It is expected that Apple Pay’s Korean services will start by the end of 2022, in collaboration with Hyundai Card, a local credit card issuer.
Experts predict Apple Pay will gain notable popularity over the next few years as more major retailers migrate to NFC due to security concerns. In Korea, 30 percent of smartphone users use iPhones, making it a natural choice for Apple Pay. However, Samsung Pay’s market dominance and the lack of NFC devices will pose major hurdles.
Mobile devices, such as smartphones, emit a signal that mimics the magnetic stripe on a traditional payment card, which is used by most local retailers. Apple Pay, however, uses near-field communication, a wireless technology with a short range.
Hyundai Card partnered with local network firms and payment terminal manufacturers to jointly develop Apple Pay’s NFC payment system as a way to make the most of its exclusive one-year contract with Apple. The company has been trying to break into South Korea’s mobile payment market, but has been unable to do so due to a lack of NFC devices.
As early as December, Hyundai Card plans to offer Apple Pay to retailers with NFC terminals. E-mart 24 and Costco, as well as Starbucks stores, are among the first retailers to adopt the Apple Pay service in South Korea.