Hana and SK Telecom to form fintech venture

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Hana and SK Telecom to form fintech venture

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From left, Lee Hyung-hee, president and chief operating officer of SK Telecom; Kim Jung-tae, president of Hana Financial Group; Jang Dong-hyun, CEO of SK Telecom; and Ham Young-joo, CEO and president of KEB Hana Bank, after signing a contract on Thursday for Hana Financial Group and SK Telecom’s joint venture to provide mobile financial services and operate a fintech start-up incubator. [HANA FINANCIAL GROUP]

Hana Financial Group and SK Telecom agreed Thursday to jointly establish an internet finance platform that will provide advanced services in financial technology, also known as fintech, and support local start-ups working in the emerging sector.

The move follows a global trend of banking entities collaborating with telecommunications companies to combine their services and create more accessible financial platforms for customers.

The new 50 billion won ($45 million) joint venture, tentatively titled Hana-SK Financial Life, will have 51 percent investment from Hana Financial Group and 49 percent from SK Telecom. It will be established later this month as an affiliate of Hana Financial Group, and a mobile platform is expected to go into service next year.

“We are going to combine Hana Financial Group’s financial products and services with SK Telecom’s leading mobile technology and big data analysis system to provide mobile-oriented asset management, simple payment and overseas transactions, all of which will be designed to be easily used by all customers,” KEB Hana Bank said in a statement.

The company added that in addition to “enabling customers of both SK Telecom and Hana Financial Group to easily use banking services in their daily lives,” the new affiliate will also act as an incubator for local start-ups that specialize in fintech, providing financial aid and fostering relationships with entrepreneurs.

Hana Financial Group said it is also considering hiring a fintech expert as one of the new affiliate’s executive members.

“We will provide innovative and groundbreaking financial services for our clients’ daily lives,” said Kim Jung-tae, chairman of Hana Financial Group. “We will also strive to invigorate the local fintech industry by maintaining close relationships with start-ups.”

Among the country’s banks, Hana Financial Group is relatively late to the game in collaborating with information technology companies. Woori Bank and KT have been cooperating since last year to develop fintech services, while internet company Kakao partnered with KB Kookmin Bank last year to start a web-based bank.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]




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