Toss, a banking platform operated by South Korea’s Viva Republica Inc., is seeing a huge demand in its currency exchange service, with the amount exchanged in Japanese yen recording 2.3 times higher than that at the five major commercial banks in the last three weeks. The platform began offering lifetime free currency exchange services in January.
According to sources from the financial industry on Monday, a total of 454.7 billion won ($341.4 million) was exchanged into yen through the Toss platform over the three weeks from January 18, averaging about 21.65 billion won per day.
During the same period, the amount of yen exchanged at the five major commercial banks—KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, Hana Bank, and NH Nonghyup Bank—stood at about 197.2 billion won.
In response to the popularity of the new Toss service, major commercial banks are also considering offering free currency exchange services to maintain and secure customers.
Shinhan Bank plans to launch a new debit card on Wednesday, which offers free exchange services for 30 currencies.
Hana Financial Group has extended its free currency exchange service for 26 different currencies offered through its Travelogue debit card until the end of this year.
Woori Bank plans to conduct a free dollar exchange service event for overseas payment-only accounts in February and launch fee waiver products in the first half of the year.
KB Kookmin Bank and NH Nonghyup Bank are also considering offering free currency exchange services.
Concerns rise, however, over potential cost burdens due to increased foreign exchange transaction volumes.
By Yang Se-ho and Chang Iou-chung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]