Currencies & Credit Cards

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Currency and Checks in Korea
The currency unit of Korea is the "won."
The ISO 4217 code is KRW and the ₩ is the currency symbol.
The coins currently used as money are issued in seven (7) denominations of one (1), five (5), ten (10), fifty (50), one hundred (100) and five hundred (500) won, but 1 won coins and 5 won coins are not in wide circulation. Paper money formerly came in only three denominations of 1,000 won, 5,000 won and 10,000 won but the higher denomination of 50,000 won notes were newly issued in June 2009. Checks are usually divided into cashier’s checks for a fixed sum and cashier’s checks for the exact amount. Cashier’s checks for a fixed sum come in 100,000 won, 500,000 won and 1,000,000 won, while cashier’s checks for the exact amount required may be issued for the amount of money brought by the customer (or for the money deposited in the customer’s account or for the money loaned by the bank to the customer).
Credit Cards
The credit card transaction process in Korea is different from the systems in other countries. Value added network (VAN) companies handle credit card processing in Korea. Places of business such as restaurants generally need credit card readers to receive payment via credit cards, and VAN Companies sell these readers to their member shops and manage them. Credit card terminals are used to read credit cards (by swiping) and to enter settlement sums. Then the request for settlement information is reported to VAN companies through the telephone or the Internet circuit. The VAN companies identify the companies which issued the credit card by the first 6-digit numbers and request the relevant card company to settle the amount. Upon receiving the response to the request, VAN companies download the response on the card terminals. Lastly, the receipt slips are printed, depending upon the results of the response.
Credit cards are classified under direct payment cards, prepaid cards, cash cards and check cards. The credit cards used in this country include KOOKMIN cards, City cards, BC cards, LOTTE cards, Samsung cards, SHINHAN cards, WOORI cards and Hyundai cards. The foreign cards accepted by major hotels, restaurants and large department stores in Korea include Visa, American Express, Diners, Masters and Chinese bank cards.