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For couch potatoes, a new form of banking

Nov 13,2005
Koreans will soon be able to withdraw money from their bank accounts by using their TV remote control, as a growing number of lenders are taking advantage of the latest technology that allows their customers to access banking services through their television sets.
According to banking industry sources, six domestic lenders, including Kookmin Bank, Kyongnam Bank and Industrial Bank of Korea, will establish what they call the “Korea Financial TV” channel, in affiliation with local telecommunications operator Dacom Corp., to offer banking services through the TV channel beginning in March.
In television banking, a digital television channel is linked to a high-speed data cable, which allows two-way communication between signal transmitters and the TV user. Customers, by using their TV remote control, can access banking services provided on a certain cable channel. To access their bank account, customers need to enter personal information for identity verification and to get an online certificate. Once logged on, customers can access all services available through Internet banking, ranging from deposits and withdrawals to opening and closing accounts.
But these six banks are not the only ones to embrace the latest technology. Woori Bank is also planning to launch its own television banking service, which it calls “T-Banking service,” in collaboration with a television operator, beginning next year. Shinhan Bank has also begun a joint project with a local cable channel operator to offer its television banking services next year. As the leader of the pack, SC First Bank started providing TV banking services in collaboration with local digital satellite broadcaster SkyLife in August.
The current TV banking services are limited to those available on the Internet, but the banks are planning to further expand the range of services, allowing customers, for instance, to buy products on home shopping channels and pay for them automatically.
“Since TVs are on for so many hours a day, those who are not familiar with using Internet banking, such as housewives or the elderly, can access banking services more easily,” a banking industry representative said.


by Rah Hyun-cheol


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