Mobile Wallets Spotlight: South Korea

Over the past 2 years, Southeast Asia has added more than 70 million online shoppers. This growth has in large part been driven by mobile wallet payments, which are accessible to a bigger audience than credit cards and bank-based payments.

One of the most economically advanced countries in the region is South Korea. South Korea’s eCommerce market has widespread and growing mobile payment adoption thanks to smartphone penetration of over 90%.

In addition to a desire amongst Koreans to go cashless, card payments are highly localized, and thus mobile wallets provide an additional option, especially for cross-border purchases.

South Korea is projected to have strong, steady growth in mobile wallet users, transaction volume and value over the next five years:

  • Mobile wallet users: 38M in 2020, forecast to grow to 52M by 2025
  • Mobile wallet ownership: 73% of the population, 98% by 2025
  • Mobile wallet transaction volume: 3.1B transactions, 5.5B transactions by 2025
  • Mobile wallet transaction value: $72.7B, $116B by 2025

South Korea’s mobile wallet landscape: KakaoPay, Naver Pay, Toss & PayCo

South Korea has a thriving, competitive mobile payments ecosystem, with KakaoPay being the clear market leader, followed by Naver Pay. KakaoPay benefits from the stickiness and ecosystem that has developed around KakaoTalk, the most popular messaging app in South Korea, mirroring the success of WeChat Pay in China and LINE Pay in Japan.

Naver Pay, similarly is part of Naver, the well-established and popular search engine & web portal in South Korea. Toss is an up & coming digital bank and mobile wallet, that has been gaining traction amongst competitors.

We forecast the usage of these mobile wallets to grow over the next 4 years as follows:

Mobile Wallet Growth Forecast South Korea
Mobile wallet growth forecast South Korea

Want to launch mobile wallet payments in South Korea? Conclusions

For merchants looking to grow their revenue in South Korea, connecting to mobile wallets to reach online consumers is crucial. If you are looking to launch mobile wallets in South Korea and other Asian countries through one turnkey integration, get in touch.

For more data on mobile wallet payments in South Korea and 20+ other countries, download our Mobile Wallets Report 2021.

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