Fintech Compliance

All Fintech

Top 15 Fintech Startups in South Korea to Watch in 2024

Feb 27, 2024

·

InnReg

·

21 min read

Thanks to its high internet penetration, a favorable regulatory environment, and an established ecosystem, South Korea has emerged as a preeminent fintech center in Asia over the last few years.

Fintech startups in Korea are poised for significant growth and innovation. With its advanced technology, government support, and a thriving ecosystem, South Korea is set to become a global leader in fintech in Asia.

Here’s why:

  • The digital assets market is predicted to be the largest in 2024, with a total value of $2.3 million in assets under management (AUM). 

  • The projected average AUM per user in the digital assets market for 2024 is $214.10. 

  • Digital asset revenue is expected to grow by 9.09% in 2025. 

  • By 2028, the number of users in the digital payments market is estimated to reach 50.36 million. 

  • The total AUM in the digital assets market is projected to be US$2,356.00m in 2024.

InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing

South Korea Startup Market

One key factor driving South Korea's fintech growth is the country's advanced technological infrastructure. South Korea is known for its world-class telecommunications network, high internet penetration rate, and widespread smartphone usage, with a staggering 97% internet usage base. These factors have laid a solid foundation for developing and adopting fintech solutions. 

As fintech models continue to evolve, startups offer a broad range of products, including digital banking, mobile/online payments, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, robo-advisory, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, digital insurance platforms, and open banking. 

Looking ahead to 2024, we expect several key trends will shape the South Korean fintech landscape, including:

  • rise of digital banking and neobanks, 

  • integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics in fintech, and 

  • blockchain technology.

South Korea Fintech Industry Trends

Explore the top five key trends and developments shaping the fintech industry in South Korea in the near future. 

1. Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain technology has gained significant traction in South Korea. By 2024, we expect to see a more mature and regulated cryptocurrency market, with the government actively promoting blockchain-based solutions for various sectors such as supply chain management, healthcare, and finance. 

2. Digital Payments and Mobile Banking

South Korea has pioneered digital payments, with a high rate of smartphone penetration and a tech-savvy population. By 2024, we anticipate a further shift towards mobile banking, contactless payments, and digital wallets as traditional banking services become increasingly digitized and convenient for South Korean consumers. 

3. Open Banking and Collaboration 

With the implementation of open banking regulations, South Korean banks are opening up their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to third-party fintech companies. This move encourages collaboration and innovation, allowing fintech startups to develop new services and products on top of traditional banking infrastructure. By 2024, we can expect a thriving ecosystem of fintech partnerships and collaborations that provide customers with enhanced financial solutions. 

4. Artificial Intelligence and Robo-Advisory

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the financial industry, and South Korea is embracing this technology with open arms. By 2024, AI-powered robo-advisory services are expected to become mainstream, providing personalized investment advice and portfolio management based on individual preferences and risk profiles. This will democratize access to wealth management services and cater to a wider range of investors. 

5. Regulatory Support and Sandbox Environment

Recognizing the potential of fintech, the South Korean government has been actively supporting the industry through regulatory reforms and the creation of a sandbox environment. By 2024, we can expect more streamlined regulations, a conducive environment for fintech startups to test new ideas, and increased collaboration between regulators and innovators. 

The fintech landscape in South Korea is set for significant growth and innovation in 2024. With advancements in blockchain, digital payments, open banking, AI, and regulatory support, South Korea is poised to become a global fintech hub. As the industry continues to evolve, it will provide exciting opportunities for startups, investors, and consumers, revolutionizing the way financial services are accessed and delivered in South Korea and beyond.

Source: Statista

Leading Mobile Payment Fintech in South Korea Example

Kakao Pay, a subsidiary of Kakao Corporation, is transforming how South Koreans handle their finances. Its services include payments, remittances, and investments. The seamless integration of the popular KakaoTalk messaging app has made transferring money convenient and popular among tech-savvy South Koreans. It also allows users to make payments for groceries, online shopping, and transportation. 

Kakao Pay has expanded its services to include international remittances, making it easier for South Koreans living abroad to send money back home. The platform prioritizes security and trustworthiness with robust security measures and regulatory adherence. 

Kakao Pay's success has made it a leading fintech platform in South Korea. Its user-centric approach and integration with messaging apps have disrupted the traditional banking industry.

The Most Used Payment Platforms in South Korea, 2023

Source: Statista 

With approximately 37 million registered users, Kakao Pay shares the leading user base position among fintech companies in South Korea, sharing Top 3 positions with Naver Pay and Toss. Since its establishment in 2014, Kakao Pay has provided a diverse array of financial services, ranging from digital payments to asset management.

