SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Mobile payments at South Korean convenience stores have more than doubled this year thanks to the greater use of smartphones and the expansion of mobile settlement services, a market player said Tuesday.
South Korea’s top convenience store chain CU said the number of so-called easy mobile payments at its outlets soared 121.5 percent on-year in the first 10 months of the year.
Convenience chain operators in Asia’s fourth-largest economy adopted the easy mobile payment system in 2011, but the service started to take off last year.
The percentage of mobile payments out of total settlements at convenience stores expanded to 3.5 percent this year, compared with 1.9 percent last year and 1 percent in 2015.
“The number remains in the single-digit range, but the easy mobile settlement system has been growing at an exponential pace,” a CU official said.
Currently, CU allows customers to use Samsung Electronics Co.’s Samsung Pay and 19 other payment tools at its stores.
Samsung Pay accounted for 85.5 percent of CU’s mobile settlements during the January-October period, followed by Kakaopay with 4 percent and LG Pay with 2.8 percent.
Industry sources said retailers in South Korea have been ramping up efforts to develop their own mobile payment platforms as more tech-savvy consumers turn to their smartphones for settlements, industry sources said,
Approximately 7 in 10 South Koreans are known to own a smartphone, the fourth-highest smartphone penetration rate in the world.