Korea's SK Telecom has agreed to purchase 49% of mobile money venture Hana Card for 400 billion won ($346 million).
With the deal, the operator will become Hana Card's second largest shareholder after majority owner Hana Financial Group, Korea’s fourth largest financial firm.
Hana spun off the card business a month ago and has a share of the local card market of less than 4%, Bloomberg reported.
“The partnership is aimed at introducing and expanding the use of mobile credit cards while promoting next-generation payment and settlement services,” SK Telecom CEO Man-Won Jung said.
SK Telecom said it planned to introduce mobile money services based on Hana Card's offerings in the second half of next year.
Hana’s smartcards allow users to pay for items using cash or credit from their mobile phones. Customers can also carry out secure banking services via their handsets.
The service comes bundled with marketing promotions, such as location-based ads and discount offers.