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Kakao unveils ‘stock as gift’ service

Kakaopay Securities co-CEO Kim Dae-hong (left) and Lee Seung-hyo poses for a picture before the online press conference at Pangyo headquarters in Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday. (Kakaopay Securities)
Kakaopay Securities co-CEO Kim Dae-hong (left) and Lee Seung-hyo poses for a picture before the online press conference at Pangyo headquarters in Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday. (Kakaopay Securities)

Kakaopay Securities, the stock brokerage arm of Korea‘s mobile payment platform KakaoPay, said Tuesday it will launch a new service in June through which one can buy stocks as gifts with its payment platform that has over 37 million subscribers.

“Users can give both domestic and foreign stocks to friends and family with a gift card featuring Kakao Friends characters,” said Kakaopay Securities co-CEO Lee Seung-hyo during an online press conference. Users receive the stock gift by clicking the “accept gift” button, like they do with Kakao‘s existing gift trading services.

If a user gives 50,000 won ($41) worth of stock on Nasdaq when the market is closed, the purchase order is placed as the market opens next day. It takes maximum 10 minutes to receive a foreign stock gift because the Korean won is automatically changed to dollars and doesn’t need currency exchange beforehand, Lee said.

Lee said the service is less complicated and time-consuming than existing stock gift service that takes two to three days to purchase and transfer stocks.

Next week, Kakaopay Securities plans to officially launch its mobile trading system after enhancing the beta version.

“The MTS in the Kakaopay Securities app first shows the current profit rate of stocks and funds users have invested in. It will recommend other stocks based on their investment pattern, allowing for stock beginners to easily access helpful information,” Lee said.

By clicking a tab, advanced stock traders can see line charts, swing charts and other trading information, Lee added. He said that existing stock beginner apps simply omit them, which cause inconveniences.

Also, the company will open a stock trading service in KakaoTalk and let users share their investment portfolios with friends and family.

“Based on some 37.5 million KakaoPay users, we plan to provide fun and easy services not just slanted towards young users,” Lee said, citing that MTS users in their 40s and 50s already account for a total of 45 percent as of February.

Kim Dae-hong, another co-CEO of Kakaopay Securities, said the firm will also accelerate the whole sale business including investment banking and project financing for institutional investors.

Launched in 2020, Kakaopay Securities has provided easy-to-use investment services such as “spare change investment” that automatically invests account deposits below 1,000 won to funds.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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