Kakao Pay Corp.’s CEO-elect Ryu Young-joon
South Koreans will be able to dig into the mobile wallet of Kakao Pay to buy merchandise from online markets of China’s biggest e-commerce operator Alibaba under partnership between the two online providers.
Korea’s top messaging operator Kakao Corp. secured $200 million investment from China’s Ant Financial Services Group affiliated to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., to bring together Ant Financial`s 450 million global users with Kakao Pay’s 14 million members.
The newly formed partnership is expected to allow users of Kakao Pay Corp. to make payments on Alibaba’s online shopping mall Taobao and other Alipay-linked shops. Until now, it has been difficult for Korean customers to open accounts with Alipay, but with the partnership, Korean users of Kakao Pay will have better access to Alipay that is widely used in China as an alternative payment tool, an official at Alipay said.
Kakao Pay can also access Alipay’s 34,000 channels of affiliated online and offline stores. Alipay users will also be able to pay at Kakao Pay’s affiliates such as retailers, online shopping malls with their Alipay accounts, which would be appealing to Chinese tourists.
Ant Financial anticipates its partnership with Kakao will expand its global reach by offering its diverse digital financial services through Kakao Pay in Korea.
Ant Financial runs multiple e-commerce services including Alipay, China’s largest online payments platform. Through the mobile payment app, users can book a cab and a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills and make appointments with doctors.
Kakao Pay currently offers services from payment at merchants to bill payment, remittance and membership management. Kakao decided in a board meeting in January to spin off its online and mobile financial transaction unit headed by Ryu Young-joon and tentatively named it Kakao Pay. Ryu will continue to lead the new company after the separation in April.
By Oh Chan-jong
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]