Patently Apple was first to report on Apple working on opening an Apple Store in South Korea on December 01 and then a confirmation from Apple follow-up report on January 06, 2017. Now that Apple has begun the process of hiring new staff, getting Apple Pay up and running is next on Apple's agenda for South Korea. A new Korean report published today claims that "Apple's executives had recently held a meeting with South Korean financial authorities, a move that can be viewed as the company testing the waters before fully reviewing a potential launch here."
The Herald's report noted that "Apple's legal director and senior counselor came to Korea in November to have a meeting with financial authorities. They explained Apple Pay's technical operation and security method – tokenization.
A source for the report stated that 'Apple said that they will partner with local credit card companies in the future but did not elaborate on the specific details.'
To start such a mobile payment service in Korea, Apple is likely to have another meeting with the financial authorities to decide whether it will be registered as an electronic financial business operator. Apple is not yet scheduled to have such a meeting with the government.
At present, local card companies forecast that Google's Android Pay is likely to be introduced earlier than Apple Pay in Korea."
What the South Korean tech report failed to mention is that ten South Korean financial tech firms (Fintech) are currently escalating their war against Apple with the Korean Government. While the Australian banks were first to launch their war against Apple, the South Korean Fintech group began their attack on Apple last October.
I would suspect that Apple's legal team were in Korea in November to have a first face-to-face meeting about this impasse between themselves and the Korean financial houses over Apple Pay API's being closed for security reasons. Until this issue is ironed out and/or ruled on by the Government, Apple may not be able to offer customers the convenience of using Apple Pay when they visit the first Korean Apple Store tentatively opening this fall.
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