PayPal says it will soon offer services in Korean

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PayPal says it will soon offer services in Korean



The United States’ biggest electronic payment company PayPal is finally entering the Korean market.

The company sent an email to its members on Thursday saying it will launch its Korean-language service on Feb. 12.

The U.S.-based company said the Korean-language version of its website was just the first step and that it plans to gradually expand, including by opening a Korean-language call center.

The move by PayPal comes as an increasing number of Korean consumers make direct purchases from abroad on shopping malls like Amazon to get discount prices on goods that are normally more expensive if they are imported to Korea.

Additionally, the growing interest in financial technology - also known as fintech - seemed to have further triggered the interest of PayPal’s entry into the Korean market.

Making payments with PayPal is simple because once a buyer opens an account, it will save his or her international credit card number and bank account number.

It can be accessed via various web browsers including Explorer, Chrome and Safari. However, in Korea, PayPal can only be used for direct overseas purchases because it is not officially authorized by Korean financial authorities.

But the Korean service on its website and the call center is expected to encourage Korean consumers to spend more on overseas online malls.

Currently PayPal has services in 198 countries and more 160 million users.

The company was established in 1998 and was acquired by U.S. electronic trading company eBay in 2002. It has been the main form of payment used by eBay subscribers ever since, and is also used at other shopping malls. It recently expanded into offline markets with its PayPal card reader PayPal Hero. The system allows people to make credit card payments via smartphones.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, is planning to visit Korea for two days on Feb. 24 to host a lecture titled “Zero to One.”

PayPal’s other co-founder is Elon Musk, who is also the co-creator of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

BY PARK SU-RYON [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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