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(LEAD) S. Korea opens special fintech platform

All Headlines 16:32 August 30, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS more info in 4th para; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea launched an "open platform" Tuesday to assist financial institutions in developing financial technology, called fintech, a government agency said, adding the system is the first of its kind in the world.

It is designed to offer standardized financial transaction programs involving all major banks and securities firms in the nation, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC). An application programming interface (API) is used for that.

The platform would serve as a direct communication channel between fintech developers and financial services operators and also play a role as a testbed for new services, the state financial regulator said.

It is expected to help shorten the time needed for the development of a fintech app from three years to a few months.

"The establishment of such a joint open platform by financial circles is the world's first attempt," the FSC said in a statement.

In an address at the opening ceremony at the Fintech Center in Bundang, just south of Seoul, the FSC's head Yim Jong-yong also described it as the "cornerstone" for South Korea to become a global leader in the fintech field.

Fintech companies, he stressed, will be able to develop stable and convenient services through the platform more easily and quickly.

"As the Seoul-Busan Expressway, which opened in the 1970s, served as the cornerstone of (South Korea's) dazzling economic development, the joint fintech open platform of the financial industry that opened today will be the cornerstone of South Korea's leap into a leading nation in global fintech," he said.

The system was developed after years-long efforts spearheaded by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute and Koscom Corp., a technology developer for brokerage houses.

A total of 16 banks and 25 securities firms here participated in the initiative in partnerships with fintech companies.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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