FSS to review Apple Pay launch in South Korea

Friday 25 November 2022 13:50 CET | News

The financial regulator of South Korea, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has announced it is reviewing the Apple Pay service launch clause submitted by Hyundai Card.


The FSS’ review to offer approval for Apple’s digital payment service is set to take between one or two months, completing earliest by the end of November 2022. Apple Pay is set to support Hyundai Card, Hyundai Motors’ financial unit, with whom Apple Pay reportedly has a one-year exclusivity partnership in South Korea, as stated by TechCrunch, meaning that in an initial state, the Apple Pay service will be available only to Hyundai Card holders.

Rumours on the Apple Pay launch in South Korea have been circulating since October 2022, when an iPhone user shared a blog post of what looked like Apple Pay’s terms and conditions in the region, which also included its involvement with Hyundai Card.

Although it is home to the world’s largest Android device makers, South Korea still represents a strong market for Apple’s iPhone, with iOS having a 31% market share in the country as of October 2022. By enabling the Apple Pay service, Apple device users would be given access to an Apple wallet to store and use payment methods for purchasing both in person and online.

The financial regulator of South Korea, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has announced it is reviewing the Apple Pay service launch clause submitted by Hyundai Card.

Mobile payments usage in South Korea and key players in the area

South Korea is one of the most digitalised markets in the world, having high broadband and mobile penetration and usage patterns. Prior to the pandemic, which gave a global boost to the ecommerce industry, cash accounted for 17.4% of total transactions in South Korea in 2019.

Although in some markets smartphone operating system giants of the likes of Google (Android) and Apple (iOS) are correspondent with mobile payments and mobile wallets, this is not applicable to the South Korean market, where the most widely used mobile payment service providers are locals of the likes of Naver Pay, Kakao Pay and Samsung Pay.

Apple Pay has been looking to launch in the country since 2020, whereas Google had discussed the possibility of a launch of its Google Pay service with Korean credit card companies in 2017, and in 2021, as reported by TechCrunch.

One of the issues believed to have been stagnating the launch of these services was the lack of NFC support at payment terminals, which is core to how the Apple Pay and Google Pay services work. In South Korea, an approximate of 10% of the 2.9 million local retailers have NFC enabled in their credit card terminals, as retailers in the region predominantly use magnetic secure transmission (MST), a mobile payment technology that enables smartphones to transact wireless payments with traditional credit card swipe readers and terminals.

Once Apple’s payment service is introduced, most local retailers will need to set up new terminals for NFC payments for Apple Pay users, with the card issuer being supposedly required by Apple to pay a commission rate between 0.1%-0.5% of the transaction amount.

Should Apple Pay go live in South Korea, it will mark the eleventh country in the Asia Pacific region to support Apple’s wallet and digital payment service, with the firm already operating its payment services in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

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Keywords: product launch, digital wallet, digital payments, mobile payments, NFC, online payments, e-wallet
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Apple Pay, FSS, Hyundai Card
Countries: Korea, Republic of
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

Apple Pay




Hyundai Card

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