Toss operator gets preliminary green light for brokerage house

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Toss operator gets preliminary green light for brokerage house

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) gave preliminary approval to Viva Republica, operator of mobile payment service Toss, to establish a new brokerage house during the agency’s regular meeting Wednesday.

The new company will launch under the name Toss Securities once it receives the FSC’s final authorization. Toss Securities will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Viva Republica and has initial capital of 32 billion won ($25.5 million).

Toss Securities is expected to launch in the latter half of this year at the earliest. It would be the first launch of a new brokerage house in Korea in 12 years.

Industry rival Kakao Pay launched Kakao Pay Securities in February, but only as part of an acquisition of an existing firm, Baro Investment & Securities.

Toss Securities, which will mainly target investors in their 20s and 30s, will start by providing brokerage service for domestic shares. It will later expand into brokering overseas stocks as well as retailing funds.

“Korea’s population that engages in stock investment numbers no more than 5 million, which is only 13 percent of the country’s population,” said Park Jae-min, CEO of the soon-to-launch company. “Only 25 percent of people in their 20s and 30s do stock investment. We would like to introduce a new type of brokerage service so that even people who are new to this industry can easily approach stock investment.”

Toss Securities will focus on enhancing its user interface for mobile stock trading as well as providing accessible and useful information for making investment decisions, the company said.

Toss, the main service under Viva Republica, launched its service in 2015, pioneering Korea’s systems of mobile payment systems that don’t require a complicated identification process. As of February, the service had accumulated 16 million users and had surpassed 79 trillion won in total money transfers.

Toss now boasts a range of services, allowing users to check account balances, credit ratings and insurance programs, as well as opening savings accounts and comparing different institutions’ loan programs.

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