Japanese instant chatting app operator Line has partnered with Mizuho Financial Group to establish a joint venture (JV) to start discussion on making new bank.

The JV, will carry out preparations to establish the new lender. Furthermore, it will be formed through the partners’ subsidiaries, Line Financial and Mizuho Bank.

Line Financial will hold 51% stake in the JV, while Mizuho Bank will own the remaining 49% interest.

Named LINE Bank Preparatory Company, the JV will hold capital reserves of JPY2bn. The location of its head office will be decided later.

Line new bank: Details

The Line new bank is expected to offer financial services to Line’s nearly 80 million users from 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

Further details about the new bank, details of services and schedule will be determined by the JV and will be announced thereafter, Mizuho Financial Group said in a statement.

LINE and LINE Financial have undertaken a new programme called Closing the Distance to improve financial inclusion. Opening the new bank forms part of this strategy.

The programme already provides investment service, non-life insurance service through the LINE messaging app. Soon, the services will also include securities and loan services.

In another development, Line has reportedly collaborated with China’s Tencent Holdings to offer mobile payment services.

Reuters reported that Japanese retailers which offer Line Pay services can process payments utilising Tencent’s WeChat Pay from early next year. The initiative is expected to benefit the Chinese tourists visiting Japan.