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Line launches digital banking platform in Indonesia

Line Corporation, best known for its messaging app, launched a digital banking platform in Indonesia today. This means Japan-based Line Corp. now offers banking services in three of its biggest overseas markets: Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.

Line Corp.’s Indonesian banking platform is the result of a partnership the company struck in 2018 with PT Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hana ZBank. Line Corp. agreed to acquire 20% of PT Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, making it the bank’s second-largest shareholder, and said it would work on online banking services, including deposit accounts, microcredit products, and remittance and payment services.

According to a report by Momentum Works, downloads of digital banking apps in Indonesia grew 7% in 2020, with apps from established banks like BTPN Jenius, OCBC Nyala and Permata leading. But Momentum Works also observed that “many Indonesian digital bank users tend to download multiple digital bank applications and explore around,” so a dominant player hasn’t emerged yet. Major tech companies like Sea Group, Grab and Gojek are also working on their own neobank services.

Line introduced banking services to its Thai users last October, as part of a joint venture with Kasikorn Vision Company, a subsidiary of Kasikorn Bank. In Taiwan, its subsidiary Line Bank Taiwan was granted a banking license earlier this year by the Financial Supervisory Commission.

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