Tokyo, January 17, 2006 - JCB, the only Asian-based international payment brand, is happy to announce that Chohung Bank, Korea's oldest financial service institution with over 100 years of history has launched the Chohung 365 BC JCB Card smart card compliant with the global EMV standard. This is the first full-scale launch of a JCB smart card in Korea. The recruitment campaign for the 365 BC JCB card started last month, and has already generated a high number of applications.
The new Chohung 365 BC JCB Card leverages chip technology to offer a wider range of services including BC miles redeemable for tickets on all airlines in Korea, the Korea Train eXpress (KTX) mileage program, and the OK cashback program, which is a major loyalty program affiliated with many national chain stores.
A significant advantage is that Chohung 365 BC JCB cardmembers can choose to have the T-money function incorporated into the IC chip, which enables them to use a postpaid T-money service on subways and buses in Seoul and other local districts. T-money function can also be used to pay admission at amusement parks and other spectator facilities, as well as parking fees. Other benefits include discounts offered at nationwide SK gas stations, major cinemas, hotel discounts of 20 to 50% off, and airline discounts from 5 to 7% off, while purchases of foreign currency receive a 30% discount on the exchange commission at Chohung Bank.
"Smart cards not only provide greater protection against fraudulent use and counterfeiting than magnetic stripe cards, but also give JCB partners such as Chohung the possibility of developing highly differentiated products like the 365 BC JCB Card with its wide range of value-added services by taking advantage of chip technologies", said Mr. Seiji Kashitani, General Manager of JCB International Asia based in Seoul.
"Our highest goal is to contribute to our customer's daily life. That's why the 365 name represents our commitment to satisfying customers 365 days a year. The average human body temperature is 36.5C, and we think about providing service to each customer as a human being, every day, as part of their everyday lives", said Mr. Ko Hong Man, Deputy General Manager at Chohung Bank. "What is more, we can now offer our customers JCB's international service commitment with worldwide acceptance through JCB's 13.2 million merchant network in 190 countries and territories."
JCB's presence in Korea began in 1983 with acquiring operations with Bank Credit Card Association, now called BC Card Co., Ltd., and issuing operations with BC began in 1993. With Korea's rapid economic growth, the first two years saw 500,000 BC JCB cards issued. In 1997, JCB started license acquiring and issuing operations with LG and Korea Exchange Bank Credit Service Co., Ltd. Followed by issuing programs by Shinhan Bank in 2002 and Kookmin Bank in 2004, JCB card members in Korea continue to increase.
In 2004, JCB acquired a one-third ownership in EMVCo along with Visa and MasterCard to participate in the EMV Specifications standards maintenance that ensures worldwide interoperability and acceptance of smart card payment systems. JCB is actively sharing its expertise in smart card technology with issuing partners around the world.