South Korea financial regulator to bolster fintech’s growth

Nurdianah Md Nur

In a bid to boost South Korea's financial industry, the country's Financial Services Commission (FSC) has decided to remove the barriers to the growth of financial technology (fintech).

"I will change the paradigm of regulation on fintech," FSC's chairman Shin Je-yoon told Yonhap News on 21 December 2014. "I will minimise pre-registering requirements, and at the same time clarify liability and maximise consumer protection and information security."

Fintech refers to any technology applied to financial services, ranging from mobile payments and remittances to asset management.

According to Shin, the fintech industry is seeing a growth spike as it meets the demands of the wealthy tech-savvy individuals. Chinese Alibaba group for example, was listed on a U.S. stock market in September last year, backed by the popularity of its online payment system AliPay.

Riding on fintech's popularity, mobile messaging app Daum Kakao Corp recently launched its own mobile payment services called Bank Wallet Kakao and Kakao Pay. These services enable its users in South Korea to transmit money or shop online.

Understanding the opportunities that fintech could bring to the country, the FSC has been focusing on boosting the mobile-based e-commerce market and pushing to remove regulations in related areas to promote IT-finance consolidation.  It promised to remove the compulsory authentication requirements for online purchases and introduce alternative online payment systems to offer foreign shoppers easier access to local shopping malls.