The Wall Street Journal is reporting that South Korean operator SK Telecom is moving forward with a $343 million proposal to acquire a minority stake (49%) in Hana Financial Group’s credit card unit. If finalized, the partnership could engender a host of new and combined products fusing together both banking and telecom services.
In recent months, SK Telecom, in fact, has been preparing for the forthcoming introduction of a “mobile credit card” that will allow subscribers to enact and complete transactions or similar purchases via a wireless device or through personal banking information. Evidently, the deal now on the table would focus on the ultimate goal of cultivating and promoting the “proliferation of mobile credit cards” and to develop futuristic, next-generation payment models and mechanisms. According to SK Telecom: “Through this partnership, we will tap into new areas, such as the telecom-finance convergence market, by maximizing the business synergies of both companies.”
Following seven months of negotiations, the proposed deal, which could be finalized shortly, will speak to the emerging convergence of telecom and finance, a fusion that could take mobile banking through wireless internet to new frontiers.