Monday, 22 April 2024

GLN adds Saipan to cross-border QR payment ecosystem

5 min read

By Foo Boon Ping

GLN’s portfolio of mobile payment services spans developed and emerging-market economies in the US Pacific territory of Saipan, and Asia

GLN International, the cross-border financial services subsidiary of Hana Bank, has been rapidly expanding global partnerships since turning its focus towards cross-border quick response (QR) payments.

Kenneth Kim, CEO of GLN, has been leading the new subsidiary since its inception in July 2021 to provide customers with what he sees as a more innovative, convenient, and efficient global mobile payment option.

GLN recently announced the launch of its mobile service in the US Pacific territory of Saipan with various promotions and discounts at duty-free and convenience stores in Saipan, neighbouring Guam, as well as Taiwan. Saipan is the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands.

GLN’s cross-border mobile payment services are available on Hana Bank’s mobile app Hana 1Q, Hana Card’s Hana Money, and Viva Republica’s Toss. The expansion into Saipan brings the total number of countries and territories where GLN’s services are available to nine, including Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

In March 2023, GLN announced that it had successfully secured strategic investments from four domestic and international institutions: South Korea’s KB Digital Platform Fund, Kakao Pay, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and Taiwan’s Taishin International Bank. The investment was estimated at KRW 19 billion ($14.37 million)—a nod towards GLN’s potential for success despite the current economic downturn.

GLN has been forming partnerships with domestic and foreign financial institutions since it was spun off from Hana Bank as a subsidiary. The bank first introduced GLN in April 2019 as a global loyalty programme to provide rewards and benefits to its customers. Its business model has since attracted potential alliances and investment opportunities from various global financial institutions and digital platforms, which may help to improve its coverage and service quality.

According to Kim, the participation of domestic and foreign super-app operators is crucial to expanding the global QR financial ecosystem. Through the formation of alliances, GLN plans to increase payment coverage and related activities.

Institution: GLN International, KB Digital Platform Fund, Kakaopay, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Taishin, Hana Bank
People: Kenneth Kim
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