S Korea: Internet-only banks turn to unique services to lure customers

The three internet-only banks in South Korea, Toss Bank, K bank, and KakaoBank, have reportedly started introducing unique products and services, such as digital piggy banks, mobile joint accounts, and Tamagotchi-like savings accounts, in order to attract new customers.

Toss Bank saw 3.6 million users register within eight months of its launch in October last year, by launching digital-friendly services and unique savings products, with one of them being a Tamagotchi-like savings account. With it, customers can see a digital pet grow with the deposits they make for six months.

This service was well-received in the country, as the bank opened new 100,000 accounts within 72 hours of the feature’s launch.

Hong Min-take, CEO of Toss Bank, stated that as saving money requires one’s time and patience, the bank wanted to change that waiting into a fun experience by having users raise a cute pet.

The bank is also planning to soon launch a joint mobile account, so that a group of people, like friends, can easily split the bill for their favorite activities.

Meanwhile, KakaoBank, ranked as the top internet-only bank by users, with over 19.13 million customers, introduced various new services and accounts linked to KakaoTalk, the country’s top mobile messenger. As of May, 11.39 million users have opened one of its joint accounts.

KakaoBank’s short-term 26-week savings account saw a high demand on its launch, leading to the registration of 150,000 new accounts within 72 hours. Its piggy bank services, which allow users to make daily deposits of less than 1,000 won on its mobile account, led to the opening of 4.35 million new accounts as of April end.

Although K bank is still behind in offering unique services, it is the only mobile bank in the country with which users can make a real-name account for cryptocurrency trading. In 2020, the bank partnered with Upbit, a Korean crypto exchange platform, and saw its users more than triple between that time to the end of 2021.

These banks have garnered much success on the account of rising smartphone adoption in the country, and by offering user-friendly services to compete against traditional lenders as well.

Puja More

Puja More holds a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune. Nurturing her passion of playing with words however, Puja undertook content writing as a career path and boasts of rich experience in content production, copywriting, and digital marketing. Presently, Puja writes articles on technology, business, and healthcare for playthemusic.biz and a few similar portals.