Tips for setting up Kakao Pay as a foreigner in Korea

KakaoPay is an easy to use money transfer system popular in Korea. I hadn't realized this but apparently plenty of foreigners are using it to transfer money and make payments. So I figured I'd pass on some tips that were shared with me on Twitter by people who use KakaoPay.

Guide to setting up Kakao Pay from Haps Korea Magazine

Guides to setting up Kakao Pay

There are already some good resources that take you step-by-step in setting up KakaoPay on your device. I recommend checking out these posts and following along. Lot of good info here.

Tips on setting up Kakao Pay

On Twitter, some users offered tips and troubleshooting on their own experiences. This is good info that deserves a wider audience so I wanted to share their stories here. Maybe it can help out others.

It's simple to set it up to pay online with, but i had trouble sending people money over kakao with it because my 하나은행 I use as my main bank has my name in 한글 so I need to use my IBK which has my name in English and so matches my phone contract which has my name in English.

Had the same problem and I just went to the bank and told them to get rid of the 한글 name and put my English name the same as my ARC and I have no problems ever since. If the problem still persists the name on the mobile phone contract might need to be fixed.

I tried to ask them to change it to English because of a different issue once but they told me they couldn't change it 🙃🙃 this was a while ago though so maybe I'll try again when I have some spare time

I did the change with Hana and with NH and there is no problem. Just go to another branch and have your ARC and Passport as well. I got asked for both if my memory does not lie to me.

Realised you can even get the card now too, and with MILES! Just applied haha
I got a TOSS [NB: info on Toss] debit card instead of Kakao for that 10% cash back

Easy enough, but only works with my NH account, not KEB or Citi

Some things to remember

One big thing to note is that this is for joining and using the Kakao Pay system, which likely will still need a Korean bank account to connect it to. 

Additionally, this is for joining Kakao Pay, not Kakao Bank, which is a different monster all together and (currently) does not accept foreigners.

Personal thoughts

It's great to see other bloggers out there documenting this kind of info. One of the reasons I started this blog was to try to put out here on the web some of the information that was just being passed around on SNS but difficult to find from Googling. For example lots of great real-life experiences and tips are shared across Facebook Groups and forum threads but most of that isn't indexed by Google. I'd encourage anybody who found a neat tip or a good way of doing something to throw the info up on a blog service or other easily publicly available source. That's basically all I do here.

And I may out myself as a Luddite by saying this (ironic since tech tips are a big part of this blog) but I've never used Kakao Pay and don't plan to anytime soon. Maybe somebody can convince me that it's worth it, but I'm content just making bank transfers or using my bank-issued credit card. Hell I still pay cash for things often. But don't let my crotchety attitude stop you from signing up.