Fully Automated Financial Loan Service Stores Open in Korea

The unstaffed 24 Loan Mart stores are open 24 hours a day and operate similar to bank-operated ATMs.

SEOUL, South Korea—Start-up firm Loantour earlier this month launched a series of fully automated financial loan services stores here.

The unstaffed 24 Loan Mart stores are open 24 hours a day and operate similar to bank-operated ATMs. The system was developed by Loantour, Cecrop, and the computer applications division of Dongshin University.

In the 24 Loan Marts, the different steps of the loan application process, such as identifying the most appropriate loan product, screening applicants and authorizing the loan, are all handled online, Loantour officials said. The system offers numerous advantages, including speed, 24-hour access, cost savings for the customer and increased confidentiality, officials said.

Customers of the new service start by searching and selecting the loan product that best meets their needs. After that, the customers identity is authenticated through fingerprint identification and mobile phone number confirmation. The customer then completes an application form that is scanned into the 24 Loan Mart equipment. Upon preliminary approval, the customer conducts an interview with a live operator to verify all the information, using teleconferencing. If the loan is approved, the loan amount is then transferred into the customers bank account.

"If the applicant is qualified and prepares all the necessary documents, it takes just 30 minutes to obtain a loan. This setup results in major cost savings for financial institutions, who can cut back on the human resources and operational costs necessary to set up a traditional sales network all over the country," said a Loantour official.

Loantours system currently offers loans products provided by mutual savings banks. The company also has plans to offer products by other financial institutions.

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