Korean banks partner with messaging giant for mobile banking service

Korean internet and messaging giant Daum Kakao has launched BankWalletKakao, a mobile wallet service provided in partnership with 16 Korean banks and Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearing Institute (KFTC). The service leverages instant messaging technology to let users make online payments, transfer funds to friends and make ATM withdrawals with their mobile phone.

BankWalletKakao mobile wallet service

“The money transfer process in BankWalletKakao should be particularly welcome to users in Korea,” Daum Kakao says. “Following a simple authentication and registration process, sending funds with BankWalletKakao is as simple as sending a KakaoTalk message.

“You can send up to KRW 100,000 (approx US$96) to fellow users without the recipient’s bank account number, a public key certificate, or a security card issued by a bank, all of which are pretty much standard requirements when sending online transfers in Korea.

“Because of this, BankWalletKakao is expected to enjoy great popularity among Koreans where sending cash gifts to newlyweds and splitting lunch bills is a routine occurrence.”

“All banking activities are conducted only within and through the established security systems of financial institutes,” the company adds. “KFTC and the banks oversee user transactions and wallet account management while Daum Kakao provides KakaoTalk, a messaging platform that works in sync with the financial platforms.”

“In order to protect against SMS phishing attacks and related fraudulent activities, transfer notification messages are sent through KakaoTalk featuring image and text-based authentication stamps specific to the messenger.”

The service is available via standalone apps for iOS and Android to anyone aged 14 and over with an internet banking account and a smartphone registered in their own name. Users can link up to 25 bank cards to their account along with one Bank Money virtual account. They can then use their KakaoTalk social network to make transfers “with a process that is as easy as sending a message to a KakaoTalk friend — even without knowing the recipient’s bank account number”.

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