Top Fintech Startups in South Korea

With its advanced technology infrastructure and a highly digital-savvy population, South Korea has become a hotbed for innovative fintech startups, and these startups are leading the way in revolutionizing the financial industry. Let's dive in and discover the innovative solutions they offer. 

Explore the top 15 fintech startups in South Korea in 2024 (listed alphabetically):


South Korea Startup 8Percent

8Percent

Address: 17, Gukjegeumyung-ro 2-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, 07327
Segment: Crowdfunding 

A crowdfunding platform that helps small and medium-sized enterprises looking for funding and investors.


South Korea Startup Aizen

AIZEN

Address: 8F 30 Eunhaeng-ro,  Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, 07242
Segment: Finance, Machine Learning, E-commerce, EV Battery, and Banking-as-a-Service

Offers AI applications tailored for finance. AI engine, ABACUS automates big data analysis for crucial decision-making processes.


South Korea Startup Bank Salad

Bank Salad

Address: South Korea, Seoul, 45 Mapodae-ro
Segment: Robo-Advisor

A robo-advisory platform that offers personalized investment advice based on user preferences and goals.


South Korea Startup Blocko

Blocko

Address: 8 Seongnam-daero 331beon-gilBundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 13558
Segment: Blockchain

A blockchain infrastructure provider that offers scalable and secure solutions for various industries, including finance.


South Korea Startup DeepSearch

DeepSearch

Address: 10, Gukjegeumyung-ro, IFC Two, 15F, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 07326
Segment: B2B financial information services

Allows investors to explore desired datasets and topics for analysis, enabling them to build investment hypotheses and test them without the complexity of traditional approaches.


South Korea Startup Dunamu

Dunamu

Address: 369 Gangnam-daero, 8th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 18th floors (Seocho-dong, A Plus Asset Tower), Seocho-gu, Seoul 06621
Segment: Blockchain, Investment, Asset Management

Dunamu is a unicorn online securities brokerage platform that provides trading services for stocks, options, and futures.


South Korea Startup Fin2B

Fin2B

Address: 484 Gangnam-daero, 5th floor, Seoul, Gangnam-gu 06120
Segment: Financial Supply Chain Management

A supply chain finance platform that connects small and medium-sized businesses with lenders to improve cash flow.


South Korea Startup Finda

Finda

Address: 431 Teheran-ro, 12th floor, Justco Tower, Seoul, Seoul
Segment: Digital Lender

A paperless loan platform using big data. Users can obtain the maximum loan amount and lowest interest rate through their mobile app. The app also enables users to take out loans based on these conditions.


South Korea Startup HonestFund

HonestFund

Address: 24 Yeouidae-ro, Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, The Federation of South Korean Industries Hall, Seoul, Seoul 07320
Segment: Personal Loans, Peer-to-Peer Lending, Alternative Investment, and Alternative Asset Class

A peer-to-peer lending platform that focuses on providing loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

 

South Korea Startup Market Kurly

Market Kurly 

Address: 133 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
Segment: Online Consumer Market

Kurly is a unicorn online store platform, a premium grocery service that offers quality and value.


South Korea Startup Lendit

Lendit

Address: 60 Yeouinaru-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Segment: P2P finance

A peer-to-peer lending platform that connects borrowers with lenders, making lending and borrowing money more accessible.


South Korea Startup MyRealTrip

MyRealTrip

Address: 327 Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, 18F, DaryungSeochoTtower, Seoul, Seoul 136-750
Segment: Marketplace, Travel, and IT

A travel fintech platform that offers various financial services for travelers, such as currency exchange and travel insurance.


South Korea Startup Musinsa

Musinsa

Address: Seongdong District, Seoul, South Korea
Segment: Marketplace

Musinsa is one of the leading unicorn online fashion stores that provides personalized curation for various brands and products. It also helps consumers by designing, creating and interacting with fashion through delivering information to them about the current fashion trends.


South Korea Startup Paymint

Paymint

Address: Rooms 409 and 410, Seoul Forest A Tower, 26 Sangwon 1-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04779
Segment: Blockchain

A blockchain-based payment platform that allows users to make secure and transparent transactions.


South Korea Startup Player

PLAY3R

Address: Seoul
Segment: Blockchain

A blockchain platform designed for Web3 gamers and studios that makes it easier to enter the gaming world, while offering a user-friendly NFT marketplace. Generates revenue through swap fees, NFT commissions, and studio setup fees.


