BankWallet, a South Korean NFC payments service based on pre-paid accounts, has been introduced by a group of local banks.
Launched by Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KFTC), a Korean interbank clearing house, the BankWallet system stores account holders’ credentials on the SIM card.
The BankWallet smartphone application enables users to make financial settlements and P2P money transfers.
The service is backed by 16 banks, according to NFC World.
SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, is offering the NFC service from launch. KT, South Korea’s number two player, is aiming for an April launch.
LG U+, the country’s third mobile operator, is undecided about the service.
Retailers signing up to BankWallet include the Shinsegae retail chain (which operates the world’s largest department store), the Emart convenience store chain, and the Daegu department store.
In addition to NFC payments in stores, BankWallet can be used to make online purchases.
KFTC says BankWallet will be expanded to support credit cards, membership cards and coupons, as well as to enable users to withdraw cash, perform account transfers and pay bills.