Korean card issuer pioneers new mobile services
Credit card issuer plans to roll out new mobile-based services to its customers including coupons for money off at major retailers.
Hana Card, the credit card unit of Korea-based Hana Financial Group, will start the services in March in partnership with local wireless operator SK Telecom.
Hana Card customers will be able to check the latest specials and receive coupons for purchases at big discount retailers via SMS messages sent to their cell phones when they visit the retailer. In addition they can then pay at the POS using their phones instead of plastic cards and also use their handsets to apply reward and loyalty cards to the purchases.
The new services will increase competition among local credit card issuers, which see mobile-based features as an important means of attracting new customers and making the purchasing of items easier.
As part of the new offerings, customers will be able to make purchases without credit cards by placing their phone over a pad that reads credit card information contained on the device.
Several Korean telcos already allow users to make purchases via cell phones, with the cost added to their monthly bills. However the Hana new is new in that it offers text message updates on discounts and limited-time sales underway at the stores the customers are actually shopping in. The service is enabled by the wireless operator’s global positioning system, which recognizes the user’s current location.
Hana is yet to announce which retailers and companies will be included in the new service.