Thai lender Kasikornbank, Japan’s Line form JV to tap digital banking

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Thailand fourth-largest lender Kasikornbank Pcl said on Wednesday it formed a joint venture with Japanese mobile chat app operator Line Corp to tap into its network of users to grow personal loans.

“Traditional banks aren’t as fast as IT companies (in releasing services)… So setting up a new firm to provide financial services will better serve our customers,” KBank‘s president, Patchara Samalapa, told reporters.

“We want to be part of Line‘s ecosystem,” Patchara said, referring to Line‘s 44 million monthly active users in Thailand.

KBank currently has 15 million digital users.

Customers will have to open a new bank account with the company, branded as Kasikorn Line, and will be able to transfer funds and apply for personal loans within the Line platform, KBank said in a statement.

The new platform, which will have its commercial launch in the second half of next year, will also serve as open architecture broker for insurance and mutual funds.

The tie-up is KBank‘s latest push for digital customers. Last month it invested $50 million in ride-sharing, Grab to launch an e-payment app and tap into merchant and customer data.

The Kasikorn-Line partnership did not have immediate plans in data collaboration, Line Financial Asia’s chief operating officer, Young Eun Kim, told Reuters.

The venture would focus on financial services and integrating Line‘s other products in Thailand like the e-payment platform RabbitLine Pay, Kim told reporters.

In November, Line said it was setting up a bank with Japanese financial giant Mizuho and was also partnering with China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd to offer mobile payment services for Chinese tourists.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.