SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – While Kakao is scheduled to offer an online credit card payment service next month, it is considering an “Uber-like” call taxi service as well.
From September, Kakao, the operator of Korea’s largest mobile messenger service, will begin providing credit card online payment service in partnership with nine card companies including Shinhan Card, KB Kookmin Card, Samsung Card, Hana SK Card and BC Card.
With the service, KakaoTalk users can select tentatively named “Kakao Simple Payment” when they purchase goods on online shopping sites. Only with the credit card registration in KakaoTalk, they can start making payments by entering a PIN number in the shopping sites like PayPal and Alipay.
Currently, in order to purchase goods on online shopping sites, customers need to go through complicated procedures such as public key authentication. An official at Kakao said, “As our service can allow users to make purchases without the public authentication, we expect favorable responses from the users.”
In addition, Kakao will offer the “BankWallet Kakao” service, a mobile wire transfer service, in cooperation with 15 commercial banks in Korea. With the service, Kakao users can send the maximum of 100,000 won (US$96) a day among the Kakao friends.
Meanwhile, Kakao is reportedly considering a mobile call taxi service like Uber. As a smartphone app-based call taxi service, KakaoTaxi will assign nearest taxis to the passengers and permit the passengers pay the fare with its e-wallet service. The difference between KakaoTaxi and Uber is that Kakao is assigning licensed taxis to the passengers.
Uber is a private driver service linking nearby vehicles to passengers at the request through the smartphone app users. However, its service raised controversies in Korea as it matches private or rented cars to the passengers. In Korea, any service carrying passengers at a price by private or rented vehicles are illegal.
Another official at Kakao said, “As an information and lifestyle service platform, we are just reviewing the business value of KakaoTaxi. Nothing has been decided as of now.”
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)