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Cross-border Ecommerce - The Paypers

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The Cross-Border Ecommerce Community (CBEC) enables Merchants, Payment Service Providers, ISOs and Acquiring Banks to access valuable content about mature and developing markets that can support strategic decision-making. Read more

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Republic of Korea

Main card schemes and alternative payment methods in Republic of Korea

Read below about payment methods and how to increase conversion by offering the most convenient online payment methods when selling goods online in South Korea

More to be found in the Cross-border Ecommerce Report – South Korea

Find out more about online payment methods in South Korea and how to increase conversion here.

Domestic and Preferred Card Schemes
The Korean market is highly penetrated by electronic payments.
A few facts:
- There are over 100 million cards.
- An average of 4 cards per household.
- Total card volume is almost USD 600 billion in purchases.
- Some 76% of retail payments are made with cards, a far higher proportion than in the US.

The familiar Western payments concept of “issuers, acquirers, and interchange” doesn’t exist in South Korea. Each merchant fills out a separate application and is individually approved by each issuer to accept its cards.

There are some 13 card processors that enroll merchants for card acceptance. Merchants are provided with direct connectivity to each of the major issuers.

Sales agents work for the 13 or so card processors to sign up the merchants, install POS equipment, and provide fairly standard services.

Visa, MasterCard and Amex are the most widely accepted credit card types for cross-border ecommerce transactions. In addition to Visa and MasterCard, there are several other card brands operating in Korea – BC Card, Lotte Card, and T-Money.

Alternative Payment Methods

• Money Transfers involves several modes of non-cash payments; this may be in the form of wire transfer, electronic fund transfer or online bank transfer.

• E-Money payment enables users to purchase goods or services online using their “virtual wallet”. Money can be loaded to the user’s e-money account from several sources such as credit card and online bank transfer. E-money can be accessed and stored in a mobile device or an online account.

• Other payment methods include mobile payments and cash payment. Mobile payment in South Korea is dominated by NFC (Near Field Communication) technology that is used to do contactless payments, transfer funds and exchange information. An NFC enabled device such as a mobile phone or smartphone is capable of communicating with a terminal or with other NFC enabled device. Users just need to swipe or scan tags using their NFC enabled devices to terminals or similar device to accomplish these task. The NFC enabled device is linked to the user’s account or e-wallet account where payment or banking details are stored.

Read an in-depth overview (including sources) of card schemes, alternative payment methods, online payment methods in South Korea and how to increase conversion by using the payment methods in the downloadable country report.