Growth of Mobile Securities Companies—Kakao and Toss
Growth of Mobile Securities Companies—Kakao and Toss
  • reporter Choi Eun-je
  • 승인 2021.01.02 18:39
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▲Two leading companies of the mobile securities industry—Kakao and Toss
▲Two leading companies of the mobile securities industry—Kakao and Toss


Big-tech companies are entering the securities industry. Following KakaoPay Securities, on Nov. 18, 2020, Toss Securities received approval from the Financial Services Commission for the securities industry. Toss Securities plans to introduce the service within the first half of the year. A comparison of these two major security companies shows the current situation of the mobile securities industry.

There are many similarities between the two companies in that they are mobile securities companies created by Big-techs. KakaoPay Securities and Toss Securities are both mobile securities companies with no offline branches. All services are provided through mobile devices. KakaoPay Securities started its service based on KakaoTalk and KakaoPay platforms. Toss Securities also starts its service with Toss, a simple remittance platform with 18 million users. Therefore, neither service has a separate platform. KakaoPay Securities is available on KakaoTalk and KakaoPay apps. Toss Securities will also enter the “investment” service area within the Toss app.
To resolve difficulties in investing, KakaoPay Securities and Toss Securities have a similar approach in terms of creating a new investment culture by aiming for easy investment. It targets users who find investing difficult and thin-filers who lack financial transaction history. Their goals are characterized by lowering the entry barrier using a user-friendly User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). Both companies mainly profit from commission fees through funds and stock trading.

Although the two companies are similar in many ways, their outlining business strategies are different. The most significant difference is their licenses. Toss Securities obtained only investment brokerage licenses from financial authorities. On the other hand, in addition to the investment brokerage, KakaoPay Securities acquired an investment trading (collective investment securities and debt securities) license.
Also, while KakaoPay Securities starts with indirect investment and expands its business area to direct investment, Toss Securities has done the opposite. KakaoPay Securities first focused on indirect investment fund and asset management as its initial business strategy. Kakao judged that small investments and asset management services are easier to access and have a low entry barrier than direct investment. Based on this, KakaoPay Securities will expand its business to Mobile Trading System (MTS), a core service of securities. 
Toss Securities focused on MTS as soon as it was launched. It provides both domestic and overseas stock brokerage. It plans to expand its service by selling funds in the future. Already, Toss services in areas of cards, loans, and insurance recommendations, including asset management.
The two companies’ target users also differ. Both aim for easy investment and thin-filers, but there is a difference in detail. According to KakaoPay Securities, all users were evenly distributed between the 20s and the 50s. As KakaoPay service is based on KakaoTalk, the age gap of users is large. Therefore, KakaoPay Securities aims to target thin-filers regardless of their ages.
Toss Securities, on the other hand, targets those in their 20s and 30s, who are starting to invest. It plans to provide UX and UI customized for them. Among Toss customers, about 10 million people in their 20s and 30s seem to have adopted it.