The Financial Services Commission and the Fintech Center of Korea announced on May 20 that the total fintech investment in South Korea reached US$520 million last year based on a rapid increase in investment in the industry.
The fintech investment in South Korea began to increase in 2016 after a concentrated investment in related venture firms in 2015. For reference, the total fintech investment in Australia was US$580 million last year, when it was US$500 million, US$380 million and US$330 million in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, respectively.
At present, more and more South Korean fintech companies are entering overseas markets. As of 2017, 34 South Korean fintech companies were doing business abroad. Those doing business in Southeast Asia account for 39 percent of the total, followed by those in the United States (17 percent), Europe (15 percent), China (10 percent) and Japan (9 percent).
As of August 2017, Samsung Pay posted 34 million and ranked fifth in the world in terms of the number of payment and settlement service users. The top four are WeChat Pay (600 million), Alipay (400 million), PayPal (210 million) and Apple Pay (87 million).
The number of cases of global fintech investment, in the meantime, rose from 366 to 2,966 from 2009 to 2018 with an average annual growth of 26.2 percent. During the same period, the total investment increased by an annual average of 46.5 percent from US$4.05 billion to US$125.7 billion.
In 2018, the number of investment cases decreased by 239 from the previous year but the annual investment showed a growth of 148 percent with Ant Financial and Worldpay attracting no less than US$14 billion and US$12.9 billion in investment, respectively.
Payment and remittance are currently the sector where the largest investment is made. The volume jumped from US$7.8 billion to US$60.1 billion from 2013 to 2018. The sector represented 41.2 percent of the entire fintech industry last year.