Apple Pay may Launch in South Korea later this month with Partner Hyundai as Samsung and Naver form alliance to Counter Apple Pay
In early February, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Pay will be made available in South Korea starting with Large Stores like KFC, Costco, Lotte Himart, Ediya, Mega Coffee and more." A Yonap report on that same day confirmed that South Korea's financial regulator stated that local credit card firms could now introduce Apple Pay. The official launch was expected to be in the middle of the first half of 2023 (March-April).
Today, a new South Korean Business report claims that Apple Pay could launch as early as the next two weeks. More specifically, Apple Inc.’s South Korean unit and Hyundai Card Co., the country’s first partner for the payment service, tentatively confirmed a plan to introduce it between March 20 and March 27.
Apple is likely to update iOS, its mobile operating system, soon to enable users to register credit cards issued in South Korea in the wallet app for the contactless simple payment service, a source at the local telecommunication industry said. “The iOS update will allow Apple Pay service in South Korea.”
Hyundai Card only at First
The service will be available only with Hyundai Card for the time being as the credit card issuer, the top shareholder of which is Hyundai Motor Co., has priority as the country's first contractor with Apple despite it not being an exclusive deal.
Major department stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants and other credit card affiliates across the country reportedly have near-field communication (NFC) devices for Apple Pay supported on iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and Mac computers. Hyundai Card has been accelerating the installation of NFC devices to card member stores since the FSC’s approval.
Samsung and the country’s online giant Naver Corp. plan to launch a simple payment service that links their services in March to counter Apple Pay. This news was first announced in late February that Naver Pay and Samsung Pay formed a strategic partnership to consolidate their current dominance over the mobile payment market in the country, a move seen as an alliance to keep Apple Pay's potential growth in local markets in check. It is the first time for Samsung Pay to join hands with financial companies, other than Samsung Card.
The partnership between the two top mobile payment players in each domain ― Naver Pay being the number one online payment service company and Samsung Pay being the top offline mobile payment service with 23.5 percent market share in the country ― is expected to create synergy, resulting in increased convenience for service users.