South Koreans faucet cash-giving apps to assist offset rising residing prices By Reuters

By Hyunsu Yim

SEOUL (Reuters) – Throngs of individuals have been milling seemingly aimlessly across the forecourt of a museum in central Seoul, brushing silently previous one another with heads bent towards smartphones whereas fingers frantically faucet screens – within the newest money-making pattern.

Strolling 10,000 steps, finishing duties equivalent to subscribing to social media, or simply tapping the display screen when different customers are close by can generate as much as 10 cents a time for customers of economic companies app Toss from South Korean startup Viva Republica.

The viral marketing campaign has seen Toss grow to be a frontrunner in a pattern the place companies win customers by way of cash- and points-offering loyalty apps, which have risen in reputation in an financial system with excessive youth unemployment and surging inflation.

As many as three in 4 adults earn money by way of such functions, confirmed a current survey by job portal Incruit.

“I’ve solely made 150 received ($0.11) thus far, however I plan to proceed so I should purchase espresso or pay for one thing utilizing the app,” mentioned 27-year-old workplace employee Baek Na-young.

Some 4.4 million customers have used Toss’ cash-giving in-app characteristic since its January launch, and the variety of occasions folks open the app on handsets has elevated 30%, Viva Republica mentioned.

Retiree Han Solar-jae, 77, mentioned he had made some 50,000 received ($37.91) thus far by way of the Toss app.

“My daughter works close by and instructed me many individuals have been gathering right here, and that I may earn more money right here,” he mentioned exterior the Seoul Museum of Artwork, the place workplace staff gathered at lunchtime primarily based on hearsay and grapevine chitchat.

The pattern reveals persons are going the additional mile to assist overcome an more and more dire financial state of affairs, consultants mentioned.

The buyer inflation charge hit 5.1% in 2022, the best since 1998, with meals and transport costs up 5.9% and 9.7% respectively.

Some 497,000 folks aged 15 to 29 in February mentioned they have been on a break from employment and never actively looking for work, confirmed Statistics Korea knowledge, essentially the most since data started in 2003.

Some consultants cautioned that exchanging knowledge for the chance to earn pennies may contain delicate private data being shared with third events.

“Whereas the trouble to make pocket cash is commendable, it may additionally go away folks susceptible to non-public knowledge use,” mentioned Lee Eun-hee, a shopper research professor at Inha College. “It will be smart to contemplate each side of the coin.”

(This story has been refiled to right identify of the corporate in paragraph 2) 

($1 = 1,318.79 received)

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