A foreign customer listens to an explanation of the KB Welcome service, tailored for expatriates here, from a teller in a branch of KB Kookmin Bank. / Courtesy of KB Kookmin Bank
By Kim Tae-jong
KB Kookmin Bank is looking to improve services for foreign customers here to meet demand from the growing number of expatriates in Korea.
The lender last year launched tailored deposit service for expatriates called "KB Welcome," as the number of foreign customers topped 1 million last September.
This includes a call center and automated teller machine (ATM) which provide services in customers' mother tongues.
Those using the KB Welcome service are exempted from paying various commission fees such as transfer fees and ATM usage fees after business hours. They can also get a 50 percent reduction in fees for exchange and overseas transfers.
To reduce the inconvenience from the language barrier, the lender's call center (1599-4477) will offer services in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Russian.
The ATM services will also be offered in nine languages. Brochures and guidebooks for financial services for foreigners are also written in various languages, including "How to Bank with KB."
For expatriates who visit the lender's branches, translation services are also offered in five different languages through a conference call system involving a customer, teller and translator.
Along with services for individual expatriates, the lender also launched another special call center (1599-4477) on April 17 to attract foreign investors and firms. Its service is available in English and Japanese.
It offers useful information to foreign firms such as legal advice on foreign direct investment and other tips for foreign businessmen who want to start up a new business. The lender has also published a guidebook titled "Business Start-up with KB."
"We will keep developing new services for foreigners here so that they feel comfortable just like Koreans," a KB Kookmin Bank official said. "We plan to develop KB Kookmin Bank into a true global lender so that our foreign customers here want to use our services even after leaving the country."