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Telcos going increasingly 'contactless' amid pandemic

All News 12:15 July 04, 2020

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean mobile carriers are joining others to go "contactless" in their business by reducing face-to-face services for customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry insiders said Friday.

With the COVID-19 outbreak spurring a stay-at-home trend, telecom operators are eager to serve their customers remotely.

KT Corp., the country's No. 2 carrier, earlier this week unveiled a delivery service for its customers when they subscribe to its mobile service.

When consumers purchase a mobile device on KT's online mall, delivery drivers of Mesh Korea, a local food delivery firm, will pick up the product at nearby KT outlets and deliver it to customers within an hour, according to KT.

A KT Corp. worker hands a package to a Mesh Korea Co. delivery driver as part of the carrier's phone delivery service in this photo provided by KT on July 1, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KT earned government approval last month to use popular authentication mobile apps, such as PASS and KakaoPay, to check the identities of those who purchase new phones and register for its service.

Although the new solution is in the development stages, KT said it will streamline complex authentication procedures in line with growing demand for contactless services.

Other carriers have been also introducing contactless services to cope with the pandemic.

LG Uplus Corp., the country's No. 3 carrier, said last month it will open a clerkless outlet in central Seoul in October.

Customers can purchase USIM cards or change data plans using digital kiosks, minimizing face-to-face contact with others, according to LG Uplus.

SK Telecom Co., the country's top mobile carrier, is also reportedly preparing to open a contactless store this fall.

This photo, provided by LG Uplus Corp. on June 23, 2020, shows digital kiosks that will be used in the company's new contactless store. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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