Daum Kakao starts cash transaction service

November 11, 2014

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Daum Kakao, South Korea’s leading mobile messenger operator, on Tuesday launched BankWalletKakao, a service that allows users to transmit cash through the messenger platform.

The service, arranged with 16 local banks, lets users share bills or send money through the messenger application KakaoTalk. Subscribers of BankWalletKakao are allowed to deposit up to 500,000 won (US$460.7) in their “bank money” accounts.

A user can send up to 100,000 won per day and receive up to 500,000 won. Daum Kakao, however, said it is under talks with local banks to raise the ceiling.

A demonstration of Daum Kakao's new cash transaction service, BankWalletKakao, released Nov. 11, 2014. The service, which allows users to make cash transactions through the Kakao Talk platform, will only be available in South Korea. (Yonhap)

A demonstration of Daum Kakao’s new cash transaction service, BankWalletKakao, released Nov. 11, 2014. The service, which allows users to make cash transactions through the Kakao Talk platform, will only be available in South Korea. (Yonhap)

As a security measure, the service will not work on pre-paid phones, which do not register users’ information. Users can have only one account per device and must be at least 14 years old. Those under 19 will only be allowed to receive cash.

The “bank money” can also be used to make purchases both at online and offline shops, including major convenience and department stores.

“BankWalletKakao is a next-generation service that combines fund transfers, online payments and ATM cards, and users will be able to experience banking services in a whole new way,” the company said.

The company said user transaction data are encrypted throughout the process so that not even service operators can access the information.

Daum Kakao said it does not currently have plans to launch the service overseas.

In September, Daum Kakao started KakaoPay, a simplified mobile payment system, bringing changes to the complex authentication procedures adopted by the country’s online shopping that hindered foreigners from making purchases. The service is similar to Paypal, widely used by global online shopping malls.

Daum Kakao, created out of a merger between Kakao Corp. and Daum Communications Corp., South Korea’s two most-tracked IT firms of late, has been expanding its presence to other sectors that can add to their revenue base.

KakaoTalk, the flagship free messenger, commands about 35 million local users in a country of 50 million people. It also has about 152 million users worldwide in 15 languages, including Korean, English, Japanese, Spanish, German, Arabic and Russian.

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