KT Corp., South Korea's second-largest mobile carrier, unveiled Tuesday a new mobile wallet app that picks the best credit card or discount coupon benefits for a user to pay for a certain service, as the company pushes deeper into the mobile payment platform business.
Its new smart wallet, CLiP, can organize discounts or pay-by-installments at designated stores -- common ancillary services offered by credit card companies in South Korea -- to tell the user which card is the most beneficial for that specific payment.
South Korea has the highest credit card usage in the world, with a ratio of 89 percent of the population, according to the Bank of Korea. Every South Korean owns at least two credit cards.
But because every credit card offers different discounts or payment benefits, it has been a hassle for users to have to either remember or figure out on the spot what benefits are available.
CLiP, created in joint efforts with KT's subsidiary, BC Card Co., is made to ease the cumbersome job for smartphone users, KT said, as its affiliations with more than 110,000 stores and collected data on more than 2,500 credit cards are embedded in the mobile wallet to help the user find the right one.
CLiP will operate under a network of 180,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, a feature that distinguishes itself from other existing mobile wallets sold by financial companies and IT firms, which makes the search for the best card possible, KT added.
"It's a service that has maximized user benefits at offline stores by putting together the complicated membership and voucher information in one mobile wallet," Nam Kyu-taek, head of KT's marketing division, said.
KT plans to add its own mobile payment tool to the CLiP wallet by October, which it expects to make the payment process much handier for the user, it said.
The app is available for download via the App Store and Google Play.
South Korea mobile carriers are tapping deeper into the mobile payment sector through tie-ups with local financial firms, as a new industry, known as fintech, has emerged as a fresh growth driver.
KT introduced its first mobile wallet, MoCa, in late 2012. SK Telecom Co., the top player, has its own, named Syrup Pay, run by its affiliate, SK Planet Co., with smaller rival LG Uplus Inc. operating its mobile payment tool, Paynow. (Yonhap)