SKT and Shinhan in joint deal
This is the first time a telecom operator and a bank have provided such a service.
“Consumer needs are evolving and going beyond the traditional boundary of each industry sector,” said Lim Bong-ho, director at SK Telecom.
The service is divided into a savings account and installment savings account.
To open the savings account, a customer is required to subscribe to SK Telecom’s smartphone data plan and designate an account to pay monthly phone bills. The account offers base data levels and is free of commission fees for electronic banking and ATMs.
The installment savings account is designed to offer additional interest rates and more data.
As for the data benefits, a subscriber can receive 10 percent of data for three months if they sign up for a one-year installment savings product.
The period eligible for the data offering can be extended to six months with a two-year installment savings account. Subscribers are entitled to 10 percent more data for 12 months when they sign for the three-year savings plan.
Customers can also receive an additional 0.6 percent interest rate on top of the basic rate ranging from 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent.
The rate is considered to be favorable given the average interest rate for installment savings accounts stood at around 1.6 percent, according to the Korea Federation of Banks.
The telecom company said that the maximum interest rate could reach 2.8 percent depending on consumers’ credit ratings and financial status.
“To offer a distinctive service and satisfy consumer demand, SK Telecom will continue to expand cooperation with the financial sector,” Lim said.
The move is the latest in a string of efforts by SK Telecom to collaborate with finance players.
SK Telecom has partnered with Shinhan Card to offer loan services for its subscribers at mid-range interest rates.
The telecom operator said that its record on SK Telecom subscribers’ billing information can be used as a criterion for the loan service, adding that the loan offering will be available in April.
The interest rate is expected to be in the mid-10 percent range, though the rates of many loan services provided by card companies hover above 20 percent.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]