Kakao and Apple Show Link Between App Permeation and Subscriptions

Mobile Payments

On Oct. 20, Apple officially launched Apple Pay, placing its stake in the burgeoning mobile payment market. This movement towards wallet-free disbursement gains momentum in Asia as well, with the recent introduction of Kakao Pay in South Korea.

“Payments is a huge business. Every day between credit and debit we spend 12 billion dollars. That’s over 4 trillion dollars a year, and that’s just in the United States,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, at an Apple convention last month. “That’s 200 million times we scramble for our credit cards and go through what is a fairly antiquated process.”

Apple Pay has been met with active reception, unlike Google’s Google Wallet, which actually launched in 2011. The disparity in fervor may be explained by statistics – over 40 percent of U.S. smartphone users own and use iPhones.

Daum Kakao Corp.’s mobile payment app Kakao Pay also demonstrates a similar relationship between app permeability and subscription. Daum Kakao Corp. launched Kakao Pay on Sept. 5. Less than two months in, the company already boasts over 1.2 million subscribers.

Daum Kakao operates South Korea’s leading messenger service, Kakao Talk, which is installed on over 93 percent of all South Korean mobile devices. With the app’s extensive mobile penetration, Daum Kakao had a solid foundation to introduce their newest service.

“Just register the card in your pocket using the Kakao Talk app you already have on your phone, and easily make payments whenever and wherever,” Daum Kakao announced on its blog last month.

Users can register up to 20 credit or debits cards on Kakao Pay, which allows users to make transactions of up to 300,000 KRW (approx. 270 USD) by inputting a password each use. With Apple Pay, users can instantly store cards by taking pictures of them when prompted. The service allows users to make transactions after fingerprint-verification.

Other Asian tech giants like Samsung Electronics and Line prepare to launch their own mobile wire transfer apps in the near future as well.

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