Korean banks launch NFC payments service

Sixteen Korean banks have introduced BankWallet, a prepaid NFC payments service that uses a platform developed by interbank clearing house KFTC. SK Telecom subscribers with an NFC phone will be the first to be able to use the new service and KT customers will be added soon.

BANKWALLET: Prepaid payments with SIM-based NFC, backed by 16 banks

Korean interbank clearing house Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute (KFTC) has launched BankWallet, an NFC payments service based around prepaid accounts provided by banks. Sixteen Korean banks have signed up to offer the new service to their customers.

The BankWallet system stores account holders’ credentials in the SIM card of customers’ NFC phones and SK Telecom is making the service available to its subscribers from launch. KT is also expected to begin offering the service to its customers in the coming months, but fellow carrier LG U+ has yet to decide whether to join the service or not.

Retailers that have signed up to accept BankWallet payments include the Shinsegae retail chain, which operates the world’s largest department store and the Emart convenience store chain, 7-Eleven and the Daegu department store. As well as NFC payments in stores, BankWallet can also be used to make purchases online.

In the future, BankWallet will be expanded to support credit cards, membership cards and coupons, KFTC says, as well as to enable users to withdraw cash, perform account transfers and pay bills.

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