Kasikorn Line unveils Line BK services

Kasikorn Line unveils Line BK services

Kasikorn Line unveils Line BK services
Mr Tana says Line BK aims for top-five status in financial services in Thailand.

Kasikorn Line has introduced the Line BK financial feature on the Line app for savings, money transfers and personal loans, aiming to tap underbanked and unbanked users as the first social banking service in Thailand.

Kasikorn Line is a joint venture of Kasikorn Vision Co, a subsidiary of Kasikornbank (KBank), and Line Financial Asia, a subsidiary of Line Corporation.

The aim is for Line BK to become a top-five financial service provider in Thailand within the next 3-5 years.

"We combine the strength of Kasikornbank, which has financial service expertise, and social media platform Line to bring fintech services to users with simple and convenient ways like an invisible bank in users' hands," said Tana Pothikamjorn, chief executive of Kasikorn Line.

Line has 47 million users in Thailand whose average time spent per day on the platform is 63 minutes. KBank has 16.5 million users, 13 million of whom use the K Plus app. The bank reported 1.7 billion baht in transactions in the first half of this year.

Mr Tana said 60% of the Thai population is either underbanked or unbanked. Underbanked customers are defined as those with only a bank deposit account and no other basic financial products; unbanked people are those who cannot access any banking product or service, not even a deposit account.

Thailand has 50 million mobile internet users and 52 million active social media users. There are 93 million mobile or internet banking accounts, Mr Tana said, adding: "This is a massive opportunity for Line BK."

KBank president Patchara Samalapa said Line BK will help KBank expand its customer base and develop new income sources for the bank.

Phichet Rerkpreecha, chief executive of Line Thailand, said fintech is one of the platform's three core services that could cater to users' digital lifestyle.

According to Mr Tana, Line BK users can access financial services through the Line app, including transferring money to others by the use of their friend lists on Line.

Users can deposit money and are entitled to a special interest rate of up to 1.5% annually. They can choose to make savings either for six or 12 months.

Customers can apply for Line BK debit cards, which make them eligible for 0.50% cash back for the online purchase of items priced at 100 baht or more.

In terms of lending, users with a monthly salary of at least 7,000 baht are eligible to borrow money through Line BK. For freelancers and business owners, they must earn at least 9,000 baht a month.

Users who earn less than 30,000 baht a month will receive a credit line of no more than 1.5 times their income. With monthly earnings of 30,000 baht or more, users will receive a credit line of up to 5 times their earnings with a ceiling of 800,000 baht.

Lending is a massive opportunity give that 10% of household lending is made in the grey market, such as via loan sharks, Mr Tana said.

The digital lending market in the country is about 12 billion baht, he said.

"We use AI to calculate risk scoring based on user behaviour and data from KBank," Mr Tana said. "We aim to become one of the top five in consumer finance services in Thailand within 3-5 years with credit loans over 10 billion baht."

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