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Musinsa to roll out credit card with Hyundai Card

Fashion unicorn joins hands with credit card powerhouse


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Employees of Musinsa and Hyundai Card celebrate the PLCC partnership on a video call on Sept. 22.

Musinsa, a Korean fashion e-commerce start-up, will launch its branded credit card under partnership with Hyundai Card early 2021. The two companies signed a partnership agreement on Sept. 22 for the private label credit card (PLCC).

The signing ceremony took place online, adhering to Covid-19 social distancing measures. Nine young employees of the two parties joined the video conference. Under the PLCC partnership, the two firms will jointly launch and manage the credit card as well as proceed with joint marketing campaigns. They can also burden product development and marketing costs and share profits together.

“Musinsa is not just Korea’s best online fashion platform. It reflects and leads the lifestyle trend of the younger demographic spanning from teens to thirty-somethings,” said a Hyundai Card spokesperson. “Through the PLCC partnership, we will present Musinsa customers with unprecedented benefits and fun.”

Joining forces with Musinsa is expected to propel Hyundai Card’s PLCC business one step further, the spokesperson noted.

Musinsa dates back to 2003, when a group of street fashion fans formed an online community. The community went on to launch Musinsa Store, an online fashion shop, in 2009. Having attracted customers in the younger demographic – from teenagers to thirty-somethings – Musinsa Store has grown into Korea’s biggest fashion platform with around 7 million members and 5,000 brands as of the end of August, 2020. Last year, the start-up was named the 10th unicorn (a start-up company with a value of over $1 billion).

The Musinsa card will provide customized services on the back of the two firms’ data science capability. The two partners will also proceed with various collaborative projects that combine their powerful brand value, using stores and spaces belonging to both including Hyundai Card Libraries for design, travel, music and cooking.

PLCC partnership is a win-win for both the credit card issuer and the brand. Card issuers are able to slash costs and gain new customers at the same time. When it comes to conventional credit cards for rewards, card issuers are supposed to manage all expenses and revenues from the card products. Brand partners are only supposed to attract subscribers. PLCCs in Korea can be used at other retailers instead of the branded partner alone, unlike in other countries such as the United States.

Ever since launching the PLCC business in 2015, Hyundai Card has been forging partnership with various household names including E-Mart, Kia Motors, Hyundai Motor, ebay, Costco, SSG.COM and GS Caltex. This year only, the Korean Air Lines, Starbucks, Woowa Brothers and Socar joined the league.

At the center of the PLCC partnership lies data science. Hyundai Card in June launched operation of its self-developed data analytics and marketing system that uses its customers’ ample credit card payment data. Hyundai Card’s PLCC partners may take advantage of the system to provide various benefits – discount coupons at specific stores during the specific time span – that are deemed to correspond to their customers’ spending habits and taste.

Hyundai Card is on track to build “Domain Galaxy,” an alliance for its PLCC partners, which the credit card issuer has dubbed “champions.” The champions belonging to Domain Galaxy are able to take advantage of each other’s data and go so far as to stage marketing campaigns targeting each other’s data.

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