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Lucrative T-commerce Market to Debut Next Year

Posted December. 09, 2009 09:02,   


A new method of commercial settlement integrating new media and finance is ushering in a new concept in shopping culture thanks to the emerging t-commerce market.

A consumer from next year will be able to purchase goods and services real-time through his or her TV and mobile phone.

The term “t-commerce” combines the words television and commerce. The e-commerce market enables a viewer to instantly buy a product or service by swiping a smart card on a terminal linked to a set-top box while watching interactive TV such as IPTV or digital cable.

A consumer now must call a telemarketer on the phone to buy a product while watching a home shopping channel, or type in credit card or social security numbers using the remote control.

From next year, this cumbersome process will no longer be needed. A consortium of credit card companies, including Shinhan Card, BC Card, Kookmin Bank and Nonghyup, and the country’s top IPTV operator KT have forged a business alliance to standardize settlement methods for t-commerce.

They will launch commercial t-commerce service in the first half of next year after consultations with home shopping companies.

Insiders say the home shopping market for t-commerce will hit 110 billion won (95 million dollars) next year. Jang Hong-shik, head of marketing strategy at BC Card, said, “If t-commerce is to be galvanized, the IPTV market should grow bigger and quality content must be developed.”

“When analog TV broadcasting is halted and digital broadcasting starts in full swing in 2012, t-commerce will significantly change the culture of shopping.”

M-commerce, or commerce through mobile handsets, has taken root in the market. The market’s growth has accelerated as people can buy things or services via their universal subscriber identity module, or USIM, installed in 3G mobile handsets.

From next year, Hyundai Card and BC Card will introduce mobile cards with credit card functions in USIM, signaling further growth of the m-commerce market.

SK Telecom also plans next year a commercial settlement system in which several credit cards, discount coupons and membership cards are incorporated into a 3G USIM.

Shinhan Card has been the sole domestic card company to introduce a settlement service in which the user installs a credit card onto his or her mobile handset. The service has floundered, however, due to lack of terminals that recognize USIM and mobile cards.