South Korea Startup Saramin

Saramin

Address: #201, 43 Digital-ro 34-gil, Seoul, Guro-gu 08378
Segment: Recruiting Platform

A job search platform that also offers financial services, such as salary advances and personal loans for job seekers.


South Korea Startup Terafunding

Terafunding

Address: 13th floor, SI Tower, 203 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Gangnamgu 06141
Segment: Crowdfunding

A real estate crowdfunding platform that allows users to invest in real estate projects.


South Korea Startup Toss

Toss

Address: Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
Segment: Digital Payment, Digital Banking 

Toss is a unicorn mobile payment app that allows users to easily transfer money, make online and offline payments, and access a variety of financial services. Its user-friendly interface and secure transactions result in  hassle-free mobile banking.


South Korea Startup Wemakeprice

Wemakeprice

Address: 502 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Seoul
Segment: Online Commerce, Payment System

A popular e-commerce platform providing customers with discounted deals on a variety of products and services, from travel packages to electronics.


South Korea Startup Yellow Mobile

Yellow Mobile

Address: Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea
Segment: Digital Marketing

A mobile advertising and marketing company that helps businesses effectively reach and engage with their target audience through targeted mobile campaigns.



These 15 fintech startups are reshaping the financial landscape in South Korea with their innovative technologies and services. Whether it's mobile payments, blockchain solutions, or personal finance management, these companies are at the forefront of the fintech revolution. 

Keep an eye on them as they continue to disrupt and transform the financial industry in South Korea.

South Korea’s Startup and Fintech Regulatory Landscape

The South Korean government has proactively promoted fintech and created a favorable regulatory environment. Recognizing fintech is key to growing the country’s financial industry, the South Korean government is expected to inject further stimulus by doubling its Fintech Innovation Fund to 1 trillion won (>$750 million) throughout 2027. 

In addition, the government implemented various regulatory reforms and initiatives to encourage innovation and facilitate fintech startups in South Korea, making it a country with one of the lowest barriers to entry for startups. 

These reforms and initiatives include the establishment of regulatory sandboxes, simplifying licensing processes, and promoting data sharing among financial institutions.

InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing

Fintech Regulators in South Korea

1. Financial Services Commission (FSC)

The Financial Services Commission is the primary regulator overseeing South Korea’s financial sector. It is responsible for formulating and implementing financial policies, including those related to fintech. 

The FSC promotes innovation and competition in the fintech sector while ensuring consumer protection and maintaining financial stability.

2. Financial Supervisory Service (FSS)

The Financial Supervisory Service is a government agency that supervises and regulates financial institutions in South Korea. It plays a crucial role in overseeing the safety and soundness of the financial system. 

FSS collaborates with the FSC in regulating fintech companies and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. 

3. South Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC)

The KFTC is an independent regulatory body that ensures fair competition in the market. It monitors and investigates potential anti-competitive practices within the fintech industry.

4. South Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KFTC)

This KFTC is responsible for operating and managing the financial telecommunications network in South Korea. It provides a secure and efficient communication infrastructure for financial transactions. 

Fintech companies often rely on KFTC's services to facilitate seamless and secure payments and settlements. 

5. South Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA)

KISA is an agency under the Ministry of Science and ICT that focuses on cybersecurity and protecting personal information. As fintech companies handle sensitive financial data, compliance with cybersecurity standards is paramount. 

KISA provides guidance and support to fintech firms through implementation of robust cybersecurity measures.

6. South Korea Communications Commission (KCC)

The South Korea Communications Commission regulates and supervises South Korea’s telecommunications industry. It plays a crucial role in overseeing the digital infrastructure that enables fintech services. 

Fintech companies often collaborate with telecom operators, and KCC ensures fair competition and consumer protection in this space.

7. Financial Innovation Bureau (FIB)

The FIB is a specialized division under the FSC that focuses on promoting fintech innovation and supporting the development of fintech startups. 

FIB works closely with various stakeholders to foster a conducive environment for fintech growth.

8. South Korea Exchange (KRX)

The KRX is the sole securities exchange operator in South Korea. 

KRX regulates and supervises the trading of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments, including those offered by fintech companies.

9. South Korea Credit Information Services (KCIS)

KCIS manages credit information and credit reporting services in South Korea. 

KCIS ensures the accuracy and privacy of credit data used by fintech companies for credit assessment and risk management purposes.

