Kakao Pay passes 20 trillion won transaction mark for 2018

Chat giant Kakao's mobile payment app surpassed 20 trillion won, or $17.7 billion, in transactions during 2018, cementing itself as the undisputed sector leader in South Korea.

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(Image: Kakao Pay)

Chat giant Kakao's mobile payment app last year was used in over 20 trillion won worth of transactions, the company has announced.

Kakao Pay was launched in 2014 as a mobile payment and transfer service. It has since added QR code, bar code, and offline payment functionalities.

The service surpassed 1 trillion won in monthly transactions during March last year for the first time. This number has continued to increased, with 2 trillion won in monthly transactions by September and 3 trillion won by December.

According to the company, Kakao Pay is being used by 26 million people -- over half of South Korea's population of 50 million -- on a monthly basis.

The mobile payment app accumulated over 10 million users by June, 2016, with that figure rising to 20 million in October, 2017.

The business also received a $200 million investment in 2017 by Alibaba's Ant Financial.

Kakao Pay plans to launch overseas payment this year, it said.

Kakao has been expanding into various business areas to capitalise on its chat dominance within South Korea. KakaoTalk, its chat app, currently boasts over 30 million users locally.

In December, Kakao expanded its taxi-hailing service, Kakao Mobility, to Japan.

It has found the most success in transportation and payment services.

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