August 12, 2014 10:53 am JST

Want to buy stock? Text SBI Securities via Line

TOKYO -- Line just scored a big partnership with Japan's leading online brokerage, which wants to allow the chat app's Japan users to buy stocks and exchange-traded funds via the app. The service could start next month.

     For SBI Securities, it's a chance to expand its base of young investors. For Japan's smartphone users, it's a way to check equity prices and make investments via an app so many of them already rely on throughout the day.    

     Line users will first have to open security transaction accounts and connect with SBI through the brokerage's official Line account. SBI is expected to open the account and start distributing information from it later this month.

     When Line users who have gone through SBI's process decide to buy shares or exchange-traded funds, they text SBI, which will reply by asking which stock and the number of shares are to be purchased. From here, users will need to take extra precautions (Line has recently been hit by a slew of user-account hijackings).

     SBI intends to require users to enter an additional password when buying stocks; users also might be guided to SBI's website to enter another password.

     Users will also be able to use the service through their Nippon Individual Savings Accounts, a tax-free investment plan that began in January.

     To sell, Line/SBI account holders will have to go through SBI's existing website for PC users.

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