Japan-based messaging app provider Line and Mizuho Bank piled up fresh investment of JPY12 billion ($114.2 million) in an initiative to establish a smartphone-based bank in the country by the end of 2022.

In a statement, Line said new sum will be put into the companies’ joint venture Line Bank Preparatory Company, which was created in 2019 to develop the smartphone banking service. The investment brings the JV’s total capital reserve to JPY16.5 billion.

The companies aim to accelerate system development of the service as Covid-19 (coronavirus) increases reliance on digital services and cashless payments.

Line argued its service will be the only “main bank” designed for mobile. It will be integrated into the main messaging app in Japan: the company’s Q3 2020 earnings statement showed the service had 86 million monthly active users, 85 per cent of which accessed it daily.

The messaging company explained the partners had also amended the structure of the JV to a joint CEO set-up.

A Line representative told Mobile World Live the moves are part of a broader plan to expand its fintech services globally, with banking services also available in Thailand and plans to add Taiwan and Indonesia this year.