As the South Korean market for easy payment services has grown close to three times in two years, the service providers are now moving to expand their businesses to overseas markets.
They are planning to enable travelers to use their easy payment services without exchanging money, especially in Asian countries where many Korean tourists visit. NHN PAYCO is scheduled to provide a simple payment service in Taiwan in the first quarter of the year, and Naver Pay also plans to enter the Taiwanese market this year.
Industry data show that the daily average of payments made through easy payment solutions reached 162.8 billion won (US$139.44 million) in the first half of last year, an almost triple increase in two years from 50.7 billion won (US$ 4.34 million) in the first half of 2017. The number of transactions settled through easy payment services also increased from 1.6 million in the first half of 2017 to 4.52 million in the second half of 2018, and further to 5.34 million in the first half of 2019. As the easy payment service market is rapidly growing, the service companies are speeding up their expansion into foreign markets.
The purpose of their overseas expansion is to enable domestic customers to use their simple payment solutions without exchanging money during their overseas trips. To this end, they are focusing on Asian countries, including Japan, where many Korean people visit.
NHN PAYCO plans to open its service in Taiwan in the first quarter of the year. PAYCO will enter the Taiwanese market using the local payment infrastructure and franchise store network built by LINE Pay. Earlier, PAYCO entered the Japanese market in August last year by establishing a partnership with Incom Japan, the No. 1 Japanese prepaid card retailer. The Korean company also plans to expand its presence in Thailand and other countries, besides Taiwan.
Naver Pay also plans to enter the Taiwanese market this year, following its entry into the Japanese market. Shinhan Bank is also scheduled to expand its payment service, SOL, to Taiwan and other countries after Japan. With relations strained between Korea and Japan, the bank is considering speeding up the expansion of its simple payment service into South East Asia and China.