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Kakao Bank kick-starts overseas expansion with Superbank launch

June 19, 2024 - 17:49 By Park Han-na
Kakao Bank CEO Yun Ho-young (right) poses with Superbank President Director Tigor M. Siahaan (fourth from left) along with other officials during an event celebrating the launch of Superbank in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday. (Kakao Bank)

Kakao Bank has yielded the result of its first overseas investment, as Indonesian digital bank Superbank officially launched Wednesday.

With the launch, Superbank becomes the first bank concentrating on digital financial services in Indonesia, supported by major shareholders that include Korean internet-only lender Kakao Bank, Southeast Asia's biggest mobility application Grab, Indonesian media conglomerate EMTEK Group and Singaporean telecommunications giant Singtel.

In September last year, Kakao Bank acquired a 10 percent stake in Superbank as part of its partnership with Grab to push its business boundary beyond the Korean market.

“Kakao Bank will contribute to Indonesia’s financial technology development through its mobile fintech capabilities and strategic partnership while expanding its business foothold by establishing a global digital bank network,” the Korean bank said in a statement.

Piggybacking on Grab’s ecosystem with over 35.5 million monthly transacting users, Superbank offers Grab users the opportunity to open accounts, save money and use these accounts as a direct payment method within the Grab app for food delivery and the motorcycle taxi service without having to download an additional app.

"We are very excited to see how people can easily open accounts, save and make payments directly through the Grab app. This feature supports our mission to transform banking in Indonesia with innovative and secure financial solutions,” Superbank President Director Tigor M. Siahaan said.

The banking unit of Korean platform giant Kakao has been advising Superbank on financial products and services, as well as user interface and experience design.

For example, Superbank's first innovative savings product “Celengan” was inspired by Kakao Bank’s existing product that allows customers to save small amounts every day automatically with a high interest rate.

Kakao Bank said it will seek to enhance its understanding of the Southeast Asian market through more active engagement in Superbank’s planning and development process for new products and services.