Contactless Payments in South Korea

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17 June 2010
KyongSun Kong
It would not be an exaggeration to say that contactless payments have reached masses in South Korea, especially in and around Seoul. South Korean contactless payments can be used not only for transportation and convenience stores, but also at city municipal offices to pay for various services. In South Korea, there are various kinds of contactless payment devices, including:
  • Cards designed by famous designers
  • Key chain contactless payment devices
  • Bangle devices
  • USB types which can be charged online
  • Whistles for children
Even though there are various fancy contactless payment devices in South Korea, mobile contactless payments are booming since last year. One can frequently see campaigns and promotions for mobile contactless payments on streets as well as near the subway stations in and around Seoul. Celent is currently researching the mobile contactless payments space in South Korea and plans to publish an original report on the topic in Q3 2010. This will be the second in Celent’s mobile payment report series, following an in-depth report on the Japanese contactless payments market published this week. Please see the PR of the Japan mobile payments report at The series will also include a report on mobile payments in China to be published this summer. Finally, we will publish the English version of our recent report on trends in the Korean payment market soon.


  • People around the world today are using smart cards for debit and credit payments. Contactless payment applications are gaining momentum as new contactless devices are being introduced like Secure Contactless Tokens, NFC Stickers etc.As far as on security concern Dynamically generated codes, high encryption standards and biometrics can be employed in the security mechanisms for the contactless devices.

    And very nice and informative news on contactless payment

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