A smartphone application that provides information about the availability of face masks at pharmacies and post offices. (Yonhap)

A smartphone application that provides information about the availability of face masks at pharmacies and post offices. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 4 (Korea Bizwire)The number of users of medical-related mobile applications has more than doubled since the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

In addition, the volume of travel-related payments took a nosedive, although the amount of payments made on home or Internet shopping increased.

Industry tracker WiseApp said the use of medical, health, exercise, education and business-related apps increased significantly in March, when the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surged.

The number of users of medical-related apps increased by 105 percent, or 1.9 million, from 1.8 million in February to 3.7 million in March, while the number of users of health-related apps increased by 11 percent, or 1.9 million, from 16.8 million to 18.7 million.

Education-related app users increased 10 percent to 18.8 million, while business-related app users increased 9 percent to 13 million.

“There has been an increase in the number of users of applications that deliver COVID-19 related information, learning and education related apps due to the postponement of the school year and academies closing down, video conferencing apps due to telecommuting, and part-time jobs,” WiseApp said.

In addition, retail-related apps with large increases in payments during the same period were followed by home shopping, Internet shopping, Internet services, electronics and business.

Payments through home shopping and Internet shopping-related apps rose 17 percent, or 1.3 trillion won, to 9.3 trillion won (US$7.61 billion) in March from 7.9 trillion won in February.

It is believed that with more people spending time staying at home, there has been a surge in online shopping and a tendency to prefer delivery food.

On the other hand, the amount of payments fell in retail related to travel, duty-free and dining out.

Travel-related payments fell 46 percent, or 455.1 billion won, to 536.3 billion won in March from 991.4 billion won in February.

In addition, the value of payments related to duty-free shops dropped 75 percent to 24.6 billion won from 97 billion won, while those related to dining out fell 4 percent to 372.4 billion won from 829.6 billion won.

“Social distance keeping and a rise in the number of countries with travel restrictions are seen as the main reasons behind such a decrease,” WiseApp added.

D. M. Park ([email protected])


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