Recently, with the enforcement of the Kim Young-Ran law in Korea, which bans illegal cheating and prohibits the transfer of money and gifts, there is a growing culture of payment splitting. This movement has given rise to new patents for payment splitting technology on mobile systems.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, domestic patent applications related to partial payment and payment splitting have been filed in Korea since 2010 and the number is steadily increasing. Especially in the last three years, related patent applications such as mobile payment and split payment technology have increased rapidly, marking over 30 applications in 2016. There were only three patents filed in 2010, but that increased to 10 in 2014, 16 in 2015, 32 in 2016 and 25 in by August 2017.
The analysis of applicants’ application statuses (2010 to August 2017) shows that the number of individuals and small businesses are relatively high, which is similar to the patents filed for new business methods. 34 companies (30.1%), 38 individuals (33.6%), 22 SMEs (19.5%) and eight midsize companies (7.1%) were filed. Some names of companies that have filed application include LG Electronics (10 applications), SK Planet (8 applications), Korea Information and Communication (6 applications), Samsung Electronics (5 applications), and KT (4 applications).
There are two types of technology used for payment splitting. First is a method in which a representative first pays the bill and splits it between the representative and the rest of the members and second is a method that automatically splits the bill on the system after which each member pays the amount separately. There is also a method that is a mixture of both methods mentioned above.
In the case of the divided payment method, various methods exist, such as a payment through a store’s POS and paying online using each mobile device. Since splitting the payment is closely related to daily lifestyle, it is expected that everyone from small companies to big corporations will continue to develop new technology and apply for patents.
This article, entitled “The rise of split payments spike patent applications for partial payment technology”, was written in Korean by Platum, edited by AllTechAsia.