Major card companies simplify web payments

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Major card companies simplify web payments

Korea’s online shoppers are no longer locked into a convoluted, multistep payment system as major card companies including Samsung, Shinhan and BC have adopted an Amazon-style, one-click method.

The shift toward a simpler payment system came after President Park Geun-hye criticized Korea’s complex online authentication process that could hinder foreign buyers from shopping at Korea’s Internet malls.

The president’s remarks in March led these companies to eliminate the use of the cumbersome authentication system known as ActiveX, which requires users to install a hefty set of programs.

However, many online malls still require authentication via text message or phone call for orders exceeding 300,000 won ($273) because card companies insisted on maintaining the system due to security concerns.

But under the new method that took effect on Monday, people don’t need to repeatedly enter their credit card information once they input a payment method or a shipping address.

Instead, the order will be charged automatically using the details saved on the system and shipped to the address associated with the subscriber’s account.

Shinhan Card said that its users now only need to enter their IDs and passwords when paying for products online.

Its new system applies to all kinds of e-commerce sites, starting from Monday.

Hyundai Card will also embrace a simpler payment method that only requires an ID and password, regardless of the purchase amount. Hyundai’s new system will be applied to 40,000 affiliated e-commerce sites beginning Tuesday.

In the meantime, Hana SK Card is due to introduce a new payment method on Wednesday. Its subscribers can use the system at 70,000 affiliated restaurants and shops.

Card companies BC and Lotte launched simpler e-commerce payment methods earlier than other card companies.

Lotte Card launched its “One Click Payment System” this month. Users enter their credit card information once and are automatically charged with the one-click method later on.

Last month, BC Card introduced a similar payment process for users of major e-commerce sites, including G-Market, Auction and 11st.

The move to simplify payment systems across the board was initiated when the president chastised ministers in March for the difficulties Chinese consumers faced while trying to buy a coat seen on the hit drama “My Love From the Star” on online malls.

Her remarks triggered a comprehensive deregulation drive in the e-commerce industry.

The government’s financial authorities removed the ActiveX authentication system that hindered online shoppers.

ActiveX, a software framework that controls a computer’s operating system, does not work on all web browsers, including some mobile platforms, but many shops and stores are still using the process for payments of more than 300,000 won, citing security concerns.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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