Monday, December 14, 2009

SK Telecom/Hana deal to yield new mobile payment tools

SK Telecom/Hana deal to yield new mobile payment tools: "

South Korean operator kingpin SK Telecom announced its board approved a $343 million proposal to acquire a 49 percent stake in Hana Financial Group's credit card unit, a deal that heralds the introduction of new mobile payment and finance solutions. 'The latest stake purchase in Hana Card came as we plan to promote the proliferation of mobile credit cards and to launch a next-generation payment service,' SK Telecom CEO Jung Man-won said in a prepared statement. 'Through this partnership, we will tap into new areas, such as the telecom-finance convergence market, by maximizing the business synergies of both companies.' According to SK Telecom, it will soon introduce a mobile credit card enabling subscribers to pay for purchases via wireless device as well as access personal banking information.

The Wall Street Journal reports Hana Financial's board approved the sale of the stake last week following seven months of negotiations. Access to SK Telecom's 24 million subscribers should substantially increase Hana Financial's credit card market share: 'A real convergence of telecom and finance seems to be possible via services like mobile banking via wireless Internet as well as mobile (financial transactions) settlement,' said Kiwoom Securities analyst J.M. Ahn.

For more on the SK Telecom/Hana Financial deal:
- read this Wall Street Journal article

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