LINE launches third digital bank in South East Asia, eyes further growth

Karthik Subramanian

LINE Corporation, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Softbank Group and Naver Corporation, has announced the launch of a digital bank in Indonesia in association with PT Bank KEB Hana Indonesia.

Michael Bourke now Managing Partner of Bannockburn Global Forex

More banks are joining the digital banking bandwagon as users go online much more than they used to. The pandemic has also forced many users, who were initially reluctant to go online for their banking and payment needs, to go online as they were forced to be indoors. Now that the pandemic has started receding, these users continue to use the online services due to the convenience that it offers.

The banks have also been forced to shift their legacy systems into the new digital age and with more use of smartphones among the younger generation, digital payments and banking have really taken off over the last couple of years.

“The demand for digital transformation in the banking industry is growing rapidly all around the world. In Indonesia in particular, due to this market’s unique geographical characteristics, we believe bringing banking services to people’s mobile phones will greatly increase their availability and convenience,” said Young Eun Kim, Chief Operating Officer of LINE Financial Asia. “Through LINE and Hana Bank working together, we will do our best so the Indonesian people can use LINE Bank to enjoy a more convenient financial life.”

The partnership between the 2 financial firms had begun in 2018 itself when Line Financial had acquired 20% of Hana Bank through a share agreement. This is the next stage of their partnership where the new digital bank will be able to offer savings accounts, bill payments, etc for its existing users with new loan products also being planned in due course of time.

Line Financial would be hoping that this new bank would get the same grand welcome that its new bank in Thailand had obtained. The new bank in Thailand had managed to notch up two million users within the first few months of its opening. Digital and smartphone banking is the way forward for the industry as the average age of the users becomes lesser and more and more young people start using banking. They spend a large part of their time online and they expect that the financial systems that they use are also online or on their phone and are easy and reliable to use as well. This is the race between the various banks to get such users on board.

 

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