South Korea’s transportation card industry has seen a dramatic growth in terms of size and technology since it was first adopted in 1996. This month, Korea Railroad Corporation said the coverage of transportation card dubbed “Rail+” is expanded into taxis service, apart from public transportation including bus and subway.
Now, companies are developing new services, which can be compatible with transportation overseas. Unlike conventional thoughts that the card business is only done by large firms, there are many small and medium enterprises working on relevant technologies.
Brain Core, actively pushing ahead with technologies compatible with services in China, is a good example. “We visited CITIC – China’s one of the largest conglomerates – together with the chairman of Giga Korea in a bid to sign a memorandum of understanding for the transportation card business,” said Kwak Chang-geun, chief of Brain Core, in an interview with Korea IT Times.
“With only one card, passengers can conveniently use both nation’s transportation services,” he added. If the service is successfully launched, it would be the nation’s first service, compatible with overseas countries. Brain Core said it has comprehensive technologies including finance, security and membership to better jump into China’s market. This is a surprise move as even the compatibility within the nation took almost seven years because of the complexity of the technologies which include integrated circuit cards, radio frequency terminal and database system.
Industry watchers said Brain Core’s integration technology is also expected to contribute to the shopping mall business being carried out by CITIC.
Last year, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye proposed transportation cards compatible in Asian regions. Some voice concerns that this would require significant investment to overcome technical obstacles. There is a high expectation on Brain Core whether it could successfully make inroads into China’s market.
By Lee Kyung-ho