Nonghyup Bank has set out to reinforce its fintech capability. It has built an open application programming interface (API) for the first in the S. Korean financial industry.
Consumers of ago-livestock products are soon to be allowed to invest directly in farmers. Nonghyup is preparing a mobile-based P2P (Peer to peer) lending service, through which consumers can invest in Nonghyup-guaranteed farmers in the hopes of getting a specific percentage of the farmers’ earnings or a certain share of ago-livestock production.
“It’s possible because 1,133 Nonghyup and Chukhyup Banks, 4,585 branch offices nationwide are discovering, supporting and managing a large pool of excellent farmers,” said Kim Wan-ki, head of Mutual Finance e-Finance Division at the NACF.
Q: Nonghyup’s API is the first of its kind in the industry. What do you expect from it
A: Competition is heating up among Korean and global ICT companies in the financial technology (or fintech) market.
Hence Nonghyup has been building the nation’s first B2B-based financial open platform so as to respond fast and meet ICT companies’ needs for interoperability of various financial services. In other words, our goal is to allow fintech firms to take advantage of Nonghyup’s API in offering customers access to Nonghyup financial services. By doing so, we expect that more ICT companies will launch diverse services that can interoperate with Nonghyup’s financial services.
Q: You seem pretty much intent on smart banking. I’ve heard that you launched NH Fintech Cooperation Center in March.
A: With the popularization of smartphones, more people prefer accessing the Interent via smartphones to via desktop computers. If we failed to adjust to such changes, the competitiveness of banking services could weaken in the financial industry.
The number of Nonghyup Mutual Finance’s smartphone banking customers is approximately 7 million. We are ramping up our marketing activities to raise the number to 10 million by the end of this year.
Q: Many think Nonghyup Bank has a differentiated nationwide network that other banks’ networks cannot compare with.
A: Nonghyup Bank has evolved into one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. 1,133 Nonghyup and Chukhyup Banks, 4,585 branch offices nationwide has a combined deposit received of KRW 252 trillion and loans worth KRW 172 trillion on their books.
Nonghyup Mutual Finance, which runs branches nationwide, is planning to furnish customers with unique personalized financial services through the NH Mobile Bank project.
Q: What’s NH Mobile Bank
A: NH Mobile Bank is a ‘mobile only bank’ that lets customers access all the banking services and other convenient fintech services via smartphones anywhere anytime.
Its major services include Nonghyup’s own fintech services (e.g. My Account, Non-face-to-face Simple Loan, Simple Wire Transfer), Nonghyup-fintech firm partnership services (e.g. simple payment services, personal finances management, P2P loans, cloud funding). By offering such services, we look to create an innovative fintech ecosystem where customers, fintech firms and Nonghyup can prosper harmoniously.
Fintech services unique to Nonghyup Mutual Finance, such as farm produce P2P lending, are also in the pipeline. Smart Finance Center and NH Fintech Open Platform are scheduled to be set up at the end of this year. And NH Mobile Bank will be successfully launched.
Q: There’s a keen interest in farm produce P2P lending.
A: We are trying to come up with a strategic farm produce P2P lending service as part of the NH Mobile Bank project. When farmers need money to grow crops and process agricultural products, they can get funds directly from a great number of individuals though our farm produce P2P lending service.
Even though we have yet to officially launch the service, the introduction of such a service was spread by word of mouth. Many consumers, especially house makers, are showing an interest in the service. As we design a farm produce P2P lending service whereby consumers become producers, it is expected to catch on just like backyard vegetable gardens became popular in cities.
We are fully committed to joining hands with customers and fintech firms in introducing fintech to the nation’s agricultural ecosystem, with a view to making contributions to the nation’s farming communities.