Toss to fill in financial service industry void in Korea: CEO

By Son Ji-hyoung
  • Published : Dec 5, 2017 - 16:30
  • Updated : Dec 5, 2017 - 16:30
South Korea‘s top financial technology mobile app Toss is poised to fill in “a void in the financial service industry” in the nation, providing users various services ranging from cash management accounts, credit score reviews, peer-to-peer investment and even bitcoin, according to app operator Viva Republica’s chief executive on Tuesday.

“Korea has long suffered a void in the financial service industry,” CEO Lee Seung-gun said in the fintech startup’s first-ever press conference Tuesday. “Toss can address every need for financial services of customers, as financial institutions couldn’t.”

Viva Republica CEO Lee Seung-gun (Viva Republica)
Moreover, the app’s signature domestic wire transfer service, launched in 2015, has also surpassed 1 trillion won ($922 million) in monthly transaction volume, on top of 10 trillion won in volume of accumulated transactions, which Lee called “landmarks.”

As of the third quarter, its wire transfer volume accounted for 5 percent of all of Korea.

“There are growing concerns that Toss’ growth momentum is over, but readings indicate the opposite,” Lee said.

Lee said half of its app users -- 6.5 million in total -- are using Toss for other services than its wiring service that does not require a user’s bank account information.

From September 2016, about 2 million customers have used Toss to view and operate their respective accounts, while 1.5 million users have reviewed their credit scores through the app since February, according to Viva Republica.

Toss has also taken to cash management account, peer-to-peer project financing and bitcoin this year.

Next year, Viva Republica will launch services for recommendations on cards, investment portfolios and insurance products. Through the services, the firm aims to draw 10 million monthly active users.

“We believe Toss has infused customer confidence that other financial services are as easy as the wire service,” Lee said.

All financial services by Toss have been, and will be offered, free of charge, he added.

By Son Ji-hyoung