Korea's Central Bank has outlined plans to pursue a 'coinless society' project by piloting a service that allows customers to receive small change from merchants as a top-up onto a pre-paid card.
The central bank has been ruminating over the plans for the past year. It says that the project will aim to "ease the inconvenience of using and carrying coins and reduce the social costs incurred in their circulation and management".
A survey conducted among 2500 consumers by the a Central bank policy group found that while 62% admitted to carrying coins, almost half of those polled said they did not use them even when they received them as change.
The pilot programme will initially be run among the country's convenience stores, which typically conduct large volumes of small cash transactions and provide customers with top-up services for their pre-paid cards.
Separately, the country's Financial Service Commission is also looking to extend the frontiers of innovation, announcing plans to launch a pilot of palm vein authentication at the point-of-sale, enabling consumers to pay for goods and services at the check-out without the need for showing a physical plastic payment card. The service, dubbed BioPay, will be operated with the support of the major card companies.