Kakao, Samsung Card team up to launch KakaoPay credit card business - The Korea Times
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Kakao, Samsung Card team up to launch KakaoPay credit card business

By Lee Min-hyung

Kakao has teamed up with Samsung Card for the launch of KakaoPay-labeled credit card, as part of the Kakao affiliate's move to tap deeper into the financial market.

KakaoPay is a mobile payment operator growing rapidly based on the large user base of its mother firm, Kakao, the nation's leading mobile messenger provider.

Under the partnership, both firms agreed to launch KakaoPay's private label credit card (PLCC) as early as May, the two companies said Tuesday.

Last year, KakaoPay received applications for the project through a competitive bidding process, and Samsung Card, the nation's second-largest card firm, was selected as its partner. Both sides have since collaborated on every aspect of the process of launching the PLCC ― including its design, marketing and promotional benefits.

The planned launch of the Kakao-labeled credit card comes as big tech firms are eyeing aggressive expansion into the financial sector. KakaoPay and Samsung Card will share profits in commissions generated from the cards.

Early last month, Naver also partnered with Hyundai Card for the launch a the Naver-branded PLCC. Under the alliance, Naver aims to expand its financial influence here by generating synergy with Hyundai Card's expertise in branding and data science.

Though the details are yet to be fixed, Naver, operator of the online payment service Naver Pay, aims to expand the user base of its Naver Plus Membership service through the PLCC partnership with Hyundai. Currently, customers who sign up for the membership service, paying a monthly fee of 4,900 won ($4.37), can receive a 5 percent discount on any transactions made through Naver Pay. The company attracted more than 2.5 million users for the membership service within only about six months of its launch in June 2020.

Hyundai Card has been one of the nation's most active card firms in terms of launching PLCCs, while the KakaoPay PLCC marks a first for Samsung Card.

Kakao also hopes to strengthen its mobile dominance by allowing Kakao PLCC users to receive benefits when making transactions on a series of Kakao platforms ― such as taxi-hailing service operator Kakao T and content provider KakaoPage.

KakaoPay users can make transactions in about 600,000 online and offline stores by using the platform. They can also collect points and use them as replacements for cash when making online transactions.

"We are going to build a KakaoPay point ecosystem after launching the card, and will keep solidifying our partnership with Samsung Card," KakaoPay Vice President Lee Jin said. As of the end of January, the number of KakaoPay users topped 35 million.

Lee Min-hyung mhlee@koreatimes.co.kr


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