Line Corp. has obtained approval from authorities for an internet-based bank in Taiwan, according to the operator of popular messenger Line on Aug. 1.
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission granted an internet banking license to Line Bank Preparatory Office, a consortium of seven partners, on July 30. “We plan to introduce innovative banking services involving AI, big data and financial technologies in Taiwan,” the company said in a statement.
Line Financial Taiwan owns a 49.9 percent stake in the Line Bank Preparatory Office consortium, while Taipei Fubon Bank holds 25.1 percent. CTBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan, FarEas Tone and Taiwan Mobile each holds 5 percent.
This is the first time Line has gotten the nod from authorities for its internet-only bank business.
Line Financial, Line’s financial technology business unit, has been seeking to expand its fintech business beyond payment. It has been working to build internet-only banking units in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia, where the messenger enjoys huge popularity.
Line has 187 million monthly active users globally as of end June, including 81 million in Japan and 21 million in Taiwan. In Thailand, the firm established Kasikorn Line, a joint venture between Kasikornbank and Line. In Indonesia, the company is preparing for an internet bank in partnership with KEB Hana Bank’s Indonesian unit.
In Japan, it plans to launch a smartphone bank by 2020.
By Park Ga-young (email@example.com)