In an effort to nurture the budding online commerce community of South Korea, PayPal announced that on Feb. 12, it will have a website and call center in the Korean language, according to Korea Joongang Daily.
The company is looking to provide a cheaper payment service to the Korean market compared to existing local services that tend to have higher fees for payment processing, as financial technology has grown in interest worldwide. PayPal is also looking to support a thriving online shopping market in the country that is frequently used to buy foreign goods without paying the import tariffs associated with them elsewhere. With the addition of the website and call center, PayPal representatives hope more Korean overseas shopping can grow thanks to help in the native language of the country.
There are some hang-ups though regarding the new service. By Korean law, PayPal is not authorized for internal purchases, so the service will remain limited to just direct overseas purchases. It is still usable with all major Internet browsers, and will still store international credit card accounts and bank numbers, but it will largely be used on retail sites like Amazon to buy international goods.
PayPal will also be increasing its presence in a country where local data security still lags behind other nations. As of last December, no Korean payment card company was currently developing its own tokenization system to protect card and account information. Some industry insiders worry this will put local carriers at a disadvantage at a time when tokenization enters the mainstream for payments, and PayPal’s increased entry into the market, with its own secure payment processing software, can both supply the need for secure online payment as well as put downward pressure on the costs of processing fees among current card carriers, as suggested by the Credit Finance Association of Korea (CREFIA).