South Korea's central bank said Friday that it has selected a dozen operators for its pilot project that could potentially transform the country into what it calls a coinless society.
Under the project set to begin in April, 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.
The BOK said 12 participants in the pilot project include CU, a major South Korean convenience store chain; Seven Eleven; E-Mart, the country's largest discount store chain by sales; and Lotte Department Store.
BOK official said the central bank can expand the pilot project in a way that local stores can remit coins left from purchases to consumers' back accounts.
If the service is introduced, consumers won't have to carry coins in their pockets after making cash payments.
The BOK plans to expand the pilot project in stages in the coming years with the aim of realizing a coinless society by 2020.
Still, it said the move to become a coinless society is not a step toward a cashless society.
Jin Jae-yeon email@example.com
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