Baedal Minjok to abolish on-the-spot payment

Asia's Tech News Daily

Baedal Minjok to abolish on-the-spot payment

A Baedal Minjok delivery person rides a scooter on a road in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2020, while delivering food in the back. Yonhap

By Kim Jae-heun

The country’s No.1 food delivery service, Baedal Minjok (Baemin), will no longer take payments on delivery. The new policy is part of Baemin’s efforts to strengthen its contactless payment system while reducing consumers’ possible exposure to crime.

The big player in the food delivery business said Thursday, its delivery people will only receive cash until Dec. 29. However, this policy only applies for “Baemin 1” and “Baemin Riders” services users, where drivers directly hired by Baemin deliver purchased food. Restaurants that employ their own drivers will still receive cash.

Woowa Brothers, the operator of Baemin, decided to abolish on-the-spot payments to reduce the interaction time between customers and drivers amid the ongoing pandemic.

“We are often asked to leave the food at the door because customers have already paid online. We didn’t have many people paying on the spot anyways,” a Woowa Brothers official said. “Plus, nowadays, delivery drivers don’t carry cash with them to give change.”

Also, the contactless payment system will help consumers receive their food more safely. There have been steadily rising concerns over the possibility of crimes committed by drivers. Delivery workers often engage with customers person-to-person and they can easily find people’s home addresses and other personal information.

In February, one of Baemin’s drivers caused a controversy by exposing his genitals in front of a woman at an apartment in Seoul before running away.

People are also worried about credit card information theft. In Sept., a Baemin driver stole a customer’s credit card information and sold it online.

Other food delivery players such as Yogiyo could also abolish their on-the-spot payment systems. As contactless payment became a trend in various sectors due to the pandemic, food delivery services have no choice but to reject face-to-face payment systems.

“The strategy of Baemin, the market leader, is bound to affect its competitors. Other delivery players are also likely to be considering a number of other methods to adopt contactless payment,” an industry source said.

However, some customers may find this new payment system inconvenient because it restricts them from using a company card or local business voucher to make payments.

Woowa Brothers said its restaurants using Baemin 1 and Baemin Riders have never accepted business vouchers in the first place and customers who wish to use a company card can register it on Baemin’s mobile application.

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