Line launches messenger-based banking platform in Thailand
Line Corporation, the Tokyo-based messenger service, has integrated banking into its app. Thailand is the first market to enjoy Line’s integrated banking services.
Line, which is owned by South Korean internet search engine Naver, has around 84 million monthly active users, according to Statista. These customers span Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia and Turkmenistan – as well as Thailand.
What banking services?
Called “Line BK”, the service allows users to transfer money, make deposits, apply for loans, and make payments within the messenger app.
Line has develops and operates the service in collaboration with Thai bank Kasikornbank.
Users can open as many as five savings accounts with interest rates of up to 1.5% a year on six-to-12-month terms. Users can also apply for a debit card with 0.5% credit cashback and overdraft protection.
Personal loans are also available through the app. Customers with a monthly income of at least THB 7,000 ($224) and those without fixed salaries and pay slips, such as small business owners, will be able to apply via Line BK’s loan services.
All these services come with automatic notifications, and sit under the Wallet Tab in the Line app.
Users can also automatically share e-slips (bank transfer receipts), split bills for group expenses, and send request-to-pay links.
As for ATMs, Thai users can withdraw cash without a card using the Line app.
Line plans to roll out banking services in its other countries, prioritising Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia in a statement.
Industry shift to messenger
A number of players – incumbents and fintechs alike – have moved into the messenger space with banking integrations.
In August, Standard Chartered’s Korean banking arm partnered with Israeli fintech PayKey to embed banking into consumers’ keyboards.
And in February, UniCredit subsidiary Bank Austria also went live with PayKey’s social banking solution. PayKey works with more than 20 banks globally, including HSBC, and ING.
Challenger Zelf unveiled a similar offering in April, which integrates banking into messaging apps. It uses French banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider Treezor, a subsidiary of Société Générale group.
Russia’s Tinkoff launched a financial messenger service in its banking app earlier this month. It married the two services together in the opposite order to boost its ‘super app’ status.
Banking apps getting uninstalled within the first 30 days of download is a huge problem. That’s the reason why a messenger service which sparks greater engagement is a great solution.
“Revolut requires a 350+ MB app to do banking and uses DHL to ship its cards – we eliminate this waste,” founder and CEO of Zelf, Elliot Goykhman, told FinTech Futures in April.
Asked whether he thinks people will be hesitant about doing all their banking through a messaging app, Goykhman pointed out how people already use these apps.
“People already trust these apps to discuss their private lives and send naked pictures, so it’s not as big of a leap as people in the industry might think,” he said.