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Korea's best digital bank 2021: kakaobank

kakaobank

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Yoon Ho-young, kakaobank.jpg
Yun Ho-young, kakaobank

Even in a land of hyper-savvy digital offerings, kakaobank remains an overachieving standout.

In August, CEO Yun Ho-young’s bank held South Korea’s splashiest initial public offering in years, raising about $2.2 billion. Immediately, kakaobank became Korea’s largest financial company by market capitalisation. Once it began trading, the internet-only bank’s market cap topped W30 trillion ($25 billion), surpassing traditional lenders KB Financial Group and Shinhan Financial Group, both of which have long been the dominant financial players.

But that’s not the 2021 highlight which Yun and his team are most keen to discuss. Instead, it’s the fact that by the end of August, kakaobank’s customer base had swelled to 17.17 million, or roughly one in three Koreans.

Yun rattles off a series of data points, each more impressive than the other. Case in point: every eight seconds one person signed up for kakaobank. It is also far and away the most popular financial mobile app in the country with 14 million monthly active users.

Steady