Asia: Financial Services Commission approves internet-only banks in South Korea

Disruption due to advancement in technology is getting stronger in South Korea with internet-only banks entering the market. K-Bank just won government endorsement to operate an online-only bank, marking the first digital bank to set up in South Korea. Due to the nature of its service, this online-only bank will be available around the clock and accessible through internet and mobile channels. Clients will be able to open a K-bank account through the bank’s website, withdraw cash from the ATM and apply for other products such as loans using mobile devices. K-Bank is expected to launch its service in February however its presence will not be alone for long since Kakao Talk – the most popular messaging app also got its approval to operate an online bank as well. Currently Kakao Talk owns 40million users and bank on this large customer database to succeed in its soon-to-launch online-only bank.

66% of banked customers in Korea prefer a digital channel to open a bank account.


This news is not surprising since data from RFi Group shows that 66% of banked customers in Korea prefer a digital channel to open a bank account.


Source: RFi Group – Korea Retail Banking Council (H1 2016)

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