GIANT social media app Line and Kasikornbank (KBank) yesterday joined hands to launch Kasikorn Line Company, a joint-venture offering personalised unsecured personal loans to Line’s 44 million users in the Kingdom.
The joint venture involves Kasikorn Vision (KVision) and Line Financial Asia. This is the third company involving Line in a joint venture with local bankers, following companies in Japan and Indonesia.
Patchara Samalapa, president of Kasikorn Bank, said that this move will use social banking to disrupt the traditional banking business. Currently, the Bank can claim Bt20 billion of Thailand’s Bt500 billion total market of unsecured personal loans.
The new JV company aims to also build a portfolio of Bt20 billion within the first three years after the service becomes available. The company also aims to capture at least 10 million users in the same period of three years time.
He the said loan service is available to Line users who open an account at Kasikorn Line Company with an initial loan of Bt10,000. The loan interest rate will vary depend?ing on the applicant’s behaviour data, and the company will draw on many data sets in reviewing the loan application.
The service will be available by the second half of 2019.
‘It is not just about the API (application program interface) but rather to bring a full banking service onto the social media platform. We will start offering unsecured personal loans, then offer other services such as mutual funds and insurance later,” said Patchara.
The mission is to acquire new customers, make the company profitable in the lending business and occupy a position as one of the top five lending providers in Thailand within five years. Both KBank and Line are committed to providing resources and knowledge sharing, in addition to investment capital.
“We need to disrupt ourselves; this move is just one example. Instead of being disrupted by others, we (the new JV company) aim to disrupt ourselves (KPLus),” said Patchara.
Young Eun Kim, chief operating officer, Line Financial Asia, said that there are a lot of opportunities in offering the social banking experience to Thais. The new service is make banking services seamless through the social media network.
Through this partnership, she said, KBank and Line will create a new social banking brand that is extremely easy to use and fun. Customers will enjoy instant banking service within the Line platform, such as simple steps to apply for banking products, fund transfers and personal loans, with a fast approval process.
She added that with 44 million Line users in Thailand, the communication app is a dominant platform with a massive user base. Both companies will work together to establish a social banking experience –more user-friendly, accessible and lifestyle-driven – connected to the Line platform. Their experience will meet Thai people’s daily needs and lifestyles by leveraging the 44-million-user base, diverse access points, and accumulated know-how in mobile user experience, she said. As well, KBank’s extensive experience and knowledge as a leader in mobile banking in Thailand, will be leveraged.
Kim added that the JV company will in the near future offer a variety of financial services, including new lending products and more convenient fund transfer from the Line platform. “We plan to achieve a leading position in the financial industry as the world moves increasingly towards a cashless wallet-less society,” said Kim.