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Toss users spend 65% of cash relief within month: data

Users of Toss, a local financial services app operated by Viva Republica, spent 65 percent of their disaster relief funds in less than a month, the company said Thursday, referring to its data analysis.

According to the estimate, 65 percent of the total 395.2 billion won ($336.5 million) in spending by 778,000 recipients was spent before end-May, after the Korean government started to dole out some 14 trillion won to every Korean household that month.

Viva Republica compiled the data from users of its consumer money transfer app Toss, whose financial service also allowed users to track spending records of state relief funds on a real-time basis.

The estimate also showed the relief funds led to 1.6 million transactions of consumers, each amounting to 24,000 won on average.

Nearly 9 out of 10 transactions were of less than 50,000 won, while payments of over 300,000 won accounted for 0.6 percent of the whole transactions.

It is the first estimate on consumption patterns with regards to the general relief fund to help people get over the coronavirus impact.

As the new wave of coronavirus infections emerged nationwide and have affected businesses since August, Korea is working to come up with plans for a second round of disaster relief funds by the end of this year, once the related supplementary budget bill passes.

By Son Ji-hyoung (