Unbelievable scale being achieved in such a short time. The lending book is also pretty amazing.
This is another example of the models developing in the Asia, with platform providers leveraging their existing customer engagement footprint (in this case, like Tencent/ WeChat, through a messaging platform) and spinning out scale businesses very quickly.
The regulatory and oversight environment obviously needs to support that business model, but the interesting thing here is that unlike China, there is an almost 100% internet access per household penetration in S Korea.
This means that while the build up of high subscribers for mobile-only services in China can be explained partly by the lack of access to laptops etc, the S Korean market has access to these and this messaging platform (which os mobile based) is still seeing this kind of mind blowingly large uptake in a "spin out" business line.
If you aren't convinced these are big numbers, consider this;
- S Korea has a population around 10% smaller than UK
- Atom Bank took 3 years to reach the same customer numbers
- This is roughly 5x more customers than Monzo (which has no lending book)
We could learn a thing or two about how to build true Challenger propositions from our friends in APAC.
Kakao Bank attracts 800,000 accounts in 4 days