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Hyundai Card ready for battle against tech firms

Hyundai Card, known for its original marketing ideas, appears to be undaunted by the threat posed by the savvy new payment technologies of local IT giants.

“We are fully prepared to face the challenges with new services that are synchronized with the needs of our customers” said Kim Jong-yoon, the director of Hyundai Card’s digital business department, in an interview with The Korea Herald on Monday. 

Kim Jong-yoon, director at Hyundai Card’s digital business department. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Kim Jong-yoon, director at Hyundai Card’s digital business department. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The challenges Kim was referring to were mostly mobile payment technologies. Naver Pay currently boasts over 3.25 million monthly users, while Samsung Pay has also been introduced.

In light of the competition, Hyundai Card has decided to opt for services that cannot be provided by these tech firms.

“We have started to specialize services that only financial companies can offer, and we believe this will help maintain our customer base,” Kim said.

The most recent project related to this is “PayShot,” a one-stop payment service that allows customers to make purchases at seven major online shopping sites.

“Lock & Limit,” a service launched in October 2015, is another example. It allows smartphone users to place spending limits on purchases and cash advances on their credit cards through a mobile application. This way, customers do not have to call the card company or go to their website.

According to Kim, it is statistically proven that those who use the spending-limit service among existing customers purchased 10 to 15 percent more than nonusers.

“The main purpose for the service is to make people to choose Hyundai Card over others. So far, we have seen enhanced customer loyalty from those who used this service,” he said.

The director also noted that Hyundai Card’s peers in the card industry are no longer the real rivals.

“Companies like Shinhan Card and Samsung Card, the industry’s top two players, are no longer on our radar,” Kim said.

Instead, the nation’s third-largest credit card firm is choosing to look further ahead.

Kim said he has met with more than 100 companies related to the financial technology industry including venture capital, bitcoin block chain and security solution companies in Silicon Valley, New York and London over the past year to find global partners.

“Partnership is very important. Delivering services that customers need by integrating programs or platforms of other well established companies is the only way to gain competitive edge in the fintech era,” he said.

So far, the firm has applied mostly defensive strategies against the interception of mobile payment leads but it will soon take more aggressive action, Kim said.

“From the end of this year or early next year, Hyundai Card will stand out from the rest of the group in fintech. And those who don’t have experience in collaborating with global firms will find it hard to catch up with us.”

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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