SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's three major telecom firms are expanding financial services in cooperation with local banks, industry officials said Saturday, as they try to expand their businesses beyond the telecom sector.
The three firms -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- in recent months introduced various financial services, from deposit products to credit cards, and pushed their "techfin" drive. Techfin refers to an information technology firm leading the creation of financial services with tech solutions, such as big data and blockchain.
SK Telecom said it will launch a deposit product Monday that offers a maximum 2 percent interest rate to its subscribers after joining forces with the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Finnq, a loan brokerage startup.
Last year, the nation's top mobile carrier and Finnq introduced savings account products with DGB Daegu Bank and KDB that offer a maximum 5 percent interest rate.
Last month, SK Telecom partnered with Hyundai Capital and e-commerce platform 11Street to release a loan product for online retailers and made a credit evaluation model using borrower's mobile telecommunications and sales data.
In April, KT signed a partnership with BNK Busan Bank, BNK Capital and Korea Credit Bureau to offer a service through which its subscribers can check financial products related to their mobile communication information.
Using its artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, KT will evaluate users' mobile credit rating, and based on that data, BNK Busan Bank and BNK Capital will offer extra financial benefits.
This week, KT introduced a mobile notification service for insurance information using blockchain technology after signing a deal with KB Insurance.
KT , which owns internet-only bank K-Bank and credit card firm BC Card, has been trying to find ways to improve their financial services using the company's technological know-how.
LG Uplus joined hands with Shinhan Financial Group on big data businesses. It recently partnered with Shinhan Card to release a credit card product for small business owners.
Last year, it released a savings account product with Welcome Savings Bank that offers a maximum 8 percent interest rate to its subscribers.
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