Kakao Pay secures management rights in S. Korean insurance technology company

By Park Sae-jin Posted : July 10, 2019, 11:33 Updated : July 10, 2019, 11:33

[Courtesy of Kakao Pay]

SEOUL -- Kakao Pay, a digital payment subsidiary of South Korea's web service giant Kakao, has acquired a controlling stake in Inbyu, an online insurance purchase platform.

Kakao Pay said in a statement on Wednesday that it acquired Inbyu to create synergy in online and mobile insurance platform businesses. The insurance technology (insurtech) startup, founded in 2017, provide reasonable insurance packages. Financial and other terms were not given.

In January, Kakao Pay formed strategic ties with Inbyu to provide tailor-made travel insurance packages. Subscribers can select insurance terms for possible accidents instead of accepting one industry-standardized package that bundled all accident causes together and overcharged subscribers.

Kakao Pay has disclosed plans to launch a "mini-insurance" product service through its digital payment platform. Currently, one-stop mobile banking and digital payment platforms provide easy insurtech services, which use biometric information for quick and easy authentication.

Without the hassle of visiting insurance company officials for consultations, tailor-made mobile insurance services gained popularity because of simplified application and affordable prices, which are about 30 to 40 percent cheaper than insurance products purchased through insurance planners.

To boost digital banking and payment industries, South Korea will soon test an open banking system in October. Financial authorities designated 18 commercial banks, including two online-only banks. Open banking will allow users to gain access to mobile banking services without using dedicated banking apps. Financial information such as transaction records will be shared by banks and will be available for fintech and insurtech firms for one-stop services.

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