KakaoPay expanding into new services

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KakaoPay expanding into new services


KakaoPay, the payment affiliate of internet giant Kakao, plans to offer new services and financial products, including insurance, overseas payments and even parcel delivery.

The moves announced on Monday, are in line with KakaoPay’s strategy of going beyond mobile payments and making the best use out of the chatting app KakaoTalk, which KakaoPay works with.

One of the most surprising additions is the launch of a delivery service that will allow users to register parcels and pay transportation fees on the platform.

The service, due to be offered in June with Lotte Global Logistics, is meant to tap into the growing peer-to-peer trade in used goods.

“As more people buy and sell used items, they are looking for a more convenient way of sending parcels,” said Ryu Young-joon, CEO of KakaoPay.

“The service will let users complete their delivery tasks on one platform,” he said. “Even if the sender doesn’t know the recipient’s exact address, they can still register the parcel using a function requesting the address from the recipient.”

In terms of financial services, KakaoPay will start selling insurance products, like travel insurance.

“We will mainly list non-life insurance products and allow users to compare them according to their needs,” Ryu said.

The CEO noted that insurance companies primarily peddle life insurance policies and people are underserved when it comes to non-life insurance products.

This is KakaoPay’s latest attempt to offer financial products. Starting last year, the payment service provider offered investment products after it bought Baro Investment & Securities, a small brokerage, from Shinan, a local real estate developer.

The unit will also allow users to register their credit cards on KakaoPay to process transactions, much like Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. So far, users could link only debit cards or bank accounts to the service.

As the payment service provider incorporates more functions into the platform installed on KakaoTalk, KakaoPay will launch a separate app within this month.

“We’ve heard some users ask for a separate app,” Ryu said, adding that the new app could provide quicker access to each service compared to the existing format.

Also in the cards is a plan to expand its payment service to other countries within this year. The first target market will be Japan, Ryu said, since the neighboring country is pushing for wider adoption of mobile payments ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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