Regulatory Reviews Delay Apple Pay Launch in South Korea

BY Dave Johnson

Published 5 Dec 2022

Apple Pay Launch in South Korea

Regulators have delayed the Apple Pay launch in South Korea despite reportedly crossing the “ninth ridge” to the market. 

Apple has been working on launching Apple Pay in South Korea for a while now. 

According to a Naver post, the mobile payment platform has already passed the Financial Supervisory Service’s review of terms and conditions. The publication also noted that Apple Pay is crossing the “ninth ridge” in entering the Korean market. 

Indeed, the tech giant has edited some online materials, suggesting that the mobile payment platform could launch in November. For example, the terms of service on Apple’s South Korean site changed in September to include lines about using Apple Pay with the Wallet App. 

Despite the progress, a new report suggests that Apple’s mobile payment platform may not launch in South Korea for another month. A Financial Supervisory Service filing on Monday indicates that the payment service hasn’t been implemented due to an undisclosed delay. 

“The terms and conditions have been repaired,” says the FSS. “But we have judged that there is something to look at separately, so we are discussing more with the department in charge.”

That said, Naver claims that Apple Pay could be available by the end of December or early next year. 

Apple Pay Launch in South Korea; a Game Changer?

By meeting the FSS’s terms and conditions requirements, Apple Pay’s launch in South Korea is practically guaranteed. Moreover, Hyundai Card is set to be the only service support company for mobile payment service in the country. 

That said, Naver points out that Apple Pay may not be a massive game changer. That’s because Samsung still controls more than half of the Korean smartphone market, with Apple owning roughly 34.1 percent. So only 3 out of 10 smartphone users will have access to Apple Pay. 

Be that as it may, the mobile payment platform is still a relevant player in the market. 

Apple Pay’s market share of online payment has grown to 6.21 percent in 2022. Moreover, transactions made via the mobile payment platform account for 5 percent of all card payments worldwide. 

The South Korean launch will further extend Apple Pay’s reach.