LINE teams up with FOLIO to launch new mobile investment service

Maria Nikolova

The service encourages first-time and novice investors to build wealth by investing in familiar themes through the LINE app.

The LINE app has just brought a raft of investment opportunities closer to newbie investors in Japan. LINE Financial Corporation and FOLIO Co., Ltd. (FOLIO) have partnered on the launch of a new service called “LINE Smart Invest”.

This is a new mobile-based investment service aiming to make investing fun and easy for inexperienced users. In order to build their wealth, users can access the service from the LINE app and start investing in a variety of themes (currently around 70), such as drones, young women’s trends, VR, and cosplay, based on their personal preference. By offering theme-based investment products at an average minimum investment of JPY 100,000, and adopting portfolio diversification that mitigates stock price volatility risks, this next-gen service provides asset-building opportunities to a wider range of users.

LINE Smart Invest is based on FOLIO, the next-generation investment service that went into full-scale operation on August 8th.

The new service is launched in response to certain recent developments in the investment landscape in Japan. Many people in Japan are concerned about the assurance and stability of their post-retirement years, LINE and FOLIO explain. With the falling birth rate putting a strain on the country’s pension system, changing working conditions chiseling retirement bonuses, and ultra-low interest rates, building wealth through investments is no longer without implications for many.

At the same time, the untapped market population of potential investors who “want to invest but don’t know where to start” is estimated at around 20 million in Japan. Despite their interest in asset-building, the majority renounce due to their “lack of knowledge,” “fear of losing money,” and assumption that “investing is complicated and overly sophisticated”. 

To change this situation and accelerate the paradigm shift from saving to asset-building, the operators of LINE and FOLIO decided to team up and enter into a capital alliance in January 2018.

The latest service combines the LINE messaging app, boasting 76 million monthly average users in Japan, and FOLIO, offering investment products on day-to-day themes.

LINE Smart Invest is accessible from the LINE Wallet tab in the LINE app, along with the LINE Pay mobile remittance and payment service, and LINE Insurance. The lineup of theme-based investment products is carefully selected by professionals – which eliminates the need for specialized knowledge about individual stocks. FOLIO offers investment products on approximately 70 different themes – VR, e-sports, cosplay, drones, and more – spanning 11 categories including “Cutting-edge technologies that will change the world,” and “Invest in your passions.”

The UI is designed to be clear and intuitively operable to reduce investment barriers and make asset-building fun for first-time and novice investors. Whereas reference pages on investments tend to be cluttered with information, LINE Smart Invest’s design is mobile-first, focusing on orderliness by displaying accurate information cohesively, and making sure that the design does not cause anxiety or confusion among users.

Regarding the future of the new service, LINE Financial and FOLIO say they will leverage their technologies, and plan to add new features such as the “Recommended portfolio,” allowing for optimized, low-cost wealth management with a simple questionnaire, as well as to enable fund settlements through LINE Pay. The companies will also take into account user feedback as well as the service’s usage data when they consider future service improvements.

Read this next

Retail FX

Finalto sweetens offering for African traders with localized FX pairs

Finalto, the financial trading division of Gopher Investments, announced today that it has extended its offering with inclusion of a number of African Pairs to its trading platforms.

Digital Assets

BitMEX secures OAM registration to operate in Italy

Crypto exchange BitMEX has won regulatory approval from Italy’s financial regulators, allowing the exchange to continue serving Italian customers.

Institutional FX

FlexTrade integrates Glimpse’s post-trade bond execution data

“Looking further ahead, this integration also presents multiple opportunities for how fixed-income traders could leverage the trading data. For example, traders could tap Glimpse data as an input to AI-driven automation workflow strategies in the future.”

Industry News

FINRA fines UBS $2.5m for Reg SHO violations and supervisory failures

FINRA has fined UBS $2.5 million for Reg SHO violations and supervisory failures spanning a period of nine years.

Digital Assets

Bitfinex Pay launches feature that minimizes volatility risk

The currency conversion will take place every five minutes on any amount above $10.

Digital Assets

Mastercard launches Crypto Secure for risk assessment in digital asset space

“Crypto Secure will provide card issuers with a platform that allows them access to insights which will improve the safety of crypto purchases, increasing consumer confidence and creating the same trust they expect when paying with Mastercard.”

Retail FX

VT Markets wins 4 more awards including Best Forex Mobile App Global 2022

“Over the past few months, we have noticed a huge spike in downloads and daily active users on the VT Markets App. Our clients can trade multiple asset classes with ultra-low spreads, and access timely market news on our mobile app.”

Institutional FX

Blue Ocean ATS enhances price discovery and liquidity for after hours US stock trading

Liquidity and price discovery, missing from previous overnight trading solutions, are now possible utilizing the TNS network and managed service platform. Security of the private network and its access to all public clouds, uniformity of compliance and regulatory oversight, redundancy and recovery capabilities, plus the localized customer service around the world made TNS the best candidate for this major step in Blue Ocean Technologies’ growth.

Executive Moves, Retail FX

Equiti Group wins CySEC license to expand into Europe

“Regulation and good governance have always been and will continue to be a key part of Equiti’s business model.”