July 15, 2019 12:42
Online-only Kakao Bank saw the number of clients surpass 10 million last Thursday, just two years after it opened.
It now has around one-third the number of clients as the major commercial banks, whose customers number around 30 million each, profoundly shaking up the competition.
Kakao Bank also achieved its first quarterly profit in the first three months of this year thanks to its young customers. As of the end of June, 69 percent of its clients were less than 30 years old.
One executive at a commercial bank said, "Existing banks worked hard for many years to secure clients, but Kakao Bank achieved the milestone in just two years. Kakao Bank reminded all of us that the future of this industry lies in mobile services."
But Kakao Bank has a long way to go before it rivals commercial banks in size because it lacks the capital.
Kakao Bank's assets totaled W12 trillion as of the end of 2018, which is dwarfed by commercial banks' W400-500 trillion (US$1=W1,179). Also, younger customers typically have less money saved up than major commercial banks' older clientele.
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