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Woori to launch comprehensive mobile payment solution

South Korea’s Woori Financial Group said Sunday it has decided to launch a comprehensive mobile payment solution platform to establish ground in the digital payment market, currently dominated by fintech firms.

The solution will integrate and offer the payment services for all of the group’s subsidiaries and affiliates, including Woori Bank and Woori Card.

Through the platform, the group is seeking to reach beyond its existing customers. It will grant access to users with no Woori Bank accounts or non-Woori Card subscribers, Woori said.

The group also plans to separately develop individual payment apps under Woori Card and its flagship banking unit as well.

Woori plans to integrate Samsung Pay’s magnetic secure transmission technology – which allows phones to send out magnetic pulse that make payment terminals think that users have swiped a credit card – alongside linked accounts under other banks and public transportation payment options to Woori Card’s mobile app “Woori Pay.”

The upgraded services on Woori Pay will be later available on Woori Bank’s mobile banking app “Won Banking.”

Woori’s latest move comes as traditional banking groups struggle to keep pace with tech-savvy services provided by fintech firms. Shinhan Financial Group launched a similar payment service last month, following KB Financial Group’s foray into the market last year.

Hana Financial Group, according to an exclusive report from The Korea Herald last month, recently applied for trademark rights to the name “Hana Payments,” indicating its interest in the market.

Their move, however, comes steps behind Kakao Pay, a mobile payment service provider operated by Kakao Corp., launched in 2014. It is currently the nation’s leading mobile payment service with 35 million users and as of last year, payments through Kakao Pay reached 67 trillion won ($62 billion).

By Jung Min-kyung (