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Scaled-up digital ID wallets could improve digital experiences, or risk service disruption

G+D pitch, Korean super app shutdown suggest range of possible outcomes
Scaled-up digital ID wallets could improve digital experiences, or risk service disruption

Identity authentication and digital payment services linked to the popular Kakao Talk Messenger App in the republic of South Korea suffered major glitches from the evening of 15 through 16 October as the app witnessed what was described as an unprecedented shutdown.

Business companies and government agencies offer about 20 different services linked to the super-app, and the shutdown meant they incurred huge losses, reports Business Korea.

Some Korean media report that the shutdown was caused by a fire incident at one of the company’s data centers on Sunday.

About 95 percent of services were recovered as of Monday morning, writes The Korea Times, with mobile payments and digital wallet services fully restored.

The Kakao Talk app is one of two digital ID authentication methods used by Upbit, the country’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, notes Business Korea. With the disruption, many users were unable to access the platform for crypto trading during that period.

An IT industry official was quoted as decrying the monopoly of the Kakao Talk app which is quite popular among many Koreans, and which is used for a wide variety of different purposes.

The app is said to have metamorphosed from just a messaging app when it was created in 2010, to an app with a variety of uses and about 134 affiliate services as of June this year, with authentication to many of them managed through the KakaoTalk digital wallet.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol over the weekend called for urgent measures by competent bodies in restoring all the services affected by the Kakao Talk app shutdown.

The adoption of a similar model, with networked ecosystems supporting the adoption of a single digital wallet for myriad applications, is being encouraged elsewhere, meanwhile.

G+D makes case for adoption of ‘super wallets’

German security technology firm Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) argues that the rollout of ‘super wallets’ by financial services companies is vital if they want to keep pace with the latest innovation trends and improve user experience.

The use of digital wallets is on the rise with a global rate of about 53 percent, according to G+D. Upgrading the digital wallets into super apps can help in the creation of a networked ecosystem of digital services tailored to the diverse needs and demands of customers.

The company asserts that super wallets will not only help meet the needs of target groups of people as it enables banks to offer a wide range of services to their customers, it also makes it possible for banks to build a customer-centric ecosystem and offer a unique and personalized customer experience.

“Digital wallets are not just a trend for banks to jump on, but a necessity in a market that is already oversaturated in some areas,” says Dr. Carsten Wengel, head of global sales and distribution in the card and digital payment business at G+D.

Samsung introduces digital wallet to new markets

Users in 13 new destinations namely Bahrain, Denmark, Finland, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Vietnam and UAE, will soon have access to the Samsung digital wallet, the company has announced.

With the wallet, users can easily and securely have access to their stored digital ID credentials such as bank cards, digital keys, travel passes, driver’s licenses and student IDs with just one click, according to the announcement.

Data on the wallet is kept safe with digital ID authentication through fingerprint biometrics.

“Samsung Wallet takes everyday convenience to the next level and we have worked closely with our trusted partners and developers to enrich our Wallet experience,” says Jeanie Han, EVP and head of Digital Life Team at Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics. “We are focused on bringing the platform to as many markets as possible, as soon as possible, so more Samsung Galaxy users have the opportunity to reap the benefits of the digital wallet.”

The wallet is already available in markets including China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United Sates.

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