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KBank, Line forge joint venture for financial services

Nov 21. 2019
Kasikorn Line chief executive officer Tana Pothikamjorn introduces 'Line BK' to reporters on Thursday (November 21).
Kasikorn Line chief executive officer Tana Pothikamjorn introduces 'Line BK' to reporters on Thursday (November 21).
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By The Nation

Kasikornbank (KBank) and Line Corporation will jointly launch financial services next year via Line App.

The two have created a joint venture -- Kasikorn Line Company. 

KBank  holds a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture through its subsidiary Kasikorn Vision, while Line Corporation via Line Financial Asia  holds the other half. The joint venture has a registered capital of Bt2.2 billion.

Newly appointed Kasikorn Line CEO Tana Pothikamjorn said the company will launch financial services in the middle of next year, targeting a million customers.

Thais are big fans of Line social chat application with 44 million users out of the 70 million population.

“Line is an easy channel for chat that everyone can access while Kasikornbank wants to reach wider customers,” he told a press conference on Wednesday (November 21).

Currently KBank has a 16.9 million customer base.

Line BK aims to leverage on the robust banking experience of KBank combined with the 44 million user scale and social reach of Line to provide innovative financial services on the Line platform. 

Line BK plans to offer a full range of financial services covering transactions, lending, insurance and investments. The focus is to provide a consumer-friendly service on the channel of their choices and better manage risk through advanced analytics to reach out to more consumers. Customers will be able to transact seamlessly and access credit easily using the messaging app, he said.

He said the cost of providing financial services will be much lower than that of banks operating physical branches.

He said 'Line BK' will use rich data about consumer behaviour as a tool for lending while ensuring the privacy of individuals.

The company said the partnership is part of the Line Bank initiative by Line, which is launching financial services in Japan, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia.

Tana has led digital banking at Siam Commercial Bank for seven years. In 2018, Tana received "Digital Banker of the Year" award from The Asset. Prior to returning to Thailand, Tana had extensive experience working for leading technology firms in Silicon Valley, according to the company 0press release.

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