Credit Card-Based Authentication for Mobile Payments in South Korea

In Cards
authentication, wireless technology, credit cards, South Korea, commercial services, personal authentication, online, mobile payments, Near Field Communication (NFC), Hankook NFC Co.,

Utilizing the short-range wireless technology used in credit cards, South Korea plans to roll out commercial services for personal authentication for online and mobile payments.

With Near Field Communication (NFC)-tagged credit cards, the government is set to approve the new service which grants users personal authentication. The commercial service is expected to begin late this year.

To read personal information, users have to place their NFC-enabled credit cards at the back of their smartphones. To ensure that the information is genuine during the process, credit card firms and credit appraisal firms will share the information.  The user has to enter the first two digits of the individual’s card’s pin to avoid security concerns when a credit card is lost or stolen.

The government notified the relevant firms, including Hankook NFC Co., of the process to get approval for the so-called “Credit Card NFC Personal Authentication System.” The general manager of Hankook NFC, Mr. Cho Ki-man, said in November or December this year, his company is likely to disclose the new authentication system.

During initial stages, users with credit cards issued by South Korean firms can access the new authentication system. According to Cho, the company is considering to expand their services to credit cards issued by foreign firms.

In the South of Korea, providing various information for personal authentication is crucial before conducting mobile transactions, ordering goods online or subscribing.  For foreigners living or studying in South Korea, it is a hassle because they would have to provide personal authentication online or they would need to have a Korean government-issued resident registration numbers which they don’t.

Information leak is also another concern while keying in personal information. 

The government has created another authentication process called the ‘i-PIN’ to avoid such concerns. The ‘i-PIN’ which stands for Internet Personal Identification Number has been questioned by critics over its credibility.

One of the key obstacle that has been long cited is the personal authentication in Korea’s mobile industry.


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