Payments in South Korea - (COVID-19) Impact Snapshot

Payments in South Korea - (COVID-19) Impact Snapshot


The Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak, dubbed COVID-19, is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting millions of people globally. The contagious Coronavirus, which broke out at the close of 2019, has led to a medical emergency across the world, with the World Health Organization officially declaring the novel Coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

South Korea’s GDP has been revised downward for 2020 due to the economic disruption caused following the outbreak of Coronavirus. There has been a sharp rise in the cancelation of flights, hotel bookings, and major upcoming events.

Furthermore, in an attempt to avoid contraction in the overall economy, the Bank of Korea reduced its benchmark rate on March 16 from 1.25% to 0.75% - a 50-basis-points cut. This move will encourage consumers to take new credit, thereby driving spending.

This report focuses on the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on both the economyand the cards and payments industry in South Korea. Based on our proprietary datasets, the snapshot provides a detailed comparison between pre-COVID-19 forecasts andrevised forecasts of total payment card, debit card, and credit and charge card transactions by value and volume. It also offers information on measures taken by the government to combat Coronavirus.


  • The steep dip in consumer spending, particularly in sectors like travel and tourism, has impacted the payments industry. According to Korea Tourism Organization, 1.27 million visitors visited South Korea in January 2020, down by 180,000 compared to December 2019.
  • The drop in overall consumer spending during this crisis has been partially offset by a rise in online spending, as wary consumers are staying home and using the online channel to avoid exposing themselves to disease vectors.
  • The use of mobile phones for purchases of essential commodities has become even more widespread in South Korea, driving a faster-than-expected rise in the use of mobile wallets such as Samsung Pay, Naver Pay, and KakaoPay.
Reasons to Buy
  • Make strategic decisions using top-level revised forecast data on the South Korean payment industry.
  • Understand the key market trends, challenges, and opportunities in the South Korean cards and payments industry.
  • Receive a comprehensive insight into payments market in South Korea.

COVID-19 Update
Impact Assessment
Total Payment Card Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Debit Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Credit and Charge Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Job Analysis
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