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New service allows online financial transactions by expats

Expats from Sept. 18 can make online financial transactions through the new service. The Ministry of Justice compares its data on an expat user with that sent from a financial company to authenticate ID and sends the results in real time to the company. (Lee Jihae)

Registered foreign residents can use online financial services on their mobile devices without needing to visit the bank just like locals.

The Ministry of Justice on Sept. 15 said its resident card verification service began on Sept. 18 in cooperation with the Financial Services Commission and Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute to enable expats to use financial services online.

When a user conducts a financial transaction that requires verification of identification through a mobile app, the financial company in the transaction sends the person's data to the ministry. The ministry compares its data of the expat with that sent by the company to authenticate identification and sends the results in real time to the company.

The data sent by the company is personal information and photos of the user on his or her permanent or ethnic Korean resident card.

Because of a lack of policy or system that could verify an expat's resident card, financial matters for such people like opening a bank account required an in-person visit to a bank.

The service will start in the banking sector with first-tier financial institutions like deposit banks and be expanded to secondary or non-banking financial institutions such as insurers, brokerages and credit card companies after considering stability of the system and demand from financial companies.

The list of financial companies offering this service is available on the websites of the Korea Immigration Service (www.immigration.go.kr) and HiKorea (www.hikorea.go.kr)

Along with this verification service, another on HiKorea allows an expat to report a lost resident card around the clock to prevent misuse of lost cards.

"To attract outstanding human resources, making the domestic living environment meet global standards is important," Minister of Justice Han Dong Hoon said. "As part of this effort, this verification service for foreign resident cards is expected to resolve inconveniences in expats' financial transactions."

By Lee Jihae