Japanese app maker LINE Group has been granted a digital banking license by the Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission for its LINE financial team.
This means that the company has officially received the go ahead to create its own Internet bank.
LINE Group holds a 49.5% share in LINE Financial Taiwan whilst Tapei Fuban Bank holds 25.1% and CTBC Bank, FarEasTone, Standard Chartered Bank, Taiwan Mobile, and Union Bank of Taiwan each hold 5%.
The move is likely to challenge traditional banks in the Asian market and compete with the likes of Rakuten which also received a license for its Rakuten International Commercial Bank.
LINE Financial currently provides investment services and non-life insurance services.
In a company statement, LINE wrote:
“Going forward, our group affirms our plans to introduce banking services involving AI, big data and financial technologies, as well as our commitment to “responsible innovation,” as we develop innovative and secure personal finance experiences that can truly improve banking for all consumers. We will listen carefully to the voice of consumers, strive ceaselessly to be a trusted bank, and establish deep roots in Taiwan market, as we seek to promote financial inclusion for all through ubiquitous, internet-only banking services.”
In November 2018, it LINE and Mizhuo Financial Group announced the launch of a joint venture to provide additional financial services.
Earlier that year, the app maker raised $1.3 billion to launch LINE Pay and other financial services.
LINE has an average 80 million monthly active users in Japan alone, representing 50% of its total user base.
The company added that Taiwan was an important market for LINE with a user base of 21 million people.