay ranks to be the first wild card brand in Korea. Besides, all the mainstream card-issuing institutions locally may issue UnionPay cards, and there have been 14 million UnionPay cards (card number starting with 62) issued in Korea accumulatively. As a result, each five Korean people have one UnionPay card.
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