Seongnam expands South Korea’s blockchain payment program

The Silicon Valley of South Korea takes its work with blockchain technology a step further

Image of Pangyo Tech Valley in Seongnam, South Korea
The goal of Seongnam’s project is to make the city’s existing blockchain tech more accessible to older residents

Seongnam, a major satellite city in South Korea, is working on expanding its present blockchain-powered payment program by issuing new digital gift certificates.

Kyunghyang Shinmun, a major media outlet in the country, reported that a mobile app named the Chak app will control Seognam’s blockchain infrastructure. The app will be developed by the Korea Minting and Security Corporation (KOMSCO).

The goal of the Seongnam project is to make the city’s existing blockchain system more accessible for elderly and middle-aged residents who are not familiar with the technology. The project is also working on strengthening the use of contactless payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, news companies have reported there will be three digital gift certificate types used at 45,000 card merchant locations throughout the city. The different types represent cash, check cards and mobile cards.

This new project would allow customers to bypass the existing mobile Seongnam Sarang gift certificate payment method, such as scanning the merchant’s QR code, entering the product value and authenticating a simple password.

The highlight of Seongnam is known for its Pangyo Tech Valley. This is an IT complex that houses the headquarters for many of South Korea’s high profile tech companies, like Kakao Group, AhnLabs, Nexon and SK Telecom.

Another blockchain project currently underway in the country is the development of a blockchain-based toll payments system across the nation’s highways.

One of the biggest commercial banks in South Korea, KEB Hana Bank, will be working with the Korea Expressway Corporation — a state-backed highway operator, to make the project a reality.

It is expected to launch before the end of the year and will connect the Hana One Q, the KEB Hana’s smartphone banking app. Motorists will be able to arrange their toll payments, defer them and receive toll-free refunds.

“We will continue to expand customized non-face-to-face (contactless) services to the public by applying blockchain technology, which is part of the Korean version of the digital new deal policy to lead the global economy after the coronavirus,” the head of the sales division at the Korea Expressway Corporation, Kwang-Ho Lee, commented.

The South Korean Government also has plans to invest over $48.2 billion in blockchain, as well as other industry 4.0 technologies by the year 2025. The government’s goal is to encourage the digitisation of all industries, which it hopes will prepare the country for the coming post-pandemic era.

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