By Jun Ji-hye
Kakao Pay will launch its own mobile app this month and offer insurance and other new financial services to expand its presence in the fintech market, the head of the company said Monday.
Kakao Pay, a fintech subsidiary of Kakao, the operator of the nation's largest mobile messenger KakaoTalk, has so far offered its services within the KakaoTalk platform since its launch in April 2017.
This has helped the fintech subsidiary attract a considerable number of customers as users did not need to install a separate application to use the firm's services.
Kakao Pay CEO Ryu Young-joon said the firm has decided to launch its own mobile application now as a variety of services are being added.
"Users have had to open the KakaoTalk app and select one of the menu items to use services of Kakao Pay," Ryu said during a media conference held in Seoul. "There has been growing demand for the Kakao Pay's own application. The Kakao Pay app will improve access to our services."
Ryu noted users will still be able to use the firm's services through the KakaoTalk platform even after the firm's own app is launched.
Kakao Pay held the media event on the occasion of the second anniversary of its launch.
The company has offered services such as mobile payment, remittance and investment.
Ryu said his company will continue to enhance those existing services, noting that its payment service will be connected to credit cards soon.
"We are also working to add a cross-border payment service so users can make payments through Kakao Pay without requiring currency exchange in foreign countries," he said.
New features the firm plans to add include delivery and insurance services.
Ryu said users will be able to have things delivered as easily as sending a message to friends, once the firm's delivery service is launched within the first half of the year.
The upcoming insurance service will allow users to compare many kinds of insurance products through the Kakao Pay platform, helping customers to make informed choices.