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S. Korea to allow fintech firms to offer int'l money transfer services

2017/07/12 10:18

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SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- Financial authorities will give permits to fintech firms to provide international money transfer services for small funds, officials said Wednesday, in a move that significantly reduces commission fees on moving money.

About 40 fintech firms are expected to launch international money transfer services from Aug. 15, according to officials at the Financial Supervisory Service.

The move is expected to intensify competition in the 10 trillion-won (US$8.7 billion) international money transfer market.

A one-off transfer via a fintech firm will be limited to $3,000 or less. By an account, an annual limit for international money transfers via fintech firms will be set at $20,000.

Fintech firms will be allowed to use various methods to send money, including pooling, pairing and the digital currency Bitcoin, the financial regulator said.

Industry watchers said fintech firms could offer money transfer services at a fraction of the fees charged by traditional banks at present.

To get a permit for international money transfer services, a fintech firm is required to have a paid-in capital of more than 2 billion won and have a debt-to-equity ratio of below 200 percent.

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