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Line crosses into banking with Mizuho tie-up

New venture to offer deposits and loans via smartphone

Takeshi Idezawa, left, the chief executive officer of Line, has been eager to expand the company's  financial offerings. 

TOKYO -- Line will launch digital banking services by 2020 in collaboration with Mizuho Financial Group, the chat app operator said Tuesday, aiming to break into a sector dominated by megabanks using its domestic user base of 78 million.

The two Japanese companies will establish a preparatory company in spring 2019, with Line Financial providing 51% of the 2 billion yen ($17.6 million) in capital and Mizuho Bank supplying the rest.

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