South Korea Commerce

South Korea May Make Online Payments More Accessible

South Korea, Commerce, ActiveX, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft, Yoo Hwan-ik

South Korea is thinking of ditching an age-old security policy for authenticating online purchases

If South Korea go ahead and remove the restriction currently in place for online purchases, the ecommerce market in the region could boom.

Currently, anyone living in South Korea who wishes to make an online purchase over the amount of 300,000 won ($277) has to make use of a Microsoft-developed piece of authentication software known as ActiveX. This is a problem because it only works on Internet Explorer, meaning anyone who uses Firefox, Chrome, Safari or any other internet browser, can’t make any big online purchases. It’s an even bigger problem for the growing number of Apple users in the region, as they have no way of accessing Internet Explorer to make their purchase.

So, why the sudden change of heart?

Well, it appears that pressure from South Korea’s consumers has finally been recognised by Korea’s Park Genu-hye government, which means a viable replacement is being considered.

A recent survey shows that nearly 80 per cent of South Koreans hate using ActiveX for their payment authorisation. The two biggest reasons for disliking using ActiveX come in the forms of shopping online, and doing online banking transactions – with 79.7 and 71.1 per cent respectively.

Federation head of industrial research, Yoo Hwan-ik, believes that ActiveX is “a barrier to creative distribution.” And, “if the problem is corrected, Korea can reduce its 720 billion won deficit in the international eCommerce field and boost (the) local online market.”

It seems that pressure has worked too, as the Financial Services Commission in South Korea said that they’d be announcing details on how the regulations could be revised, meaning foreigners and locals could make purchases online without the need for digital certificates.

Either way, it looks like online payments in South Korea will soon be made simpler. Hopefully this’ll help ecommerce grow in the region, perhaps to the same dizzying heights that China has seen in the last few years.

[Image: gpertuz - Flickr]

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