November 22, 2014
Daum Kakao is one of the largest Internet companies in South Korea. The company recently launched a mobile payment platform dubbed as BankWalletKakao. The company was formed a month ago as a merger of Daum, one of the largest Internet Portals in South Korea, and Kakao, the maker of South Korea’s popular messaging app KakaoTalk.
The BankWalletKakao mobile payments platform is currently available on Android and iOS platforms in Korea. In order to deliver the mobile payments service, Daum Kakao has partnered with Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KFTC) and 16 Korean banks. KFTC is a non-profit organization that oversees interbank payment systems. The partnership with the banks will allow customers to connect the mobile payments service with ATM cards, bank transfers and online payments as well.
Here is an illustration of how the service looks like:
In order to use BankWalletKakao, users link their account to an online bank account or a Bank Money account. This Bank Money account is a chargeable virtual account operated by KFTC and 13 domestic banks. BankWalletKakao is not the first mobile payment service that the company has come up with. In September, it had launched KakaoPay which allowed only KakaoTalk users to pay for e-commerce products through the messaging app.
Using BankWalletKakao, users can send up to $90 to their peers. It does not require the user to know the recipient’s bank account number. Regarding security, the company claims that all banking activities are conducted through established security systems of financial institutes and that all data is encrypted.
With the launch of BankWalletKakao, Daum Kakao is trying to portray itself as a global mobile payments platform player. The company does claim that its platform is compatible with other payment products like Apple Pay, PayPal and Alipay. BankWalletKakao can also be used at several offline retailers in Korea. Some of them include CU, E-mart, 7-Eleven, Shinsegae and AK department stores.