Won: first mobile payment platform
●Company name: Won Corp.
●Service name: Smartpay
●Founder and CEO: Park Jung-chual
●Age: Smartpay was launched January 2012
-150,000 registered users
-10 million transactions, valued at 60 billion won or about $50 million by the end of this year
- Now 0.1 percent market share in mobile payments, and it is projected to grow 10 percent by 2015
●Monetization model: Fees from credit card companies collected for every transaction made by the users but so far only in conjunction with Hana SK card
Excerpts from interview with CEO
Q. Please introduce your company and the service.
A. We’re a platform business for making mobile payments, our service Smartpay acts like a mobile wallet from start to finish.
Once you download the app for free — on an iPhone or Android device, whether you’re at a gas station or shopping online, you open the app and scan it just like you’re paying for a bottle of water at the store, then the transaction is charged to your credit card.
We’re the first to provide the interface on a mobile platform to work in conjunction with credit cards, merchants and consumers, and we took out the telecom companies from the picture.
It’s also different from Near Field Communication or NFC technology, which requires an NFC-enabled device at every store, the main reason why that system has not sprung yet.
Q. What has been the most surprising?
A. We expected some potential in the mobile payment business but when the big companies, even possible rivals such as Danal and Duzone approached us first for a partnership, it was a surprise and promising.
Q. Future plans?
A. Because we provide a platform, the business can branch off to many sectors.
We’re working with advertisers to offer coupons on smartphones based on the users’ location and transaction information.
We have also partnered with many app providers such as Bartong and Duzone to offer services like mobile bar code coupons and bill payment services.