Korea Telecom releases ‘all-in-one’ smart card

KT has released its all-in-one smart card, combining up to 21 payment methods in one digital card.

Users can register not just their credit and debit cards, but also memberships and transportation cards into the CLiP CARD, the company said in a press conference, Tuesday.

The device comes with a 1.3-inch light emitting diode (LED) display and two buttons, allowing users to select one card before making payments. The display also shows basic card information such as membership barcode numbers and transportation card balance.

The new product comes at a time when many customers feel confusion over numerous new payment methods with the rise of smartphones, KT said.

It is true smartphones are replacing traditional payment methods such as credit cards and cash at a rapid pace, but most people still rely on those conventional payment methods. On top of that, there have been growing calls for a unified smart platform to make payments easier, regardless of type of operating system (OS), smart device or app.

Users of BC Card, Lotte Card and Hana Card can register their cards into the CLiP CARD, KT said. The mobile carrier added it plans to sign partnerships with all the card companies here by the end of this year.

“We will attract more than 300,000 subscribers for the new digital card this year,” said Kim Hyung-wook, vice president at KT’s platform business unit. “By 2020, we expect CLiP’s annual transaction volume will reach 27 trillion won ($23.9 billion) with 2 million users.”

Target customers for the digital card are those in their 30s and 40s, who KT says have purchasing power and easily accept new services or technologies. Women in their late 20s are the next target for the service, as they tend to be more sensitive to reasonable consumption and membership services, KT said.

The CLiP CARD is also equipped with a lithium-ion battery. It takes about an hour and a half to completely charge, which enables users to use the card for about three to four weeks without battery problems, according to KT. The CLiP CARD comes with a price tag of 108,000 won.

KT has a strong foothold as a telecommunications giant in Korea. But in recent years, the company has sought to turn itself into the nation’s leading network and platform giant, citing market saturation in the conventional wireless business.

In particular, financial transaction is one of KT’s five next growth areas along with media, smart energy, new corporate values and public safety.

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