The Korean mobile payment market is showing a rapid growth. According to the Bank of Korea, the average daily mobile payment in Korea amounted to 40.1 billion won (US$36 million) in the fourth quarter of last year and the annual total is estimated to exceed 15 trillion won (US$13 billion) this year.
This type of services in the country started from Kakao Pay, which made its debut in September 2014. These days, the market is being led by the five major players of Kakao Pay, Syrup Pay, Naver Pay, Samsung Pay and Payco.
Under the circumstances, Android Pay is preparing to make its debut in the country in August. This service, which can be used by every Android phone user, was planning to be released in the Korean market last month, but the launching has been postponed once due to some problems related to the application of security token technology. At present, every one of the eight credit card companies in the country is discussing a joint Android Pay service with Google.
Still, the success of the service in the local market remains to be seen. “A dedicated reader is required for Android Pay, which is based on NFC, to be used at offline stores, and the use of it is likely to be limited for the time being because most offline stores in South Korea are still using magnetic card readers,” said an industry source.
According to a recent survey, the ratio of mobile phone users who used mobile payment at least once within the past six months amounted to 88%, up 8.8 percentage points from a year ago. In the meantime, the ratio of mobile payment to total payment increased 7.2 percentage points to 54.3% during the same period. 68% of the survey participants mentioned that they are concerned about the protection of their personal information and security. 49.2% expressed concerns about the stability of such services, too.