As the new year begins, several changes will be introduced to various areas of a life in Korea. This article will introduce some changes that may well be of use to students at Seowon University.
1. Increase of the Minimum Wage
The minimum wage is a wage that is provided to workers to guarantee a minimum level of income in order to improve the basic quality of life for those in the workforce. It is based on a system called the ‘Lowest Wage System’ that has been applied to all workplaces employing more than one worker since November 24, 2000. If the workplace pays workers less than the minimum wage, then they will be punished by imprisonment for up to three years or be given a fine of up to 20 million won.
The minimum wage in 2010 was 4,110 won, and the wage has continued to increase since then. The minimum wage for 2020 is 8,590 won, and it is up 2.9 percent from last year’s level of 8,350 won. Based on 40 hours of working per week, the monthly minimum salary is now about 1.8 million won.
2. Resident Registration Card Changes
The durability of the new resident registration card has now been increased to prevent forgery and falsification, but its original design has been maintained. The materials have changed from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) to Polycarbonate (PC). The PC materials are shock-resistant, so the card is not damaged easily.
Furthermore, the information on the card is now printed with a laser to prevent it from being easily erased. The name and resident registration number information are also now embossed, and the fingerprint on the back of the card has also been changed making it difficult to replicate by applying enhanced security technology. Additionally, in the upper left corner of the card, a color-changing Tae-geuk symbol has been added, and, in the lower left corner, a multi-laser image has been applied, showing a person’s black-and-white picture and birth date.
This changed resident registration card has been issued since January 1, 2020, but existing resident registration cards can still be used freely.
3. Change Account Deposit Service
According to a nationwide survey conducted in 2016, the proportion of cash used has gradually decreased from 37.7 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2016, but cash is still used in smaller retail outlets or markets. However, coins that people receive as a change for cash are not often used. According to a Bank of Korea survey in 2016, 46.9 percent of the respondents said they did not use coins, and 62.7 percent of them cited the reason being the inconvenience of carrying coins. Therefore, the Bank of Korea promoted the ‘Community Without Coins’ project in April 2017 to resolve the inconvenience of using coins and introduced the ‘Change Account Deposit Service’.
This service is conducted by depositing the change from a mart or convenience store into a personal account linked to a mobile cash card or an IC cash card. Currently, 6 marts, various convenience stores, and 10 electronic prepayment services are participating in this pilot project. More specific information such as the names of those stores and issuers can be seen on the Bank of Korea website.
4. Mobile Driver’s License
In May 2020, three telecommunication businesses, SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+, are going to introduce a ‘Mobile Driver’s License’ service based on Smartphones. This license can be used when drivers who have an existing plastic form of a license register themselves with their own telecommunications mobile authentication service.
The mobile driver’s license has the same effect as the existing card license. Using the mobile driver’s license will eliminate the need to carry a card license in your wallet. The Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) said it can be expected to prevent crime due to the loss of existing driver’s licenses and also reduce the cost of reissuing a license.
So far, this article has introduced several new systems that are closely related to our lives. The Seowon News hopes readers are able to live their lives wisely in 2020 by familiarizing themselves with these new innovations.