Korea’s simple payment applications are expanding their business overseas based on the partnerships with local simple payment services or their subsidiaries’ popular overseas services.
According to industry sources on July 31, Kakao and Samsung Electronics are expanding their simple payment services through the partnership with popular overseas payment services, while Naver is doing so through its subsidiary’s services which are putting up a good show in global markets. NHN Entertainment also left open the possibility of expanding its simple payment service overseas based on its subsidiary’s service. Their common strategy is to increase transactions by expanding the base of users.
In particular, Kakao, Naver and NHN Entertainment, which have platforms dubbed Kakao Tak, Line, Comico, respectively, expect to increase sales of their contents at the platforms. Smartphone maker Samsung Electronics’ expansion of its simple payment service will help boost sales of its smartphones in the United States, according to industry watchers.
Kakao Pay, a fintech subsidiary of Kakao, is seeking to connect services between Ali Pay and Kakao Pay. Then, Alipay users will be able to make payments on Alipay’s affiliated offline stores in South Korea with Kakao Pay. The integrated system of Kakao Pay, which has 16 million users, and Alipay, which has 450 million users, will allow Alipay users to make payments on Alipay’s 34,000 channels of affiliated online and offline stores in South Korea with their Kakao Pay accounts. The catch here is that Kakao Taxi will introduce the automatic fare payment system through Kakao Pay by the end of this year. In this case, Chinese tourists can use Kakao Taxi and pay the fares with their Alipay accounts, and shop at Kakao Pay’s affiliated stores with their Alipay accounts. South Korean users will also be able to use their Kakao Pay accounts when shopping at Alipay’s affiliated online and offline stores overseas. Currently, Kakao is hiring planners for its offline payment services in order to integrate its payment system with Alipay.
Samsung Electronics forged a business tie-up with the world's largest online payment service PayPal on the 17th. It means that Samsung Pay, which has cumulative domestic transactions of 4 trillion won (US$3.57 billion) as of January, and Paypal, which is used by more than 200 million people worldwide, joined hands.
The two companies will link Samsung Pay’s mobile payment platform with Paypal accounts. The Samsung Pay users who register their PayPal accounts with Samsung Pay, can make online and offline payments at online and offline stores just like those who register their credit cards or debit cards. When an increasing number of people use Samsung Pay using Paypal accounts, Samsung Electronics is expected to be able to boost both Samsung Pay’s transactions and its local sales of the Galaxy smartphones at the same time.
Naver is expanding its influence in Japan with Line Pay, a simple payment service in its subsidiary’s messaging service Line. Line Pay is one of the most frequently used simple payment services in the local market with Rakuten Pay and Origami Pay, driven by Line’s popularity, which has secured 6.8 million users in Japan.
According to Naver, about 30 million people currently use Line Pay in Japan, which accounts for 79 percent of total Line Pay users around the world. Transactions through Line Pay surpassed 78 billion yen (US$705.66 million or 781.9 billion won) as of May. Contents consumption, such as Line Music and e-books and webtoons provided through the Line platform, leads to the growth of Line Pay. As the company will launch its new food delivery service in August, Line Pay’s transactions will grow further.
NHN Entertainment, which provides Payco services through its subsidiary NHN Payco, also leaves open the possibility of global expansion. An official from the company said, “We don’t have any action plans at the moment but we are now considering plans to make Payco go global.” Industry experts believe that Comico, an entertainment platform of NHN Entertainment’s subsidiary NHN Comico, will become a foothold that makes the Payco service push into the global market. Comico is the number one webtoon service provider in Japan that has a total of 16,000 contribution works and 18 million comments after launching in Japan in 2013. It provides services in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Spain and has 25 million downloads around the world.