Japan-based chat app LINE has partnered with KASIKORNBANK in Thailand to launch LINE BK, the first social banking app in the country. Meanwhile, Vietnam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA) has welcomed two new startups to its acceleration programme.
LINE ties up with KASIKORNBANK to offer social banking
LINE Corporation and Thailand’s KASIKORNBANK, through their KASIKORN LINE joint venture, has launched LINE BK, the first social banking app in Thailand.
This partnership marks LINE’s first foray into the financial services sector.
LINE BK allows customers to transfer money, open savings accounts, apply for loans and make payments from the LINE app, according to a statement.
Users can open as many as five savings accounts, and apply for a debit card through LINE BK, which offers high interest rates for saving accounts and unlocks a range of banking services including personal loans for freelancers and individuals without fixed incomes.
The platform has widened the reach of financial services to people with a monthly income from 7,000 baht ($224) and those without fixed salaries and pay slips such as small business owners.
LINE said it had plans to expand banking services into other countries, including Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Entering Thailand in 2012, the Japanese chat app has garnered 46 million users in the Southeast Asian country.
Vietnamese accelerator VIISA launches 8th startup batch
Vietnam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA) on Tuesday announced its eighth cohort with two startups from healthtech and fashion-tech sectors to join the three-month incubation programme.
The two startups, Doctor Bear and Drobebox, were selected out of 62 applications, VIISA said.
Doctor Bear is a health platform for patients with chronic diseases. Its mobile app enables users to consult with specialised doctors via video call and offers various test packages according to the treatment plan. The DoctorBear team consists of a group of medical doctors with over 15 years of professional experience and an in-house technology chief.
Meanwhile, Drobebox offers a clothing subscription service for women. DrobeBox’s packaged service allows users to try fashion items without purchasing or even washing. Users can also own any items they wish after fitting.
Startups that graduate from VIISA will have a chance to receive a follow-on funding up to $200,000 out of VIISA Investment Track, if they procure a fresh round of funding from an outside investor.
Due to the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, VIISA’s eighth batch activities will mostly be taken online.