Naver’s Japanese subsidiary LINE will push forward with the internet banking business in 2020 by partnering with the Mizuho Financial Group, a major Japanese bank.
According to NHK and Kyodo News, LINE and Mizuho announced a plan in a press conference on Nov. 27 to establish a bank in 2020 and set up a preparatory company for the establishment of the bank next spring.
The bank to be established by LINE and Mizuho will provide specialized services for smartphone users without opening branches. The bank will be like internet banks such as Korea's Kakao Bank and K Bank in Korea. Line will secure 51% equities of the bank and Mizuho 49% by investing in the bank.
The two companies plan to carry out the loan business for individuals during the first half of next year before the bank is established.
LINE, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is developing the financial platform business with global mobile messenger LINE with than 600 million subscribers worldwide. Messenger LINE has become a "national messenger" of Japan with 78 million users in Japan alone.
Naver invested 715.7 billion won (US$644 million) in LINE in September and Line 247.6 billion won in its financial subsidiary LINE Financial. Industry experts say that the investments were made to prepare funds to tap into the banking business.
LINE is expected to expand its financial services to more diverse areas in the mobile shopping payment service business. These days, Line is also preparing to enter the Internet banking business in Taiwan.