LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Leading messaging app Kakao plans a mobile money service, joining operators, internet firms and banks among others who see riches in targeting P2P payments.
Speaking during last week’s event, Sirgoo Lee (pictured), co-CEO of the company, revealed the Korean firm has been working with the country’s banks for a year, and hopes to launch its service in July.
“We are in the process of trying to build a system where you can send and receive money. It seems like a very simple task, but during the past year we have been working with the commercial banks in Korea, in trying to offer this service,” Lee said.
“Hopefully sometime next month we’ll be able to offer this to our users,” he said.
Such a service would be a further addition to Kakao’s initial messaging service. So far it has targeted its massive user base with music, photo sharing, games and gifting.
In other comments, Lee revealed that the profit motive does not loom large for Kakao, at least not at the launch of a new line of business. “If you think about money, and how to make money, you really can’t build a great service. So, instinctively for folks like us, we build a very strong service, and create value for our users which in turn creates traffic”, he said.
“Once you have that traffic, there’s all kinds of ways to monetise. So as long as you have a good service, you really don’t have to worry about how you make money,” Lee added.
But Kakao will face stiff competition in the money market which is attracting some heavyweight interest, see here for more comment