10. South Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU)

KoFIU is the anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) authority in South Korea. 

KoFIU monitors financial transactions to detect and prevent money laundering and other illicit activities in the fintech sector.

11. South Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC)

The KDIC provides deposit insurance to protect depositors in case of bank failures. 

KDIC promotes stability and confidence in the financial system, which is crucial for fintech industry growth.

12. National Tax Service (NTS)

The NTS is responsible for tax administration in South Korea.

NTS ensures that fintech companies comply with tax regulations and facilitates the collection of taxes from fintech platforms and transactions.


The fintech industry in South Korea has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by technological advancements and a supportive regulatory environment. As the industry continues to flourish, fintech companies must understand the regulatory landscape governing their operations.

The aforementioned regulatory bodies play a vital role in a secure, transparent, and innovative fintech ecosystem.

List of Key Fintech Acts in South Korea

South Korea's fintech ecosystem has flourished due to a favorable regulatory environment that fosters innovation while ensuring consumer protection. With a supportive regulatory framework, the country has seen significant growth in fintech startups and the adoption of digital financial services.

Explore the various regulations and acts that govern the fintech industry in South Korea.

Acts published and regulated by the Financial Services Commission


Special Cases Concerning the Establishment and Operation of Internet-Only Banks Act

  • Enacted in 2015, this act promotes digital banking services and encourages competition in the banking sector. It permits the establishment and operation of internet-only banks, which offer banking services exclusively online, without physical branches. This act has paved the way for innovative banking solutions and increased financial inclusion. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on Credit Information

  • Regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of credit information in South Korea. Fintech companies engaged in credit scoring, lending, or credit-related services must comply with this act while handling customer credit data. It ensures fairness, accuracy, and transparency in credit assessment and lending practices. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Special Act on Financial Innovation Support

  • Fosters innovation in the financial sector by providing regulatory sandboxes and support for fintech startups. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets

  • Governs the provision of financial investment services, promoting fair and transparent capital markets. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality

  • Mandates the use of real names for financial transactions, enhancing security and preventing money laundering. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on Regulation and Supervision of Financial Conglomerates 

  • Regulates financial conglomerates to ensure stability and transparency in the financial system. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Electronic Financial Transactions Act

  • Provides a legal framework for electronic financial transactions, including online payments, electronic signatures, and digital currencies. It sets standards for secure electronic transactions and protects the rights of consumers engaging in digital financial services. Fintech companies offering payment solutions or digital currencies must adhere to the provisions outlined in this act. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on Online Investment-Linked Financial Business and Protection of Users

  • Regulates online investment-linked financial instruments, promoting investor protection and market fairness. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on the Establishment of Financial Services Commission

  • Establishes the Financial Services Commission as the primary regulatory authority overseeing the financial sector. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Act on the Protection of Financial Consumers

  • Safeguards the rights and interests of financial consumers, ensuring fair treatment and dispute resolution mechanisms. 

  • Government Body: FSC


Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information Act 

  • Also known as the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act, this legislation imposes obligations on financial institutions to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Fintech companies operating in South Korea must comply with AML regulations, including customer identification, transaction monitoring, and reporting suspicious activities. This act ensures the security and integrity of financial transactions. 

  • Government Body: FSC and Ministry of Justice


Acts published and regulated by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the South Korea Communications Commission


Act on the Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection

  • This act protects personal information and promotes the secure use of information and communication networks. Fintech companies handling customer data must comply with strict data protection measures, obtain user consent for data collection, and implement robust security protocols. This act safeguards the privacy and confidentiality of individuals' financial information. 

  • Government Body: South Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Ministry of Science and ICT


Act on Electronic Documentation and Digital Signature

  • Recognizes the legal validity of electronic documents and digital signatures, promoting paperless transactions. 

  • Government Body: Ministry of Science and ICT


Acts published and regulated by the South Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC)


Act on Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce Transactions

  • Protects consumers in electronic commerce transactions, ensuring fair practices and dispute resolution mechanisms. 

  • Government Body: South Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC)



These are just a few regulations and acts critical in maintaining financial stability, promoting secure digital transactions, and protecting consumer interests. Adhering to these regulations is vital for fintech companies to thrive in South Korea's rapidly evolving fintech landscape.


Source:
Law Viewer, South Korean Law Information Center

South Korea Startup Ecosystem

Top Fintech Events in South Korea in 2024

As one of the leading nations in technological advancements, South Korea never fails to amaze us with its innovative fintech landscape. If you are thinking about founding a fintech startup in South Korea, consider attending one or several events lined up for 2024.

