Interpark reveals Internet bank

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Interpark reveals Internet bank

Interpark has formed a consortium to set up an Internet bank, the online retailer said on Wednesday.

The consortium includes SK Telecom, NHN Entertainment, Yello Financial Group, Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), NH Investment & Securities and GS Home Shopping.

The group is planning a web-based bank that provides financial services and products for various aspects of clients’ lives via retail, telecommunications and financial channels, Interpark said in a statement.

The consortium - consisting of a major retailer and wireless carrier, as well as financial firms and an IT company - has around 30 million people in its customer data base.

“We are planning a digital bank that provides services related to different parts of a person’s life, including where he or she spends and saves money,” an Interpark official said.

The group will study each participating firm’s data to develop a business model that provides customers with individually tailored asset management, payment and loan services.

“The consortium’s customer database relates to 30 million people, and using this, we plan to develop diverse financial products,” Interpark said.

The consortium will set up an internet bank task force of around 30 people from participating firms, which will be based at Interpark’s headquarters in southern Seoul.

The consortium plans to submit its proposal when the Financial Services Commission (FSC) begins accepting applications for Internet banks, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. The FSC is expected to give one or two of the consortia preliminary permission.

Internet banks are part of the larger financial technology, or fintech, development plan currently being backed by the government. Operating without physical branches, internet banks are expected to cost less to operate, and could pass those savings onto clients in the form of lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on financial products.

In a bid to diversify industry players in the technology sector, the FSC said last month that it will allow IT firms and mobile platform operators to take advantage of their existing customer channels to gather clients for internet banking business.

Earlier this month, Korea Investment Holdings and Daum Kakao said they have set up a consortium for their own web-based bank.

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