South Korea Payments Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The South Korea Payments Market is Segmented by Mode of Payment (Point of Sale (Card Payments, Digital Wallet, Cash), Online Sale (Card Payments, Digital Wallet)), and by End-user Industries (Retail, Entertainment, Healthcare, Hospitality).

Market Snapshot

South Korea Payments Market Size
Study Period: 2020-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 8.14 %

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Market Overview

The South Korean payments market is expected to witness a CAGR of 8.14% over the forecast period (2022 - 2027). The payment services worldwide are rapidly moving towards adopting mobile payment applications, such as Samsung Pay, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and American Express, to accept and transfer payments, and South Korea is no way behind. With increasing internet penetration and rapid growth in online retailing, this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period.

  • The payment services of South Korea were heavily dependent on the paper-based payment instrument. However, The expansion of e-commerce transactions and the introduction of Internet banking in the country has accelerated the shift toward a further diversification of the range of electronic payment.
  • Many global and local payments players are growing their business in the South Korean Payment market because of the increasing online payment demands from e-commerce websites, which link these players to the global marketplace. For instance, In March 2022, Citcon, a mobile wallet payment provider, announced the expansion of its E-commerce Payments Presence to South Korea and Japan. This expansion will allow the merchants to enter the global market and further expand their offerings to the fastest-growing markets.
  • The rapid increase in smartphone penetration enabling users to pay through different payment apps and online websites has boosted the payment market in South Korea. Various payment players are looking forward to partnerships to further increase cashless payments in the country. For instance, In September 2020, Mastercard Inc announced its partnership with Samsung Electronics and Samsung Card for the launch of the Samsung Pay Card in South Korea. Mastercard’s expansion in South Korea has accelerated digitalization with the boost in the regional economy, propelling the growth of contactless transactions.
  • Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced major shifts in payment behavior by declining the usage of cash payments, switching from in-store to online payment methods, and adopting instant payments. These transitions have created new opportunities for payment players in South Korea.

Scope of the Report

Payment is the transfer of money and goods in exchange for goods and services that the involved parties agree upon. Payment can be made in the form of services exchanged, cash, wire transfer, cheque, credit card, and debit card.

The South Korean Payments Market is Segmented by Mode of Payment (Point of Sale (Card Payments, Digital Wallet, Cash), Online Sale (Card Payments, Digital Wallet)), and by End-user Industries (Retail, Entertainment, Healthcare, Hospitality).

By Mode of Payment
Point of Sale
Card Payments (includes Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Bank Financing Prepaid Cards)
Digital Wallet (includes Mobile Wallets)
Online Sale
Card Payments (includes Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Bank Financing Prepaid Cards)
Digital Wallet (includes Mobile Wallets)
Others (includes Cash on Delivery, Bank Transfer, and Buy Now, Pay Later)
By End-user Industry
Other End-user Industries

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Key Market Trends

Retail Industry to Drive Market Growth

  • The payment market in South Korea is developing with the changing customer behavior. Trends such as mobile payments, internet banking, instant payments, e-commerce, and the growing impact of regulatory agencies are affecting the payment market in the country.
  • Th Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of the e-commerce market in South Korea, and this led to the wide use of online payment sites and cashless payment options. The users found it suitable and easy to use payment methods during online shopping and transactions.
  • The growth opportunity is attracting international companies to launch their business in South Korea, further driving the payment market. For instance, In January 2022, Apple joined Google by allowing third-party developers to offer their alternate payment services for purchases made through the App Store. The two companies are now in compliance with the South Korean Telecommunications Business Act, which refrained the companies due to app payment monopolies.
  • Online retailing in South Korea for various needs like food and beverages, clothing, household items, and others have attracted the market players to expand their business through strategic acquisitions and partnerships. For instance, In May 2022, Carrot, a digital insurance platform in South Korea, announced a partnership with Naver Financial Corp. (Naver) in order to support the distribution of shopping return insurance for the merchants of Naver's online shopping platform, Smart Store.
South Korea Payments Market Trends

Significant Growth in Payment is Expected due to Digital Transformation

  • Digitalization is enhancing processes by leveraging digital technologies and digitalized data. It advances efficiency and productivity and reduces costs for a business. Many developed and developing countries, including South Korea, are adopting digitalization to boost their economy and promote contactless services.
  • The government is taking initiatives in order to boost digitalization in the country because of the growing demand for the country to connect digitally to the world, resulting in a boost in the digital economy. For instance, In July 2021, the World Bank's Digital Development Global Practice launched The Korea Digital Development initiative (KoDi). The three-year initiative will help the low-and middle-income countries accelerate the digital transformation that is data-driven, secure, and green by sharing information on recent reform practices and providing country-specific technical assistance.
  • The government has also partnered with IT companies to further advance and develop the digital infrastructure. For instance, in April 2021, Cisco announced its partnership with South Korea's government to accelerate digitalization initiatives. Cisco will invest in 5G, cloud computing, smart factories, and IT skill development through this partnership. The initiative is aligned with the country's digital new deal strategy and the government's Industry - 4.0 policy that will better prepare the economy and south Koreans for the tech-centric industrial revolution.
  • Moreover, in January 2021 South Korea Government announced to spend 12.7 trillion won (USD 11.7 billion) as a part of its digital New Deal program with an aim to foster new technology industries. Furthermore, In 2020 the government introduced an ambitious stimulus project under the Korean New Deal initiative for an amount of 160 trillion won till 2025.
South Korea Payments Market Analysis