Seoul Meta Week 2024, ETH Seoul 2024, South Korea Blockchain Week 2024, and Seoul AI Innovation Tour 2024 are some of the key fintech events scheduled in South Korea this year. These events bring together industry leaders, experts, investors, and enthusiasts to discuss and explore the latest trends and developments in the fintech, blockchain, and AI sectors. 

Seoul Meta Week 2024

Date: TBA
Location: Seoul, South Korea

Focusing on Web 3.0, the metaverse, NFT, and blockchain technology will feature presentations, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, and networking opportunities. The festival's main conference, Metacon 2024, will highlight the latest developments and applications within the metaverse. 


ETH Seoul 2024

Date: March 29-31, 2024
Location: Neowiz building in Pangyo, South Korea

Hosted by KryptoSeoul, ETH Seoul is a technical conference dedicated to sharing technical and business trends in the crypto space. It allows builders to interact with each other and find business and employment opportunities. 


South Korea Blockchain Week 2024

Date: TBA
Location: TBA

One of Asia’s leading blockchain and Web 3.0 events will gather industry leaders, investors, and enthusiasts to discuss and explore the latest blockchain developments and trends. The event will include technical and business speeches, keynotes, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. 


Seoul AI Innovation Tour 2024

Date: March 5-7, 2024
Location: Seoul, South Korea

It will showcase Seoul's emergence as a hub for fintech advancements, leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies and progressive regulatory reforms. The event will focus on the integration of AI and machine learning in finance, digital banking transformation, blockchain, digital currencies, and the future of secure transactions. 



These events provide platforms for collaboration, innovation, and growth in the fintech industry. Attending these events can help fintech enthusiasts stay ahead of the game and witness the future of finance unfold.

Fintech Incubators and Startup Accelerators in South Korea

One of the key factors contributing to this growth is the presence of several fintech incubators and accelerators in the country. These organizations provide crucial support, mentorship, and resources to early-stage fintech startups, helping them navigate the competitive landscape and scale their businesses. 

Here are some of the top fintech incubators and accelerators in South Korea. 

South Korea Fintech Industry Association (KOFIA)

KOFIA is a non-profit organization focused on fostering the growth of the fintech ecosystem in South Korea. It runs an accelerator program called "K-Fintech Accelerator," which provides startups with mentorship, industry connections, and investment opportunities. KOFIA also organizes events and conferences to facilitate networking and knowledge-sharing among fintech enthusiasts. 

FuturePlay

FuturePlay is a startup accelerator based in Seoul that focuses on fintech. It provides startups seed funding, office space, and mentorship from industry experts. FuturePlay also offers various support services, including legal and accounting assistance, marketing support, and access to its extensive investor network. 

Hanwha

Hanwha is a well-known startup accelerator in South Korea that supports various industries, including fintech. It offers a comprehensive acceleration program for early-stage startups, providing them mentorship, office space, and access to Hanwha Group's extensive resources and networks. Hanwha also hosts regular demo days, where startups can showcase their products and attract potential investors. 

SparkLabs South Korea

While not exclusively focused on fintech, SparkLabs South Korea is one of the most prominent startup accelerators in the country. It offers a three-month acceleration program that includes funding, mentorship, and access to its vast network of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. SparkLabs South Korea has a strong track record of supporting successful fintech startups, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs in this space. 

Fintech Center South Korea

Established by the South Korean government in 2015, Fintech Center South Korea is a leading fintech accelerator in the country. It offers a range of programs, including a fintech startup boot camp, an acceleration program, and global market entry support. The center provides startups with funding, office space, mentorship, and access to a vast network of industry experts and investors.

One of the key programs Fintech Center South Korea offers is the Fintech Sandbox. This program provides a safe and controlled environment for fintech startups to test their innovative ideas and solutions without the burden of strict regulations.


These are just a few examples of the many fintech incubators and accelerators available in South Korea. Each organization brings its unique resources and expertise to the table, helping startups thrive in the competitive fintech landscape. 

If you are an aspiring fintech startup founder in South Korea, consider exploring these incubators and accelerators to kickstart your journey towards success.

InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing

How to Set up a Fintech Startup in South Korea

Are you an entrepreneur looking to venture into the world of fintech in South Korea? 

South Korea is a thriving market for financial technology, with a strong regulatory framework and a tech-savvy population. These steps will guide you through setting up your very own fintech company in South Korea. 

