In just three years since its founding, Kakao Bank has become one of the fastest-growing internet-only banks in the world, with 13 million customers as of September 2020.
During the Kakao 2020 virtual conference, CEO Daniel Hoyoung Yoon summed up the bank's success in seven keywords.
As a 100% mobile-only banking service, Kakao Bank has captured the attention of millennials and Generation Z, with 43% of economically active South Koreans as customers.
In addition, the bank's focus on solving customers' problems has resulted in 56% of accounts being opened outside of traditional banking hours.
Emphasizing the era of digital contact spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, Yoon highlighted the following seven keywords that define Kakao Bank's approach:
- Accessibility: Kakao Bank has become a super-application that integrates features from Kakao Talk and other Kakao IPs for a seamless, customer-centric experience.
- Unbundling: Unlike traditional banks, Kakao Bank positions the bank account as the customer ID, simplifying transactions and focusing on the account itself.
- Communication: With 53% of customer support communications via messaging and 47% via chatbots, Kakao Bank is prepared for the growing importance of smart speakers in banking.
- UI and UX: The bank has adopted a mobile-only approach, even lobbying for regulatory changes to allow mobile-only lending products.
- Technology: As the first native application in Korean financial history, Kakao Bank uses open-source and Linux technologies to reduce IT costs and pass savings on to customers.
- Account: Breaking away from legacy banks' reliance on a national ID, Kakao Bank is exploring alternative authentication methods to improve the user experience and expand its account database.
- Culture: Kakao Bank believes that a strong culture and open-mindedness among employees lead to great products.
These seven keywords, first introduced by Yoon in November 2017, demonstrate how Kakao Bank's consistent focus on customer centricity and technological innovation has fueled its rapid growth and success.