Naver to make foray into financial service market with new subsidiary in partnership with Mirae Asset

01, Nov. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - Naver, the operator of South Korea's largest web portal, will launch a new financial subsidiary to make a foray into the country's financial business sector by providing a variety of services including bank accounts, stocks and credit cards.

“We will strengthen the foundation of our financial business by expanding the size of transactions while working with Mirae Asset to accelerate the development of competitive financial products that will lead the new market,” Naver CEO Han Seong-sook said during a conference call on Thursday.

According to the web portal operator, it will launch “Naver Financial”, a subsidiary specialized in financial businesses, on November 1. Naver Financial's chief operating officer Choi In-hyuk said that the new subsidiary will basically provide payment services based on e-commerce platforms.

“We plan to release financial products during the next two or three years,” Choi said, adding that Naver Financial will release “Naver Account”, which would work as the company's bridgehead into the financial industry, in 2020. Other financial service products such as stocks and insurance will be released.

Choi said that Naver Financial's services will be closely interlinked with Naver Pay, Naver's digital wallet service for online shopping. Naver launched Naver Pay in a partnership with Shinhan Bank, South Korea's commercial bank, in 2016. The digital wallet service became very popular to become the country's favorite digital payment system.

Regarding the stake relationship with Mirae Asset, Naver Financial's chief financial officer Par Sang-jin said that the two companies are currently in talks on investment. Park said that the size of the investment and the share ratio will be disclosed later.

Kakao Pay, the country's second-largest digital payment service operated by web service company Kakao, provides one-stop simple financial service products such as insurance and loans through Kakao Talk, South Korea's most popular smartphone messenger app with some 44.4 million users.