Understand the Regulatory Environment

First, familiarize yourself with the regulatory framework governing fintech in South Korea. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is the primary regulatory body responsible for overseeing the sector. It is crucial to understand the licensing requirements, compliance obligations, and any specific regulations applicable to your fintech business model. 

Define Your Fintech Business Model

Fintech is a broad term encompassing various sectors such as payments, lending, blockchain, robo-advisory, and more. 

Identify the specific area you want to focus on and define your business model accordingly. Then, conduct market research to understand the demand, competition, and potential customers for your fintech product or service. 

Build a Strong Team

Assemble a team with expertise in finance, technology, and regulatory compliance. 

Hiring professionals who understand the local market and have experience in the fintech industry will contribute significantly to your company's success. Networking events and industry conferences are great opportunities to connect with potential team members. 

Secure Funding

Fintech startups often require significant capital to develop and scale their products. Explore various funding options, such as venture capitalists, angel investors, or government grants. 

Present a compelling business plan and demonstrate the potential for growth and profitability to attract investors. 

Obtain Necessary Licenses

Depending on your fintech business model, you may need to obtain specific licenses from the FSC or other regulatory authorities. For example, if you plan to operate a payment service, you will need to apply for a payment service provider license.

Familiarize yourself with the licensing requirements and seek professional advice to gain a smooth application process. 

Develop and Launch Your Product

Once you have secured funding and obtained the necessary licenses, it's time to develop your fintech product. Collaborate with your team to design and build a user-friendly and secure platform. 

Conduct thorough testing to ensure functionality, security, and compliance with relevant regulations. 

 Market and Expand

As you launch your fintech product, develop a marketing strategy to reach your target audience. 

Leverage digital marketing channels, social media, and partnerships with banks or other financial institutions to promote your product. Continuously improve and innovate your offering based on customer feedback and market trends. 


Setting up a fintech company in South Korea requires careful planning, regulatory compliance, and a solid understanding of the local market. 

By following these steps and seeking professional advice, you can navigate the process successfully and position your company for growth in the booming South Korean fintech industry.

Answering Your Questions About Startups in South Korea

What is South Korea's fintech adoption rate?

South Korea's fintech adoption rate stands at an impressive 67%, placing it alongside other leading financial hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore. This indicates the country's strong embrace and integration of technology in its financial sector. Notably, South Korean fintech start-ups are venturing into exciting new territories, such as security token offerings (STO) or tokenized initial public offerings (IPOs). 

These regulated securities offerings use blockchain technology, presenting innovative opportunities for the crypto-related sectors in South Korea's fintech industry. This signifies a growing trend towards exploring and leveraging cutting-edge advancements in South Korea’s fintech market.

Source: HKTDC

What is the Electronic Financial Transactions Act in South Korea?

The Electronic Financial Transactions Act (EFTA) was enacted in South Korea in 2006 and implemented on January 1, 2007. It establishes a framework for safe and reliable electronic financial transactions. The Act includes provisions to protect consumer rights, prevent fraud and unauthorized access, establish secure authentication methods, and regulate electronic signatures. 

EFTA emphasizes transparency and fairness in business dealings and requires measures to prevent cyber threats. Overall, the EFTA aims to protect consumers and promote security in electronic financial transactions in South Korea.

Source: South Koreanlii

What are the rules for fintech in South Korea?

In South Korea, the fintech sector, including virtual asset transactions, is regulated through laws such as the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act and the Criminal Act. These and other laws address various aspects of virtual asset activities, including fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. Adoption of these laws is proof of South Korea's commitment to regulating fintech activities and protecting against risks in the virtual asset market.

Source: Chambers

At InnReg, our team of experts specializes in regulatory compliance, risk management, outsourced operations, and technology for fintech startups. We understand the rapidly changing fintech industry and the significance of compliance, which is why we offer personalized solutions to help our clients navigate regulations and focus on their main business objectives. 

Our range of services includes compliance consulting and outsourced compliance, allowing our clients to benefit from our knowledge and resources without the need to build an in-house team, which is particularly important during the early growth stages. 

We believe that compliance presents an opportunity for innovation, and we actively collaborate with our clients to develop strategies that meet regulatory requirements while supporting their growth ambitions. 

Our team is dedicated to providing tailored solutions that streamline compliance operations, increase profitability, and minimize costs and risks for your fintech venture. 

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing
InnReg Compliance Consulting and Outsourcing

Subscribe for Compliance Insights

Subscribe for Compliance Insights

Subscribe for Compliance Insights

Latest LinkedIn Posts