KEB Hana partners with WeChat

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KEB Hana partners with WeChat

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KEB Hana Bank has expanded its mobile transactions in China by going into partnership with Weixin, also known as WeChat.

This partnership, which went into effect Nov. 29, links WeChat’s mobile payment platform WeChat Pay and Hana Bank’s 1Q Bank, an app-based service that facilitates financial transactions through mobile devices. WeChat, China’s leading mobile messenger, was created by internet portal Tencent.

KEB Hana, who launched Korea’s first mobile banking app in 2009, launched 1Q Bank in China last May and more than 60,000 Chinese users have signed up for the service. With the partnership with WeChat, Hana Bank’s share of payment transactions in China is expected to grow.

“This is a breakthrough because now anyone who uses the Hana Bank service can shop and pay for goods from vendors that use the major Chinese platforms,” said a spokesperson from Hana Bank.

The bank had already decided to collaborate with other mobile payment platforms in China such as Alipay and Baidu Wallet. With the alliance with WeChat, Hana Bank is the first Korean bank to sign partnerships with all major payment platforms in China.

“This will allow us to lead the Chinese fintech industry,” said Hana Bank in a press release.

“Our partnership with the leading mobile payment platforms in China is the fruit of our efforts to gain trust from our Chinese customers,” said Ji Sung-kyu, president of Hana Bank China, “and to become more localized using Hana Bank’s financial technology.”

Alipay has the largest market share of mobile payments in China, 68 percent in 2015, followed by Weixin’s 20 percent. Alipay was created by the Alibaba Group. Baidu Wallet, a platform launched in 2014 by one of China’s largest internet portals, Baidu, holds a 2 percent share.

“The partnerships have opened doors for us to become a leader in the fintech industry, not just in Korea but also in China as well,” the KEB Hana spokesperson added.

KEB Hana plans to further expand in China’s fintech market by introducing its 1Q Transfer service soon, which allows users to send money overseas through a mobile app.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]

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