In Korea everything is connected to the Internet. I seldom shopped online when I was living in Spain, but in Korea, it is really easy and quick to find something online and get it delivered to your house. However, even though it is true that South Korea is ahead in these things, there are also many issues to deal with, specially when you are a foreigner. Firstly, many websites will only support Internet Explorer, which is not widely used in Europe.
Secondly, many websites will require you to have a secure identification method, which will usually be connected to your local cellphone number, or to your ARC (Alien registration card). Today, I am going to explain more about this procedure, because I seem to have finally understood it (after a year).
What can I use as my online identification?
One of the most popular methods is using your phone number. It is easier and more direct. You will have to introduce your personal information (telecommunications company, phone number, name, …) and then you will get a code on your phone that you will introduce to prove your identification. Sadly, I cannot use it, and this is it’s main disadvantage: you must have a phone contract at your name in order to use this identification. I do not own a phone contract because I decided to just use prepaid (it saves me about 30$ each month, based on my usage), so I cannot use my number to prove myself.
Therefore, I need to use the other popular option: the i-PIN. An i-PIN is what it sounds like, an Internet Personal Identification Number. It is easy to use once you create it, but in order to create your i-PIN, you need to follow a couple of steps. I have taken some screenshots along the sign-up process to try to make this simpler. First, let’s go to http://i-pin.go.kr. Have these things prepared with you: ARC, Public Key Certificate (from the Bank. If you don’t have this, check at the bottom of this post).
When they ask you to put your name, you have to introduce it exaxctly like it is in your ARC. AND in capital letters, AND the surname(s) first, without spaces AND then your name and middle name (if you have) also together, without spaces. Since I’m from Spain, I have 1 name, 1 middle name, and 2 last names. Therefore, for me it was: LASTNAME1LASTNAME2 NAMEMIDDLENAME (note there’s only one space in between the last names and the names).
Well, after you wrote your name in the right format and your ARC number, you should click on the button that says “The real-name confirmation”. If you introduced either the name or the ARC incorrectly, a pop-up like this will appear:
If everything went well, then you will be able to create an i-PIN ID (only lowcase characters and numbers). Then, set a password (at least 8 characters, including one special character) and make sure you remember it, select a secret question and write its answer. Finally, introduce your e-mail address and phone number, and use your Public Key Certificate as an authentication method.
Things are more complicated if you do not have a Public Key Certificate. This is harder to make because you will need to get it first. I have a digital certificate from my Bank, KEB, and I think that´s the most usual way to obtain one.
Go to your local bank and ask for a Bank Certificate. They will give you a paper with some secret code that you will need when you create your Certificate ONLINE. So go to your local bank and if it’s KEB, chances are that some staff speaks English and will guide you!
For the KEB digital certificate, you can find a tutorial in English here.What you are getting, is a software that will be installed in your computer or phone, and that will serve to authentificate you online. It is not the same things as the i-PIN though, but you will need it in other cases.
Let me know if you need help!