Once you start living in Korea, you will have to set up your Korean bank account and mobile banking. However, there may be some limits you may face as a foreigner. My bank application, for instance, refuses to do transfer transactions. It also lags so much and is difficult to navigate. I find that alternative payment options such as KakaoPay and PAYCO are much easier to use. You may be familiar with KakaoPay, but what about PAYCO?
PAYCO is an application that functions as your wallet. Through PAYCO, you can transfer money and pay for your online and offline purchases with your Korean payment details.
You can register using multiple bank accounts and bank cards (both credit, and debit cards) on the application. It also has rechargeable PAYCO points which can provide you many benefits as they accumulate.
The application has no English option, but if you can read Korean, the registration process is quite easy. I registered mine 4 years ago, but the whole process took less than 15 minutes.
I will guide you through the initial steps here. The first step, is, of course, to download the application through Google Play/Apple Store.
Then, you can choose to register by your email or phone number. Personally I chose to register by email. At this step, they asked you to enter your password and check some agreements (only two required ones).
I am sorry I cannot provide this step in detail, as I registered mine a long time ago. However, if I remember correctly, you only need to key in your card number, validity, and three-digit number on the back of your card, next to the signature box.
Once you have finished registering your cards, it would look like the photo above. In PAYCO, you can register your cards and bank books from different banks.
For all transactions, you only need ONE password (or fingerprint). So you don’t need to think of several different passwords for different cards.
PAYCO is very convenient if you have more than one card or bank account. Every time you make a transaction, you can choose whichever card you’d like to use. It is very convenient if you want to transfer money to different bank accounts and want to check the transfer fee first. It is also helpful if you do not want to install multiple banking applications on your phone.
I pay my bills using PAYCO all the time. You can even set up an automatic transfer for recurring bills using this application.
Many Korean applications and websites will list PAYCO as one of their payment options. Having lived in Korea for a while, you will know that processing payment on certain websites will prompt the installation of multiple security software you don’t want. That’s why PAYCO is such a lifesaver for me because I don’t need to install additional stuff only to buy McDonald’s (yes, it’s available on delivery applications, too).
PAYCO is also available for transportation applications like KORAIL, KOBUS, and Intercity Bus. For someone who travels a lot, it is very convenient to click one button to book my tickets.
Admittedly, I never use PAYCO to pay for my transactions at offline stores.
However, I know that there is a QR Code option for offline stores, so you can just scan it at the checkout and pay. Very convenient. For all transactions with PAYCO Points, you can get some discounts and rewards, as well.
The application is in Korean. It is not hard to navigate simple transactions like payments and transfers. But I feel like I could get so much more out of the app if I was fluent in Korean and could completely understand all of the information in detail.
Nevertheless, this application is such a lifesaver and has made my life easier in Korea!