South Korea's Kookmin Bank is to offer customers a customised mobile banking handset through an alliance with wireless operator KTF.
The service, dubbed K-bank, is available on special secure handsets customised to perform banking transactions. The devices will be sold through Kookmin's national branch network.
Users will be able to use the handsets to conduct funds transfers, initiate foreign exchange transactions and perform routine balance enquiries. The K-bank devices also include virtual credit cards for making payments at specially equipped terminals, including public transport.
Other financial services firms adopting the K-bank chip include KorAm Bank and Pusan Bank.
The K-bank system is being run in parallel with Bank On, an existing mobile banking service available through LG Telecom and launched jointly with Kookmin Bank in September last year. In its first three months of operation, Bank On attracted 230,000 subscribers, and averaged 1.2 million transactions per month, encouraging other banks to participate.
A third m-banking service from the country's largest mobile carrier SK Telecom is set to commence operations in March with Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank and Chohung Bank onboard.