Naver Corp. and its Japanese subsidiary Line Corp. have been significantly expanding their online banking operations across various Asian countries. In particular, Naver and the Tokyo-based messaging app operator introduced a digital banking platform to Indonesia.
Naver collaborated with Hana Financial Group, a South Korean banking giant, for the service launch. Moreover, the Naver-affiliated digital bank would be operating as Line Bank by Hana Bank. The Line Bank app offers countless non-face-to-face services, enabling users to make deposits, pay utility bills, and transfer funds.
Line Bank by Hana Bank aims to succeed amid the increasingly competitive market by delivering highly convenient fintech services. Notably, the online-only platform would operate a digital account opening service, a feature not yet available on traditional Indonesian banks.
“We plan to expand our user base in Indonesia and raise Hana Bank brand awareness,” said Hana Financial Group’s Chairman. To this end, the South Korean financial company formed a partnership with Line, utilizing its extensive Asian market network.
Expanding Asian Market Presence
The country’s fifth-largest bank and Hana Financial Group’s banking arm, Hana Bank, stated that the Indonesian release marks the first-ever overseas digital banking establishment from a leading tech company and domestic bank. The new Indonesian digital bank is also Line’s third online-only bank in Asia.
In October 2020, Line released Line BK, Thailand’s first social banking platform offering integrated financial solutions. Since its launch, Line BK gained over 2 million users, registering at least 50,000 savings account openings daily. Line also introduced Line Bank to Taiwan in early 2021, further expanding its digital service ecosystem abroad.
Line introduced Line Bank to Taiwan due to its extensive following there, with its smart wallet service Line Pay registering over 8.4 million users or 36% of Taiwan’s total population. According to the Germany-based database firm Statista, 58% of Taiwan’s mobile payment users employ Line Pay.
Additionally, Line Pay, a Line Corporation subsidiary providing mobile services, launched a Line Pay-Visa credit card in Japan in partnership with Visa in 2019. The credit cards also delivered fast transactions and accelerated the ongoing global cashless trend further. Naver also aims to launch Line Bank in Japan sometime in 2022.
Meanwhile, Naver’s CEO, Han Seong-Sook, previously said that Naver would not release a digital banking platform in its home market. However, Naver plans to actively increase its presence in the Asian banking industry outside Korea.
Naver and its Japanese affiliate would also differentiate Line Bank’s services from local banks by harnessing its wide-ranging user base. In addition to its current offerings, Line Bank plans to develop more contactless banking services, including online credit loan programs.
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