Japan-based messaging and internet services company Line formed a financial services arm which will run alongside its in-app cash transfer service Line Pay.
Line Financial will offer loans, insurance and a virtual currency exchange, for which it will require a specific trading licence from Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
In a statement, Line said the new company would create “an even more revolutionary financial service” than its current Line Pay product. It is in the process of hiring experts in the field to run the division.
Line Pay launched in 2014, targeted at existing users of Line’s messaging service. By the end of 2017 the service had 40 million registered users and processed JPY450 billion ($4.1 billion) during the year.
The company added Line Financial would build on the success of its existing platform and “actively promote research and development of technologies such as blockchain and provide a financial service that is convenient and safe to users.”
“Line will reinforce its position in the financial business domain through its businesses in Line Financial Corporation and will continue closing the distance between people, their money, and services. Line hopes to become a leader in the fintech industry as the world moves increasingly towards a cashless wallet-less society.”
The news comes as Line announced conglomerate SoftBank bought a 51 per cent stake in subsidiary Line Mobile.