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South Korea takes up mobile banking in big way

The number of South Koreans doing their banking via mobile devices jumped 24% from a year ago and now makes up more than half of the country’s estimated 93.4 million internet banking accounts. According a report from the Bank of Korea, the country now has 55 million mobile banking users. The central bank said transactions on mobile devices increased 6.6% in Q2 to an average of 29.4 million per day. Mobile users, however, are generally checking their bank accounts rather than making larger payments and transfers. Only 4.8% of the total value of internet banking transactions was done by mobile devices, which account for 46% of all internet transactions. Transfers by mobile devices made up about 9% of a bank’s total business. With nine out of ten transactions now done online, according to Citibank Korea, many banks are closing down branches. Shutting a single branch can save almost $1 million, a Citibank Korea labour union estimates.

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