Viva Republica, parent company of mobile payment app Toss, joined a consortium led by multinational bank Shinhan Financial Group (SFG) which aims to secure South Korea’s third online-only banking licence.
The Korea Herald reported SFG was also on the hunt for further partners to back its bid. If successful, the new brand would compete directly with existing internet banks Kakao Bank (an affiliate of Kakao Pay) and KT subsidiary K-Bank.
South Korea’s financial supervisory service is expected to allocate the next licence in late March.
In a statement made to the newspaper, SFG said it would “pursue the building of a creative services platform” for the new brand along with its partners.
SFG is headquartered in Seoul and already runs one of the largest banks in South Korea, in addition to providing a range of other financial services in its home and international markets.
Viva Republica’s Toss launched as a peer-to-peer money transfer app, but has since expanded into other mobile financial services.
The company’s own figures show it has more than 8 million users in South Korea and processed $17 billion worth of transactions in 2018.
Viva Republica has a number of huge international backers including the investment arms of PayPal and Qualcomm.Subscribe to our daily newsletter