Toss Bank kicks off full operation, targeting low-credit borrowers
Published : Oct 5, 2021 - 17:27
Updated : Oct 6, 2021 - 13:08
Toss Bank CEO Hong Min-taek speaks at an online press conference Tuesday. (Toss Bank)

Toss Bank, South Korea’s third internet-only bank, commenced full operations on Tuesday, highlighting its user-friendly financial services that differentiate itself from rivals quickly expanding their presence in the emerging market.

Under the slogan of “New Banking, New Bank,” the online-only lender showcased its convenient deposit banking and loan service fit for as many users as possible, including thin filers with little credit history and low-credit borrowers.

“Even though bank services have evolved from offline-only to offline and online services, there has been little change to the service quality in the sense that it has been designed for the suppliers’ benefit. So we thought of how to bring innovation in the users’ point of view,” Toss Bank CEO Hong Min-taek said in the online press conference.

Unlike other banks that have a wide range of financial products, Hong said Toss Bank offers only three types of products: a deposit service, a loan service and a debit card.

Hong said Toss Bank offers loans not only to borrowers with good credit, but to thin filers who have been neglected from commercial banks.

The reason thin filers have had difficulty receiving loans from commercial banks is that they only use loan data from the borrowers such as previous loan history or their default record on credit cards, according to Hong.

“But Toss Bank has developed its own credit evaluation system, Toss Scoring System, that incorporates both loan data and other data such as bank account transaction history and franchise payment data, that enables thin filers to receive loans from the bank,” Hong said.

According to Cho Min-seok, leader of Toss Bank’s data science team, more than 30 percent of thin filers will be able to use Toss Bank’s credit loan services.

Hong also vowed to offer user-friendly financial services to foreign residents in Korea.

“We understand many foreigners have had problems using online banking services. But we have recently found the legal grounds to offer online self-identification services for foreigners by using the alien registration certificate. We will soon launch the related services,” Hong said.

As for the deposit services, Hong highlighted that users don’t have to subscribe for ordinary savings or installment savings, but simply click on the “savings button” in the Toss mobile application whenever they want to use the services. Both deposit services give an annual 2 percent interest rate with no expiration date or maximum deposit limit.

The Toss Bank debit card that gives up to 46,500 won ($39) in monthly cash returns acts as a One Time Password Banking device on the application, said Hong. When transferring money, users just have to tap the plastic card on the phone to finalize the self-identification process.

Among the 1.1 million people who had registered to open a Toss Bank account, 10,000 were to receive notice from Toss Bank on Tuesday. In the days to come, Toss Bank will open accounts for the remaining applicants.

Chief of Financial Services Commission Koh Seung-beom and Rep. Yoon Jae-ok, chairman of the National Assembly’s National Policy Committee, delivered congratulatory remarks for Toss Bank through the videoconference as well.

Meanwhile, following Toss Bank’s grand opening, online-only lender rival Kakao bank’s stock plunged 8.4 percent to 60,000 won on the same day.

By Byun Hye-jin (