SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Starting next month, those who refuse bank-issued passbooks when creating accounts will be exempt from certain fees according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
Bank tellers will present the option for paper-based passbooks (bank ledgers) and customers will make the decision to apply for one or go without.
The FSS expects that the number of applications for passbooks will decrease going forward due to other options like online banking.
The banking industry estimates that issuing one passbook costs anywhere from 5,000 to 18,000 won when accounting for manufacturing and overhead costs.
The recent decision by the FSS is the second step in a tripartite plan to eliminate the 120-year tradition of bank passbooks by 2020.
The first passbook ever issued in the country was by Hansung Bank (now Joheung Bank) in 1897.
Globally, the United States halted distribution of passbooks in the 1990s, and the U.K. in the 2000s. Since 2010, Chinese banks issue passbooks only when specifically requested by the customer.