Competitive Landscape

The South Korean payments market is highly competitive and fragmented with the presence of significant market players such as Samsung Group, NaverPay, Toss Payments Co., Ltd, Inc., Apple Inc., PayPal Inc., and MasterCard Inc, Visa Inc., American Express Co. The companies are introducing new offerings and continuously investing in making partnerships and acquisitions along with product development to increase the market share.

  • In January 2022 - NAVER Corp. launched the Commerce Solution Market beta service, which will offer various 3rd party solutions to offer various third-party solutions for SME business operations. The platform helps Smart Store sellers in scaling up their business by partnering them with tech startups to provide a suite of advanced technology services that automate business operations.
  • In December 2021 - South Korea collaborated with the Singapore government across several areas, including cross-border online payments, data flows, and artificial intelligence (AI). The partnership will help the countries establish digital trade rules to drive interoperability between digital systems.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2022 - Bhushan International Financial Center (BIFC) announced that it is building a Fintech megastructure with a focus on innovations like metaverse and blockchain technology.
  • In May 2021 - South Korea's central bank announced the building of a pilot platform for a digital currency, moving a step closer to developing a central bank-backed digital currency. The development will finish by the end of 2025.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Stakeholder Analysis

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness- Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    4. 4.4 Evolution of the payments landscape in the country

    5. 4.5 Key market trends pertaining to the growth of cashless transaction in the country

    6. 4.6 Impact of COVID-19 on the payments market in the country


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

      1. 5.1.1 High Proliferation of E-commerce, including the rise of m-commerce and cross-border e-commerce supported by the increase in purchasing power

      2. 5.1.2 Enablement Programs by Key Retailers and Government encouraging digitization of the market

      3. 5.1.3 Growth of Real-time Payments, especially Buy Now Pay Later in the country

    2. 5.2 Market Challenges

      1. 5.2.1 Lack of a standard legislative policy remains especially in the case of cross-border transactions

    3. 5.3 Market Opportunities

      1. 5.3.1 Move towards Cashless Society

      2. 5.3.2 New Entrants to Drive Innovation Leading to Higher Adoption

    4. 5.4 Key Regulations and Standards in the Digital Payments Industry

    5. 5.5 Analysis of major case studies and use-cases

    6. 5.6 Analysis of key demographic trends and patterns related to payments industry in the South Korea (Coverage to include Population, Internet Penetration, Banking Penetration/Unbanking Population, Age & Income etc.)

    7. 5.7 Analysis of the increasing emphasis on customer satisfaction and convergence of global trends in the South Korea

    8. 5.8 Analysis of cash displacement and rise of contactless payment modes in the South Korea


    1. 6.1 By Mode of Payment

      1. 6.1.1 Point of Sale

        1. Card Payments (includes Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Bank Financing Prepaid Cards)

        2. Digital Wallet (includes Mobile Wallets)

        3. Cash

        4. Others

      2. 6.1.2 Online Sale

        1. Card Payments (includes Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Bank Financing Prepaid Cards)

        2. Digital Wallet (includes Mobile Wallets)

        3. Others (includes Cash on Delivery, Bank Transfer, and Buy Now, Pay Later)

    2. 6.2 By End-user Industry

      1. 6.2.1 Retail

      2. 6.2.2 Entertainment

      3. 6.2.3 Healthcare

      4. 6.2.4 Hospitality

      5. 6.2.5 Other End-user Industries


    1. 7.1 Company Profiles

      1. 7.1.1 Naver Corporation

      2. 7.1.2 Visa Inc

      3. 7.1.3 American Express Company

      4. 7.1.4 Samsung Pay.

      5. 7.1.5 Toss Financial Services Private Limited

      6. 7.1.6 PayCo (NHN Corp.)

      7. 7.1.7 kakaopay corp.

      8. 7.1.8 Rapyd Financial Networks Ltd

      9. 7.1.9 Mastercard Inc

      10. 7.1.10 Smile Pay

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The South Korea Payments Market market is studied from 2020 - 2027.

The South Korea Payments Market is growing at a CAGR of 8.14% over the next 5 years.

NAVER Corporation, Visa Inc., Samsung Pay., Toss Financial Services Private Limited, American Express Company are the major companies operating in South Korea Payments Market.

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