South Korea plans to launch a pilot project for a coinless society
this week, South Korea's central bank said Wednesday, a move
that could enhance convenience for ordinary people.
Under the project set to begin Thursday, consumers can deposit
small change left from purchases of goods into their prepaid or
mobile cards at convenience stores, discount stores and
department stores, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It means that consumers won't have to carry coins in their pockets
after making cash payments.
The project, if accepted by ordinary people, could also lower the
cost of producing coins, though the BOK said the outcome of the
experiment remains to be seen. Last year, South Korea spent 53.7
billion won (US$47 million) on producing coins.
Participants in the pilot project include CU, a major South Korean
convenience store chain; Seven Eleven; E-Mart, the country's
largest discount store outlet by sales; Lotte Mart; and Lotte
Cha Hyeon-jin, an official handling the issue at the BOK, said no
decision has been made yet on whether the pilot project could
eventually lead to a cashless society, but he predicted that there is
a good chance that such a development may be possible down the