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LINE Explains Why it is Bidding for an Online Banking License


Japanese messaging service LINE Corporation’s subsidiary, LINE Financial Corporation, says it plans to repackage financial services created by other companies and market them to millennials if it is awarded a web-only banking license in Taiwan.

The company said in a recent press conference that it does not plan to offer financial services involving insurance, stocks and bonds or credit cards. Rather it would play a role of partnering with other financial companies.

The announcement came amid a bidding war for a coveted web-only banking license following a relaxation of Taiwan’s financial regulations.

Besides LINE, a conglomerate composed of Chunghwa Telecom, Mega International Commercial Bank and other banks, is in the running, along with another group involving a partnership between Japanese-Korean conglomerate Lotte and Taiwanese Waterland Financial Holdings .This means at least three teams will be applying for the coveted web-only banking license but, at most, only two licenses will be issued.

LINE Financial Corporation , tasked with creating financial services involving the likes of cryptocurrency, insurance and loans, was founded in Japan in January this year. It announced plans for a Taiwan branch following a relaxation of the nation’s financial regulations.

Targeting Millennials

Liu Yucheng, who is responsible for setting up the Taiwan operation, says that if LINE is successful in its bid for the license, the first phase of its plans for Taiwan will be winning over young professionals by helping millennials reach their first long-term savings goals.

For example, most financial institutions do not have mechanisms set up to serve new college graduates who want to invest in a small-scale investment fund. This is one area where LINE Financial can offer a solution, Liu said.

Liu said the company’s ultimate goal was to set up stores that provide financial services integrated with transportation, tourism, shopping, mobile-based services and overseas travel.

Liu also noted in other overseas markets, financial institutions and shopping malls have worked together to provide cardless services, and he planned to do the same. Young people who have low credit limits can incrementally pay off their loans in the cardless system and over the long term would become LINE Financial’s home loan and wealth management clients.

Liu overall stressed that LINE Bank, which will be the name of the online bank should LINE Financial be awarded the license, will be repackaging existing financial products and marketing them to a new customer base.

“We hope to provide good products to the right kind of customers,” Liu said.
“From the outset I’ve had my heart set on getting this license and haven’t even thought about a plan B.”

He said regardless of who ultimately receives the honor of being granted a license, it will represent a great step forward for Taiwan’s financial industry.

“From my point of view, I think about how to put forward the best solution so as to have the greatest chance to be issued with a license,” Liu said.

News source is from Business Next.